Security Dilemma of the American Ballistic Missile Defense

  • Lukáš Kantor
Keywords: missile defense, (neo)realism, security dilemma, deterrence, balancing, United States, Russia, Iran


The  article  deals  with  the  former  US  President  Bush’s  plan  for  the  so-called  third pillar of the American missile defense system in Poland and the Czech Republic in the context of American-Iranian  and American-Russian  relations. We  assess  the  explanatory  power  of  different but interconnected (neo)realist conceptualizations of security dilemma and deterrence. Specifically, the study evaluates the relative importance of classical security dilemma versus imperialist security dilemma and the explanatory power of three different modalities of deterrence. The paper further shows how Iran and Russia balanced the United States. We also argue that the American missile defense system was not primarily motivated by defensive realist worries about security, but rather by an offensive realist struggle for power and gains at the expense of others.

Author Biography

Lukáš Kantor



Research Articles