Archive for the ‘global missile defense’ Category

Missile Defense Going Global

December 21, 2007

By James T. Hackett
The Washington Times

December 21, 2007

The Dec. 17 interception of a ballistic missile by a Japanese Aegis destroyer off the Hawaiian Island of Kauai is a milestone in the U.S.-Japan missile defense collaboration. The Bush administration’s goal of global missile defenses is becoming reality, but to effectively protect the Eastern United States defenses in Europe are needed.

For years, representatives of Japan and a number of other countries attended missile defense conferences. They regularly announced plans to study the need for missile defenses. Each year they said the same, but there was little sense of urgency and no sign of progress, except in Israel and the United States.

The United States developed the Patriot PAC-2 to stop short-range missiles just in time to defend U.S. troops and Israel in the first Gulf war. Then Israel, surrounded by enemies, developed and deployed its Arrow missile interceptor in record time.

Land-based Patriots were sent to defend U.S. forces and allies around the world, but the ABM treaty prevented the U.S. from developing either a national missile defense or ship-based defenses. The problem became critical in 1998 when North Korea launched a Taepodong missile over northern Japan. It was a blatant threat to Japan and its three stages meant it also had the potential to reach the United States. Tokyo began deploying defenses.

Japan placed 27 Patriot PAC-2 batteries around the country, put in orbit its own spy satellites, bought Aegis radar systems for six new destroyers, joined the U.S. in developing a longer-range ship-based missile interceptor, and allowed the U.S. to put an X-band radar in northern Japan. Last March, Japan began deploying more capable Patriot PAC-3s at 16 locations to protect major cities, military installations and other potential targets.

Japan also is modifying its four operational Aegis destroyers to carry SM-3 missile interceptors. The destroyer Kongo, which made the successful intercept on Monday, is the first non-U.S. ship to shoot down a ballistic missile. The U.S. Navy already has shot down 11 in 13 attempts with ship-based interceptors.

By the end of 2008 the United States will have 18 Aegis warships equipped for ballistic missile defense. Japan eventually will have six, and Australia, South Korea, Taiwan and others also likely will put missile defenses on their ships. Ship-based defenses can be coordinated with land-based defenses, including the various models of Patriots in Japan, South Korea and Taiwan, and the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense when it is ready in a few years.

Ship-based SM-3s can intercept missiles outside the atmosphere. Any that get through can be stopped inside the atmosphere by the land-based interceptors. Such defenses can both protect against North Korean missiles and reduce intimidation by China, which has nearly 1,000 missiles opposite Taiwan.

For decades the Soviet missile defenses around Moscow were the only defenses against long-range missiles anywhere. The Russians are now modernizing those defenses against the kind of missiles being developed by Iran. Even though Russia claims Iran is no threat, in August Col. Gen. Alexander Zelin, commander of the Russian air force, announced activation of the first S-400 interceptors as part of Moscow’s missile defense.

Russian reports claim the S-400 can reach out 250 miles and stop missiles with ranges greater than 2,000 miles. This covers both Iran’s Shahab-3 and the new solid-fuel Ashura, the development of which Tehran announced three weeks ago, claiming a range of 1,250 miles.

With the constraints of the ABM treaty removed by President Bush, the United States is putting missile defenses in Alaska and California, at U.S. bases abroad, and on ships at sea. Other countries also are developing and buying missile defenses. India, surrounded by nuclear missile-armed Russia, China and Pakistan, plans to deploy its own two-tier missile defense in a few years. On Dec. 6, India conducted a successful intercept within the atmosphere, while a year ago it killed a ballistic missile outside the atmosphere.

Proliferating missile defenses diminish the value of the nuclear-armed ballistic missile. In the Middle East, Israel is expanding its missile defenses, while Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait and Turkey have bought or are seeking to buy such defenses. In Europe, Britain and Denmark are hosting early warning radars.

The Polish and Czech governments are resisting Russian pressure and are expected to sign basing agreements early next year. Meanwhile, the threat continues to grow as Iran develops new longer-range missiles. Ship-based defenses in the Persian Gulf and Mediterranean can help, but to effectively protect the U.S. East Coast and Europe, bases in Europe are needed.

Sea-based defenses now are advancing quickly. It is time to move forward with land-based defenses in Europe.

James T. Hackett is a contributing writer to The Washington Times based in Carlsbad, Calif.

Peace and Freedom wishes to thank Mr. Hackett who provided this and many other great articles to our readers.

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Missile Defense Update

September 6, 2007
Dear Members and Friends,

Gathered at “The City of Consultations” in Maastricht, Netherlands, where modern Europe and the European Union were formed, a diverse group of countries came together to consult on bringing forward missile defense globally. Maastricht, being in the center of the Benelux countries that sit between France and Germany, has had a steep history of bringing together European countries and uniting them on initiatives for the future. These past few days have been no different.

Sixteen countries participated in discussions led by the Secretary General of NATO, Jaap de Hoop Scheffer, focusing on Global Missile Defense. Integration of missile defense systems housed by different nations brings a global solution that can be shared both in protection and cost that benefits all from the growing worldwide proliferation of ballistic missiles. Woven throughout these discussions are the missile defense initiatives with the Czech Republic and Poland. These have become integral in protecting territory and population centers throughout Europe and expanding the protection of NATO. Past consensuses from NATO on missile defense have focused on forward troop and regional area protection rather than that of population and country protection.

This international conference and consultation of Missile Defense has fundamentally shifted from nationalist views of missile defense to that of protection of a global community. It is of distinction and great merit that the Secretary de Hoop Scheffer leads and adheres to Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty here in Maastricht, Netherlands:

The Parties agree that an armed attack against one or more of them in Europe or North America shall be considered an attack against them all and consequently they agree that, if such an armed attack occurs, each of them, in exercise of the right of individual or collective self-defence recognised by Article 51 of the Charter of the United Nations, will assist the Party or Parties so attacked by taking forthwith, individually and in concert with the other Parties, such action as it deems necessary, including the use of armed force, to restore and maintain the security of the North Atlantic area.

MDAA was honored to be in Maastricht to witness this historical change that will make our global community a safer place.

Respectfully,

Riki Ellison
President and Founder
Missile Defense Advocacy Alliance

Maastricht, Netherlands

Russian Defense Source Warns of Threat to States Hosting Missile Shield

July 20, 2007

Moscow (RIA Novosti) – A source in Russia’s Defense Ministry warned Thursday that countries that host missile defense systems are not improving their own security, but are putting themselves and their neighbors at risk.

The source told RIA Novosti that the expansion of the United States missile defense system would cause serious environmental problems in several parts of the world, as the interception of an intercontinental ballistic missile creates a vast zone of destruction.

His comments echo warnings earlier in the week from Yury Baluyevsky, chief of staff of the Russian Armed Forces, who urged Poland, which along with the Czech Republic has agreed to host elements of the Pentagon’s missile shield on its territory, to consider the dangers the country is exposing itself to.

The ministry source said: “Should a U.S. anti-missile intercept a ballistic or other type of missile in Europe, substantial tracts of land would be affected in Russia, Ukraine, Poland, the Czech Republic, Germany, and a number of other states. Radioactive elements will be dispersed across these countries’ territories,” he said.

Russia does not regard components of the U.S. missile defense system in isolation from each other, he said.

“Europe, Alaska, naval components, and space-based tracking, control and communication systems – all of these are elements of the U.S. missile defense system,” he said.

He said that as far as Russia is concerned, it does not matter exactly how many interceptor missiles are deployed in a particular area. “What is of primary importance is the sheer fact that a global missile defense infrastructure is being created around Russia,” he said.