Thank you, Peter, for inviting me here this morning. This series is an important resource for the Hill and the larger community here; and I’m glad to have the chance to offer some views on U.S. missile defense policy.
At the State Department, I am responsible for overseeing a wide range of defense issues, including missile defense policy. Today, I would like to speak to you about three parts of U.S. missile defense policy:
Implementation of the European Phased Adaptive Approach and NATO Missile Defense
In 2009, the President announced that the EPAA would “provide stronger, smarter, and swifter defenses of American forces and America's Allies” Since then, we have been working hard to implement his vision. As you know, we have made great progress.
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.
Spain agreed in 2011 to host four U.S. Aegis-capable ships at the existing naval facility at Rota. These multi-role ships will arrive in the 2014- 2015 timeframe; specifically, two are scheduled to arrive in 2014 and two more in 2015.
With regard to Phase Two, we have an agreement with Romania, ratified in December of 2011, to host a U.S. land-based SM-3 interceptor site beginning in the 2015 timeframe. This site, 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 Three. Phase Three places land-based SM-3 Block IIA interceptors in Poland, per the Ballistic Missile Defense agreement between the United States and Poland which entered into force in September 2011. This site is on schedule and on budget for deployment in the 2018 timeframe. The interceptor site in Poland is key to the EPAA: when combined with other EPAA assets, Phase Three will provide the necessary capabilities to ensure ballistic missile defense coverage of all NATO European territory in the 2018 timeframe.
Already, NATO has made significant progress on achieving an Alliance missile defense capability. At the Chicago NATO Summit in May 2012, NATO declared it had achieved an “interim” missile defense capability. This is an operationally significant first step, giving NATO the ability to conduct missile defense across southern NATO Europe.
So, as you can see; we are continuing to implement the President’s vision for missile defense in Europe. Of course, many of you are probably interested to hear more about recent changes to U.S. missile defense policy.
Recent Changes to U.S. Missile Defense Policy
On March 15, Secretary of Defense Hagel announced a number of changes to the U.S. missile defense program designed deal with the increasing missile threat from North Korea. In December 2012, North Korea put a satellite in orbit using its Taepodong-2 launch vehicle, demonstrating progress towards long range missile technology. Additionally, North Korea has displayed what appears to be a road mobile ICBM.
As outlined in the February 2010 Ballistic Missile Defense Review, it is U.S. policy to stay ahead of this threat. To maintain the United States advantageous position vis-à-vis the ballistic missile threat from North Korea and Iran, the United States will take four steps:
First, the United States will deploy 14 additional Ground-Based Interceptors (GBIs) in Fort Greely, Alaska. This will increase the total number of GBIs deployed from 30 to 44, providing a nearly 50 percent increase in our current capability.
Second, we are restructuring the SM-3 IIB missile defense interceptor program into a technology development program focusing on an enhanced kill vehicle capability for both the GBI and the SM-3 family of interceptors.
While the SM-3 IIB interceptor would have provided some intercept capability against ICBMs launched at the U.S. homeland from the Middle East, the program experienced significant delays due to cuts from the level of requested funding by Congress, and would therefore not be available in time to meet the increasing threat. The additional GBIs deployed in the United States will address the potential ICBM threat from North Korea sooner than the SM-3 IIB would have been available.
Third, with the support of the Japanese Government, an additional AN/TPY-2 radar will be deployed in Japan. This will provide improved early warning and tracking of any missile launched from North Korea at the United States or Japan.
Fourth, the United States will study the possibility of an additional domestic GBI site. While the Obama Administration has not decided on whether to proceed with an additional site, studying various options would shorten the timeline for construction should such a decision be made in the future.
While we are no longer planning to deploy Phase Four of the EPAA, let me emphasize that the U.S. commitment to the EPAA and NATO missile defense remains, as Secretary Hagel noted, “ironclad.” This commitment includes the planned sites in Poland and Romania. Like the Administration, Congress has supported, and continues to support full funding for Phases One through Three.
I also would note that Phases One through Three of the EPAA will continue to provide important contributions to the defense of the United States homeland. For example, the radar deployed in Turkey can provide important early tracking data on any Iranian missile launches against the United States. The interceptor sites in Romania and Poland, as well as BMD-capable ships at sea, will also be key to protecting U.S. deployed forces and assets in Europe.
Before I move on to our ongoing discussions with the Russian Federation, let me note that the U.S. Government remains committed to our “fly-before-you-buy” policy. This means that we require that missile defense systems demonstrate their effectiveness through intercept flight testing. Specifically, proving the operational capability of the latest model of the GBI kill vehicle is one of our top priorities.
As you can see, we’ve made significant adjustments to U.S. plans for the global ballistic missile defense system going forward. These changes will allow us to achieve better defense of the United States and achieve it sooner.
Cooperation with the Russian Federation
At the same time we are developing a NATO missile defense capability, 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, as it has been for nearly 20 years under both Democratic and Republican administrations.
As such, the United States is continuing discussions with the Russian Federation on missile defense cooperation. Secretary of Defense Hagel and Russian Defense Minister Shoygu agreed in March to reconvene missile defense discussions between Under Secretary of Defense Jim Miller and Deputy Defense Minister Antonov. My boss, Acting Under Secretary Rose Gottemoeller, was in Moscow a few weeks ago continuing discussions with her Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs counterpart on missile defense cooperation, among other issues.
We believe that through cooperation, Russia will see firsthand that this system is designed to respond to ballistic missile threats from outside the Euro-Atlantic area, and that NATO missile defense systems will not undermine Russia’s strategic nuclear deterrent.
Furthermore, in Chicago last year, the NATO Allies made a very clear statement of our intent regarding strategic stability and Russia’s strategic deterrent. The Chicago Summit Declaration made clear 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.”
While we seek to develop ways to cooperate with Russia on missile defense, it is important to remember that in keeping with its collective security obligations, NATO alone bears responsibility for defending the Alliance from ballistic missile threats. This is why the United States and NATO cannot agree to Russian 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.
Russia continues to request legal guarantees that could create limitations on our ability to develop and deploy future missile defense systems against regional ballistic missile threats such as those presented by Iran and North Korea. We have made clear that we cannot and will not accept limitations on our ability to defend ourselves, our allies, and our partners, including where we deploy our BMD-capable Aegis ships. As Secretary Hagel’s March decision makes clear, the United States must have the flexibility, without legal limitations, to respond to evolving missile threats from states like Iran and North Korea.
Let me conclude by noting that we are proud of how much we have already achieved thus far with our partners. Yet, there is still much to do. By working with our allies and partners to counter the threat from ballistic missiles, we look forward to achieving higher levels of BMD cooperation and effectiveness both in Europe and around the world.
Thanks very much, and I look forward to your questions.