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America's Cooperative Approach to Missile Defense

America's Cooperative Approach to Missile Defense

Stephen G. Rademaker, Assistant Secretary of State for Arms Control
Remarks to the American Foreign Policy Council's 2004 Conference on"Missile Defenses and American Security"
Washington, DC
December 17, 2004

I am pleased to be here today to talk about the role of missile defense in U.S. national security strategy, and in particular, the growing importance of our cooperative efforts with friends and allies to America's overall approach to missile defense.

Conferences such as these are very important, because despite all the efforts made over the past two decades to explain the rationale for, and urgency of, missile defense, it is a concept that remains controversial in some quarters. This is less of a problem today than in the past, but as someone whose responsibilities include the promotion of missile defense, both domestically and internationally, I can tell you we have more work to do.

I am reminded of the observation of the German philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer that:

All truth passes through three stages. First it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident.

All of us remember when missile defense was ridiculed. We were told it was a dangerous fantasy. The technology wouldn't work. It was too costly. It would trigger a new arms race. This last criticism was perhaps the most damning; it is what allegedly made missile defense not just a fantasy, but a dangerous fantasy.

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Everyone agreed that we could not effectively defend America against the threat of missile attack while continuing to adhere to the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty of 1972. And, it was said, the ABM Treaty was all that stood between us and a new arms race, because that Treaty was the cornerstone of strategic stability. Without that cornerstone, the structure of arms control would collapse. Thus, the opponents of missile defense were able to argue that having missile defense interceptors a weapon that can only defend people and not attack them would not protect us, but rather would make us less secure.

And so the battle lines were drawn. Either you were for missile defense or you were for arms control and strategic stability, but you could not be for both, the critics claimed.

Of course, the intellectual underpinnings of this critique collapsed when the United States announced its withdrawal from the ABM Treaty in December of 2001. Far from triggering a new arms race, that announcement ushered in a new round of U.S.-Russian strategic arms control. Just five months later, in May of 2002, Presidents Bush and Putin signed the Moscow Treaty, which provided for a two-thirds reduction in the number of strategic nuclear warheads on each side. This was the deepest reduction ever mandated by a strategic arms control treaty. Equally telling, it was the first treaty reducing nuclear weapons to be signed by the United States and Russia in nine and a half years.

This is not to say that there were no efforts to negotiate a new treaty reducing nuclear weapons during the Clinton Administration, because clearly there were. But those efforts always foundered on the problem of how to preserve the ABM Treaty despite the fact that it was becoming increasingly obsolete. Indeed, that problem not only stopped the Clinton Administration from concluding a new treaty reducing nuclear weapons, but also prevented it from bringing into force the last such treaty negotiated by the United States, the START II Treaty of 1993 which had been signed during the final days of the Administration of President George H.W. Bush. So it can be said that by 2001, the ABM Treaty was not the cornerstone of strategic arms control, but rather a principal obstacle to progress in arms control.

In view of these developments, missile defense is no longer ridiculed the way it used to be. We still encounter plenty of strong opposition, but both the breadth and depth of that opposition is diminishing as people come to understand current strategic realities and the details of our policy. Increasingly, the need for missile defense is being recognized as self-evident, just as Schopenhauer might have predicted.

This is true not only within the United States, but overseas as well. Indeed, when it comes to foreign governments, which are the focus of my remarks today, I would say that, with very few exceptions, they fully accept the need to move forward with missile defense in the current security environment. Foreign publics are often a different matter, however. Not surprisingly, many people in foreign countries pay less attention to these matters than do the officials of their governments, just as is the case in our country. As a result, foreign publics often continue to accept the now disproven contention that we can have either missile defense on the one hand or arms control and strategic stability on the other, but not both. Still thinking that they need to choose between these two options, they instinctively express a preference for arms control and strategic stability.

This is a false dilemma, for reasons that I have already explained, and most foreign governments today understand that no such choice needs to be made. There can be little doubt that the understanding of foreign publics eventually will catch up with the understanding of foreign governments. Until it does, however, many of our potential partners overseas will be in a bit of a bind. They want to cooperate with us on missile defense because they know it is the right thing to do and because they recognize that it will enhance their security. At the same time, they need to proceed cautiously because public opinion has not yet fully absorbed current strategic realities, and like all democratic governments, they wish to minimize criticism, even ill founded criticism.

There can be little doubt about how this will play out over time. As the economists say, what really matters is the fundamentals, and the fundamentals all come down in favor of missile defense. First, there is the fact that arms control and strategic stability will not be weakened by missile defense. Second, the technology is now available, it is proving itself, notwithstanding the predictable setbacks from time to time, and the technology will only get better over time. Finally, there is the fact that the threat to all of us is growing.

Today, roughly two dozen countries, including some of the world's least responsible regimes, possess ballistic missiles, and many are attempting to obtain missiles of longer range. Many of these regimes also have nuclear, biological, or chemical weapons programs.

One of the key reasons potential adversaries seek ballistic missiles is because we have had no defense against long-range missiles, and only a limited defense against shorter-range missiles. Absent defenses, even older, unsophisticated ballistic missiles are capable of delivering devastating WMD attacks against population centers. Potential adversaries see these weapons as a means for exploiting an obvious vulnerability of ourselves and our friends and allies.

For example, North Korea continues to develop and deploy ballistic missiles of all ranges while also working to expand its nuclear capability. North Korea is nearly self-sufficient in developing and producing ballistic missiles, and it has been eager to sell complete missile systems or components to other countries. This in turn has enabled other countries to acquire longer-range capabilities earlier than would otherwise have been possible, while often establishing the basis for indigenous development and production efforts.

No Dong missile sales by North Korea have transformed the missile capabilities of some countries in just a few years. We also must worry about the direct threat from North Korean missiles. The vulnerability of our ally, Japan, to North Korean missiles was highlighted in August 1998 by the launch of the Taepo Dong 1 in a space launch vehicle, or SLV, configuration that flew over Japan to impact in the Pacific Ocean. North Korea continues to develop the more advanced Taepo Dong 2 ICBM/SLV, potentially capable of reaching the United States. This missile could be flight-tested at any time. If North Korea were to use a third stage on a Taepo Dong 2, as it did in the 1998 Taepo Dong 1 test, such a three stage missile could deliver a several hundred kilogram payload up to 15,000 kilometers. The missile also has sufficient range to target all of Europe.

Iran and Syria can currently reach the territory of U.S. friends and allies with their ballistic missiles. Iran's declared intent to develop the complete nuclear fuel cycle, combined with its history of concealing potentially weapons-related activities in violation of its nuclear safeguards agreement with the IAEA, leaves little doubt that Iran is seeking a nuclear weapons capability. Iran and other countries also are working on space launch vehicles, and SLVs contain most of the key building blocks for an ICBM. These systems could be ready for flight-testing in the middle to latter-part of the decade. Ballistic missiles from Iran can already reach some parts of Europe, and, of course, Iranian and Syrian ballistic missiles threaten our coalition forces deployed in the Middle East.

For these reasons, there is a growing risk that hostile states could deliver WMD by ballistic missiles to all parts of Europe within a decade. Further, if North Korea chooses to sell its longer-range ballistic missiles to customers in the Middle East -- as it has done with its shorter-range systems -- the risk to our friends and allies could grow exponentially. And it is important to recognize that the limited accuracy and targeting capabilities of emerging ballistic missile threats suggests that hostile states possessing such missiles likely would target the population and territory of our friends and allies rather than their military forces and facilities.

President George W. Bush recognized during his first presidential campaign that many of our friends and allies are no less threatened by missiles than are we. He further recognized that the integrity of the NATO Alliance could be diminished if the United States were protected against missile attack but our allies in Europe were not. Accordingly, he resolved to seek to ensure that our allies would also have protection against missile attack.

In NSPD-23, President Bush translated this commitment into U.S. Government policy. Promulgated on December 16, 2002, NSPD-23 states:

Because the threats of the 21st century also endanger our friends and allies around the world, it is essential that we work together to defend against them. The Defense Department will develop and deploy missile defenses capable of protecting not only the United States and our deployed forces, but also our friends and allies.

NSPD-23 further directs the Department of Defense to:

. . . structure the missile defense program in a manner that encourages industrial participation by friends and allies, consistent with overall U.S. national security . . . and also promote international missile defense cooperation, including within bilateral and alliance structures such as NATO.

The Bush Administration has been enthusiastically carrying out this policy over the past several years.

The United States is working jointly with interested friends and allies to analyze each country's unique threat environment and its missile defense requirements for the future. The Department of State has played and continues to play an important diplomatic role in this effort, explaining to allies and friends how missile defense can enhance regional security and stability while encouraging their cooperation and participation.

Participation in the U.S. missile defense program and the level of protection afforded to allies and friends by our missile defense systems will be determined as our systems evolve and as appropriate political, technical, and financial arrangements are agreed. Close collaboration and participation in the U.S. missile defense program by foreign governments can not only provide them with insights into the direction and details of our program, but may also influence the program. Foreign government contributions might involve financial investments or "in-kind" contributions such as indigenous technologies, technical expertise, provision of targets, or affording the use of facilities or territory.

Additionally, depending upon the particulars, foreign government participation might also include foreign military sales or direct commercial sales of U.S. systems and co-development, co-production or licensed production of missile defense systems. Naturally, a foreign government's degree of insight and influence will be proportional to its contribution to the U.S. missile defense program.

The governments with which we are either carrying out or discussing missile defense cooperation include Japan, the United Kingdom, Denmark, Australia, Canada, Israel, The Netherlands, Germany, Italy, Russia, Turkey, Spain, Poland, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Ukraine, Taiwan, and India. With your indulgence, I will describe the particulars of our cooperation with some of these governments.


As I have already noted, Japan's vulnerability to North Korean missile attack was demonstrated dramatically in 1998 when North Korea launched a Taepo Dong missile, configured as a space launch vehicle over Japan. Not coincidentally, since 1999, Japan and the United States have worked side-by-side on missile defense. The United States and Japan expect to sign in the near future a Framework Memorandum of Understanding, or a Framework MoU, for short, that will further facilitate the extensive industrial cooperation already underway.

Since 1999, Japan has spent about $131 million in cooperative research with the United States on upgrades to the Standard Missile 3 (SM-3). The bulk of this work has focused on several key SM-3 components, including the nosecone, second-stage propulsion system, infrared sensor, and a divert and attitude control system for the advanced kinetic warhead.

Japan currently has 24 operational PAC-2 missile fire units (120 launchers) and four Aegis/SM-2 equipped destroyers. Japan's four AWACS aircraft and its existing ground based air defense command and control system provide other elements for building a missile defense architecture. On December 19, 2003, the Japanese government announced its plans to acquire and deploy the PAC-3 and Aegis/SM-3 and to achieve Initial Operational Capability for both systems by 2007 and Full Operational Capability by 2011. Japan's FY2004 defense budget of $42 billion includes $1 billion for missile defense. Of this total, $543 million will be allocated for a phased upgrade of all firing units in Japan with a mix of PAC-3 and the remainder PAC-2 GEM+. Another $320 million has been earmarked for upgrading one AEGIS destroyer and acquiring SM-3 missiles to equip it. Japan is also developing a new radar designed primarily for missile defense search and tracking. Continuing U.S.-Japan joint research will also be funded. In August, the Japanese Defense Agency requested $1.3 billion for missile defense for FY2005.

United Kingdom

British Defense Minister Hoon and Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld signed a Ballistic Missile Defense Cooperation Framework MoU, on June 12, 2003. This agreement establishes the basis for U.S.-U.K. industrial collaboration in the field of missile defense. An Annex to the Framework MoU regarding the Fylingdales early warning radar was signed on December 18, 2003, authorizing us to upgrade that radar for use in missile defense. These upgrades will allow the radar to generate the information necessary to direct a midcourse missile defense interceptor to the general area of the intercept. This event marked the first time a U.S. ally permitted deployment of a missile defense system component on its territory to assist us in defending U.S. territory.

Another Annex on Missile Defense Research, Development, Testing and Evaluation (RDT&E) cooperation was signed on October 12, 2004. To assist in both government-to-government, and industry-to-industry RDT&E cooperation in missile defense, the U.K. established its Missile Defence Centre in July 2003. The Centre attempts to bring U.K. government and industry expertise together by providing a centralized clearinghouse for the ultimate purpose of establishing closer technical and industrial cooperation.


In May 2004, the United States received the Danish government's agreement to permit upgrades to the U.S. early warning radar at Thule Air Base, Greenland. This upgrade will enhance our capability to detect and defend against ballistic missile attacks launched from the Middle East. We aim to complete the early warning radar upgrades at Thule in 2007. Negotiations for a bilateral Framework MoU to facilitate missile defense cooperation began in November 2004.


On December 4, 2003, the Government of Australia announced its decision to participate in the U.S. missile defense program. Australian Minister of Defence Robert Hill said: "The Government is concerned that Australia might one day be threatened by long range missiles with mass destruction effect and believes that investment in defensive measures is important." According to Minister Hill's media release, Australia is "working with the U.S. to determine the most appropriate forms of Australian participation that will not only be in our strategic defence interests but also provide maximum opportunities for Australian industry." The United States and Australia signed a Framework MoU on missile defense cooperation on July 7th of this year, which will facilitate bilateral government-to-government and industry-to-industry cooperation. The United States and Australia are currently working to identify projects for future cooperation; potential areas include launch surveillance, detection, and tracking.


On December 1, President Bush delivered a speech in Halifax, Nova Scotia, in which he expressed his hope that Canada will agree to bilateral missile defense cooperation in order to "protect the next generation of Canadians and Americans from the threats we know will arise." We exchanged diplomatic notes with Canada on August 5, 2004, to amend the NORAD Agreement in order to permit NORAD to provide Integrated Tactical Warning/Attack Assessment in support of USNORTHCOM's execution of the missile defense mission. This agreement does not commit Canada to participate in our missile defense system. The fundamental principles guiding the direction of U.S.-Canada missile defense cooperation were spelled out in an exchange of letters between the Secretary of Defense and the Minister of National Defence on January 15, 2004, which was publicly released.


In order to assist Israel in responding to the threats emanating from other Middle Eastern countries, the United States has been helping Israel develop and field missile defense capabilities. Apart from providing Patriot batteries to Israel, we have since 1988 cooperated on, and jointly funded, the development of Israel's Arrow missile defense system. The first Arrow battery was fielded near Tel Aviv and became fully operational in October 2002.

Today, we are continuing to assist Israel in the Arrow System Improvement Program. Elements of this program include performance upgrades to the operational system in order to give the system greater capability against longer-range threats of greater sophistication, testing the Arrow system at a U.S. test range, assisting Israel in the procurement of a third Arrow battery, and co-producing the interceptor. As part of the cooperative joint testing project, this past summer Israel conducted two flight tests of the Arrow from Point Magu, California. Unlike the Israeli test range, with its range safety restrictions, Point Magu permits testing against a real-world SCUD.


On January 12th of this year, President Bush and then-Prime Minister Vajpayee announced the "Next Steps in Strategic Partnership" ("NSSP") initiative. This initiative includes a strategic stability dialogue with India, including an expanding discussion of missile defense. The United States and India have also conducted joint missile defense workshops.

North Atlantic Treaty Organization

NATO has been working on missile defense for a number of years. Prior to the Prague Summit in November 2002, NATO Allies agreed on the need for theater missile defenses to protect deployed Alliance forces against shorter-range missile threats. Active Layered Ballistic Missile Defense feasibility studies for deploying missile defenses capable of protecting Allied military forces were initiated in June 2001 and completed in January 2003. Drawing on the results of these studies, NATO developed a basic acquisition strategy for missile defense of deployed Alliance forces. The Alliance is now in the process of implementing that strategy, and contracts for missile defense equipment and infrastructure will begin to be awarded starting in 2006.

At the Prague Summit, NATO agreed to examine options for addressing the increasing ballistic missile threat to not only Alliance forces, but also Alliance territory and population centers. Consequently, two studies were undertaken -- one to assess the longer-term threat to NATO territory from ballistic missiles and another to examine ways to protect Alliance populations and territory from the ballistic missile threat. The first study on the longer-term threat to NATO was presented to Foreign Ministers at the December 8, 2004 meeting of the North Atlantic Council. The second report on the feasibility of protecting Alliance territory and population centers is due in July 2005.

At the Istanbul Summit in June 2004, Heads of State and Government endorsed the Alliance's work on ballistic missile defense. In addition, they agreed that a tri-national Extended Air Defense Task Force would be used as a military resource to begin integrating missile defense capabilities into the Alliance. Heads of State and Government also directed that work on ballistic missile defense be moved forward expeditiously.

Netherlands and Germany

The Netherlands, Germany, and the United States are examining Extended Air Defense/Theater Missile Defense integration and interoperability through the Dutch-hosted Project Optic Windmill Joint Exercise and the U.S.-hosted Roving Sands Exercise.

MEADS: U.S., Germany, and Italy

The governments of Germany, Italy, and the United States have been pursuing a multilateral research and development program to field a new mobile air and missile defense system capable of providing protection for forces on the move called the Medium Extended Air Defense System (MEADS). MEADS is expected to replace the U.S. Army's Patriot system in the next decade and has the potential to become the core short-range missile defense capability for the Alliance.

Italy recently signed a memorandum of understanding with the U.S. in September 2004. Both Germany and Italy support MEADS and have programmed funding for the next phase of activities. Germany, in spite of national fiscal constraints, is projected to spend about $1.4 billion to field 12-24 MEADS units.

Third Site Exploratory Talks

Consistent with the President's policy direction, we have been examining options for enhancing both the defenses of the United States and of our allies and friends by deploying additional long-range ground-based interceptors, additional sensors, and possibly establishing additional sites for ground-based interceptor launchers and forward-based radars. One option would involve deploying a U.S. missile defense interceptor site in Europe. Such a site in Europe has the advantage that it could both defend much of Europe and supplement our capability to defend the United States. U.S. system components deployed in Europe and in states adjacent to Middle East threats would fulfill the President's objective of making sure that both we and our friends and allies in Europe have some protection against intermediate-range threats from the Middle East as well as long-range threats from North Korea.

I would emphasize that despite our on-going consultations with a number of countries, including Poland, our talks are still exploratory. No decision has been made regarding the deployment of a third ground-based missile defense launcher site, much less whether it will be located in the United States or in Europe. U.S. officials have conducted exploratory and preliminary consultations with a number of countries in Europe who have expressed interest in potentially hosting such a site, and it is our hope that these discussions will continue.

The limited numbers of interceptors to be deployed in the United States and potentially at a third site in Europe demonstrates that our missile defense system is limited in nature and is directed against attacks by rogue states. It is not directed against the Russian Federation, and even with the addition of a third site in Europe it would not undermine Russia's deterrent. I and other officials of the U.S. Government have been keeping the Russian Government informed about our talks to potentially establish a third interceptor site in Europe, and we will continue to do so.


Under the May 24, 2002, Presidential Joint Declaration signed at the Moscow Summit, the United States and Russia "agreed to implement a number of steps aimed at strengthening confidence and increasing transparency in the area of missile defense," including information exchanges, visits, exhibitions, and observation of flight-tests. The Missile Defense Working Group -- also referred to as Working Group #2 -- is the key U.S.-Russian forum for discussing bilateral missile defense cooperation, as well as for implementing measures to increase transparency and strengthen confidence in the missile defense field. Working Group #2 was established under the auspices of the Consultative Group for Strategic Security on September 20, 2002. The United States has provided comprehensive briefings and programmatic status updates at every meeting. Additionally, the U.S. has offered on a voluntary and reciprocal basis to host visits to U.S. missile defense sites, including visits to observe missile defense-related flight-tests, and to exhibit missile defense systems.

We want missile defense cooperation to be an important part of the new relationship the United States and Russia are building for the 21st century. The 2002 Joint Declaration committed both sides to explore "potential programs for the joint research and development of missile defense technologies." Despite the June 1, 2003, St. Petersburg Joint Statement endorsing greater bilateral cooperation in the field of missile defense, progress has been extremely slow. Nevertheless, U.S. and Russian experts are currently negotiating a Defense Technical Cooperation Agreement (an agreement somewhat similar to the Framework MoUs either completed or under negotiation with our friends and allies), which would facilitate both government-to-government, as well as, industry-to-industry cooperation in the missile defense field. At the September 2003 Camp David Summit, Presidents Bush and Putin agreed that missile defense cooperation should be an important part of our bilateral cooperation and put it on their Action Checklist. That was re-affirmed at their meeting on June 8th of this year at Sea Island, Georgia, on the margins of the G-8 Summit.


NATO has also been pursuing missile defense cooperation with Russia. At the Rome Summit of 2002, NATO and Russia committed to explore cooperation in theater missile defense, or TMD. This work is done under the Ad Hoc Working Group on Theater Missile Defense of the NATO-Russia Council. This working group has developed several preliminary products, including common terminology,and the development of TMD experimental concepts.

The focus of this work is to develop and implement a concept of operations that would allow effective use of both NATO and Russian missile defense systems in any future crisis where both were working together outside of NATO territory in other words, in a non-Article V operation. A NATO-Russia Command Post Exercise was held in March 2004 at the Joint National Integration Center in Colorado Springs to test elements of the experimental concept of operations; another is planned for 2005.

Industry-to-Industry Cooperation

So far I have only discussed part of the equation. Before I leave you with the impression that only government-to-government cooperation is possible in the field of missile defense, let me quickly list just a few examples of how American industry is cooperating independently with industry in Europe, Asia, and Australia on a broad range of missile defense R&D projects.

Lockheed Martin, for instance, and BAE Systems in the United Kingdom have signed an MoU to explore partnership opportunities on missile defense programs around the world. This agreement envisions joint investments in key technologies that can significantly enhance the effectiveness of sea-based systems, systems integration, command and control, early warning and sensor networking, interceptors, use of targets, and dealing with countermeasures. This international team is working to expand transatlantic missile defense cooperation for the benefit of both the United States and NATO Allies by leveraging the best technologies and engineering skills each company and each nation has to offer.

Lockheed Martin has also signed an MoU with Poland's leading defense electronics company, PIT. This agreement paves the way for the two companies to explore opportunities for missile defense cooperation and gives PIT access to new markets and technology that will further industrial cooperation between the United States and Poland.

Boeing has signed an MoU with European weapons manufacturer MBDA to evaluate and develop short-term and long-term business relationships that will examine architectures for defending against global and regional ballistic missile threats.

Boeing has also announced a missile defense partnership with CEA Technologies of Australia to pursue joint research and development of missile defense technologies.

We hope that U.S. and Russian enterprises will develop similar industrial relationships as soon as possible - even prior to the signing of a bilateral Defense Technical Cooperation Agreement between the United States and the Russian Federation.


The National Security Strategy of the United States clearly states that we are "guided by the conviction that no nation can build a safer, better world alone." This philosophy guides our approach to the full array of national security challenges before us, including the challenge of deploying effective missile defenses.

I hope the examples I have given make clear that our interest in cooperating with friends and allies is being reciprocated. The number of countries with which we are cooperating on missile defense is continuing to grow, as is the intensity of that cooperation, and this promises to greatly enhance the security of us all.


Released on December 17, 2004

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