Cablegate: Potus European-Based Missile Defense Decision
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S E C R E T SECTION 01 OF 06 STATE 097244
E.O. 12958: DECL: 09/15/2014
TAGS: EZ MARR PREL
SUBJECT: POTUS EUROPEAN-BASED MISSILE DEFENSE DECISION
(SECOND CORRECTED COPY OF STATE 96519)
REF: A. STATE 96519 B. STATE 96550
Classified By: T U/S Ellen O. Tauscher for Reasons 1.4 a,b,and d.
1. (U) (CORRECTED COPY FOR THE RECORD. NO ACTION REQUESTED.
THIS CORRECTED COPY HAS A REPLACEMENT SIXTH TICK IN THE
RUSSIA TALKING POINTS IN PARAGRAPH 6. PLEASE DISREGARD THE
SIXTH TICK IN THE RUSSIA TALKING POINTS IN THE EARLIER
TRANSMISSIONS OF THIS CABLE. SEE REFTELS.) This is an ACTION
REQUEST. Please see paragraph 3. ALL MATERIALS IN THIS
CABLE ARE TO BE EMBARGOED FROM DELIVERY TO HOST GOVERNMENTS
UNTIL 25 MINUTES PRIOR TO A PRESIDENTIAL STATEMENT RELEASED
ON SEPTEMBER 17, 2009 AT 9:55 A.M. (EASTERN DAYLIGHT TIME -
2. (SBU) BACKGROUND: The White House is expected to announce
a Presidential decision at approximately 9:55
a.m.(Washington, D.C.) on September 17 regarding a U.S.
European-based BMD adaptive regional architecture, which is
significantly different from the Bush Administration's plan
to deploy 10 ground-based interceptors in Poland and a BMD
tracking radar in the Czech Republic. END BACKGROUND.
3. (SBU) ACTION REQUEST: Addressee Posts are instructed to
deliver the talking points to Host Governments in paragraph 4
on Thursday, September 17, as a non-paper, but no earlier
than 9:30 a.m. (Easter Daylight Time - Washington, D.C.).
USNATO, Embassies in NATO Capitals (except for Embassies
Warsaw and Prague), Embassy Tokyo, Embassy Moscow, and
Embassies in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) States
(Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, United Arab
Emirates) are instructed also to deliver the tailored talking
points for NATO, Japan, Russia, and the GCC States in
paragraphs 5-8. Action Request addressees should attempt to
provide pre-notifications immediately prior to the public
announcement of the Presidential decision but not before 9:30
a.m. EDT; with the different time zones involved, Washington
recognizes that some notifications may not occur until after
the White House public announcement. Posts may draw upon the
Questions and Answers to be provided reftel for use with Host
Governments on an "if asked" basis, or as Posts determine is
appropriate. The Questions and Answers in reftel may be
drawn upon by Posts but should not/not be handed over to Host
Governments. Materials for public diplomacy (e.g., Fact
Sheet, Questions and Answers, and POTUS Statement) will be
provided to Posts septel. Posts please notify the Department
regarding date of delivery, recipients, and reaction, if any.
END ACTION REQUEST.
4. (U) BEGIN TEXT OF TALKING POINTS:
U.S. MISSILE DEFENSE POLICY - EUROPEAN DECISION
- The White House announced that the President has approved
Secretary Gates and the Joint Chiefs of Staff's unanimous
recommendation for improved missile defenses in Europe
against the threat from Iran to our forces and families
deployed to the region and to our Allies.
- Iran already has hundreds of ballistic missiles that can
threaten its neighbors in the Middle East, Turkey, and the
Caucasus and it is actively developing and testing ballistic
missiles that can reach more and more of Europe.
-- Our concern regarding Iranian missile capabilities is
further increased by the fact that our Intelligence Community
continues to assess that Iran, at a minimum, is keeping open
the option to develop nuclear weapons.
- The new "Phased, Adaptive Approach" recommended by
Secretary Gates updates and revises the previous program for
missile defense in Europe based on two key findings of the
STATE 00097244 002 OF 006
-- First, the threat from Iran's regional ballistic missiles
has developed more rapidly than previously expected. At the
same time, the threat from potential Iranian intercontinental
ballistic missiles (ICBMs) has been slower to develop than we
-- Second, our missile defense capabilities and technologies
have advanced significantly. Improved interceptor
capabilities, such as the currently deployed Standard
Missile-3 (SM-3) interceptor and advanced variants that are
already in development, permit a more flexible and capable
- Therefore, the President has approved a Phased, Adaptive
Approach that is responsive to the current threat, but also
can incorporate new technologies quickly and cost-effectively
to adapt as the threat and our technologies continue to
change. It will unfold in phases:
-- The first phase will speed protection of U.S. deployed
forces, civilians, and families and our Allies in Europe
against the current threat from Iran by deploying proven
systems by 2011 ) about six or seven years earlier than the
-- Subsequent phases will add advanced variant sea- and
land-based versions of the SM-3 and cover additional
territory in Europe should the Iranian threat expand.
-- In the fourth and final phase we will anticipate
augmenting our existing capabilities to defend the United
States against potential advances in Iran's ICBM capability
with advanced versions of the SM-3. This would be a similar
capability to that provided in the program of record.
- This improved approach removes the need for a Ground Based
Interceptor field in Poland and features a distributed
interceptor and sensor architecture that does not require the
single large, fixed radar originally planned to be located in
the Czech Republic.
-- Under the new approach, land- and sea-based missile
defense interceptors and sensors offer some flexibility to be
redeployed as the regional ballistic missile threat dictates.
This distributed network approach also will increase the
survivability of the system and provide more opportunities
for collaboration with Allies and partners.
-- We are beginning consultations with Poland, the Czech
Republic, and other Allies on the new approach, and will work
with our NATO Allies on determining locations for the sensors
and interceptors, and on integrating the Phased, Adaptive
Approach with their missile defense capabilities and with the
emerging NATO command and control network.
- Strong missile defenses will strengthen our efforts to find
a solution that brings Iran into compliance with its
international obligations: the more we can diminish the
coercive value of Iran's missiles, the less Iran stands to
gain by continuing to develop these destabilizing
- This set of recommendations comes from an ongoing
Congressionally-mandated review that is taking a
comprehensive examination of our global approach to missile
defense and is consistent with the Defense Department's
budget choices for fiscal year 2010:
-- For example, we added additional funding to field more
systems such as Aegis BMD ships and SM-3 interceptors.
END TEXT OF TALKING POINTS.
5. (S/REL NATO) BEGIN TEXT OF TALKING POINTS FOR USNATO AND
EMBASSIES IN NATO CAPITALS (TALKING POINTS BELOW SHOULD BE
USED FOR ALL NATO CAPITALS EXCEPT FOR POLAND AND THE CZECH
REPUBLIC; WARSAW AND PRAGUE WILL RECEIVE SEPARATE TAILORED
TALKING POINTS TO BE DELIVERED ON SEPTEMBER 17 BY THE
- NATO leaders have all agreed that ballistic missile
proliferation poses an increasing threat to Allies' forces,
STATE 00097244 003 OF 006
territory, and populations.
- As a result, NATO has noted the significant contribution to
Alliance security by those Allies who possess, or are
acquiring, missile defense capabilities.
- At the 2008 Summit, NATO leaders agreed to consider options
for a NATO missile defense system that would cover all
remaining areas of Allied populations and territory. To
date, those efforts have focused on missile defense systems
to protect deployed forces from shorter-range ballistic
- At the 2009 NATO summit, Heads of State and Government
tasked experts to examine the potential expansion of the
ALTBMD program ) which is designed to be the command and
control "backbone" for theater missile defense for deployed
- The United States now proposes a "Phased Adaptive
Approach," which will reinforce and strengthen on-going NATO
efforts. Specifically, we believe that the Phased Adaptive
Approach is fully supportive of the decision to pursue
options for a complementary NATO-wide multi-layered BMD
architecture, which currently is envisioned to use NATO's
command and control backbone architecture. This is a
flexible and cost-effective approach that leverages proven
technologies against a known threat.
- Most importantly, the Phased Adaptive Approach is designed
to work in concert with Allied efforts to provide protection
against ballistic missile attack for all NATO Allies,
reflecting the Alliance principle of indivisibility of
- The Phased Adaptive Approach will provide our most proven
and operational missile defense capabilities in the
near-term, defending Allied territory sooner against the
current Iranian threat.
- U.S. missile defense efforts will of course be fully
interoperable with those of NATO.
- We propose that -- subsequent to Alliance discussions and
follow-on briefings in greater detail -- the Alliance examine
how we can integrate the U.S. Phased Adaptive Approach with
NATO missile defense. This can be discussed further at the
upcoming defense ministerial in Bratislava.
- The Phased Adaptive Approach would serve to greatly
strengthen NATO's missile defense capabilities in the face of
a growing threat to Alliance security.
- We look forward to engaging the Alliance in political and
technical discussions in the weeks ahead.
FINANCING (if raised)
- We will work closely with Allies to examine broader
resourcing requirements for defense of Allied forces,
territories and populations, including the integration of our
Phased Adaptive Approach.
ROLE FOR NATO MEMBERS
- We have already consulted with the two Allies that had
agreed to host missile defense assets under the previous
plan. I want to reiterate that we are deeply appreciative of
their readiness to take difficult political decisions to
respond to the need to better protect allied territories and
populations against the threat of ballistic missiles.
- We intend to engage in active consultations at NATO on the
best way forward.
- The "Phased Adaptive Approach" is flexible and could be
integrated into a NATO territorial missile defense system.
There will be a requirement for Allies to host the sensors
and interceptors to be included in the Phased Adaptive
STATE 00097244 004 OF 006
Approach. There are many possibilities, and we look forward
to continuing our NATO consultations.
- If pressed: At this time, I would prefer not to get into
specific issues related to potential Host Nations. We have
many options in this flexible architecture ) sea- and
land-based, northern and southern Europe. We intend to
engage soon at NATO with Allies on those questions.
- We expect that Allied national systems or current NATO
systems will be able to integrate well with the overall
- Allied contributions can be interoperable with the Phased
Approach missile defense architecture to ensure they form a
cost-effective and comprehensive architecture.
GROUND BASED INTERCEPTORS
- If needed: The U.S. will continue to develop the GBI
technology for CONUS defense because domestically it remains
a cost-effective option. However, we have no plans to pursue
GBIs in Europe given the promise and track record of SM-3
END TEXT OF TALKING POINTS FOR NATO.
6. (C/REL RUSSIA) BEGIN TEXT OF TALKING POINTS FOR RUSSIA:
- The President's missile defense in Europe decision will
publicly be announced at 10:00 a.m. Washington, D.C. time.
The National Security Advisor, General Jones, will be
delivering a similar message to Ambassador Kislyak before the
- The decision is the result of a long review process; new
information on the Iranian ballistic missile program drove
- Iran has made more progress on short-range and medium-range
ballistic missiles, and less progress on ICBMs than
anticipated. Now the threat is greater to the Middle East and
to Europe, with a less immediate threat to the United States.
- We do not plan to deploy GBIs in Poland and we will not
base the European Mid-Course radar in the Czech Republic.
Instead, there will be an adaptive, phased approach.
- We believe that Iran plans to deploy hundreds of these
short-range and medium-range ballistic missiles. Our old
plan was designed to intercept only small numbers of ICBMs.
- We continue to assess that Iran, at a minimum, is keeping
open the option to develop nuclear weapons. Tehran could
choose at any time to restart its nuclear weapons program
and, eventually, arm its missiles with nuclear warheads.
- The new plan for European missile defense is better
designed to protect Europe from this Iranian threat that is
emerging. We intend to deploy the SM-3 interceptor which is
what we are deploying in the Middle East as well. SM-3s do
not have the capability to threaten Russian ICBMs.
- In the first stages of deployment, we also are seeking to
place these interceptors closer to Iran (from what I
understand, this is exactly the idea that President Putin
proposed to President Bush during their July 2007 meeting at
- The new plan calls for radars and detection systems to be
deployed closer to Iran. These radars will not have the
capacity to track Russian ICBMs.
- With this decision behind us, we now want to move
aggressively to launch serious cooperation on missile defense
- As the President said during his meeting with President
STATE 00097244 005 OF 006
Medvedev in April, we want to begin by standing up the Joint
Data Exchange Center (JDEC). The hope is to share data from
our respective early-warning systems.
END TEXT OF TALKING POINTS FOR RUSSIA.
7. (C/REL JAPAN) BEGIN TEXT OF TALKING POINTS FOR JAPAN:
- The U.S. greatly appreciates Japan's partnership in BMD; we
remain deeply committed to strengthening regional BMD
capabilities including operational cooperation, joint
research, and co-development.
- Recent North Korean provocations serve as a reminder of the
importance of our cooperative missile defense efforts, which
help underpin a strong U.S.-Japan Alliance and contribute to
- We remain committed to an effective defense of the U.S. and
our Allies against rogue ballistic missile threats, including
North Korea and, if it continues down its current path, Iran.
- As you are aware, the BMD Review has undertaken a
comprehensive examination of our approach to missile
defenses, including an in-depth look at our approach to
European missile defense and in other regions around the
-- USG discussions with the MOD and MOFA over the last
several months made clear that you have particular interest
in the European missile defense analysis -- we understand
these strategic decisions have an impact in the Asia-Pacific
region and want to make sure you are fully informed of our
-- Throughout the review process the U.S. recognized and
factored in Japanese concerns/equities especially those
related to our on-going discussions with the Russian
- Although the BMD Review report is not due to Congress until
this January, we have already reached some important
conclusions. We have decided to move forward with discussing
results now so we do not delay deploying improved defenses
for ourselves or our allies.
- We would like to explain the President's decision to you
before our public announcement and before we speak with
Russia. We are discussing this new European approach with
Poland, the Czech Republic, and NATO, as we speak.
-- As a close and trusted ally, we consider it important to
share this information with you. However, in light of past
problems with information security, we must insist that you
take every precaution to ensure that this information will
not be leaked. Any leaks would have significant implications
for our European missile defense approach, and would be
damaging to our bilateral relationship. Should there be a
security breach elsewhere, it is important that our
governments not officially confirm leaked information if it
appears in the media before official release by the U.S.
THE PHASED ADAPTIVE APPROACH
- As you have seen, the new plan for European missile defense
will use the SM-3 interceptor, both land- and sea-based,
rather than GBIs included in the previous program.
- In many ways, your leadership and partnership in the
development of the SM-3 and in operational coordination have
been critical to our development of this new approach to
Europe. Just as we have cooperatively deployed proven and
transportable missile defenses to help defend against
ballistic missile threats in the Asia-Pacific region, we will
deploy those same technologies and capabilities in Europe.
STATE 00097244 006 OF 006
- At this time, the new European approach is based on
U.S.-owned SM-3s. However, we will want to look at future
missile defense opportunities with NATO and our European
allies that could include potential sales of a number of
missile defense capabilities. We would very much like to
work with Japan to make strategic decisions about whether and
how our jointly developed missile (i.e., the SM-3 Block IIA)
could be part of that future, and perhaps part of a future
networked global system of regional missile defense
- We look forward to continuing our strong partnership on
missile defense and growing our cooperative activities.
BMD FOR JAPAN AND EAST ASIA
- As mentioned previously, the phased approach in Europe is
in many ways similar to the approach we have taken with you.
We believe that our current approach in the Asia- Pacific
region is sound and forms a model that we can draw upon
elsewhere. Naturally, we will re-engage with you soon on the
full findings of our BMD Review.
IF ASKED ABOUT BURDEN SHARING AT NATO:
- As you well know, this type of approach creates
opportunities for participation ) for example, in command
and control, sensors, and interceptors ) and enhanced
cooperation, similar to the type that we already enjoy. We
look forward to engaging with NATO soon about how our new
approach contributes to common defenses and how we can share
responsibilities in that effort.
END TEXT OF TALKING POINTS FOR JAPAN.
8. (U) BEGIN TEXT OF TALKING POINTS FOR GULF COOPERATION
COUNCIL STATES (BAHRAIN, KUWAIT, OMAN, QATAR, SAUDI ARABIA,
UNITED ARAB EMIRATES):
- The USG has adopted a phased adaptive approach for the
ballistic missile defense (BMD) of Europe. The approach in
Europe complements the emerging BMD architecture in the Gulf,
which is currently defending against potential Iranian air
and missile threats to our partners and U.S. forces in the
-- We are working to optimize limited assets to ensure that
programs in Europe will not be executed at the expense of our
friends and commitment to the defense of the Gulf Cooperation
-- BMD programs in Europe will not require a diversion of
U.S. assets from the Gulf.
- The United States has deployed BMD systems to the Middle
East to protect against the Iranian missile threat, including
AEGIS BMD presence in the Persian Gulf and two PATRIOT
batteries each in Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, and the UAE.
-- These U.S. systems complement the indigenous BMD systems
in the region including PAC-II capability in Saudi Arabia and
Kuwait, and Shared Early Warning capability with the UAE.
-- The USG is exploring the possibility of providing
additional BMD coverage to Gulf Cooperation Council nations
if the circumstances warrant.
-- The USG will continue to work with its Gulf partners to
develop regional, integrated air and missile defense systems.
END TEXT OF TALKING POINTS FOR GCC STATES.