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Diplomacy in Action

The Obama Administration's Efforts To Implement the European Phased Adaptive Approach

Frank A. Rose
Deputy Assistant Secretary, Bureau of Arms Control, Verification and Compliance
Testimony Before the House Armed Services Committee Subcommittee on Strategic Forces
Washington, DC
December 1, 2010


As prepared

Chairman Langevin, Ranking Member Turner, Members of the Subcommittee, thank you for the opportunity to testify today on the Obama Administration’s efforts to implement the European Phased Adaptive Approach and the State Department’s role in those efforts. Under Secretary Tauscher regrets that she could not participate in person but looks forward to continuing to work with you on this issue over the coming months and years.

Last year, President Obama committed the United States to a comprehensive new plan to provide missile defense protection of our NATO European Allies and the United States. This plan focuses on deploying proven and more cost-effective systems, and will protect our Allies sooner than the previous plan put forward in 2007. This plan has also opened up new opportunities for cooperation with our Allies and has enhanced NATO’s Article 5 commitment to collective defense. The result will be a missile defense system that protects all of our NATO European Allies and enhances the defense of the United States against ballistic missile threats.

Two weeks ago, NATO decided at the Lisbon summit to develop a NATO missile defense capability as a core contribution to the collective defense and protection of populations, territory, and forces. NATO’s new Strategic Concept clearly states that to ensure NATO has the full range of capabilities to deter and defend against any threat to the safety and security of our populations NATO will develop the capability to defend itself against ballistic missile attack. The Summit declaration also goes on to state, in part:

"The threat to NATO European populations, territory and forces posed by the proliferation of ballistic missiles is increasing. As missile defence forms part of a broader response to counter this threat, we have decided that the Alliance will develop a missile defence capability to pursue its core task of collective defence. The aim of a NATO missile defence capability is to provide full coverage and protection for all NATO European populations, territory and forces against the increasing threats posed by the proliferation of ballistic missiles, based on the principles of the indivisibility of Allied security and NATO solidarity, equitable sharing of risks and burdens, as well as reasonable challenge, taking into account the level of threat, affordability and technical feasibility, and in accordance with the latest common threat assessments agreed by the Alliance."

The Alliance also welcomed the U.S. European Phased Adaptive Approach (EPAA) as an important national contribution to this effort. NATO also decided to expand its missile defense command and control system to include territorial missile defense. This is a clear example of our NATO Allies’ support for missile defense, including the EPAA.

Let me explain why this new approach has received such support from our Allies.

First, this new approach provides protection for all of our NATO European Allies. The previous system did not cover all of them. The new approach once fully implemented will provide protection for all of our NATO European Allies and focuses on addressing the threat based on the principles of the indivisibility of Allied security and in accordance with the latest common threat assessments agreed by the Alliance.

Second, because all of our European NATO Allies will be covered, and because the structure allows other nations to contribute capability, we were able to successfully put this approach to missile defense squarely in a NATO context as was decided at the Lisbon Summit. Missile defense is now firmly entrenched in NATO as both the summit declaration and Strategic Concept make it clear, NATO will develop missile defense as part of the Alliance’s core task of collective defense.

Finally, this new approach creates more opportunities for burden sharing and cooperation among our NATO Allies through a formalized NATO Command and Control system. Under this approach, we will be able to plug voluntary national contributions from the United States and our NATO Allies’ into the overall NATO capability. We are encouraging our Allies that have missile defense assets, such as PATRIOT interceptors or Aegis warships to contribute their systems to this NATO capability. Obtaining Allied agreement at Lisbon to expand the scope of the Alliance’s Active Layered Theater Ballistic Missile Defense (ALTBMD) command and control system to provide this connectivity is all the more impressive considering the budget difficulties many Allies face, and the existence of many competing Alliance priorities. The Lisbon Summit was a clear statement by the Alliance of its commitment to missile defense.

Beyond the benefits this approach will have for our NATO Allies, it also strengthens our ability to defend the United States. The deployment of the AN/TPY-2 radar in Southern Europe in the 2011 timeframe will augment the capabilities of our existing Ground-based Midcourse Defense (GMD) system to intercept long-range missiles launched from the Middle East, should that threat emerge. In many ways, this is analogous to the AN-TPY-2 radar deployed in Japan that serves to assist with the defense of Japan and U.S. territory from the North Korean threat.

Furthermore, by 2020, we will deploy the SM-3 Block IIB missile, which will be capable of intercepting long-range ballistic missiles from states like North Korea, and will complement the protection of the U.S. already provided by the existing GMD sites in Alaska and California.

Finally, the Obama Administration’s plan focuses on deploying existing and proven missile defense systems. The Missile Defense Agency, 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, MDA will install Land-Based SM-3 for testing at the Pacific Missile Range Facility. While the SM-3 interceptor has a proven test record, this will allow the United States to ensure that the entire system we deploy to Europe has met the "fly-before-you-buy" criteria.

Beyond these critical elements of the European Phased Adaptive Approach, let me now discuss the excellent progress that has been made bilaterally in implementing the new approach.

As we implement the European Phased Adaptive Approach, there are three critical areas where the State Department is playing a lead role in negotiating the necessary basing and status of forces agreements to deploy elements of the European Phased Adaptive Approach in host nations. These include deployment of the Phase 1 (2011 timeframe) forward deployed radar, the Phase 2 (2015 timeframe) Land-Based SM-3 interceptor site, and the Phase 3 (2018 timeframe) Land-Based SM-3 interceptor site.

On the deployment of the Phase 1 radar, once agreement on a location has been reached we are prepared to begin formal negotiations on a basing agreement.

For the Phase 2 Land-Based SM-3 interceptor site, Romania has agreed to host it. This past February, Under Secretary Tauscher travelled to Romania and met with Romanian President Traian Basescu to extend President Obama’s offer to deploy the Phase 2 site in Romania. This site is designed to add to the protection of Southern Europe provided by Aegis ships deployed in Phase 1. Romania is a strong NATO Ally, with forces in Afghanistan, and Romania’s geographic location makes it an excellent candidate for hosting the Phase 2 site. Following a meeting of the Romanian National Security Council in February, Romania accepted our offer and in June of this year we commenced formal negotiations on a missile defense basing agreement. We have now held three rounds of negotiations on this agreement and are making excellent progress toward a final document. The U.S. and Romania have a Supplemental Status of Forces Agreement to the NATO SOFA in force, signed in 2005 and U.S. forces stationed in Romania under the auspices of U.S. European Command’s Task Force-East.

Finally, Poland agreed in October 2009, just one month after announcing the European Phased Adaptive Approach, to host the Phase 3 SM-3 interceptor site in the 2018 timeframe. Poland’s geographic location makes it an excellent candidate to provide protection for Northern Europe against ballistic missile threats from the Middle East. Since October 2009, the United States and Poland have made excellent progress on the necessary agreements to implement this deployment. In December 2009, the United States and Poland signed a Supplemental SOFA to the NATO SOFA. It was subsequently ratified by the Polish Government on February 12, 2010. On July 3, 2010, the United States and Poland signed a Protocol amending the original 2008 Ballistic Missile Defense Agreement (BMDA). This protocol will allow for the deployment of the Land-Based SM-3 interceptor site in Poland. The next step to bring this agreement into force is ratification by the Polish parliament.

In all of these cases, we are extremely grateful for the decisions undertaken by our NATO Allies to host elements of the European Phased Adaptive Approach. Such decisions are an extremely valuable contribution to the development of a NATO missile defense capability.

Before I close, let me touch on the subject of missile defense and Russia. We did not design the European Phased Adaptive Approach in response to Russian concerns. We decided to proceed with the new approach because we believed that it is simply a better plan both for the defense of our NATO European Allies and for the defense of the United States.

We have repeatedly worked at the highest levels of the United States Government to be transparent with Russia. Neither the previous approach nor our approach to European-based missile defense threatens Russia’s strategic deterrent. This Administration, as well as the previous two Administrations, has been clear that our missile defenses are not directed against Russia.

We have a real opportunity at this time to begin missile defense cooperation with Russia both bilaterally and within the NATO-Russia Council that will greatly improve regional and international security. We have embarked on a bilateral Joint Threat Assessment dealing with ballistic missiles, which we expect to complete around the end of this year or early next year, and concluded a Joint Review of 21st Century Security Challenges in the NATO-Russia context. We are also looking to renew our bilateral and NRC theater missile defense exercise programs with Russia and will, in the words of the NRC Joint Statement, "develop a comprehensive Joint Analysis of the future framework for missile defense cooperation." We will continue to work with Russia to develop ideas for concrete and practical bilateral missile defense cooperation, including building on the Bush Administration’s proposals.

Even as we seek greater cooperation with Russia on missile defense, it is important to remember that the United States will continue to reject any constraints or limitations on our missile defense plans. Russia will not get a "veto" over U.S. missile defenses in Europe, or anywhere else. As President Obama has stated, we seek cooperation with Russia, but we have made it, "absolutely clear that our commitments to all of our allies in NATO is sacrosanct and that our commitment to Article 5 continues."

Chairman Langevin and Ranking Member Turner, I want to close by thanking you and the rest of the Subcommittee for your continued efforts on missile defense. This Subcommittee continues to play an important bipartisan role in ensuring that the missile defenses we deploy are operationally effective and provide the best protection to our homeland, our military forces, our allies, and our friends. I look forward to continuing to work closely with you over the coming years.

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