Lieutenant General O’Reilly, thank you for the warm introduction. I appreciate the opportunity to deliver remarks to this important gathering of missile defense officials and experts on the Obama Administration’s missile defense plans and the State Department’s role.
Under Secretary Tauscher sends her regrets that she could not participate in person. She sends her regards and looks forward to working with all of you on this issue over the coming months and years.
It is fitting that this conference is being held in Japan. Japan is a leader in missile defense and is the United States’ closest missile defense partner. Our missile defense cooperation is a vital aspect of both of our countries’ approaches to international security and essential to our future missile defense plans.
The United States views the entire Asia-Pacific region as vital to both U.S. and international security as well as international prosperity. We have a very strong and shared history with the countries of the Asia-Pacific region and the Obama Administration is committed to working with our allies and partners to strengthen stability and security in the region.
President Obama came into office focused on a new era of engagement in order to strengthen our common security. As part of that, we extended an open hand to Iran and North Korea. This unprecedented openness and willingness to talk, however, has not been reciprocated.
In the case of North Korea our efforts were greeted with a nuclear test and missile launches, including the failed effort to launch the long-range Taepo Dong-2 missile. More recently, the North Koreans have threatened to “further strengthen their nuclear deterrent” and launched an unprovoked attack that sunk a South Korean warship. These provocative actions pose security threats to North Korea's neighbors and the region.
Iran too has rejected our outstretched hand. It has continued work on its nuclear and missile programs despite international condemnation in the form of legally binding Chapter 41 United Nations Security Council Resolutions. It has now deployed approximately 1,000 short and medium-range missiles that are a threat to our friends and allies the Middle East and Europe. It continues to develop more advanced missiles such as the two-stage solid-propellant Ashura medium-range ballistic missile and has recently displayed a large space launch vehicle that could form the basis of an ICBM.
As we look at the tools we have available to respond to these threats, missile defense stands out as a key response. Around the world, the Obama Administration is seeking to cooperate with our allies and friends on missile defense both bilaterally and, as a result of our comprehensive Ballistic Missile Defense Review, we want to develop cooperative regional missile defense phased adaptive approaches.
As part of these efforts, the State Department has taken a leading role in implementing President Obama’s Administration’s missile defense goals, including our efforts in Northeast Asia.
The first effort at these regional phased adaptive approaches as you have all heard is our European Phased Adaptive Approach or EPAA which was announced by President Obama a little over a year ago. This is the approach we are pursuing to defend our European Allies from Iran’s growing ballistic missile capabilities. It is an approach that addresses the threat in a prioritized manner consistent with the level and scope of the Iranian threat and provides protection for all of our European NATO allies.
In the year since President Obama’s announcement, we have made considerable progress in implementing the EPAA. We have begun negotiating an agreement with Romania to host a southern land-based SM-3 site which is to be deployed by 2015. I just returned last week from the third round of negotiations on this agreement.
The United States and Poland have signed an amendment to the Ballistic Missile Defense Agreement or BMDA which will allow us to deploy a land-based SM-3 interceptor site in Poland by 2018. At NATO, this new approach has been greeted with widespread appreciation and support by our Allies. Unlike the previous system, which protected only some of our allies, this system will protect all our NATO Allies in a manner prioritized to the threat. We are also working closely with them to put this regional architecture squarely into a NATO context at the upcoming Lisbon Summit this November.
In Asia, Japan and South Korea are already important missile defense partners and we will continue to consult with Australia on this issue. However, beyond this bilateral cooperation, we need to develop a similar framework for missile defense cooperation that will allow us to expand our bilateral cooperation into one where nations share ballistic missile defense information and capabilities on a multilateral basis.
There are real political, operational and budgetary reasons for joining in such a cooperative effort.
First, politically this cooperation can demonstrate our shared commitment to respond to regional threats with defensive systems to protect our populations, territories and military forces. Such action can lessen our individual and collective susceptibility to coercion and intimidation from these missile threats, thereby limiting their impact on our decision making processes. At the same time, missile defenses increase the cost for countries developing ballistic missiles and further place doubt about the ability of their systems to succeed in meeting their goals.
Operationally, this cooperation can significantly improve our individual ballistic missile defense capabilities. As an example, countries could share radar data. Deploying a radar in another country might put it in a better location to track incoming ballistic missiles than one deployed in your own country, thereby increasing your missile defense system’s probability of intercept. Or deploying a radar in another country might make it less vulnerable to attack from certain ballistic missiles, such as more accurate short-range ballistic missiles. Another possibility would be to use interceptors located in one nation to defend another.
Finally, from a budgetary perspective, cooperative approaches can make defensive capabilities more cost effective. Cooperating reduces duplication while increasing operational effectiveness. Countries cannot build enough radars or interceptors to track and shoot down every ballistic missile that regional threats produce. Therefore, BMD cooperative relationships can enable the political, technical and financial burden to be shared among a number of governments.
The U.S.-Japan SM-3 Block IIA Cooperative Development Project is an excellent example of such cooperation. The United States and Japan will split the cost of this program. The United States will spend $1.7 billion over the next five years on this cooperative project to build a much more capable ship-based missile defense interceptor that will greatly increase the United States and Japan’s missile defense capabilities. We are also cooperating closely with Israel on a number of missile defense projects, including the development of their Arrow-2 and Arrow-3 interceptors.
As we focus on these regional phased adaptive approaches to missile defense, there are four principles that will guide this effort.
First, our efforts should be tailored and adapted to the region. We will work with our allies and partners to tailor capabilities to the unique deterrence and defense requirements for each region. One size won’t fit all regions and they may not all look like the EPAA.
Moreover, as we develop newer missile defense capabilities and these systems become operationally available, we will deploy them in phases matched to the existing and emerging regional threats and as missile defense technology evolves. Should a threat develop more or less quickly than expected, we will adapt our systems to those developments.
As an example, the European PAA is designed to be responsive to the current threat, but, through the course of its four phases, could also incorporate relevant technologies quickly and cost-effectively in order to adapt and respond to evolving threats. Further advances in technology or future changes in the threat could modify the details or timing of later phases of the European PAA.
Second, the regional PAAs will emphasize the use of relocatable missile defense assets. As I mentioned earlier, we cannot afford to buy one or two missile defense interceptors for every ballistic missile that our adversaries produce. Instead a smarter and more cost-effective method of providing an effective defense is to deploy mobile and relocatable missile defenses. This provides us with the flexibility to move capabilities where they are most needed in a time of crisis.
Third, we will deploy tested and proven systems. MDA, working with the Department of Defense’s independent testing organization, has developed a plan to test all of these capabilities to ensure they are operationally effective before we deploy them. For example, we are developing a land-based SM-3 interceptor test site in Hawaii. This will ensure that the system we build in Romania as part of Phase 2 of our European Phased Adaptive Approach is well proven before we deploy it.
Finally, we are going to be transparent. The missile defenses we are deploying are not a threat to the strategic forces of Russia or China. With Russia, the United States has been transparent about our plans for Europe and we are committed to continuing that transparency. In fact, we see great benefit to working cooperatively with Russia on missile defense activities.
Our goal with these cooperative efforts is to create a framework for discussing and pursuing missile defense activities which we believe will lead to greater transparency. Such cooperation has been, and continues to be, a subject discussed at the highest levels between our two governments. To that end, we are currently working with Russia in a number of areas such as on a joint threat assessment, and have proposed a number of other initiatives with the Russians. We also want to work with Russia in the NATO-Russia Council on missile defense.
Furthermore, the United States will be transparent with China about our capabilities. We hope to include missile defense in Under Secretary Tauscher’s regular Security Dialogue with her Chinese counterpart.
However, as important missile defense is, it is just one tool in our tool box for dealing with and responding to this proliferation. Let me be clear, missile defense is not a substitute for nuclear weapons. The United States seeks a world without nuclear weapons, but has declared that as long as nuclear weapons exist, we will maintain a safe, secure, and effective arsenal, both to deter potential adversaries and to assure U.S. allies and other security partners that they can count on America’s security commitments.
Other tools such as those that focus on preventing the proliferation of WMD are also important. In that respect, the Asia Pacific region is very important to efforts to prevent the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missiles. We welcome and encourage the cooperation of regional partners in preventing this proliferation, especially in groups such as the Proliferation Security Initiative.
We also want to encourage all countries to implement the provisions of the United Nations Security Council Resolutions on Iran and North Korea. Enforcement of these sanctions can help prevent the further proliferation of missile technology to these countries.
Over the coming months and years, I look forward to discussing how we can best work together to counter the threat of ballistic missile proliferation and use. In particular, we are interested in hearing your thoughts on how we can cooperate in the development of robust regional missile defense phased adaptive approaches.
Thank you for the opportunity to address you today and also for your hard work and participation in this conference. I would be more than willing to answer some questions.