NATO has agreed to develop efforts to protect alliance-forces territory against the threat of missiles.

At a meeting of NATO defence ministers on 14 June, Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer said the decision came as NATO clarified its roadmap on how to increase protection to allied forces during war.

“The NATO roadmap on missile defence is now clear. It is clear, practical and agreed by all,” Scheffer said.

Scheffer also stressed the ‘indivisibility of security’ and explained that NATO’s 26 countries have agreed to assess the project by February 2008.

The alliance will perform a three-missile-defence approach. The first being the continuation of NATO’s project Theatre Missile Defence (TMD) to be completed by 2010 and designed to protect troops from the risk of missiles whilst on missions.

The second is to calculate the implications of the US system for the alliance and third to continue with existing cooperation with Russia.

Under the support of the NATO-Russia council NATO will produce conditions for NATO and Russia to experience joint TMD operations in response to missiles.

The secretary general commented on how the plan will assure all alliance territory is completely covered from the threat of missiles by bolting NATO’s theatre missile defence and the US system together.

The Program Management organisation, which will consist of a steering committee and a program office hosted by the NATO C3 Agency, will have the fundamental role of directing the program and reporting to the senior NATO committee – The Conference of National Armaments Directors (CNAD).

By Kayleigh Bateman