Strengthening International Missile Defense Cooperation
Deputy Assistant Secretary, Bureau of Arms Control, Verification and Compliance
Thank you so much for inviting me to speak today. I am very pleased to have the opportunity to once again give remarks at this distinguished gathering of ballistic missile defense (BMD) industry experts as well as senior U.S. and foreign officials.
It’s wonderful to be back in Copenhagen. President Obama said earlier this year that despite being a relatively small country Denmark is a country that punches above its weight. This is certainly true in regard to Denmark’s support for missile defense. One of the United States’ key early cooperative efforts with allies on missile defense was with Denmark and the Home Rule Government of Greenland in upgrading the Thule early warning radar for BMD purposes. We’re grateful to our Ally, Denmark, for its early cooperation.
Expanding international efforts and cooperation on BMD with our allies and partners is a key objective of the Obama Administration’s BMD policy. We’ve been working closely with our allies and partners in Europe, East Asia, and the Middle East to strengthen cooperation in regional approaches tailored to the specific threats faced in each region.
The threat from short-, medium-, and intermediate-range ballistic missiles to our deployed forces, allies, and partners is growing, and this threat is likely to increase in both volume and complexity in the coming years. Many states are increasing their inventories, and making their ballistic missiles more accurate, reliable, mobile, and survivable. Trends in ballistic missiles show increased ranges, more advanced propellant systems, better protection from pre-launch attack, and the ability to counter BMD systems.
Iran, for example, is fielding increased numbers of mobile regional ballistic missiles and claims to have incorporated anti-missile defense tactics and capabilities into its ballistic missile forces. During its war games earlier this year, Iran unveiled missile silo facilities and claimed to have demonstrated a capability to strike targets inside Israel and southeastern Europe with successfully tested solid-propellant, 2,000 kilometer medium-range ballistic missiles. Iran is likely working to improve the accuracy of its short- and medium-range ballistic missiles.
In North Korea, the regime continues to display provocative behavior including ballistic missile development efforts, which jeopardize peace and stability in the region. North Korea has conducted numerous ballistic missile tests, including the failed effort to launch the long-range Taepo Dong-2 missile in April 2009.
Countries such as Iran and North Korea continue to pursue ballistic missiles with extended ranges, in addition to their short-, medium-, and intermediate-range missiles that already threaten U.S. our deployed forces, allies and partners. Iran and North Korea continue to pursue indigenous space launch vehicle programs, which could aid their development of longer-range ballistic missile systems. On June 15, Iran used its Safir space launch vehicle to lift the 34-pound Rasad-1 satellite into orbit. Iran has also shown the intent to develop even more powerful rockets and in 2010 unveiled plans for a four-engine, liquid-propellant Simorgh rocket able to carry a 220-pound satellite into orbit.
Recognizing the seriousness of the ballistic missile threat, the United States seeks to create an environment, based on strong cooperation with allies and partners, which will eliminate an adversary’s confidence in the effectiveness of missile attacks and thereby devalue the development, acquisition, deployment, and use of ballistic missiles by proliferators. To that end, President Obama has made international cooperation on missile defense a key Administration priority and is pursuing specific regional approaches in Europe, East Asia, and the Middle East.
In sync with our BMD cooperation goals, we’re also working hard to prevent missile proliferation. The U.S. actively participates in the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR), which serves as the global standard for controlling the transfer of equipment, software, and technology that could make a contribution to the development of WMD-capable missile and unmanned aerial vehicle delivery systems. We support the Hague Code of Conduct Against Ballistic Missile Proliferation (HCOC), and are working through the Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI) to help partners improve their ability to stop shipments of proliferation concern. These are just some of our ongoing efforts to tackle the missile threat and prevent missile proliferation. While much of this work is performed quietly, the impact of all of these efforts is of crucial importance to international peace and security.
Let me now discuss our efforts here in Europe, which has received a great deal of attention. In order to augment the defense of the United States and provide more comprehensive and more rapid BMD protection to our European Allies, in 2009 the President outlined a four-phase implementation plan for European defense. Through the European Phased Adaptive Approach (EPAA), the United States will deploy increasingly capable BMD assets to defend Europe against a ballistic missile threat that is increasing both quantitatively and qualitatively.
The EPAA is being implemented within the NATO context. At the 2010 Lisbon Summit, NATO approved a new Strategic Concept and decided to develop the capability to defend NATO European populations, territory and forces against the growing threat from ballistic missile proliferation. At the Summit, NATO Heads of State and Government also decided to expand the scope of the NATO Active Layered Theatre Ballistic Missile Defense (ALTBMD) program to serve as the command, control, and communications network to support this new capability. These decisions have created a framework for Allies to contribute and optimize BMD assets for their collective defense. The Allies welcomed the EPAA as a U.S. national contribution to the new NATO territorial BMD capability, in support of our commitment to the collective defense of the Alliance under Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty.
To implement the new NATO capability, NATO continues to make progress in developing the command and control procedures for NATO BMD, and when ready, the United States will be able to formally contribute the EPAA assets to the NATO BMD capability. Our European Allies also have systems that they could contribute as well. Some of our Allies, for example, have Aegis ships with advanced sensor capabilities that could provide valuable contributions even without SM-3 interceptors. Our Allies also possess land- and sea-based sensors that could be linked into the system, as well as lower tier systems, such as PATRIOT, that can be integrated and used to provide point defense.
As President Obama has stated, the United States is committed to deploying all four phases of the EPAA. We have already made tremendous progress in implementing this new approach.
EPAA Phase 1 gained its first operational element in March with the deployment of an Aegis BMD-capable multi-role ship, the USS Monterey, to the Mediterranean. The deployment of an AN/TPY-2 radar in the 2011 timeframe in Turkey will also be part of EPAA Phase 1.
For Phase 2 of the EPAA, we concluded negotiations with Romania on May 4, 2011 to host a U.S. land-based SM-3 BMD interceptor site, designed to provide protection against medium-range ballistic missiles. The day before, on May 3, the United States and Romania announced the joint selection of the Deveselu Air Base near Caracal, Romania. We expect to sign the basing agreement in the near future. The land-based SM-3 system to be deployed to Romania is anticipated to become operational in the 2015 timeframe.
In July 2010, we reached final agreement with Poland to place a similar U.S. BMD interceptor site there in the 2018 timeframe. We are currently in the final stages of bringing this agreement into force.
Finally, with respect to Phase 4, the Department of Defense has begun concept development of a more advanced interceptor for deployment in the 2020 timeframe.
An update on European missile defense should also include a mention our efforts to develop cooperation with Russia. Missile defense cooperation with Russia is a Presidential priority, as it has been for several previous U.S. Administrations. When President Obama announced his new vision for missile defense in Europe in September 2009, he stated that “we welcome Russia’s cooperation to bring its missile defense capabilities into a broader defense of our common strategic interests.” We believe that missile defense cooperation with Russia will not only strengthen our bilateral and NATO-Russia relationships, but could enhance NATO’s missile defense system. Successful missile defense cooperation would provide concrete benefits to Russia, our NATO Allies, and the United States – and will strengthen, not weaken – strategic stability over the long term.
Right now we have the opportunity to advance regional and trans-regional security through concrete missile defense cooperation with Russia, both bilaterally and within the NATO-Russia Council (the N-R-C). A Joint Review of 21st Century Common Security Challenges was completed last year in the NATO-Russia Council. NATO and Russia are now working to resume theater missile defense exercises and conduct a comprehensive Joint Analysis of the future framework for missile defense cooperation. We also are looking to renew our NRC and bilateral theater missile defense cooperation with Russia and have recently finished a bilateral Joint Threat Assessment of ballistic missile threats. We are also seeking to complete work with Russia on a Defense Technology Cooperation Agreement that would provide a framework for a host of defense-related research and development activities, including missile defense.
Political misunderstandings about the capabilities of the proposed NATO system—specifically that the system would target Russian ICBMs, thereby undermining Russia’s strategic deterrent—are unfounded. We hope to build a durable framework for missile defense cooperation with Russia, and we have worked at the highest levels of the United States Government to be transparent about our missile defense plans and capabilities and to explain that our planned missile defense programs do not threaten Russia or its security. We will continue these efforts to explain that our missile defenses are being deployed against regional threats from the Middle East, and are neither designed, nor do they have the capability, to threaten the large numbers and sophisticated capability of Russia’s strategic forces.
We have also been clear that the United States cannot accept limitations or restrictions on the development or deployment of U.S. missile defenses. The United States views missile defense cooperation as an opportunity for true partnership which would enhance both Russian and NATO capabilities to defend against ballistic missile attacks and would send a powerful signal to regional actors such as Iran, that Russia and the U.S. are working together to counter the threat posed by the proliferation of ballistic missiles. Let me be clear, the United States BMD capability is critical to our national security policy and countering a growing threat to our deployed forces, allies, and partners; and therefore, no nation or group of nations will have veto power over U.S. missile defense efforts. And while we seek to develop ways to cooperate with Russia on BMD, it is important to remember that under the terms of Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty, NATO alone will bear responsibility for defending the Alliance from the ballistic missile threat.
We believe that through cooperation, Russia will gain the reassurance it is seeking, without limitations that the United States – and NATO – cannot accept. Missile defense cooperation is in the common interests of the United States, NATO, and Russia, and such cooperation will enhance the security of not only those participating, but the overall international community as well.
While the progress made on the EPAA has undoubtedly gotten the majority of attention over the past two years, it is just one part of U.S. missile defense efforts globally. In East Asia, the United States is committed to working with our allies and partners to strengthen stability and security in the region. In order to implement our efforts in this region, the phased adaptive approach will build on the existing bilateral BMD cooperation with our allies and partners.
Japan is one of our closest allies in the region, as well as a leader in missile defense and one of the United States’ closest BMD partners. The United States and Japan have made significant strides in interoperability. The United States and Japan regularly train together, and our forces have successfully executed cooperative BMD operations. Japan has acquired a layered integrated BMD system that includes Aegis BMD ships with Standard Missile 3 interceptors, Patriot Advanced Capability 3 (PAC-3) fire units, early warning radars, and a command and control system. We also worked cooperatively to deploy a forward-based X-band radar in Japan. At the June meeting of the Security Consultative Committee ministerial, the Ministers welcomed the progress both countries have made in cooperation on ballistic missile defense, calling particular attention to the joint SM-3 program.
One of our most significant cooperative efforts is the co-development of a next-generation SM-3 interceptor, called the Block IIA. This co-development program represents not only an area of significant technical cooperation but also the basis for enhanced operational cooperation to strengthen regional security. We also have jointly agreed to study future issues in preparation for transition to the production and deployment phase, as well as the potential for transfers to select third parties.
The Republic of Korea (ROK) is also a key U.S. ally and, recognizing the North Korean missile threat, the United States stands ready to work with the ROK to strengthen its BMD capabilities. The ROK has acquired Aegis ships and PATRIOT batteries and has indicated interest in acquiring a missile defense capability that includes land- and sea-based systems, early warning radars, and a command and control system. We are working together to define possible future ROK BMD requirements. The United States looks forward to taking further steps to build upon this ongoing missile defense cooperation.
Australia was one of the first U.S. partners on BMD when it signed a BMD Framework MOU with the U.S. in July 2004. Australia has been a strong supporter of the Nimble Titan series of multilateral missile defense wargames and bilateral technology cooperation with the United States. We continue to consult with Australia bilaterally regarding missile defense cooperation. Similar to some of our Allies in Europe, Australia has a class of combatants – the Air Warfare Destroyer – that uses the Aegis Combat System that could be upgraded in the future to provide a missile defense capability.
Engaging China in discussions of U.S. missile defense policy and plans is also an important part of our international efforts. China, like Russia, has expressed some concern with U.S. ballistic missile defenses. We continue to be transparent in our intentions and capabilities to foster greater understanding, and have clearly stated that our missile defenses are not designed to threaten Chinese strategic forces. We are committed to continuing to be transparent with China, while seeking further dialogue on a wide-range of strategic issues, including missile defense. It is important, however, that China understand that the United States will work to ensure regional stability. We are committed to a positive, cooperative relationship with China, while defending against regional ballistic missile threats regardless of their origins.
The Middle East
In the Middle East, the United States has had a continuous missile defense presence and seeks to strengthen cooperation with its partners in the Gulf Cooperation Council. A number of states in the region already deploy PATRIOT batteries and are exploring purchases of some missile defense capabilities under the auspices of the foreign military sales (FMS) program. We will work with the countries in this region to develop a Phased Adaptive Approach that integrates these capabilities into an effective system.
Due to the serious nature of the region’s missile threat, the United States and Israel coordinate extensively on missile defense issues. We have a long history of cooperation on plans, operations and specific missile defense programs. In addition to our regular consultations, the United States and Israel have conducted Juniper Cobra, a joint biennial exercise aimed at integrating interceptors, radars and other systems, since 2001. In 2008, our countries worked together to deploy a powerful AN/TPY-2 X-band radar to Israel to enhance Israel’s missile detection capabilities.
Our cooperative efforts on research and development have paid off on successful missile defense systems such as the jointly developed Arrow Weapon System. Earlier this year, Israel and the United States successfully detected, tracked, and intercepted a ballistic target missile using the Arrow Weapon System, which has the capability to defend Israel against short- and medium-range ballistic missiles. While we currently co-manufacture the Arrow-2, work is being done to design a more capable Arrow-3, which will be capable of intercepting longer-range ballistic missiles further from Israel. The United States and Israel are also co-developing the “David’s Sling” Weapon System, which is designed to defend against short-range rocket and missile threats. The United States has also supported Israel’s Iron Dome interceptor system, which has shown its effectiveness since its deployment near Gaza in April of this year.
The increasing threat associated with the proliferation of ballistic missiles reinforces the importance of the collaborative missile defense efforts I just outlined. However, beyond bilateral cooperation, we need to develop regional missile defense architectures that will enable us to leverage our bilateral cooperation so that nations share ballistic missile defense information and capabilities on a multilateral basis. As Under Secretary Tauscher said in March, “there still is much more work to be done to implement new regional approaches outside of Europe.” While we think about what a phased adaptive approach would look like in Asia and the Middle East, we recognize that each region has unique factors that will likely shape our approach in ways that are different from our approach in Europe. Each region has unique threats, capabilities, history, and geography. Our allies and partners in the Middle East and Asia have their own missile defense assets and each brings different advantages to the missile defense table. We need to figure out how we can leverage those advantages to provide the best protection for the United States, our deployed forces, and our allies and partners.
Thank you for your time and attention, I look forward to your questions.