Naval Forces Capability for Theater Missile Defense

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Moreover, the question of whether the United States should deploy extensive defenses to protect against ballistic missile attack has been one of the most divisive political and national security issues of this generation. The demise of the Soviet Union and the debate over the emergence of ballistic missile threats from other nations changed the nature of the debate.

For many, concerns about nuclear stability between the United States and Russia have receded as the two nations expanded their areas of cooperation and improved their relationship, especially in the U.

Theater Missile Defense and Northeast Asian Security

Instead, many now focus on concerns about a possible attack from an adversary who possesses only a few missiles and may not be deterred by fear of U. Without a missile defense capability, some argue, the United States itself may be deterred from using its conventional forces to protect U. Similarly, the United States might be unable to combat aggressive or provocative actions on the part of "rogue states" armed with chemical, biological, or nuclear capable ballistic missiles.

The Clinton Administration responded to this changing international security environment by pursuing the development and deployment of defenses that would protect U. It also sought to develop for deployment a limited system to protect U. The Administration sought to preserve the basic framework of the ABM Treaty by negotiating modifications that would have permitted the deployment of a limited, land-based NMD site in Alaska.

The Clinton Administration decided, however, that it would not proceed to deploy the site after failures in the flight test program and other technical concerns raised questions about the readiness of the technology. The Bush Administration sharply altered the debate over missile defense.

Why the U.S. Army Needs Missiles

In several pre-election speeches, President Bush indicated that he would pursue the development of technologies that could be deployed on land, at sea, and in space, to protect the United States, its allies, and its forces overseas from ballistic missile attacks from rogue nations.

He emphasized that "Russia is not our enemy," and, therefore, Russia should not be concerned about U. Instead of seeking to modify the ABM Treaty so that the United States could deploy limited missile defenses, the President said "we need a new framework that allows us to build missile defenses to counter the different threats of today's world. The Administration began to outline the details of its plans for missile defenses in July , after submitting its amended defense budget for FY to Congress.

The Administration stated that it would explore a broader range of technologies and basing modes, "including land, air, sea, and space-based capabilities that had been previously disregarded or inadequately explored.

From a funding and programmatic perspective, the Administration did not appear to give increased priority to any particular program or introduce any major new research directions for FY beyond what the Clinton Administration was already pursuing, except to accelerate the process and integrate key components.

First, layered defenses would seek to provide the United States with more than one opportunity to target an attacking missile, thus arguably increasing the chance of shooting it down. A critique of the layered defense concept is outlined in the section on Technology and Other Challenges. Second, the layers could complicate an attacker's ability to defeat the overall system. This is because countermeasures, which are intended to confuse or overcome defenses, that might be effective in one phase of a missile's flight might not work in other phases. The Bush Administration has emphasized that its missile defense program will concentrate on "robust research and development" into a wide range of missile defense technologies.

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Unlike the Clinton Administration, the Bush Administration has not yet identified an architecture a detailed missile defense system with specific objectives and capabilities that it will seek to deploy nor established a schedule for the development and deployment of any particular system or element; but, a clear underlying objective is the early deployment of a defense designed against missiles aimed at U.

Because it has not identified the types of technologies or the numbers of interceptors and radars that it intends to deploy, the Administration will not provide any costs for the missile defense program or system. It emphasizes that cost estimates are premature under the new approach. Administration officials have stated that this research and development effort is "designed to develop effective systems over time This approach is called an evolutionary acquisition strategy. This strategy differs from the way in which most military acquisition programs occur.

It will likely be the subject of increased scrutiny. An analysis of this strategy and some of its implications follows in a subsequent section of this report. During congressional testimony in July , Deputy Secretary of Defense Wolfowitz stated repeatedly that the United States would not violate the ABM Treaty, but that the Treaty stood in the way of the Administration's missile defense efforts.

V. Technology for Tomorrow

He noted that some of the tests or activities could "bump up" against the limits in the Treaty in "months' not years. At a meeting in Italy in July , President Bush and Russia's President Putin agreed that the two nations would hold discussions that focused on both offensive weapons and defensive systems. Some interpreted this agreement to mean that the two nations would begin negotiations on new treaties that would limit offensive nuclear weapons and missile defenses. Administration officials stated clearly, however, that these were not negotiations, but consultations.

Theater Missile Defense and Northeast Asian Security | NTI

They also stated at that time the Administration did not plan simply to seek modifications in the ABM Treaty, but it would not allow the Treaty to prevent research and development toward deployment even if that ultimately meant U. According to some reports, the United States would share information about missile defense developments with Russia, but it would not accept any limits on research, development, testing, or deployment of its systems. Russia, however, did not accept the U. The Administration announced it had a specific plan for deploying an initial missile defense capability on December 17, Although other countries with short and medium range missile programs may aspire to join this club, there are factors other than scientific and infrastructure to consider.

Variables such as the availability of financial resources, political will, availability of foreign material and technical assistance, and the affects of non proliferation and export control regimes all play a role in missile development. In this regard, countries discussed here other than Russia and China should be considered as potential future threats outside of their respective regions. Within their respective regions however, these countries, along with Russia and China, will present an ever increasing proliferation challenge to U. Ballistic missile proliferation has continued steadily over the past two decades presenting a variety of security challenges to the United States.

The number of countries with operationally deployed intercontinental ballistic missiles ICBMs that could strike targets in the United States remains relatively small. There is, however, a fairly widespread and growing capability to launch shorter range missiles and a slowly evolving capacity to launch medium range missiles. The transition from short to medium range missiles to ICBMs is more a matter of technical expertise than of technology.

The principal hurdles to developing longer range missiles are manufacturing larger propulsion systems and designing a missile with more than one stage. With an existing short or medium range ballistic missile infrastructure, overcoming these hurdles becomes an issue of having an experienced and qualified scientific and engineering staff.

If a country does not have this expertise domestically, it can be imported. The United States routinely monitors ballistic missile development and deployment trends in a number of critical countries. Russia has the most significant ballistic missile inventory of all countries of concern. Russia currently has approximately ICBMs 7 capable of delivering over 3, nuclear warheads of various yields. Russia claims to have developed missile defense countermeasures for the SS allowing the SS to penetrate any known missile defense. Such countermeasures could include global positioning technology and independent warhead maneuvering capability.

It is important to note that independent sources have not substantiated Russian claims on the SS's penetration capabilities. China's current ICBM force consists largely of liquid propellant, single warhead, silo-based missiles.


  1. The Smart House.
  2. A Brief History of Air and Missile Defense?
  3. Bond Graph Methodology: Development and Analysis of Multidisciplinary Dynamic System Models;
  4. U.S. Navy, allies intercept targets in European missile test.

Approximately 20 of these missiles are CSS-4 missiles that can reach targets within the United States. Concerned about the survivability of their ballistic missiles, China is focusing on the development of mobile, solid propellant ICBMs. China has tested CSS-5 medium-range ballistic missiles MRBMs with dummy warheads or what the Pentagon calls "penetration aids" designed to defeat missile defense systems.

Recently, China has offered to reduce the numbers of deployed missiles if Taiwan scales back its arms purchases from the United States. Iraq has also rebuilt previously-destroyed facilities and constructed new facilities designed to produce solid propellants and to test missile engines with ranges in excess of 1, kms. Iran has one of the largest missile inventories in the Middle East. The Shahab-3 is based on the North Korean No Dong missile and is believed to have a range of 1, kms.

In all cases, Iran's continuing development of its missile program will rely heavily on Russian, Chinese, and North Korean assistance.

Despite Iran's current efforts, most U. North Korea.


  1. Theater Missile Defense: A Limited Capability Is Needed.
  2. Today’s Strategic Context.
  3. Toured to Death (Amys Travel Mysteries, Book 1);
  4. Brief History of Ballistic Missile Defense and Current Programs in the United States.
  5. Classical Greek Rhetorical Theory and the Disciplining of Discourse.
  6. USS Ross Successfully Intercepts Ballistic Missile Target During Coalition Test!
  7. Fostering the Discussion on Securing the Seas..

North Korea's recent actions in relation to the Agreed Framework and possible "reconsideration of the missile testing moratorium" could foreshadow their resumption of missile testing. The two-stage Taepo Dong 2, which some believe could deliver a several hundred kilogram nuclear payload to Alaska, Hawaii, and parts of the continental United States may be ready for flight testing in the near future. North Korea has continued to export ballistic missiles and associated technology, most notably to Pakistan and Yemen.

This was later determined to be a legal shipment and was allowed to proceed. North Korea is also believed to be training missile engineers and technicians, most notably Syrian, in the domestic production of SCUD missiles. India continues their aggressive domestic development of ballistic missiles, primarily to establish a nuclear deterrent to Pakistani first use of nuclear weapons and as a hedge against a confrontation with China.

These Agniseries of missiles will likely become operational in the next few years and will become the mainstay of India's MRBM forces. Pakistan's pursuit of missile-delivered nuclear weapons is considered by many experts as a deterrent to India's nuclear program as well as their numerically-superior conventional forces.

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