After over a decade of talk and untold billions in spending, the first of the US missile defense shield in Europe is to be activated in Romania, providing anti-missile capabilities above and beyond those deployed abroad ships in the Mediterranean.
Since the effort to create the system began, Russia has been objecting to it, and while the Pentagon is still officially presenting the shield as targeting Iran, and the potential missiles they might develop at some point in the future, others in the US and NATO are being more circumspect about this being another eastern European buildup on the Russian frontier.
The US is also planning to start construction of a second base for the program, in Poland, even further out of the range of Iranian missiles, and even closer to Russian soil. Russian officials have warned for years they will respond by deploying more missiles to Kaliningrad to counter what the shield is capable of shooting down.
The missile defense system is unlikely to have any serious impact on the regional balance of power, apart from costing the US an enormous amount of money. The primary impetus to building the shield in recent years has been from officials looking to spite Russia for warning against its construction.
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