The Role of Missile Defense in Homeland and Regional Defense
Assistant Secretary, Bureau of Arms Control, Verification and Compliance
Thank you for that kind introduction Peter, and thanks for having me here this morning.
By way of introduction, while I am the Assistant Secretary for Arms Control, Verification and Compliance, my work at the State Department is focused on enhancing strategic stability around the world. Arms control, verification and compliance are some of the tools we use to enhance strategic stability and reassure our allies and partners that we will meet our various security commitments. Missile defense is another such tool.
At the State Department, we have used this tool to implement a wide range of activities in cooperation with our allies and partners around the world. For example, in my former capacity as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State, I served as the lead U.S. negotiator for the missile defense bases in Romania, Turkey, and Poland.
What I’d like to do in my remarks this morning is to provide you a better understanding of the vital role that the Obama administration sees missile defense playing in supporting the United States’ deterrence and assurance goals around the world. Specifically, I’ll address:
1) how missile defense fits into our overall defense policy and strategic framework;
2) the critical role that U.S. homeland missile defense capabilities play in supporting our alliances around the world;
3) how our regional missile defense capabilities support these goals; and
4) conclude with a discussion on how the United States works with its allies and partners to improve their capabilities to defend against ballistic missile attacks.
U.S. Defense Policy and Strategy Framework
In addition to my work as the negotiator of the missile defense basing agreements, I also led the State Department’s efforts contributing to the Obama Administration’s Ballistic Missile Defense Review (or BMDR). This policy document aligns our missile defense posture with the near-term regional ballistic missile threat while sustaining and enhancing the U.S. ability to defend the homeland against a limited long-range attack. It is intended to match U.S. strategies, policies, and capabilities to the requirements of the 21st-century threats facing the nation now and in the decades to come.
As the BMDR notes, missile defenses support a number of defense strategy goals. Ballistic missile defenses help support U.S. security commitments to allies and partners. They provide reassurance that the United States will stand by those commitments despite the growth in the military potential of regional adversaries. Missile defenses also aid the United States in maintaining military freedom of maneuver, by helping to negate the coercive potential of regional actors intent on inhibiting and disrupting U.S. military access in their regions.
Missile defenses are an essential element of the U.S. commitment to strengthen regional deterrence architectures against states acquiring nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction in contravention of international norms and in defiance of the international community.
They also support U.S. and allied capacities for mutual defense in the face of coercion and aggression by these defiant states. In these ways, missile defenses strengthen U.S. goals of deterrence, extended deterrence, and assurance. In so doing, they contribute to international peace and stability and reinforce the global nonproliferation regime.
U.S. Homeland Defenses
On February 2, 2015, the Administration released its Fiscal Year 2016 budget submission that aligns defense program priorities and resources with the 2014 Quadrennial Defense Review (QDR). The 2014 QDR emphasized three pillars to the DOD’s defense strategy: 1) Protect the homeland; 2) Build security globally; and 3) Project power and win decisively.
The FY 2016 President’s Budget continues to support these pillars by funding the development and deployment of robust BMD capabilities to support the Administration’s priorities. The budget request includes almost $38.0 billion over the Future Years Defense Program – that is Fiscal Years 2016 through 2020 – for the Missile Defense Agency. The Obama Administration has continued the efforts to defend the United States homeland against limited intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) attacks from states like North Korea and Iran.
As part of this effort, in March 2013, the Administration announced it would deploy an additional 14 Ground-Based Interceptors (or GBIs), increasing the total number to 44 by 2017. This deployment will ensure that we stay ahead of the new road-mobile ICBM threat from North Korea and make clear to it that such threats will not deter the United States from meeting its security commitments in the East-Asia Pacific.
We are also continuing to strengthen our homeland defense posture and invest in technologies that better enable us to address emerging threats in the next decade. For example, the United States is developing a new radar that will provide persistent sensor coverage and improve discrimination capabilities against the North Korean threat. We are also redesigning the kill vehicle for the Ground-Based Interceptor that will improve the reliability of the system.
At the same time, we have made clear both in our policy and in the capabilities we have deployed that our homeland defense is not intended to affect the strategic balance with Russia and China.
Regional Missile Defenses
The United States is also continuing to deploy regional missile defenses that are tailored to the security circumstances in Europe, the Middle East, and the Asia-Pacific.
We have deployed Patriot PAC-3 systems and Aegis BMD ships to the Middle East and Asia-Pacific to address the threat from Iranian and North Korea ballistic missiles. We have also deployed missile defense radars to Israel and Japan to provide early warning of missile threats.
In Europe, we are implementing the European Phased Adaptive Approach (or EPAA), which will serve as the U.S. national contribution to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization’s (NATO’s) missile defense. The President announced this phased approach in 2009 and we have been working hard to implement it. Starting in 2011 with Phase 1, we deployed a missile defense radar in Turkey and began the sustained deployment of Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense-capable ships in the Mediterranean.
With NATO’s declaration of Interim BMD Capability in 2012, the radar in Turkey transitioned to NATO operational control. Additionally, we now have three Aegis BMD-capable ships deployed to the Spanish naval facility at Rota, with the fourth and final ship to begin its deployment by the end of this year. These ships will allow us to increase our rotational presence in the region and respond to potential crises in a timelier manner.
We are on track to complete the deployment of an Aegis Ashore site in Romania as part of Phase 2 of the EPAA 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.
Finally, Phase 3 will involve the construction of an Aegis Ashore site in Poland equipped with the new SM-3 Block IIA interceptor. President Obama’s FY16 budget request designates approximately $169.0 million in MILCON for construction of the site, which will begin next year, allowing us to remain on schedule to complete this site by 2018.
The budget also includes $164.0 million over Fiscal Year 16-18 for procurement of Aegis Ashore for Poland. The Phase 3 site in Poland, when combined with other EPAA assets, will provide ballistic missile defense coverage of all NATO European territory.
At this point, let me state for the record that we remain very concerned about Iran’s ballistic missile program. As the President has made clear, successful resolution of the Iranian nuclear issue would not remove the need for ballistic missile defenses and that the United States will remain committed to the security of our Allies and Partners against possible ballistic missile threats, including those posed by Iran and its non-state proxies in the region. On that note let me be clear that the United States will continue to move forward with the full implementation of the EPAA in Europe.
Additionally, this is precisely why the new UN Security Council resolution that codifies the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action will keep in place the UN sanctions on Iran’s ballistic missile program for 8 years.
President Obama also has said that U.S. sanctions on Iran’s ballistic missile program will continue to be fully enforced. Iran has the largest inventory of ballistic missiles in the Middle East, which continues to be a source of concern to us and the international community.
We will continue to take actions to counter Iran’s ballistic missile program -- including through regional security initiatives with our partners in the region, missile defense initiatives such as the EPAA, sanctions, export controls and the 34-country Missile Technology Control Regime.
Working with Allies and Partners
As threats have advanced and technical solutions have matured, it is increasingly important to think strategically about the deployment of low-density, high-demand missile defense assets in a regional context. Our capabilities are modest relative to the expanding regional missile threat. That is why we are working closely with our Allies and partners around the world to encourage strong, cooperative relationships that include appropriate burden-sharing. Strengthening cooperation with allies and partners to develop and field robust, pragmatic, and cost-effective capabilities is an important priority.
In the Middle East, we are already cooperating with our key partners bilaterally and multilaterally through fora such as the recently established U.S.-Gulf Cooperation Council (or GCC) Strategic Cooperation Forum (or SCF). Our partners in the region are acquiring tremendous interoperable BMD capabilities that complement and supplement U.S. systems.
For example, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has contracted to buy two Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (or THAAD) batteries and has taken delivery of its Patriot PAC-3 batteries, which provide a lower-tier, point defense of critical national assets. We also strengthened this cooperation when we met in Washington, D.C. this past April for the first ever U.S.-GCC Ballistic Missile Defense Seminar.
At the May 2015 U.S.-GCC meetings at Camp David hosted by President Obama, the United States and GCC member states committed to a number of initiatives aimed at developing a region-wide BMD capability. The GCC member states agreed to develop a region-wide ballistic missile defense capability, including through the development of a Ballistic Missile Early Warning System.
The United States committed to help conduct a study of GCC ballistic missile defense architecture and offered technical assistance in the development of a GCC-wide Ballistic Missile Early Warning System. Finally, the group agreed to develop an enhanced understanding of how cooperation would look through a senior leader tabletop exercise to examine improved regional ballistic missile defense cooperation.
Additionally and separately, the United States maintains a strong defense relationship with Israel, and our cooperation on missile defense has resulted in a comprehensive missile defense architecture for Israel. Israeli programs such as Iron Dome, the David’s Sling Weapon System, and the Arrow Weapon System, in conjunction with operational cooperation with the United States, create a multilayered architecture designed to protect the Israeli people from varying types of missile threats.
I would also like to highlight the efforts of our NATO Allies to develop and deploy their own national contributions for missile defense. A great example is that today, Patriot batteries from three NATO countries are deployed in Turkey under NATO command and control to augment Turkey’s air defense capabilities in response to the crisis on Turkey’s south-eastern border. Another example is the decision by the Netherlands to upgrade the radar on its four air-defense frigates with extended long-range missile defense early-warning radars as its national contribution to NATO's ballistic missile defense.
In August of last year, Denmark followed suit when it announced its decision to study whether one or more of their frigates should be fitted with a similar capability. Several Allies already offered their contributions or are undertaking development or acquisition of further BMD assets such as upgraded ships with ballistic missile-defense capable radars, ground-based Air and Missile Defense systems or advanced detection and alert capabilities. Finally, several Allies, such as Turkey, Romania, Poland, and Spain, have provided essential basing support. Without these countries stalwart support, we couldn’t have met the President’s timelines for the EPAA. All of these initiatives will help strengthen the Alliance’s ability to deter ballistic missile threats.
In the Asia-Pacific, we are continuing missile defense cooperation through our bilateral alliances and key partnerships. For example, the United States and Japan are working closely together to develop the SM-3 Block IIA interceptor, which will make a key contribution to the EPAA as well as ship-based deployments in the Asia-Pacific and elsewhere around the world. We also recently deployed a second AN/TPY-2 radar to Japan, which will enhance the defense of both the United States and Japan.
We engage with Japan on missile defenses issues quite regularly, including at our bilateral Extended Deterrence Dialogues. And finally, we are continuing to work on enhancing interoperability between U.S. and Japanese forces, which will be aided by the recent changes to the updated U.S.-Japan Defense Cooperation Guidelines. The inclusion of missile defense in these guidelines reflects the valuable contribution of BMD to our collective self-defense.
We also work closely with the Republic of Korea on missile defense issues. In 2013, we agreed to develop a comprehensive alliance counter-missile strategy to detect, defend, disrupt, and destroy North Korean WMD and missile threats.
Another important component of our cooperation is the Deterrence Strategy Committee, which looks at not only U.S. extended deterrence efforts, but also areas—such as missile defense—where we can work together to deter North Korea and defend against attacks. In his visit to Seoul in May, Secretary Kerry affirmed that “The U.S.-Republic of Korea alliance has literally never been stronger…we are united firmly in our determination to stand up against any threats from the DPRK.”
Having led bilateral consultations with our Japanese and Republic of Korea partners, I can attest to the value of having candid, whole-of-government dialogues and the important contributions such cooperation has in strengthening our already sturdy bilateral alliances.
Let me conclude by saying that over the past several years we have continued to make significant progress on missile defense cooperation with allies and partners around the world—this was a key goal of the BMDR and the QDR.
Furthermore, let me note again that as long as our allies and partners live in the shadow of ballistic missile threats, the United States will work with them to effectively defend against this threat.
Thank you again Peter for welcoming me back and I look forward to your questions.