USA — Official Details Results of Missile Review

WASHINGTON, April 20, 2010 — Bal­lis­tic mis­siles are an increas­ing threat to the Unit­ed States, and the Defense Depart­ment must keep up with them, the deputy under­sec­re­tary of defense for pol­i­cy said today.
James N. Miller, speak­ing about the department’s Nuclear Pos­ture Review before the Sen­ate Armed Ser­vices Com­mit­tee, said sev­er­al nations are devel­op­ing nuclear, chem­i­cal or bio­log­i­cal war­heads for their mis­siles.
The threat to the U.S. home­land is most acute from states such as North Korea and Iran, Miller said. “Nei­ther has yet acquired ICBMs that could reach the Unit­ed States, but both are work­ing to acquire and/or devel­op long-range bal­lis­tic mis­sile capa­bil­i­ties – includ­ing space-launched vehi­cles – which include many of the nec­es­sary tech­nolo­gies,” he said. Short- and medi­um-range mis­siles have pro­lif­er­at­ed rapid­ly over the past decade. Iran and North Korea are the pri­ma­ry trou­ble­mak­ers, Miller said, and rep­re­sent sig­nif­i­cant region­al mis­sile threats. 

Miller list­ed six pol­i­cy pri­or­i­ties for U.S. mis­sile defense. The first is to con­tin­ue to defend the home­land against the threat of lim­it­ed bal­lis­tic mis­sile attack. “The top pri­or­i­ty for U.S. mis­sile defense efforts is to defend the Unit­ed States from the threat of mis­sile attack by region­al actors such as North Korea or Iran,” he said. “The Unit­ed States does not intend for mis­sile defense to affect the strate­gic bal­ance with Rus­sia or China.” 

The sec­ond pri­or­i­ty is to defend against region­al mis­sile threats to U.S. forces while pro­tect­ing allies and part­ners and help­ing to enable them to pro­tect them­selves. One part is a new phased adap­tive approach for mis­sile defense in Europe. The Unit­ed States has con­clud­ed agree­ments with Roma­nia and Poland to host the two planned land-based sites for inter­cep­tors in 2015 and 2018, respectively. 

“The Bal­lis­tic Mis­sile Defense Review con­clud­ed that the Unit­ed States should pur­sue a phased adap­tive approach not only in Europe, but also in oth­er regions, par­tic­u­lar­ly North­east Asia and the Mid­dle East,” Miller said. “And this approach will be tai­lored to the threats appro­pri­ate to those regions.” 

The third pri­or­i­ty, Miller said, is real­is­tic and tough test­ing before field­ing any new technologies. 

A fourth is that new capa­bil­i­ties must be fis­cal­ly sus­tain­able over the long term. “Our invest­ments in [bal­lis­tic mis­sile defense], as in oth­er areas, must be man­aged to ensure that there are sound capa­bil­i­ty improve­ments at rea­son­able cost and in over­all bal­ance with oth­er defense pri­or­i­ties,” he said. 

Bal­lis­tic mis­sile defense also must be flex­i­ble to evolve as the threat evolves, Miller said. 

Final­ly, he con­tin­ued, the Unit­ed States will lead expand­ed inter­na­tion­al efforts for mis­sile defense. 

“We are work­ing with allies and part­ners to strength­en deter­rence and build region­al secu­ri­ty archi­tec­tures, through improved mis­sile defense and through oth­er mea­sures,” he said. The review informed bud­get deci­sions, Miller said, and Pres­i­dent Barack Oba­ma asked for a $700 mil­lion increase in bal­lis­tic mis­sile defense fund­ing in fis­cal 2011 over 2010. 

U.S. Depart­ment of Defense
Office of the Assis­tant Sec­re­tary of Defense (Pub­lic Affairs) 

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