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2012 Conference Concept

The issue of Iran's potential to produce nuclear weapons has reached a level of crisis with implications for proliferation of nuclear weapons in the Middle East. The death of Kim Il Jong has heightened uncertainty about the nuclear posture and intentions of North Korea. In East Asia missile defence is an important factor in relations between China, Japan, the Republic of Korea and other countries. Political instability in Pakistan destabilizes mutual deterrence in relation to India.

In this context development of the United States Phased Adaptive Approach continues. In the European theatre this includes radar and interceptor sites in Turkey and Romania for the "Aegis-Ashore" system as part of a NATO territorial missile defence architecture. However, the US Presidential Election will present policy and budget uncertainties whilst the European financial crisis will limit European national contributions. A Presidential Election in Russia is also due, which is likely to generate bullish rhetoric, especially regarding missile defence cooperation with NATO. The pivot towards Asia in the Obama Administration's recent Strategic Defense Guidance will also require some rethinking of the Trans-Atlantic relationship. The European element of missile defence needs to be addressed in the wider global context also.

This conference directly follows the Chicago NATO Summit and will explore and develop key implications for missile defence that emerge as well as confronting challenges that may not have been raised. It will examine the present state of evolution of missile defence systems and capabilities as well as looking to the future. Finally it will address the relationship between missile defence, nuclear deterrence and initiatives to counter nuclear proliferation now and in the longer term.



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