Issue of cooperation between US and Russia on Azerbaijani based Gabala Radar Station is still open: former Assistant of Pentagon’s chief

Issue of cooperation between US and Russia on Azerbaijani based Gabala Radar Station is still open: former Assistant of Pentagon’s chief

The United States, Washington, Sept. 18 / Trend , N.Bogdanova/

The issue of cooperation between US and Russia on Azerbaijani based Gabala Radar Station is still open, believes Philip Coyle, former Assistant Secretary of Defense, Pentagon testing chief and current senior advisor to the Center for Defense Information in Washington.

"I believe cooperation with Russia is still in the offing.  Perhaps at their radar station in Armavir, if not if Azerbaijan," Philip Coyle told Trend .

President Barack Obama has announced a radical revision of the missile defense plans and the cancellation of deploying missile defenses in Eastern Europe, which irritated Russia.

Washington claimed that the deployment of a radar station in the Czech Republic and interceptor missiles in Poland is necessary to protect against unpredictable countries, primarily Iran. But on Sept. 17, Obama said that the U.S. intelligence had changed its assessment of the capabilities of the Iranian nuclear program.

At the G8 summit in 2007, Moscow offered the U.S. joint use of the Gabala RLS in Azerbaijan, as well as the Armavir station, being constructed in southern Russia to prevent rocket launches.

The Gabala RLS, which is located in north-western Azerbaijan, was built during the Soviet times as one of the most important elements of a missile defense system of the USSR. After Azerbaijan gained independence and owned the RLS, Russia continued to use the station, despite all the upheavals of political life in Azerbaijan.

Speaking of Obama's decision former Assistant Secretary of Defense explained that current US administration's plan focuses on what Iran actually does have short and medium range missiles that can reach southern Europe.

The originally proposed Bush administration plan was focused on Intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBMs), the expert said.

"Iran doesn't have any ICBMs. The originally proposed Bush administration plan didn't cover all of Europe, causing some members of the U.S. Congress to ask why we would defend parts of Europe but not others," Coyle said.

The Obama administration plan distributes defenses in Europe under NATO and, step-by-step in phases, covers all of Europe, believes the advisor to the Center for Defense Information.

Defense analyst also points out that the Bush plan was bilateral - US-Poland and US-Czech.

"The Obama plan is under the full umbrella of NATO, although both Poland and the Czech Republic will still be involved under the wider, more distributed plan," Coyle said.

The Bush bilateral approach was causing problems with NATO which is designed for all nations to work together for their common defense, not one or two in bilateral arrangements, Coyle believes.

Describing the Obama's plan, Coyle stresses that "at first, the Obama plan will deploy missiles defenses in the south closest to the threat, perhaps in Turkey - if Turkey agrees to that". 

Then missile defenses will be added farther north to distribute missile defense forces in the event that Iran develops longer range missiles that can reach all of Europe, the expert believes. 

According to analyst, currently Iran does not have missiles that can reach all of Europe.

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