Thank you, COL Putko, 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 serves a very important role in identifying and resolving the key challenges we all face from the proliferation of ballistic missiles, and the importance of missile defense in responding to those challenges.
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 our multilateral and bilateral discussions with our Allies and partners. And third, I’ll explain why this new approach to missile defense is good for both the United States and our friends and Allies around the world. Not only are we working with our European allies to implement the Phased Adaptive Approach (PAA) for collaborative missile defense in Europe and with NATO, but we are also working with our friends and allies in the Asia-Pacific region and Southwest Asia to address the mutual ballistic missile challenges we face.
THE NEW APPROACH
Let me begin by reviewing the role missile defense plays in the broader U.S. international security strategy. Missile defense supports diplomacy and defense, two of the three pillars of international security strategy (the third pillar being development). Missile defenses assure our allies and partners that the United States has the will and the means to deter and, if necessary, defeat a ballistic missile attack against our allies and our forward deployed troops and assets. Missile defenses also provide U.S. and allied forces with freedom of maneuver by helping to negate the ability of regional actors to inhibit or disrupt U.S. military access and operations in the region.
Less obvious, perhaps, is the role of missile defense in supporting our diplomatic objectives. Our potential adversaries use ballistic missiles in peacetime as a tool to support their diplomatic objectives and sometimes to intimidate or coerce their regional neighbors. By offering missile defenses as a means of regional protection, we enhance the credibility of U.S. extended deterrence commitments for our allies and friends, which in turn enables us to build coalitions for accomplishing shared objectives. Our friends and allies are therefore free to respond diplomatically or, if necessary, militarily, to these threats because they have confidence that an effective missile defense strategy is in place.
Missile defenses also provide more options, including time, for the peaceful resolution of disputes, thereby enhancing regional stability and extended deterrence. Missile defenses also give us the ability and time to pursue diplomatic solutions to crises that we do not want to allow to escalate.
With that as background, let me next discuss how the new U.S. approach to missile defense fits and how it was developed. This new U.S. approach 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. That said, states like North Korea and Iran also continue to pursue technologies to support long-range missile development, such as space launch vehicles, but there remains uncertainty about when a missile threat to the U.S. homeland will mature. As a result of these two key factors, the United States has rebalanced the missile defense program to focus greater attention on countering the current threat to U.S. forces, Allies, and partners while maintaining our ability to defend the homeland.
This rebalancing of the missile defense program began in the Fiscal Year 2010 budget. In that budget, funding for regional missile defense systems, such as the Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense and the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense systems, was increased by almost $1 billion. This trend toward increased funding for regional missile defense systems has continued in the President’s Fiscal Year 2011 budget. The Administration also made a number of other adjustments to the program (many of which you’ll hear discussed at this conference). For example, the decision to cap the number of long-range interceptors based in Alaska and California at 30 instead of 44 is based on our expectations that 30 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 is maintaining and improving our 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.
This approach was crystallized in the Ballistic Missile Defense Review report, or BMDR, which was directed by the President and Congress and submitted to Congress last month. The BMDR comprehensively considered U.S. ballistic missile defense policy, strategy, plans, and programs. The 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. Furthermore, it recommends pursuing region-by-region approaches to missile defense. As outlined in the BMDR, three principles will guide the development of regional approaches:
EUROPEAN MISSILE DEFENSE
Both the threat assessment and advances in our missile defense technologies and capabilities contributed significantly to the President’s September 2009 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 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, announced last September by President Obama, is called the Phased Adaptive Approach (PAA). Consistent with the BMDR principles for regional missile defense that I just described, the PAA provides greater capability for defending Europe, and U.S. troops based there, sooner from the growing threat posed by short- and medium-range ballistic missiles than the previous plan. It can also incorporate new technologies quickly to adapt as the threat emerges and our technologies continue to mature. The new approach will be deployed in phases to respond as ballistic missile threats develop. Though it is designed to be flexible, it is based around four phases beginning in 2011 and extending to about 2020.
The operational flexibility of this phased adaptive architecture, with its mix of land- and sea-based systems, makes missile defenses 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. If the threat, including from Iran, does not materialize or changes, the U.S. will reevaluate its plans to ensure our system responds to the threat we face. In times of crisis, Aegis capable ships can be surged 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 of this will allow us to cover all of our European NATO Allies, not just some NATO nations, sooner than the previous system would have.
COOPERATION WITH NATO
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. The new system is designed to reinforce and demonstrate our strong commitment to NATO’s Article 5 which states that an attack on one NATO ally will be considered an attack on all allies
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 develop a territorial missile defense system, the PAA would provide a valuable national contribution to such a system.
As we move toward the next Alliance Heads of State and Government Summit in November in Lisbon, the United States believes the Alliance should endorse the idea of protecting its territory and population centers from ballistic missile threats. We would also like to see the Alliance continue to fund the Active Layered Theatre Ballistic Missile Defense (or ALTBMD, in shorthand) command and control system to defend its forces and eventually to perform the territorial defense mission.
The U.S. contribution to a NATO territorial BMD mission will be the PAA, and we will not ask NATO to fund PAA assets. Additionally, should the ALTBMD system be expanded to include territorial defense, other NATO allies will be able to contribute their assets to the defense of Europe. The more allies that participate, the greater the defense of Europe will be. NATO and U.S. combined defense efforts will thus be complementary and interoperable, expanding 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 the 2018 timeframe of the PAA. We appreciate Poland’s continued leadership on missile defense issues. Just last month on February 4, Romania agreed to participate in the PAA by hosting a land-based SM-3 interceptor site 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 to include an upgraded upper-tier Arrow 3 interceptor. We have also deployed an X-band radar to Israel which is intended to enhance the defense of Israel, and we are supporting the development of the David’s Sling system to defend against short-range rocket and missile threats falling below the optimal capability for Israel’s ARROW interceptor. Additionally, we are working with our partners in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) both on the deployment of missile defense assets as well as on missile defense cooperation.
The United States is also working cooperatively with our friends and allies in East Asia. For example, Japan has upgraded its Aegis ships to BMD-capable platforms and purchased 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. The United States is also in bilateral and multilateral discussions on BMD capability development with other partners in the East Asia region.
As we have made clear numerous times, our ballistic missile defense capabilities, particularly those in Europe but also those deployed in the United States, represent no threat to Russia.
On January 29, Secretary of State Clinton delivered a speech on the Future of European Security 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.”
As the Secretary noted, the United States and Russia face similar threats from the proliferation of ballistic missiles, and so the United States would welcome the opportunity to cooperate with Russia on missile defense. We also believe that Russia has the ability to affect the threat from Iran by working with us through the P5+1 process. (The P5-plus-1 refers to the five permanent U.N. Security Council members – Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States – plus Germany. These nations are engaged in talks with Iran regarding international concerns about Iran’s nuclear program.)
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 under the U.S.-Russia Joint Presidential Commission, the United States has tabled a number of proposals for bilateral missile defense cooperation, and we welcome Russia’s suggestions as well. 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.
In addition to our bilateral efforts, the United States also 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, missile defenses offer numerous advantages, including the opportunity to enhance the credibility of U.S. extended deterrence commitments for our allies and friends. Missile defenses also provide more options, including time, for the peaceful resolution of disputes.
Second, the new U.S. “Phased Adaptive Approach” to missile defense was adopted based on growth in the regional ballistic missile threat and new technology opportunities offered by increasingly capable missile defense systems. Thus, 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. Additionally, our missile defense capabilities do not represent a threat to Russia’s strategic deterrent; to the contrary, we welcome the opportunity to work jointly with Russia to defend against the mutual threats both nations face.
Finally, 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.