Thank you so much for inviting me to join you today. At the State Department, I am responsible for overseeing a wide range of defense policy issues, including missile defense policy. In this capacity, it was my responsibility and privilege to negotiate the details of the Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) agreements with Poland, Romania, and Turkey that will enable the United States to implement the European Phased Adaptive Approach (or EPAA), the U.S. contribution to NATO missile defense. I spent a great deal of time here in Bucharest during the BMD agreement negotiations. It is always a pleasure for me to come to this fine city and to work with our great NATO Ally, Romania.
Over the next few minutes, I would like to give you a quick overview of the status of the United States European Phased Adaptive Approach to missile defense, or for short the E-P-A-A. I will touch on the extensive missile defense cooperation within NATO. I will say a few words about our efforts to cooperate with the Russian Federation on missile defense. Then I’ll close with a few remarks on the cooperation going on right here in Romania.
Implementation of the European Phased Adaptive Approach
Since 2009, the United States Government has focused on carrying out the vision articulated by President Obama when he announced 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.”
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 and the deployment of an AN/TPY-2 radar in Turkey. With the declaration of Interim Operational Capability at the NATO Summit in Chicago, this radar transitioned to NATO operational control.
Demonstrating their support for both NATO and the EPAA, Spain agreed in 2011 to host four U.S. Aegis-capable ships at the existing naval facility at Rota. These ships will arrive in the 2014- 2015 timeframe, in time for EPAA Phase Two.
For Phase Two of the EPAA, we have an agreement that was ratified by Romania in December of 2011 to host a U.S. land-based SM-3 interceptor site, which will be deployed in the 2015 timeframe. This site, located at Deveselu Air Base, will feature the SM-3 Block IB interceptor, and combined with BMD-capable ships in the Mediterranean, will enhance coverage of NATO from short- and medium-range ballistic missiles launched from the Middle East.
And finally there is Phase 3, where we have an agreement with Poland that entered into force in September 2011. This agreement places a land-based interceptor site in Poland, just like the land-based site that will be deployed in Phase 2 here in Romania. Phase 3 also includes the SM-3 Block IIA interceptor. This Phase 3 missile defense site in Poland will be deployed in the 2018 timeframe.
The EPAA Phase 2 and Phase 3 sites are on schedule and on budget for deployment in the 2015 and 2018 timeframes, respectively.
On March 15, Secretary Hagel announced changes to U.S. missile defense policy to strengthen U.S. homeland missile defenses due to the growing ballistic missile threat from Iran and North Korea. One of these policy changes is that the SM-3 IIB missile defense interceptor program - the core element of EPAA Phase 4 - is being restructured into an interceptor kill vehicle technology development program.
With the SM-3 IIB interceptor, Phase 4 would have provided an intercept capability against ICBMs launched at the U.S. homeland from the Middle East. But the SM-3 IIB program experienced significant delays, in part due to the U.S. Congress underfunding the interceptor. So as you know, the SM-3 IIB interceptor will no longer be developed or procured.
I know that some may claim that not fielding Phase 4 may somehow weaken the Transatlantic connection of the EPAA. I would tell you that the connection is still strong. I would emphasize that Phases One through Three of the EPAA will continue to provide important contributions to the defense of the United States homeland and to the defense of U.S. deployed forces in Europe. For example, the radar deployed in Turkey as part of EPAA can provide important early tracking data on any Iranian missile launches against the United States. The interceptor sites to be deployed in Europe will also contribute to protecting the U.S. radar at Fylingdales, which is important to the defense of the U.S. homeland.
Let me also emphasize that the U.S. commitment to Phases One through Three of the EPAA and NATO missile defense remains ironclad, including the planned sites in Poland and Romania. Like the Administration, the U.S. Congress has supported, and continues to support full funding for Phases 1 through 3.
These U.S. missile defense deployments to Europe will be capable of providing ballistic missile defense coverage to all NATO European territory in the 2018 timeframe.
But instead of utilizing the SM-3 IIB interceptor, the United States will strengthen its homeland defense by procuring additional Ground Based Interceptors – GBIs – for deployment at our existing missile defense site in Fort Greely, Alaska.
As Secretary Hagel announced, we will increase the number of deployed GBIs from the current 30 to 44, providing a nearly 50 percent increase in our capability.
The other three steps that Secretary Hagel announced include:
Cooperation with NATO Allies
Beyond our bilateral cooperation, we have also worked with our NATO Allies, including Romania, to implement a NATO missile defense effort.
After thorough and steady progress within NATO, on May 20-21 of 2012, the NATO Heads of State and Government met in Chicago for a 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 the Supreme Allied Commander Europe as the commander for this mission, and announced 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 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. 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 could 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’s Active Layered Theater Ballistic Missile Defense – or ALTBMD – command and control capability.
Cooperation with the Russian Federation
At the same time as we are developing this missile defense cooperation with NATO, we also seek to work cooperatively with Russia. 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.
In 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 that “…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 transparency and cooperation with 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.
While we seek to develop ways to cooperate with Russia on missile defense, it is important to remember that 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. As ballistic missile threats continue to evolve, we cannot place limits or constraints on our ability to defend ourselves and our allies.
Cooperation with Romania
Let me finish up my remarks by saying a few words about our cooperation here in Romania.
Romania is an important ally and partner of the United States, and we are committed to a relationship based on our shared values, including a commitment to democracy.
As allies in NATO and through other international organizations, Romania and the United States work on many of our shared global challenges, from halting nuclear proliferation and increasing energy security to combating climate change. We appreciate the key role Romania played in NATO as we worked to develop the new Strategic Concept on issues such as missile defense and internal reform of the Alliance. The United States looks forward to broadening and deepening our bilateral partnership with Romania as we continue strengthening our Euro-Atlantic ties.
In February 2010, the President of the United States selected Romania to host the EPAA Phase 2 interceptor site. Romania accepted the offer and the rest is history -- the Ballistic Missile Defense Agreement was ratified by Romania in December 2011.
Since that time, there has been a great deal of activity here in Romania, largely led by U.S. European Command, to conclude the lower-level details necessary to begin work on the new missile defense site at the Romanian Deveselu Air Base.
I commend my Romanian colleagues for their leadership within NATO. Romania is also a participant in the U.S. Strategic Command’s NIMBLE TITAN multinational missile defense campaign. At NIMBLE TITAN events, the Romanian military, Ministry of Defense, and Ministry of Foreign Affairs officials are working closely with over 20 countries and NATO to collaboratively think through how regional and global coalitions might be able to innovate with equipment, tactics, techniques and procedures to provide the best and most agile defense. In a world where the threats and the technology to defend are constantly evolving, it is our responsibility to think through the problems to reach the best and most efficient solutions.
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.
I am very pleased to be here today, and I look forward to your questions.