ABSTRACT This article debates the evolution, main purpose and real target of the missile defense system of NATO, entitled the EPAA, focusing on principal aspects of the project as well as political debate in and outside of the U.S. It argues that the EPAA, provided to NATO by the U.S., is one of the key regional missile defense projects of the global U.S. national missile defense system, which claims to protect Europe from the Iranian ballistic missile threat but actually is designed to protect the American homeland, and targets Russian Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles with nuclear warheads. It also asserts that the EPAA would result in a new and important arms race between NATO and Russia that will include offensive strategic and nuclear weapons.
The Ukrainian crisis altered the security paradigm in Europe by forcing NATO to revise its stance towards Russia, as it employed a wide array of military and non-military tools and tactics called “hybrid warfare.” To counter Russian hybrid warfare in future, the NATO Alliance implemented functional and structural changes known the Readiness Action Plan (RAP) and endorsed the New Strategy on Hybrid Warfare. This paper will study Russian hybrid warfare activities and the preparedness of an Alliance shaped by the RAP and the New Strategy on Hybrid Warfare. It discusses whether this new NATO will be able to deter Russia from resorting to hybrid warfare against a NATO ally. While the Alliance has enhanced its military capabilities to a great extent, the Allies’ ability to achieve consensus on a response is the factor most likely to deter and dissuade Russia from engaging in hybrid warfare.