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Washington (UPI) Sep 13, 2005
Many of Europe's governments may be skeptical about America's ambitious ballistic missile defense development program but their publics are not. A new study sponsored by advocates of BMD found that more than two-thirds of Europeans want NATO to deploy such systems to protect them.
Some 71 percent of Europeans favor the deployment of a NATO missile defense capability able to protect the continent from attack by missiles bearing weapons of mass destruction, according to a poll that was jointly sponsored by the George C. Marshall Center for Security Studies and Missile Defense Advocacy Alliance, the two organizations announced in Rome last week. By contrast, only 16 percent think that NATO should not have this capability.
"It is clear from the survey that the threat is real, urgent and needs to be addressed. In addition, there is a strong belief that NATO nations need to be at the forefront in finding a ballistic missile defense system capable of providing security for the nations in the region," said John Rose, Director of the Marshall Center in Garmisch, Germany.
The poll was conducted by the polling firm of Novatris/Harris with a margin error rate of +/- 2.9 percent in France, Germany, Britain, Spain, Italy, Poland, the Czech Republic, the Netherlands and Denmark. According to the poll, 56 percent of Europeans would support a deployment of BMD systems in their own countries. Further, 73 percent said it was a good idea for NATO to deploy BMD systems to protect troops in the field as well as citizens at home.