Tom has a post on missile defense, but it’s worth emphasizing that ballistic missile defense is an offensive weapon. It serves beyond just feeding the Military-Industrial-Complex and Poland: namely, stressing Russia and thus preventing Moscow from using that political capital elsewhere.
The unwanted gift of missile defense in Europe (Thomas P.M. Barnett :: Weblog)
So we have a non-defense (too weak for Russia) triggering a destabilizing counter (Kaliningrad) by Moscow, whereas east European states, who face no logical threat from Iran (why threaten a Europe that already does such business with Iran?), see it as a gateway drug to modernization of their militaries by the Pentagon.
While the initial policy proposals of Pentagon’s New Map have since been scrapped, I’m not comfortable with the proposals that have been adopted. Detente, for instance, is an answer to a question moot for a generation.