European Sky Shield Initiative: Why Does Scholz Want US and Israeli Missile Systems?

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz wants the US and Israeli missile systems to be part of the European Sky Shield Initiative in order to enhance protection against ballistic missiles, cruise missiles, and drones.

The EU missile shield – if it is ever to be created – will most likely feature both European and US air defense components, Russian military expert Yury Knutov told Sputnik.

French President Emmanuel Macron has warned against relying too much on the US in terms of creating a European air defense system, in comments which signal discrepancies between NATO members on military issues.

Speaking at a defense conference in Paris, Macron said: “When we’re talking about air defense, it would be wrong to rush on the capacity issue.”

“If we first adopt a capacity-base approach, we end up massively buying what’s available on the shelves, even if it’s useless — and that generally means massive non-European purchases,” the French president added.

He called for the creation of a fully-fledged European missile shield rather than relying on a system built from American and Israeli components, in an apparent nod to German-led plans to implement the so-called European Sky Shield project.

The $18.6 million program launched at the end of last year is made up of 17 European nations including the UK, but not France. The shield features elements of the Israeli Arrow 3 air defense system and US Patriot missile shield.

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz earlier told reporters that, “With the European Sky Shield Initiative, we are bringing together European states to jointly increase protection against ballistic missiles, cruise missiles and drones.” He kept mum on France’s objections to the initiative.

According to The Wall Street Journal, China plans to station military troops just 90 miles away from the U.S. by establishing a new joint military training facility.

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