International Security and Missile Defense

Frank A. Rose
Assistant Secretary, Bureau of Arms Control, Verification and Compliance
Romania-American University/National School of Politics and Administration
Bucharest, Romania
March 30, 2015

As prepared

Thank you for that kind introduction, and thanks for having me here today.

As way of an introduction, I am responsible for overseeing a wide range of defense issues, including missile defense policy at the U.S. State Department. In this capacity, I served as the lead U.S. negotiator for the missile defense bases in Romania, Turkey, and Poland.

So I’m pleased to be here today to discuss international security and missile defense. In my remarks, I would like to discuss three key issues:

First, the United States’ commitment to ballistic missile defense (BMD) and the Fiscal Year 2016 missile defense budget request;

Second, the significant progress that has been made in implementing the European Phased Adaptive Approach (EPAA) over the past year; and;

Third, I will discuss cooperation on missile defense with allies, such as Romania, and partners outside of Europe.

FY 2016 Presidential Budget

The United States and NATO remain committed to establishing ever more capable missile defenses to address the ballistic missile threat to Europe. The transatlantic bond is unbreakable and that is reflected in cooperation at all levels in the NATO alliance.

The U.S. commitment to NATO missile defense and the sites in Romania and Poland remains ironclad.

Last month, President Obama released his Fiscal Year 2016 budget submission that aligns defense program priorities and resources with the 2014 Quadrennial Defense Review (QDR).

Let me highlight a couple of key points that you may find of interest:

The Administration is requesting over $8B for the Missile Defense Agency in FY-16. Despite pressure on the DOD budget, funding for EPAA and missile defense programs remains a priority. With regard to U.S. homeland defense the funding request increases the number of long-range missile defense interceptors deployed in Alaska and California from 30 to 44 by 2017.

It also funds a number of other programs to enhance the long-range system such as a new kill vehicle and new long-range discrimination radar.

With regard to regional missile defense, the budget continues funding to complete work on the missile defense base at Devesulu in Romania and provides $169 million for construction and $164.089 million over FY16-18 for procurement of Aegis Ashore for Poland.

The Administration also is requesting $559 million in procurement for Aegis ballistic missile defense. This includes the procurement of 40 Aegis SM-3 Block IB missiles, for a total of 209 SM-3 Block IB missiles procured by the end of FY 2016. We also are seeking$ 173M for continued development of the longer-range SM-3 Block IIA interceptor.

The fact that the United States continues to devote such significant resources to the missile defense program, even in the face of fiscal constraints, is a clear signal of the importance the U.S. places on the program, including the sites in Romania and Poland.

European Phased Adaptive Approach

Let me now take a few moments to discuss where we are with regard to implementation of the President’s European Phased Adaptive Approach (EPAA) to missile defense.

In 2009, the President announced that the EPAA would “provide stronger, smarter, and swifter defenses of American forces and America's Allies,” while relying on “capabilities that are proven and cost-effective.”

Since then, we have been working hard to implement his vision. As you know, we have made great progress.

EPAA Phase 1 gained its first operational elements in 2011 with the start of a sustained deployment of an Aegis BMD-capable multi-role ship to the Mediterranean and the deployment of an AN/TPY-2 radar in Turkey.

With the declaration of Interim BMD Capability at the NATO Summit in Chicago in May 2012, this radar transitioned to NATO operational control.

Demonstrating its commitment to NATO collective defense, Spain agreed in 2011 to host four U.S. Aegis BMD-capable ships at the existing naval facility at Rota as a Spanish contribution to NATO missile defense.

In February 2014, the first of four missile defense-capable Aegis ships, USS DONALD COOK, arrived in Rota, Spain. A second ship, USS ROSS joined her in June. During 2015, two more of these multi-mission ships, USS PORTER and USS CARNEY will be forward deployed in Rota.

These multi-mission ships will conduct maritime security operations, humanitarian missions, bilateral and multilateral training exercises, and support U.S. and NATO operations, including NATO missile defense.

Stationing these naval assets in Spain places them in a position to maximize their operational flexibility for missions in the Atlantic and Mediterranean.

With regard to Phase 2, as you know, we have an agreement with Romania, ratified in December 2011, to host a U.S. land-based SM-3 interceptor site beginning later this year.

We extend our appreciation to Romania for its active role in preparing for the construction of the missile defense facility at the Deveselu Military Base.

Romania’s strong support for the timely completion of the implementing arrangements and Romania’s provision of security and its infrastructure efforts have been superb.

In October 2013, I had the honor of attending the ground-breaking ceremony at Deveselu Air Base.

And in October 2014, the U.S. Navy held a historic naval support facility establishment ceremony at the MD facility on Romania’s Deveselu Base. This ceremony established the naval facility and installed its first U.S. commander. We view this as the first step in transitioning the facility from a construction site to the site of operations later this year.

When operational, this site, combined with BMD-capable ships in the Mediterranean, will enhance coverage of NATO from short- and medium-range ballistic missiles launched from the Middle East.

I also had the opportunity in 2013 to visit the Lockheed-Martin facility in Moorestown, New Jersey, where they build the Aegis Ashore deck house and components destined for Romania.

We remain on schedule for deploying the system to Romania, with the site becoming operational this year.

And finally there is Phase 3.

This phase includes an Aegis Ashore site in Poland equipped with the new SM-3 Block IIA interceptor, per the Ballistic Missile Defense agreement between the United States and Poland that entered into force in September 2011.

This site is on schedule for deployment in the 2018 time frame. The interceptor site in Poland is key to the EPAA: When combined with other EPAA assets, Phase 3 will provide the necessary capabilities to provide ballistic missile defense coverage of all NATO European territory in the 2018 time frame.

So, as you can see, we are continuing to implement the President’s vision for stronger, smarter and swifter missile defenses.

However, all this good news and progress is not without its detractors.

You might have heard Russia’s assertions which call into question the compliance of Aegis Ashore with the INF Treaty.

As we have explained to our Russian colleagues, as well as our allies, the United States is in full compliance with the INF Treaty and the Aegis Ashore system is entirely consistent with our obligations under the Treaty. In fact, the record shows that United States has been open with the world about the purpose, capabilities, and mission of the Aegis Ashore missile defense system from day one.

Despite our transparency on system, Russia is seeking to conflate the Aegis Ashore vertical launching system designed to fire the SM-3 missile defense interceptor with the Aegis MK-41 vertical launching system on Navy ships that can be used to fire Tomahawk cruise missiles.

The two launchers are not the same. They are different systems with different purposes and different capabilities.

The Aegis Ashore system cannot launch a cruise missile because the system does not include the necessary software, fire control hardware, and additional support equipment and infrastructure to perform that mission. Consequently, the Aegis Ashore launcher has not been used to launch a cruise missile.

What the Aegis Ashore launcher is designed and tested to do is fire interceptor missiles, like the SM-3. The INF Treaty permits missiles developed and tested solely to intercept and counter objects not located on the surface of the Earth. In other words, missile interceptors, like the SM-3, are allowed under the INF Treaty.

So both the Aegis Ashore launcher and SM-3 missile interceptor are permitted under the INF Treaty.

That raises the question of what is driving Russia’s allegations.

Simply stated, Russia is seeking to divert attention away from its own unlawful actions, and sow doubt and distrust among the press and public.

It is no coincidence that, soon after the United States announced its determination last July that Russia is in violation of the INF Treaty for developing and flight testing a ground-launched cruise missile between 500 and 5,500 kilometers, Russia resurrected old allegations and made new charges of U.S. non-compliance.

Even in the face of clear challenges, our goal is to return Russia to INF compliance, and to encourage mutual steps to help foster a more stable, resilient, transparent security relationship.

We will continue to press Russia to engage us constructively and address our concerns.

We’re not going to drop the issue until our concerns have been addressed.

We would like Russia, and our Allies, to know that our patience is not unlimited. We will take steps to protect ourselves and our allies if Russia persists in its violation and our concerns are not addressed.

NATO Cooperation and Reassurance

For the better part of seven decades, the NATO Alliance has responded ably to threats to international peace and security on the European continent and beyond.

The greatest responsibility of the NATO Alliance is to protect and defend our territories and our populations against attack, as set out in Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty. NATO Allies defend their territory on a 24/7 basis and will continue to exercise vigilance. We are committed to further strengthening the transatlantic bond and providing the resources, capabilities, and political will required to ensure the Alliance remains ready to meet any challenge.

At the Lisbon Summit in 2010, NATO Heads of State and Government agreed that the Alliance would develop a missile defense capability to protect Alliance territory, populations, and forces from ballistic missile attack.

At the Chicago and Wales Summits, Allied Heads of State and Government noted the potential opportunities for using synergies in planning, development, procurement, and deployment.

We need to take full advantage of this opportunity.

There are several approaches Allies can take to make important and valuable contributions to NATO BMD.

First, Allies can acquire fully capable BMD systems possessing sensor, shooter and command and control capabilities.

Second, Allies can acquire new sensors or upgrade existing ones to provide a key BMD capability.

Finally, Allies can contribute to NATO’s BMD capability by providing essential basing support, such as Turkey, Romania, Poland, and Spain have agreed to do.

In all of these approaches, however, the most critical requirement is NATO interoperability.

Yes, acquiring a BMD capability is, of course, good in and of itself.

But if the capability is not interoperable with the Alliance then its value as a contribution to Alliance deterrence and defense is significantly diminished.

It is only through interoperability that the Alliance can gain the optimum effects from BMD cooperation that enhance NATO BMD through shared battle-space awareness and reduced interceptor wastage.

Missile Defense Developments in Other Regions

The United States, in consultation with our allies and partners, is continuing to bolster missile defenses in other key regions, such as the Middle East and the Asia-Pacific, in order to strengthen regional deterrence architectures.

As with Europe, we are tailoring our approaches to the Middle East and the Asia-Pacific so that they reflect the unique deterrence and defense requirements of each region.

In the Middle East, we are already cooperating with our key partners bilaterally and multilaterally through venues such as the recently established U.S.-Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Strategic Cooperation Forum.

At the September 26, 2013, Strategic Cooperation Forum (SCF), Secretary Kerry and his Foreign Ministry counterparts reaffirmed their intent, first stated at the September 28, 2012, SCF, to “work toward enhanced U.S.-GCC coordination on Ballistic Missile Defense.”

Several of our partners in the region have expressed an interest in buying missile defense systems, and some have already done so. For example, the UAE has contracted to buy two THAAD batteries that, when operational, will enhance the UAE’s security as well as regional stability.

The UAE also has taken delivery of its Patriot PAC-3 batteries, which provide a lower-tier, point defense of critical national assets. We look forward to advancing cooperation and interoperability with our GCC partners in the years ahead.

Additionally and separately, we are continuing our long-standing and robust cooperation with Israel on missile defense on key systems such as Arrow 3, David’s Sling, and Iron Dome.

In the Asia-Pacific, we are continuing to cooperate through our bilateral alliances and key partnerships.

For example, the United States and Japan already are working closely together to develop the SM-3 Block IIA and deployment of a second AN/TPY-2 radar to Japan, while continuing to work on enhancing interoperability between U.S. and Japanese forces.

As a result of U.S.-Australia Foreign and Defense ministerial consultations this year, the United States and Australia are establishing a bilateral BMD Working Group to examine options for potential Australian contributions to the BMD architecture in the Asia-Pacific region.

Additionally, we are also continuing to consult closely with the Republic of Korea (ROK) as it develops the Korean Air and Missile Defense system, which is designed to defend the ROK against air and missile threats from North Korea.

No Constraints

Let me say a few things about missile defense and Russia.

With regard to where things stand today regarding our discussions on missile defense, Russia’s intervention in Ukraine, in violation of international law, has led to the suspension of our military-to-military dialogue, and we are not currently engaging Russia on the topic of missile defense.

Prior to the suspension of that dialogue, Russia continued to demand that the United States provide it “legally binding” guarantees that our missile defense will not harm/diminish its strategic nuclear deterrent.

We have made clear to the Russians that EPAA is not directed toward Russia. We have also made it clear that we cannot and will not accept legally-binding or other constraints that limit our ability to defend ourselves, our allies, and our partners.

The security of the United States, its allies and partners is a foremost responsibility. As such, the United States will continue to insist on having the flexibility to respond to evolving ballistic missile threats, free from obligations that limit our BMD capabilities.


Let me conclude by saying that we have made a great deal of progress on missile defense over the past several years.

Implementation of the EPAA and NATO missile defense is going well. For example, we broke ground on the missile defense site at Devesulu in October 2013 and are on schedule for the base to become operational later this year.

The United States looks forward to continuing to work with our allies and friends around to world – and especially Romania – to improve our collective security.

Thank you and I look forward to your questions.