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Diplomacy in Action

Challenges in Europe

Frank A. Rose
Deputy Assistant Secretary, Bureau of Verification, Compliance, and Implementation
Remarks at the 6th International Conference on Missile Defense
Lisbon, Portugal
February 10, 2010



Thank you, Susan, for your kind introduction. I am very pleased and honored to be here on behalf of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Under Secretary of State Ellen Tauscher. This conference, hosted in this beautiful city, is addressing a very important topic to all of us – that of the challenges from ballistic missile threats facing European security, and our shared approach to addressing those threats. The forum offered by this conference presents an opportunity for open dialogue with our allies and friends, one that we welcome.

In my remarks today, I’d like to accomplish three things. First, I’d like to explain why the United States has changed its approach to missile defense. Second, I’ll share how these changes have been reflected in the missile defense program. And third, I’ll explain why this new approach is good for both the United States and our friends and allies around the world.


The new U.S. approach to missile defense has been driven by growth in the regional ballistic missile threat and new technology opportunities offered by increasingly capable missile defense systems such as sea-based Aegis SM-3 interceptors and new forward-based sensors for detecting and tracking missiles. The overwhelming ballistic missile threat to U.S. deployed forces and our friends and allies around the world comes from short- and medium-range ballistic missiles. States like North Korea and Iran also continue to develop and test long-range missiles and other technologies, including space launch and ICBMs, but there is some uncertainty about when and how this type of ICBM threat to the homeland will mature. As a result of these two key factors, the United States has re-balanced the missile defense program to focus greater attention on countering the current threat to U.S. forces, Allies, and partners.

This rebalancing of the missile defense program began in the Fiscal Year 2010 budget. In that budget, funding for regional missile defense systems like Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense and the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense systems, designed to counter the threat from short- and medium-range ballistic missiles, was increased by almost $1 billion. This trend toward increased funding for theater missile defense systems has continued in the President’s Fiscal Year 2011 budget, which was released last week.

The new emphasis on regional ballistic missile defense and the SRBM/MRBM threat also led the Administration to make a number of other adjustments to the program. For example, we have decided to cap the number of long-range interceptors based in Alaska and California at 30 instead of the 44 previously planned. As Secretary of Defense Gates has noted, the 30 long-range interceptors are sufficient to counter the likely long-range missile threat to the United States in the foreseeable future. That said, in the FY11 budget, the United States will maintain and improve an effective capability against long-range threats to the United States by continuing to invest and ensure that the system is well-tested and operationally effective.

Lastly, I want to touch on the recently completed Ballistic Missile Defense Review, which was directed by the President and Congress. The BMDR comprehensively considered U.S. ballistic missile defense policy, strategy, plans, and programs. BMDR endorses aligning the missile defense posture with the near-term regional threat while sustaining and technically enhancing our ability to defend the homeland against a limited long-range attack. This focus on regional missile defenses is consistent with the Phased Adaptive Approach in Europe. The United States seeks to cooperate with allies and partners in Europe and East Asia, and to engage Russia and China on missile defense.


Both the threat assessment and advances in our missile defense technologies and capabilities contributed significantly to the President’s decision to make changes to the previous plan for European missile defense. That plan called for the deployment of ten fixed, long-range interceptors in Poland and a large X-band radar in the Czech Republic that were designed primarily to protect the United States and parts of Europe against a potential long-range missile threat from Iran. It did not provide protection against current short- and medium-range ballistic missile threats from the Middle East.

The Administration’s new approach to European missile defense, called the Phased Adaptive Approach, which President Obama announced last September, is designed to initially counter the current threat from short- and medium-range ballistic missiles and to evolve as the threat evolves. The new approach will be deployed in four phases.

  • In Phase One, during the 2011 timeframe, the United States will deploy current and proven missile defense systems available in the next two years, including the sea-based Aegis Weapon System, the SM-3 interceptor (Block IA), and sensors such as the forward-based Army Navy/Transportable Radar Surveillance system (AN/TPY-2), to address regional ballistic missile threats to our European NATO Allies and our deployed forces;

  • In Phase Two, during the 2015 timeframe, the United States will deploy a more capable version of the SM-3 interceptor (the Block IB) in both sea- and land-based configurations, and more advanced sensors, to expand the defended area against short- and medium-range missile threats;

  • In Phase Three, during the 2018 timeframe, we will deploy the more advanced SM-3 Block IIA variant currently under development, to counter short-, medium-, and intermediate-range missile threats; and

  • In Phase Four, during the 2020 timeframe, we will deploy the SM-3 Block IIB interceptor to counter medium- and intermediate-range missiles and the ICBM threat to the United States.

Given the operational flexibility of this phased adaptive architecture, the mix of land- and sea-based systems makes the new approach to missile defense much more capable and adaptable, allowing us to re-deploy the sensors and interceptors from region to region as needed to respond to the evolving threat. In times of crisis, the BMD system can “flex” by surging Aegis capable ships across the globe for increased protection and to serve as a visible deterrent. Furthermore, a mix of airborne, sea-based, ground-based, and space-based sensors will improve the accuracy of our early warning and tracking capability and will be inherently more survivable.

All in all, the Phased Adaptive Approach to BMD offers more advantages for both the United States and Europe. By relying on proven, near-term technologies, we can deploy a flexible, adaptive missile defense system, and sooner cover all European NATO Allies, not just some NATO nations.


On that note, let me say a few things about missile defense cooperation with NATO. Anchoring the new U.S. approach to missile defense in a strong NATO foundation is a key objective of the United States.

I’m happy to say that we believe our new approach is fully consistent with the Alliance’s approach to missile defense. In their April 4, 2009, Strasbourg/Kehl Summit Declaration, Alliance Heads of State and Government stated that: “We judge that missile threats should be addressed in a prioritized manner that includes consideration of the level of imminence of the threat and the level of acceptable risk.”

More recently, the December 2009 Foreign Ministerial statement acknowledged that missile defense plays an important role as part of the Alliance’s response to ballistic missile threats. NATO also welcomed the PAA, which further reinforces NATO’s central role in missile defense in Europe. Accordingly, NATO indicated that should the Alliance endorse a missile defense mission the PAA would provide a valuable national contribution to such a mission.

Let me share with you some U.S. thinking on NATO missile defense as we move toward the next Alliance Heads of State and Government Summit, which will be held here in Lisbon this November.

First, the United States believes the Alliance should endorse the idea of protecting its territory and population centers against ballistic missile threats. As the Alliance has stated numerous times, ballistic missiles represent an increasing threat to Alliance territory and populations, and we believe that the time has come for NATO to make a decision on territorial defense, especially in the context of our need to develop a way forward on 21st century threats.

Second, we would like the Alliance to fully fund the Active Layered Theatre Ballistic Missile Defense – or ALTBMD for shorthand – command and control system, to defend its forces, and to eventually make the additional modifications necessary to enable the system to perform the territorial defense mission. The ALTBMD system will allow NATO nations to plug their individual interceptors and sensors into a central command and control system.

As the Alliance takes political and pragmatic steps toward on territorial defense, the United States will make the PAA its contribution to the NATO-wide BMD effort. To be clear, the United States will not seek to ask NATO to fund PAA assets.

Thus, our combined defense efforts – NATO and the United States – will be complementary and interoperable, and allow us to provide opportunities for alliance-building and burden-sharing between the United States and our NATO partners.


In addition to our cooperation at NATO, we are working bilaterally with our allies and friends throughout the world to develop and deploy missile defenses.

We have robust cooperation with our allies across Europe. For example, over the past several years we have worked with the United Kingdom and Denmark to upgrade the Fylingdales and Thule early warning radars, respectively. We are grateful to the Czech Republic for its continued support for our missile defense efforts and welcome their commitment to be involved in the Phased Adaptive Approach. We continue to work with Poland as they have agreed to host a land-based SM-3 site in Phase 3 of the PAA. We appreciate Poland’s continued leadership on missile defense issues. Just last week, on February 4, Romania agreed to participate in the PAA by hosting land-based SM-3 interceptors in the 2015 timeframe. We are pleased and welcome Romania’s participation in the Phased Adaptive Approach, as we do the participation of all NATO allies. Furthermore, we are continuing the co-development of the Medium Extended Air Defense System with our partners, Germany and Italy.

In the Middle East, we are working with Israel to further develop the Arrow Weapons System and to develop the upper-tier Arrow 3 interceptor. We have deployed an X-band radar to Israel which is intended to enhance the defense of Israel, and are jointly developing the David’s Sling system to defend against short-range rocket and missile threats falling below the PAC-3’s capabilities to engage. Additionally, we are working with our partners in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC).

The United States is also working cooperatively with our friends and allies in East Asia. For example, Japan has purchased Aegis BMD capable ships and PAC-3 systems. The United States worked closely with Japan to deploy a forward-based X-band radar to Shariki, Japan, in 2006, providing early detection and tracking of North Korean missile launches. Japan is also partnering with us on the SM-3/Block IIA co-development program, which will have significantly increased capabilities in performance over the SM-3 Block IA and IB.


A few days ago on January 29, Secretary of State Clinton delivered a speech on the Future of European Security at the Ecole Militaire, in Paris. She said, and I quote, “We are engaged in productive discussions with our European allies about building a new missile defense architecture that will defend all of NATO territory against ballistic missile attack. And we are serious about exploring ways to cooperate with Russia to develop missile defenses that enhance the security of all of Europe, including Russia. Missile defense, we believe, will make this continent a safer place. That safety could extend to Russia, if Russia decides to cooperate with us. It is an extraordinary opportunity for us to work together to build our mutual security.”

Since I know many of you are interested in this subject, let me take a few minutes to discuss the recent U.S. engagements with the Russian Federation on missile defense. Because the United States and Russia face similar threats from the proliferation of ballistic missiles, the United States would welcome to opportunity to cooperate with Russia on missile defense.

At the July 2009 Moscow Summit, the United States and Russia agreed to conduct a Joint Threat Assessment – JTA for shorthand – to exchange our respective analyses, resolve, if possible, our differences but, at minimum, provide each other the underlying threat perspectives. To that end, we have established an interagency JTA Working Group, which met most recently in late December in Washington, D.C., and will meet again in the coming months.

Additionally, in the Arms Control and International Security Working Group of the Bilateral U.S.-Russia Federation Joint Commission, co-chaired by U.S. Under Secretary of State Ellen Tauscher and Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov, the United States has tabled a number of proposals for bilateral missile defense cooperation. Specific areas of potential cooperation include developing laser and optic technologies and conducting joint analyses of alternative U.S.-Russia missile defense architectures for defending against common, regional threats.

We also are interested in exploring the mutual benefits of joint monitoring and early warning from threats in the Middle East, including pre-notification of ballistic missile and space launch vehicle launches. Both the U.S.-Russia Joint Data Exchange (JDEC) and Pre-Launch Notification System (PLNS) agreements -- signed in 2000 but not yet implemented -- and the timely notification of long-range BMD interceptor launches via the Moscow-Washington Direct Communications Link (“Hotline”), offer opportunities for expanded cooperation.

The United States also strongly supports efforts to foster cooperation between NATO and Russia in the missile defense area. At the 60th anniversary of NATO held last spring in Strasbourg-Kehl, NATO leaders reaffirmed their support for increased missile defense cooperation with Russia and their readiness to explore the potential for linking U.S., NATO, and Russian missile defense systems. To paraphrase NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen’s remarks at the October 2009 Defense Ministerial in Bratislava, “this is good for the Alliance, it is good for solidarity, and it is important for the defense of Europe.”


Let me conclude with a few thoughts.

First, the United States is not backing away from European missile defense. To the contrary, under the new approach, we are deploying our most effective missile defense systems to counter the most likely threats to the United States, our deployed forces, and friends and allies.

Second, this new approach to missile defense was based on growth in the regional ballistic missile threat and new technology opportunities offered by increasingly capable missile defense systems.

Third, the United States remains committed to working closely with our friends, allies, and partners around the world, including Russia, to defend against the mutual threats we face, and we believe that our new approach allows us to more effectively accomplish this goal.

Thank you for the opportunity to speak to you today. I look forward to your questions.

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