Boosting Missile Defense Cooperation in Europe

Posted by Frank Rose
July 6, 2012
Naval Officer Offers Missile Defense Technology Training in Romania

The European Phased Adaptive Approach to missile defense (or EPAA) is designed 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.

Today, there is a growing threat from short-, medium-, and intermediate-range ballistic missiles to our deployed forces, allies, and partners. This threat is likely to increase in the coming years as some states make their ballistic missiles more accurate, reliable, and survivable.

That is why in 2009, President Obama outlined a four-phase approach for European missile defense that would augment the defense of the United States against a future long-term threat and provide more comprehensive and more rapid protection to our deployed forces and European Allies against the current threat. The President made clear his commitment to integrate the EPAA into NATO and welcomed Russian cooperation to bring its missile defense capabilities into a broader defense of our common strategic interests. In November 2010, NATO agreed to develop a BMD capability to provide full coverage and protection for all NATO European territory, populations, and forces. Through the EPAA, the United States will deploy increasingly capable ballistic missile defense (BMD) assets to defend Europe against a potential strike from the Middle East.

Working with our allies and partners, the United States seeks to create an environment that will diminish an adversary's confidence that a limited ballistic missile attack would be effective.

Last month in Washington D.C., I was honored to accept on behalf of the Department of State and the entire U.S. interagency, the Team Award given by the National Defense Industrial Association recognizing our collective efforts to put in place basing agreements with host nations for the EPAA, the U.S. contribution to NATO BMD. This was a big effort within the U.S. government and is also a testament to the strong missile defense commitment of our Allies, specifically Poland, Romania, and Turkey.

Along with the Department of Defense, the Missile Defense Agency, U.S. European Command and the military services, the State Department's team led by Special Envoy for Strategic Stability and Missile Defense Ellen Tauscher reached an agreement with Romania to host a U.S. land-based BMD interceptor site, designed to extend missile defense protection to a greater portion of Europe. This system is anticipated to become operational in the 2015 timeframe. We also reached an agreement with Poland to place a similar U.S. BMD interceptor site there in the 2018 timeframe, which will extend missile defense protection to all of NATO Europe. In the NATO context, we have deployed to Turkey a missile defense radar. Also, as part of Phase 1, the United States deployed a BMD-capable Aegis ship to the Mediterranean in March of 2011, and has maintained a BMD-capable ship presence in the region ever since.

In May, at the NATO Chicago Summit, NATO announced the achievement of an interim BMD capability. To support this interim BMD capability, the United States will offer EPAA assets to the Alliance as voluntary national contributions to the NATO BMD mission. This capability provides an operationally significant first step, offering the maximum coverage within available means to defend our populations, territory, and forces across south NATO Europe. Allies agreed to encourage the exploration of possible additional voluntary contributions, including through multinational cooperation, to provide relevant capabilities, as well as to use potential synergies in planning, development, and procurement, and development.

Today's ballistic missile threats continue to increase in number and sophistication. This increasing threat reinforces the importance of the EPAA and NATO's BMD capability, which not only strengthens regional stability, but also provide protection for Allied forces in Europe and augments the defense of the United States.

Comments

Comments

DonaldM
|
Virginia, USA
July 7, 2012

Donald M. in Virginia writes:

I think on a positive note this is great! But concerns on our homefront when over a year ago a missile dud was found on the west side of the United States, and some believed it was China testing a long range missile, that can travel 7,000 miles. Protecting our homeland of the United States should be the highest priority then without diplacement of too many of our forces overseas, what force will be ready if something happened? The Pentagon should have a plan just in case.

Eric
|
New Mexico, USA
July 9, 2012

Eric in New Mexico writes:

@ Frank Rose,

This assesment hasn't changed in the 10.5 years since I offered it to my government.

"If there are to be trillions spent on the development of the missile defense system, rather than dealing with the reasons for its need in the first place, then we've missed the point that was so rudely made, that a terrorist will use whatever is conveniently available as a weapon."

Now, I look around the Mideast and you have two basic sources of this threat you folks are pouring bookoo bucks into to ward off with a missile defense system in Europe.

Syria and Iran...both sponsors of terror and while one regime is not expected to survive, the other wants to play russian roulette with its people and build nuclear weapons to put on its missiles ( along with North Korea ).

So when it come right down to having a comprehensive missile defense policy and quality assurance given to populations that that threat has been dealt with adequately, there is no substitute for "regime replacement therapy" which no ammount of missile defense technology can address or achieve.

So here we are 10 years on still trying to convince the Russians that this system is not directed at their missile capabilities, and trying to "isolate" Iran and Syria when even the President says clearly that "containment" is not possible nor a sound stategic policy option to deal with mad mullahs.

And diplomaticly stuck on the notion that somehow it may be possible to "change the behavior" of the Iranian regime via hefty international sanction...and I believe assuming sanctions will have any effect on them or Assad's brutal domestic policies is engaged in deperately wishful thinking in the hopes of avoiding "militarizing" the crisis in Syria by using force capabilities of the combined international community to remove Assad from power.

So here's what I'd suggest to the Russians;

They can get with the "regime replacement therapy" program starting today with regards to Syria, and pledge come hell or high water to help us remove the mullahs from power in Iran if they do not give up all thought of becoming a nuclear weapons state and abide by the will of the international community and UN resolutions/IAEA jurisdiction over their total nuclear program.

In return, we scrap missile defense...A) because the stated threat will no longer be a threat because those with ill intent are no longer capable of carring out such an attack.

B) Because we can put that money spent to better use, since there's no longer any threat to defend against.

C. Because it never adequately addressed the threat it was supposed to address in the first place.

Now I know this Admin. doesn't want to have to go bonk heads and remove the state sponsors of terror from existance by the force of arms, and I've suggested that we semd Iran a 32 trillion dollar bill for the last 32 years of chants of "death to America" being lead by one ayatollah or another every Friday at prayers, just to let them know we consider that to be a "billable offense" and intend to collect on it in full unless "behavior changes", and if it doesn't that the American taxpayer is going to want to know how we're going to pay for removing them from power.

Speaking of which...when Sec. Clinton says Russia and China "have not yet paid a price" for supporting Assad, does this mean we get to bill Russia and China for what it's going to cost us to remove Assad without their help, since they won't take responsibility for their role in creating the "frankenstein" that Assad's regime has become today?

Or should we just have the Syrian opposition present them a bill on behalf of everyone involved in removing Assad?

I sure hope folks think about what I've said here, because while this government may believe treating the symptoms of a disease in the form of a missile threat, in now way can one claim to have safeguarded populations with its implementation simply because the cancer that is terrorism still grows in the minds of ethical infants.

EJ

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