US missile defense shield…new article…Sofia…
ISTANBUL-There was heavy rain and lightening for a few hours at a time in Sofia, Bulgaria this past week. The grass and trees were very green even though it is August, making me wonder what the spring had been like.
This is very different than Istanbul, where the heat and humidity make staying in surrounded by fans a happy option.
In Sofia, as in much of “emerging” Europe, squat green and blue glass office buildings stand next to decrepit communist bloc housing, symbols of a future and past alongside each other. Bulgarians may enjoy the investment and great many opportunities offered by the West, but the sentiment often ends at the Atlantic. This past month the Washington Post reported that the Obama administration was talking to Bulgaria and Turkey-both NATO members- about housing a key X-band radar ground station. The radar station will enable the first phase of the administration’s new missile defense shield over southern Europe, which is aimed at stopping an attack from Iran, to become active next year.
The plan hit a wall this past week with Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borisov denying that there have been talks between the Bulgarian government and the US about hosting the radar station.
I’ll have more out on the missile defense shield in coming weeks.