I would like to thank the Missile Defense Agency, the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA), and our German hosts for putting on this outstanding conference, which over the years has become a much anticipated annual event. It’s been a distinct honor to be invited to speak at this conference for three years running and my pleasure to once again represent the State Department this afternoon at this influential gathering of missile defense experts from more than twenty nations.
Today, I am going to provide a brief update on the implementation of the European Phased Adaptive Approach or EPAA, our ongoing and growing cooperation with our NATO allies, the current status of U.S. and NATO missile defense cooperation efforts with Russia, and recent developments in our missile defense cooperation in other key regions.
Implementation of the European Phased Adaptive Approach
At the State Department, I am responsible for overseeing a wide range of defense policy issues, including ballistic missile defense. For nearly three years, I have been focused on carrying out the vision articulated by the President when he announced in September 2009 that the EPAA would “provide stronger, smarter, and swifter defenses of American forces and America's Allies,” while relying on “capabilities that are proven and cost-effective.” The EPAA will provide comprehensive protection for all of our NATO European Allies and augment the defense of the U.S. homeland.
As laid out in the 2010 Ballistic Missile Defense Review, “[t]he United States seeks to create an environment in which the development, acquisition, deployment, and use of ballistic missiles by regional adversaries can be deterred, principally by eliminating their confidence in the effectiveness of such attacks.”
Creating this new strategic environment depends on strong cooperation with our allies and partners. In order to make this vision a reality, President Obama has made international cooperation on missile defense a key priority, and we are pursuing a region-by-region approach based on the following three principles:
First, the United States will strengthen regional deterrence architectures built upon solid cooperative BMD relationships with an eye toward efficiently incorporating assets and structures that our partners already have today or are seeking.
Second, the United States is pursuing approaches to BMD within key regions that are tailored to their unique deterrence requirements and threats, including the scale, scope, and pace of their development, and the capabilities available and most suited for deployment. Specifically, we will phase in the best available technology to meet existing and evolving threats, and adapt to situations that evolve in the future.
Third, recognizing that our supply of BMD assets cannot meet the global demand we face, the United States is developing mobile capabilities that can be relocated to adapt to changing regional threats and provide surge defense capabilities where they are most needed.
In implementing this approach in Europe, we designed the EPAA to protect our deployed forces and Allies in Europe, as well as improve protection of the U.S. homeland against potential ICBMs from the Middle East.
As you know, we have made great progress in implementing the President’s vision in Europe.
EPAA Phase One gained its first operational elements in 2011 with the start of a sustained deployment of an Aegis BMD-capable multi-role ship to the Mediterranean in March 2011 and the deployment of an AN/TPY-2 radar in Turkey, which became operational in December 2011. Spain has also agreed to host four U.S. Aegis destroyers at the existing naval facility at Rota. These multi-mission ships will support the EPAA as well as other EUCOM and NATO maritime missions.
For Phase Two of the EPAA, we have an agreement with Romania to host a U.S. land-based SM-3 interceptor site beginning in the 2015 timeframe. This site will provide protection against medium-range ballistic missiles launched from the Middle East. In June of this year, the United States conducted its second consecutive successful test of the SM-3 IB interceptor and the second generation Aegis BMD 4.0.1 weapon system. This success was a critical accomplishment for Phase Two of the EPAA, which will see SM-3 IBs deployed in Romania in the 2015 timeframe.
We also have an agreement with Poland to place a similar land-based interceptor site there, including the SM-3 IIA, in the 2018 timeframe for Phase Three of the EPAA, which will extend BMD protection to all of NATO Europe.
Finally, the Department of Defense has begun concept development of a more advanced interceptor, known as the SM-3 IIB, which will be deployed in EPAA Phase Four in the 2021 timeframe. The SM-3 IIB will provide an intercept capability against intermediate-range ballistic missiles and an additional layer for a more enhanced homeland defense against potential ICBM threats to the United States from the Middle East.
Cooperation with NATO Allies
As I made clear earlier, international cooperation is key to achieving the President’s vision of undermining potential adversaries’ confidence in the effectiveness of their ballistic missile attacks. To better achieve this end, the Obama Administration is implementing the EPAA within the NATO context.
At the 2010 Lisbon Summit, NATO Heads of State and Government approved a new Strategic Concept and took the historic decision to develop the capability to defend NATO European populations and territory against the increasing threat posed by ballistic missile proliferation. The Allies also welcomed the EPAA as the U.S. national contribution to the new NATO territorial missile defense capability, in support of our commitment to the collective self-defense of the Alliance under Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty.
At the Lisbon Summit, NATO Heads of State and Government also decided to expand the scope of the NATO Active Layered Theatre Ballistic Missile Defense (ALTBMD) program to serve as the command, control, and communications network to support this new capability. NATO Allies have committed to investing over $1 billion in ALTBMD to support NATO missile defense. NATO’s plan for missile defense is based on the principle that individual Allies will make voluntary national contributions of BMD sensors and interceptor systems, capabilities that will be integrated into the NATO ALTBMD command and control backbone. As with any national contribution, Allies are responsible for the costs associated with their own contributions.
On May 20-21 of this year, the NATO Heads of State and Government met in Chicago for the NATO Summit and announced that NATO had achieved an interim BMD capability. This means that the Alliance has an operationally meaningful standing peacetime BMD capability. NATO also agreed on the BMD-related command and control procedures, designated Supreme Allied Commander Europe as the commander for this mission, and demonstrated an interoperable command and control capability.
To support this interim BMD capability, the United States has offered EPAA assets to the Alliance as our voluntary national contributions to the BMD mission. The AN/TPY-2 radar deployed in Turkey is now under NATO operational control. In addition, U.S. BMD-capable Aegis ships in Europe are also now able to operate under NATO operational control when threat conditions warrant.
These decisions have created a framework for Allies to contribute and optimize their own BMD assets for our collective self-defense, and the United States welcomes and encourages such contributions from Allies. We believe that NATO BMD will be more effective should Allies provide sensors and interceptors to complement the U.S. EPAA contributions. Several NATO Allies already possess land- and sea-based sensors that could potentially be linked into the system, as well as lower tier systems that can be integrated and used to provide point defense such as PATRIOT. If Allies should decide to develop their own BMD capabilities, that would create significant opportunities for European industries, science, and technology. In short, there is absolutely no requirement or assumption that NATO missile defense will be “made in the USA.” The only requirement is that the systems contributed by Allies be interoperable with NATO ALTBMD.
Some of our NATO Allies already have begun to invest in assets that can be contributed to the NATO BMD mission, while others are continuing to study the issue. For example, the Netherlands has indicated that it will spend close to 250 million Euros to modify the SMART-L radars on its frigates to detect and track ballistic missiles at long ranges and has indicated it will contribute its Patriot BMD systems to the NATO missile defense mission. Allies also can contribute via pooling of BMD assets and joint development and procurement. In a time of austere budget environments, these and other “smart defense” initiatives provide a cost-effective way of providing for the common defense, demonstrate alliance solidarity, and ensure that the burden of tackling today’s tough security challenges is shared.
Cooperation with the Russian Federation
Despite our differences of opinion, we remain convinced that missile defense cooperation between the United States and Russia (and between NATO and Russia) is in the national security interests of all countries involved. For that reason, missile defense cooperation with Russia remains a Presidential priority for this Administration, as it has been for administrations going back to President George H.W. Bush in the early 1990s.
When President Obama announced his new vision for missile defense in Europe in September 2009, he stated that “we welcome Russia’s cooperation to bring its missile defense capabilities into a broader defense of our common strategic interests.” Missile defense cooperation with Russia will not only strengthen our bilateral and NATO-Russia relationships, it could also enhance NATO’s missile defense capabilities. For example, Russian sensors would be a valuable addition to the defense of the Euro-Atlantic area.
As the Chicago Summit Declaration stated, “Through ongoing efforts in the NATO-Russia Council, we seek to determine how independent NATO and Russian missile defence systems can work together to enhance European security.” Successful missile defense cooperation would provide concrete benefits to Russia, our NATO Allies, and the United States and will strengthen – not weaken – strategic stability over the long term.
At Chicago, the NATO Allies made a very clear statement of our intent regarding strategic stability and Russia’s strategic deterrent. NATO declared in the Chicago Summit Declaration “…the NATO missile defense in Europe will not undermine strategic stability. NATO missile defense is not directed against Russia and will not undermine Russia’s strategic deterrence capabilities.” Through cooperation and working alongside the United States and NATO, Russia would see firsthand that this system is designed for ballistic missile threats from outside the Euro-Atlantic area, and that NATO missile defense systems can neither negate nor undermine Russia’s strategic deterrent capabilities. Close cooperation between Russia and the United States and NATO is therefore the best and most enduring way for Russia to gain the assurances it seeks that U.S. and NATO missile defenses cannot threaten Russia’s strategic deterrent. Cooperation would also send a powerful signal to proliferators that the United States, NATO, and Russia are working together to counter their weapons programs.
While we seek to develop ways to cooperate with Russia on missile defense, it is important to remember that under the terms of Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty, NATO alone bears responsibility for defending the Alliance from ballistic missile threats. This is why the United States and NATO cannot agree to Russia’s proposals for “sectoral” or “joint” missile defense architectures. Just as Russia must ensure the defense of Russian territory, NATO must ensure the defense of NATO territory. NATO cannot and will not outsource its Article 5 commitments.
Furthermore, we cannot accept Russia’s demand for legally-binding guarantees that our missile defenses will not threaten Russia’s strategic deterrent. Russia’s demand that such guarantees include a set of “military-technical criteria” would create limitations on our ability to develop and deploy future missile defense systems against the evolving ballistic missile threats presented by Iran and North Korea. As the growth of the ballistic missile threats continues unabated, we cannot place artificial limits on our ability to defend ourselves, our allies, and our partners. This includes any limitations on the operating areas of our BMD-capable multi-mission Aegis ships.
We would, however, be willing to establish a political framework for cooperation that includes a statement that our missile defenses are not oriented toward Russia. Any such statement would publicly proclaim our intent to work together and chart the direction for cooperation. Indeed, this is what we have been saying to Russia for the past several years.
During the G-20 Meeting in Los Cabos, Mexico, President Obama and President Putin announced in their June 18, 2012, Joint Statement that “despite differences in assessments, we have agreed to continue a joint search for solutions to challenges in the field of missile defense.” As I mentioned previously, we strongly support missile defense cooperation between NATO and Russia.
A near-term area for advancing our joint efforts is the NATO-Russia Council Theater Missile Defense Computer-aided Exercise, or TMD CAX. TMD CAX Phase 1, which occurred earlier this year, was successful and allowed for NATO and Russian experts to work together to determine the value of various forms of BMD cooperation, and the results of the exercise demonstrated the potential operational value of missile defense cooperation between NATO and Russia. And, if at any point Russia doesn’t believe that it is benefitting from such cooperation, then it can discontinue cooperation. We recognize that it will take time and effort to build trust, which is exactly why we seek to cooperate with Russia on this issue.
The United States and NATO have been transparent about our BMD programs. We have provided Russia with a number of ideas and approaches for transparency and we are also committed to discussing other approaches to building confidence between our two countries and between NATO and Russia. Despite our disagreements, we look forward to continuing discussions with the Russian Federation to develop a mutually-beneficial framework for missile defense cooperation.
Missile Defense Developments in Other Regions
The United States, in consultation with our allies and partners, is continuing to bolster missile defenses in other key regions such as the Middle East and the Asia-Pacific in order to strengthen regional deterrence architectures.
As with Europe, we are tailoring our approaches to the Middle East and the Asia-Pacific so that they reflect the unique deterrence and defense requirements of each region.
In the Middle East, we are already cooperating with our key partners bilaterally and multilaterally through venues such as the recently established U.S.-Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Security Cooperation Forum. Several of our partners in the region have expressed an interest in buying missile defense systems, and some have already done so. For example, just last year the UAE contracted to buy two THAAD batteries that, when delivered, will enhance the UAE’s security as well as regional stability. The UAE also has contracted to purchase Patriot PAC-3 to provide a lower-layered, point defense of critical national assets. As Secretary Clinton said recently on a visit to Saudi Arabia, “we can do even more to defend the Gulf through cooperation on ballistic missile defense.” We look forward to advancing cooperation and interoperability with our GCC partners in the years ahead.
Additionally, we are continuing our long-standing and steadfast cooperation with Israel on missile defense on key systems such as Arrow 3, David’s Sling, and Iron Dome.
In the Asia-Pacific, we are continuing to cooperate through our bilateral alliances and key partnerships. For example, the United States and Japan already are working closely to develop jointly an advanced interceptor known as the SM-3 Blk IIA, and continue to work on enhancing interoperability between U.S. and Japanese forces. We are also continuing to discuss BMD bilaterally with the Republic of Korea and Australia and we recently had our annual meeting of the U.S.-Australia-Japan trilateral missile defense forum.
The increasing threat associated with the proliferation of ballistic missiles reinforces the importance of continuing to strengthen our collaborative missile defense efforts. We need to work together, bilaterally and multilaterally, to determine how we can leverage fully our unique capabilities to protect ourselves. After all, developing robust regional deterrence architectures is not the job of the United States alone – it requires close and continuing cooperation with all of our allies and partners in order to succeed.
We are proud of how much we have already achieved by working with our allies and partners to counter the threat from ballistic missiles, but admittedly, there is still much to do – and we are looking forward to achieving higher levels of BMD cooperation and effectiveness.