Thank you for that kind introduction, and thanks for having me here today.
By way of introduction, while I am the Assistant Secretary for Arms Control, Verification and Compliance, my work at the State Department is focused on enhancing strategic stability around the world. Arms control, verification and compliance are some of the tools we use to enhance strategic stability and reassure our allies and partners that we will meet our security commitments.
Missile defense is another tool to do just that. At the State Department, I am responsible for overseeing a wide range of defense issues, including missile defense cooperation with our allies and partners around the world. In this capacity, I served as the lead U.S. negotiator for the missile defense bases in Romania, Turkey, and Poland.
So I’m pleased to be here today to discuss our efforts at enhancing missile defense cooperation with our allies and partners, one of the key goals outlined in the 2010 Ballistic Missile Defense Review. Now you have already heard from Elaine Bunn and General Todorov about our missile defense policy and operations. So instead, let me focus my remarks on three areas: 1) significant progress we have been made implementing the European Phased Adaptive Approach (or EPAA) and NATO missile defense; 2) cooperation on missile defense with allies and partners outside of Europe, and 3) I’ll conclude with a few points on Russia and missile defense.
Before I do that, I do want to reiterate one point that you undoubtedly heard from Elaine and Ken: the President’s Fiscal Year 2016 budget protects and enhances our important missile defense priorities such as the European Phased Adaptive Approach and reflects the high priority we place on these efforts. As such, the U.S. commitment to NATO missile defense and the sites in Romania and Poland remains “ironclad.”
European Phased Adaptive Approach
With that, let me now take a few moments to discuss where we are with regard to overall implementation of the EPAA, the United States’ national contribution to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization’s (or NATO) missile defense system. In 2009, the President announced that the EPAA would “provide stronger, smarter, and swifter defenses of American forces and America’s Allies,” while relying on “capabilities that are proven and cost-effective.” Since then, we have been working hard to implement his vision and have made great strides in recent years.
I just returned from Turkey and Romania last week and had the opportunity to discuss our progress with these two key partners.
Turkey was the first country to receive EPPA elements in Phase 1 with the deployment of an AN/TPY-2 radar to that country in 2011. At the same time, we began the start of a sustained deployment of an Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) -capable multi-role ship to the Mediterranean. With the declaration of Interim BMD Capability at the NATO Summit in Chicago in May 2012, the radar in Turkey transitioned to NATO operational control.
Additionally, Spain agreed in 2011 to host four U.S. Aegis BMD-capable ships at the existing naval facility at Rota as a Spanish contribution to NATO missile defense.
In February 2014, the first of four missile defense-capable Aegis ships, USS DONALD COOK, arrived in Rota, Spain. A second ship, USS ROSS joined her in June. During 2015, two more of these multi-mission ships, USS PORTER and USS CARNEY will forward deploy in Rota.
These multi-mission ships will conduct maritime security operations, humanitarian missions, training exercises, and support U.S. and NATO operations, including NATO missile defense.
Currently, we are focused on completing the deployment of an Aegis Ashore site in Romania as part of Phase 2 of the EPAA. Romania’s strong support for the timely completion of the arrangements needed to implement this deployment and Romania’s provision of security and its infrastructure efforts have been superb.
In October 2014, the U.S. Navy held a historic naval support facility establishment ceremony at the missile defense facility on Deveselu Airbase Base in Romania. This ceremony established the naval facility and installed its first U.S. commander. Currently, this site is on schedule to be completed by the end of this year and when operational, this site, combined with BMD-capable ships in the Mediterranean, will enhance coverage of NATO from short- and medium-range ballistic missiles launched from the Middle East.
And finally there is Phase 3. This phase includes an Aegis Ashore site in Poland equipped with the new SM-3 Block IIA interceptor. This site is on schedule for deployment in the 2018 time frame. For example, the President’s FY16 budget request includes approximately $200 million for the establishment of the site. The interceptor site in Poland is key to the EPAA: when combined with other EPAA assets, Phase 3 will provide the necessary capabilities to provide ballistic missile defense coverage of all NATO European territory in the 2018 time frame.
So, as you can see, we are continuing to implement the President’s vision for stronger, smarter, and swifter missile defenses in Europe.
National Contributions to NATO Missile Defense
I would also like to highlight the efforts of our NATO Allies to develop and deploy their own national contributions for missile defense. A great example is that today, Patriot batteries from three NATO countries are deployed in Turkey under NATO command and control to augment Turkey’s air defense capabilities in response to the crisis on Turkey’s south-eastern border.
Voluntary national contributions are foundation of the NATO missile defense system, and there are several approaches Allies can take to make important and valuable contributions in this area.
First, Allies can acquire fully capable BMD systems possessing sensor, shooter and command and control capabilities.
Second, Allies can acquire new sensors or upgrade existing ones to provide a key ballistic missile defense capability.
Finally, Allies can contribute to NATO’s ballistic missile defense capability by providing essential basing support, such as Turkey, Romania, Poland, and Spain have agreed to do.
In all of these approaches, however, the most critical requirement is NATO interoperability.
Yes, acquiring a ballistic missile defense capability is, of course, good in and of itself.
But if the capability is not interoperable with the Alliance then its value as a contribution to Alliance deterrence and defense is significantly diminished.
It is only through interoperability that the Alliance can gain the optimum effects from BMD cooperation that enhance NATO BMD through shared battle-space awareness and reduced interceptor wastage.
Missile Defense Developments in Other Regions
Let me turn now to some of the other regions of the world. The United States, in cooperation with our allies and partners, is continuing to bolster missile defenses in other key regions, such as the Middle East and the Asia-Pacific, in order to strengthen regional deterrence architectures.
In the Middle East, we are already cooperating with our key partners bilaterally and multilaterally through fora such as the recently established U.S.-Gulf Cooperation Council (or GCC) Strategic Cooperation Forum (or SCF).
At the September 26, 2013, SCF, Secretary Kerry and his Foreign Ministry counterparts reaffirmed their intent, first stated at the September 28, 2012, SCF, to “work toward enhanced U.S.-GCC coordination on Ballistic Missile Defense.”
Several of our partners in the region have expressed an interest in buying missile defense systems, and some have already done so. For example, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has contracted to buy two Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (or THAAD) batteries that, when operational, will enhance the UAE’s national security as well as regional stability.
The UAE also has taken delivery of its Patriot PAC-3 batteries, which provide a lower-tier, point defense of critical national assets. We look forward to advancing cooperation and interoperability with our GCC partners in the months and years ahead.
Additionally and separately, the United States maintains a strong defense relationship with Israel, and our cooperation on missile defense has resulted in comprehensive missile defense architecture for Israel. Israeli programs such as Iron Dome, the David’s Sling Weapon System, and the Arrow Weapon System, in conjunction with operational cooperation with the United States, create a multilayered architecture designed to protect the Israeli people from varying types of missile threats.
In the Asia-Pacific, we are continuing to cooperate through our bilateral alliances and key partnerships.
For example, the United States and Japan already are working closely together to develop the SM-3 Block IIA, which will make a key contribution to the EPAA as well as being deployed elsewhere in the world. We also recently completed the deployment of a second AN/TPY-2 radar to Japan, which will enhance the defense of both the U.S. and Japan. And finally, we are continuing to work on enhancing interoperability between U.S. and Japanese forces, which will be aided by recent changes to the U.S.-Japan Defense Cooperation Guidelines, which we expect to complete soon.
We also continue to consult closely with Australia. For example, as a result of U.S.-Australia Foreign and Defense ministerial-level consultations over the past year, the United States and Australia have established a bilateral BMD Working Group to examine options for potential Australian contributions to the BMD architecture in the Asia-Pacific region.
Additionally, we are also consulting closely with the Republic of Korea as it develops the Korean Air and Missile Defense system, which is designed to defend the Republic of Korea against air and missile threats from North Korea. The Republic of Korea recently announced its plans to purchase Patriot PAC-3 missiles, which will enhance its capability to defend against the North Korean ballistic missile threat.
A Constraint Free Missile Defense
Finally, let me say a few things about missile defense and Russia.
Prior to the suspension of our dialogue as a result of Russia’s illegal actions in Ukraine, Russia continued to demand that the United States provide it “legally binding” guarantees that our missile defense will not harm or diminish its strategic nuclear deterrent. These guarantees would have been based on criteria that would have limited our missile defenses and undermined our ability to stay ahead of the ballistic missile threat.
The Ballistic Missile Defense Review is quite clear on our policy: U.S. missile defense is not designed nor directed against Russia and China’s strategic nuclear forces.
However, at the same time, we have also made it clear that we cannot and will not accept legally-binding or other constraints that limit our ability to defend ourselves, our allies, and our partners.
The security of the United States, its allies and partners is our foremost and solemn responsibility. As such, the United States will continue to insist on having the flexibility to respond to evolving ballistic missile threats, free from obligations or other constraints that limit our BMD capabilities.
Let me conclude by saying that we have made a great deal of progress on missile defense cooperation with allies and partners around the world over the past several years. This was a key goal of the 2010 Ballistic Missile Defense Review.
In Europe, implementation of the EPAA and NATO missile defense is going well. For example, the missile defense radar in Turkey has been operating since 2011, and the Aegis Ashore site in Romania is scheduled to become operational later this year.
In the Middle East, we are continuing to work bilaterally and multilaterally with our partners in the GCC to deploy effective missile defense. For example, later this year the United Arab Emirates will take delivery of its first THAAD battery.
Furthermore, we continue to work with Israel to expand its multilayered architecture to protect it from missile threats.
In the Asia-Pacific, we are working actively with our allies to enhance our missile defense capabilities in the region. On that note, we recently completed deployment of second missile defense radar in Japan, which will enhance the defense of both the U.S. and Japan.
Finally, we continue to oppose Russia’s attempts to impose limitations on our missile defenses that would limit our ability to defend ourselves, our allies, and our partners.
Suffice to say, defense of our allies and partners through assistance on missile defense cooperation is and will remain a key priority of the U.S. Government.
Thank you and I look forward to your questions.