9 Dec 02. The UK Defence Secretary announced the publication of a public discussion paper on Missile Defence. Part One of the document examines The Missile Threat and Part Two (Responding to the Threat) covers Missile Defence Technology and Policy Considerations. The paper stresses, at paras 9 and 20, that “at present there is no immediate significant threat to the UK from ballistic missiles”. The paper considers the future ballistic missile threats posed by Iraq, North Korea (DPRK), Iran and Libya. As part of Responding to the Threat, RAF Fylingdales features prominently.
Comment: As might be expected in the current propaganda campaign, the paper concludes that Iraq poses the greatest potential threat. On the evidence in the paper, North Korea (DPRK) looks to be a far more dangerous Country (and has exported its expertise to Egypt, Iran, Libya, Pakistan, Syria, the UAE and Yemen) The BBC reported (14 Dec 02) that a request from the US authorities to upgrade the radar station at
RAF Fylingdales was imminent. The UK will, of course, agree to any such request; despite Ministerial prevarication on the subject in recent months. The discussion paper is preparing the UK public for its part in the US Missile Defence (no longer National Missile Defence) programme.
‘Missile Defence’ is available (free) from: The Policy Director, MoD Metropole Building, London WC2N 5BL(Tel: 020-7218 6045). The document is also available on the MoD website (www.mod.uk). (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS Issue 02/48, 16 Dec 02).