U.S. plans to deploy missile defense systems in Europe have posed major issues for U.S.-Russian and NATO-Russian relations over the past five years. Recently, NATO proposed a cooperative missile defense arrangement with Russia, but Moscow has proven unwilling to engage until it receives certain specific guarantees from the United States. This continuing stalemate puts cooperative missile defense in Europe at risk. Can the sides work out a cooperative arrangement or will missile defense become, as it was in 2007 and 2008, a contentious issue that negatively affects the broader U.S.-Russia and NATO-Russia relationships?
On May 17, the Arms Control Initiative at Brookings hosted a discussion exploring these issues and marking the release of the new Brookings Arms Control series paper, “Missile Defense: Cooperation or Contention.” Panelists include David Hoffman, Foreign Policy magazine contributing editor and author of The Dead Hand (Doubleday, 2009); Arms Control Association Senior Fellow Greg Thielmann; and Brookings Senior Fellow Steven Pifer, director of the Arms Control Initiative. Brookings Fellow Clara O’Donnell moderated the discussion.
After the program, panelists took audience questions.