[Top] [Bottom] [Previous] [Next] [Table of Contents]
NUCLEAR FORCES AND MISSILE DEFENSES
Nuclear forces and missile defense are critical elements of U.S. national security and will remain so into the future. Strategic forces continue to provide a credible and a highly valuable deterrent. The United States remains committed to appropriate and jointly agreed upon reductions in strategic nuclear forces, but will protect options to maintain its strategic capabilities at START I levels until the START II Treaty has entered into force. The Administration also believes it is necessary to protect the United States, its forces abroad, and its friends and allies from the effects of chemical and biological weapons and the missiles that can deliver them. The United States has a comprehensive strategy for countering such threats. The structure of the theater and National Missile Defense (NMD) programs meets present and projected future missile threats, provides the best technology to meet these threats, and is fiscally prudent.
STRATEGIC AND THEATER NUCLEAR FORCES
Nuclear forces are an essential element of U.S. security, serving as a hedge against an uncertain future and as a guarantee of U.S. commitments to allies. Accordingly, the United States must maintain survivable strategic nuclear forces of sufficient size and diversity¾as well as the deployment of theater nuclear weapons to NATO and the ability to deploy cruise missiles on submarines¾to deter or dissuade potentially hostile foreign leaders with access to nuclear weapons.
The United States continues to work toward further agreed, stabilizing reductions in strategic nuclear arms. Once the Treaty on Further Reduction and Limitation of Strategic Offensive Arms (START II) has entered into force, the Department is confident that it can maintain the required deterrent at the force levels envisioned in a future treaty (START III), as agreed to in the March 1997 Helsinki Summit and reinforced at Cologne, Germany, in June 1999.
The START I Treaty entered into force on December 5, 1994. The United States and Belarus, Kazakhstan, the Russian Federation, and Ukraine, the four successor states that continued to be bound by the rights and obligations of the former Soviet Union under START, are working to achieve the final phase of nuclear force reductions mandated by that treaty by December 2001. The Treaty on Further Reduction and Limitation of Strategic Offensive Arms (START II), approved by the U.S. Senate in January 1996, has not yet entered into force because the Russian Federation has yet to ratify the treaty. START II calls for reductions in aggregate force levels, conversion or elimination of multiple–warhead intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) launchers, elimination of heavy ICBMs, and a limit on deployed submarine–launched ballistic missile (SLBM) warheads. It will eliminate the most destabilizing strategic nuclear systems—multiple warhead ICBMs—and will reduce deployed strategic nuclear warheads by about two–thirds from Cold War levels. The original START II Treaty called for the parties to complete the final reduction phase no later than January 1, 2003.
At their March 1997 meeting in Helsinki, President Clinton and Russian President Yeltsin issued a joint statement establishing parameters for future reductions in nuclear forces beyond START II. In this statement, the Presidents agreed to an overall limit of 2,000–2,500 deployed strategic warheads for a future START III Treaty.
They also agreed to extend the deadline for elimination of strategic nuclear delivery vehicles under START II to December 31, 2007, but stipulated that systems to be eliminated under START II must be deactivated by December 31, 2003, subject to START II entering into force, by removing their nuclear warheads or other joint agreed steps. The Presidents further agreed that negotiations would begin on a START III Treaty immediately after Russian ratification of START II.
These agreements were formalized in a Joint Agreed Statement and a Protocol to the treaty in New York in September 1997, extending the time period for full implementation of START II until December 31, 2007. In addition, letters were signed and exchanged recording the Helsinki Summit commitment to deactivate, by December 31, 2003, the U.S. and Russian strategic nuclear delivery vehicles that under START II will be eliminated. START II entry into force will require approval by the Russian parliament and ratification by both parties of the Protocol to the START II Treaty and its associated Joint Agreed Statement.
At the G–8 summit held in Cologne, Germany, in June 1999, Presidents Clinton and Yeltsin again agreed that both governments would do everything in their power to facilitate the ratification of START II, and further agreed that discussions on START III and the Anti–Ballistic Missile (ABM) Treaty would begin in late summer 1999.
Reductions in U.S. Strategic Nuclear Arsenal Force Levels
Attributed Warheads on ICBMs
|2,450||2,000||Not over 2,000||500|
|568a||432b||Not over 432||336|
Attributed Warheads on SLBMs
|4,864a||3,456b||Not over 3,456||Not over 1,750|
Ballistic Missile Submarinesd
|31a||18b||Not over 18||14|
Attributed Warheads on Ballistic Missiles
|7,314a||5,456b||Not over 4,900||Not over 2,250|
a Excludes five decommissioned submarines (and their associated missiles and warheads) that were still START accountable.
b Excludes two Benjamin Franklin–class (Poseidon missile) (SSBNs) converted for Special Operations Forces that are still START accountable.
c Excludes 93 B–1s that are devoted entirely to conventional missions. B–1s are still accountable as a nuclear bomber under START I, but would not be accountable under START II.
d Specific systems numbers are not mandated by treaty. Force structure results from allocation of resources and mission requirements.
Since establishment of the Cooperative Threat Reduction (CTR) program in 1991, the United States has been assisting Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, and Kazakhstan in implementing nuclear force reductions required under the START I Treaty. In anticipation of further reductions mandated by the START II Treaty and in potential support of a negotiated START III Treaty, the United States is starting to discuss additional CTR projects with Russia.
Force Structure and Capabilities
Until START II enters into force, the United States is protecting options to maintain a strategic nuclear arsenal at essentially START I levels. Accordingly, the FY 2000 budget request included an additional $104 million to sustain the option of continuing START I levels of strategic nuclear forces. If START II is implemented as amended by the START II Protocol, accountable warheads will be reduced by the end of 2007 to a level of 3,000–3,500, of which no more than 1,750 may be carried on SLBMs. Strategic nuclear delivery vehicles that will be eliminated under START II will be deactivated by December 31, 2003, providing the benefits of a reduced force structure four years prior to the agreed 2007 date for full elimination.
LAND–BASED INTERCONTINENTAL BALLISTIC MISSILES
At the end of FY 2000, the United States will have 500 Minuteman III ICBMs and 50 Peacekeeper missiles. To meet the overall START I warhead limits, some of the Minuteman missiles have been downloaded to carry only one reentry vehicle (RV). Once START II enters into force, the United States will modify all Minuteman III missiles to carry only one warhead and will retire all Peacekeepers. In this transition, DoD will redeploy the Mark 21 RV, currently deployed on Peacekeeper, on a portion of the single RV Minuteman force. Mark 21 RVs contain features that further enhance nuclear detonation safety and reduce the risk of plutonium dispersal in the unlikely event of a fire or other mishap.
The United States is not currently developing or producing any new ICBMs. However, the Air Force has begun exploratory tasks to plan for a replacement to the Minuteman III around 2020. This makes it difficult to sustain the industrial base needed to maintain and modify strategic ballistic missiles. To maintain the Minuteman ICBM system and to preserve key industrial technologies needed to sustain ICBMs and SLBMs, the budget provides funding to replace guidance and propulsion systems, as well as to preserve a core of expertise in the areas of reentry vehicle and guidance system technology.
SEA–BASED BALLISTIC MISSILES
The SSBN fleet has reached its planned total of 18 Ohio–class submarines. The first eight Ohio–class submarines each carry 24 Trident I (C–4) missiles; the final 10 are each equipped with 24 Trident II (D–5) missiles. The SSBN fleet’s survivability and effectiveness are enhanced through the D–5 missile’s improved range, payload, and accuracy. The FY 2001 budget provides for continued procurement of D–5 missiles to support the conversion of four SSBNs from the C–4 to the D–5 missile system. Backfits during regularly scheduled ship depot maintenance periods will begin in late 2000. The United States will retain 14 SSBNs armed with D–5s, while the four oldest Ohio–class SSBNs will be eliminated or converted to serve in a non–nuclear role. D–5 missiles aboard the 14 boats, capable of carrying eight warheads apiece, will be downloaded consistent with START limits. The budget also supports Navy planning for a life extension to the D–5 SLBM in order to align missile life to the recently extended Trident submarine service life of 42 years.
The U.S. bomber force consists of 93 B–1s, 94 B–52s, and 21 B–2s. The Air Force plans to reduce the number of B–52s to 76 in FY 2001. Fourteen B–2s, all deployed at Whiteman Air Force Base, Missouri, are Block 30 configuration aircraft. The remaining seven B–2s are being upgraded to Block 30 configuration; six are to be delivered in FY 2000. The twenty–first aircraft is being used for flight testing upgrades and will complete Block 30 modification in FY 2002. B–2 and B–52 bombers can perform either nuclear or conventional missions. The B–1 force is dedicated to, and has been equipped exclusively for, conventional operations.
Selected elements of U.S. strategic forces maintain the highest state of readiness to perform their strategic deterrence mission. A credible and effective nuclear deterrent requires proper support for all of its components: attack platforms, other weapons systems, command and control elements, the nuclear weapons stockpile, research and development capabilities, the supporting industrial base, and well-trained, highly motivated people.
U.S. ICBMs and SLBMs on day–to–day alert are not targeted against any specific country. The missiles, however, can be assigned targets on short notice. The United States maintains two full crews for each SSBN, with about two–thirds of operational SSBNs routinely at sea. On average, about one to two U.S. SSBNs are undergoing long–term overhauls at any given time and are not available for immediate use. All 550 ICBMs, with the exception of a few undergoing routine maintenance, are maintained on a continuous day–to–day alert. The bomber force is no longer maintained on day–to–day alert status, although it can be returned to alert status within a few days if necessary.
The President declared that maintenance of a safe and reliable nuclear weapon stockpile is a supreme national interest of the United States. The Department of Energy’s Stockpile Stewardship Program (SSP) is the primary means of ensuring safety and reliability in the nuclear deterrent, absent nuclear testing. SSP develops new tools to supplant nuclear explosive testing as the means to provide confidence in the nuclear stockpile obtained in the past from nuclear explosive testing. There was high confidence in the current stockpile when the United States entered into a nuclear testing moratorium in 1992. Since that time, the SSP, principally its surveillance program, has uncovered problems associated with aging. Through SSP, an understanding of these problems and programs to address them has been developed through a combination of information from past underground tests and early benefits of SSP. The SSP still faces challenges; but as long as it continues to get needed resources, it will keep pace with the complex problems likely encountered in the future. Should annual certification reveal a problem that can only be resolved by nuclear explosive testing, the Secretary of Defense will inform the President and Congress of the need to resume nuclear testing.
Funding and Modernization
Funding for strategic nuclear forces—ICBMs, SLBMs, and nuclear bombers—has declined in recent years, as has the fraction of the total defense budget devoted to nuclear forces. A few modernization programs for strategic forces are currently underway: B–2 modifications, primarily for conventional missions; D–5 missile procurement; and Minuteman III life extension activities. With most nuclear modernization efforts complete, programs to sustain nuclear forces and their readiness now account for most of the strategic nuclear funding.
Theater Nuclear Forces
As reaffirmed by NATO in its April 1999 Strategic Concept, theater nuclear forces, in the form of dual–capable aircraft, in the United States and deployed to NATO are an essential link between strategic nuclear and conventional capabilities. They also contribute to the spectrum of retaliatory options to deter aggression. The United States will continue to maintain these weapons in NATO, but at levels significantly below Cold War levels. Nuclear weapons capability on surface ships has been eliminated, but the capability to deploy Tomahawk Land Attack Missiles armed with a nuclear warhead on submarines has been maintained.
Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty
On October 13, 1999, the U.S. Senate rejected the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT). Nevertheless, the President stated that the United States would not abandon it. Rather, he stated he fully intends that the United States will eventually ratify the treaty. Accordingly, the Administration will work with the Senate to ensure that the merits of the CTBT are well understood and to address Senators’ legitimate concerns.
The President also reaffirmed U.S. policy of maintaining a moratorium on nuclear explosions, a policy that has been in place since 1992. The other nuclear weapon states also have policies of not conducting any nuclear explosions, pending CTBT entry into force. The United States will continue to urge the nuclear weapon states to maintain the moratorium on nuclear testing that they have declared and all other states to show similar restraint.
The purpose of the CTBT is to ban all nuclear explosions and thus help constrain nuclear proliferation. The CTBT cannot prevent proliferation. However, the prohibition of all nuclear explosions will help make it more difficult for states possessing nuclear weapons to improve existing types or to develop advanced new types of nuclear weapons.
The CTBT would prohibit only nuclear explosions. It would not prohibit stockpile stewardship activities the United States needs to carry out to maintain its nuclear deterrent. Such activities include non–nuclear testing, subcritical experiments, preparations to resume full–scale nuclear testing, computer modeling and simulation of nuclear explosions, and any other stockpile maintenance activities not involving a nuclear explosion. Similarly, the treaty would not prohibit design, development, production, and remanufacture of nuclear weapons.
The proliferation of nuclear, biological, and chemical (NBC) weapons and the missiles that can deliver them pose a major threat to the security of the United States, its allies, and friendly nations. Over 20 countries possess or are developing NBC weapons, and more than 20 nations have theater ballistic missiles (TBMs) or cruise missiles to deliver them. Some of these countries are pursuing capabilities for much longer–range ballistic missiles. The U.S. missile defense program reflects the urgency of this immediate threat, both with its Theater Air and Missile Defense (TAMD) programs and its NMD program, to develop as quickly as possible a highly effective defense system against emerging rogue state strategic ballistic missiles. Finally, the Department is continuing development of technology to improve ballistic and cruise missile defense systems.
Role of Missile Defense in U.S. Defense Strategy
The U.S. defense strategy for the 21st century seeks to shape the international security environment in ways favorable to U.S. interests, respond to the full spectrum of threats, and prepare for an uncertain future. Missile defense is a key component of this strategy. Missile defenses may contribute to the reduction and prevention of missile proliferation and strengthen regional stability by undermining the utility of ballistic missiles to potential aggressors, both critical for shaping the international security environment. Theater missile defenses (TMD) are key to protection of deployed forces as they act in defense of U.S. national security interests. Additionally, the U.S. ability to provide missile defense protection to allies and friends, in conjunction with the extended deterrent from the U.S. nuclear umbrella, may contribute to reducing the desire of many states to acquire NBC weapons and ballistic missiles since this blunts the coercive effect of such systems.
At the same time, missile defenses are essential for responding to growing ballistic and cruise missile threats. The threat of missile use in regional conflicts has grown substantially. The potential combination of NBC weapons with theater–range missiles poses very serious challenges to U.S.–led coalition defense efforts in the event of a major theater war. Hostile states possessing theater missiles armed with NBC weapons may threaten or use these weapons in an attempt to deter or otherwise constrain U.S. power projection capability. Such threats could intimidate allies or friends and discourage them from seeking U.S. protection or participating in coalitions with the United States. Even small–scale theater missile threats, coupled with NBC weapons, dramatically raise the potential costs and risks of military operations. Effective theater missile defenses will ensure that the United States is prepared to confront regional instability or conflict successfully in such an environment.
National Missile Defense Program
The NMD program has anticipated for some time the possibility that a rogue state could acquire ICBMs that could threaten the United States. This possibility was underscored by the August 1998 North Korean attempt to launch a satellite on a Taepo Dong–1 (TD–1) missile. The launch demonstrated some important aspects of ICBM development, most notably multiple–stage separation. While the Intelligence Community expected a TD–1 launch for some time, it did not anticipate that the missile would have a third stage or that it would be used to attempt to place a satellite in orbit. A three–stage variant of the TD–1, if successfully developed and deployed, could pose a threat to portions of the United States as well as to the territory of U.S. allies and friends.
The Intelligence Community’s current view, however, is that North Korea is more likely to develop the Taepo Dong–2 (TD–2) missile as a weapon. The TD–2 is a derivative of TD–1 technology, employing a larger first stage and the No Dong theater ballistic missile as the second stage. A two–stage TD–2 will have the range to reach Alaska, while a three–stage variant could bring most of the lower 48 states within range of North Korean ballistic missiles. The Intelligence Community believes North Korea could test a TD–2 at any time, unless it is further delayed for political reasons. Other rogue nations, particularly Iran, could test an indigenously developed ICBM in the latter half of this decade, using foreign assistance. These nations may also pursue a TD–type ICBM, possibly with North Korean assistance or purchase such a North Korean system outright, in the next few years.
The NMD system being developed would defend the United States—all 50 states—against a small number of intercontinental ballistic missiles launched by a rogue state.
In 1999, the Department made significant progress on the NMD program, including the completion of Environmental Impact Statements for interceptor sites in Alaska and North Dakota, as well as a successful intercept test in October 1999. The second intercept test was conducted on January 18, 2000. Although the actual intercept was unsuccessful, a significant amount of data was collected that will be used to continue and enhance program development. A third intercept test is scheduled for late April or early May. These events are preparing the Department for the Deployment Readiness Review in June 2000, after which the President will determine whether to deploy the NMD system. No deployment decision has yet been made—that will depend on the technological readiness and operational effectiveness of the proposed system at the Deployment Readiness Review, the projected cost, a review of the threat, and the international security situation, to include arms control.
Although no deployment decision has been made, the President, based on the recommendation of his national security team, decided, for planning purposes, on an architecture for the NMD system. The FY 2001 budget request continues to demonstrate the Administration’s funding commitment to National Missile Defense, and includes all funding necessary through FY 2005 to deploy an NMD system. The deployment, if approved, will proceed in phases. As an immediate goal to meet early threats, the Department would deploy by 2007, with an initial capability in 2005, an NMD system that would be optimized for the most immediate threat—that from North Korea. It would be capable of defending all 50 states against a launch of a few tens of warheads accompanied by simple penetration aids. The system would also be capable of defending the United States from a handful of warheads from other rogue states. For planning purposes, this first–phase NMD architecture would include 100 Ground–Based Interceptors deployed in Alaska; an X–Band Radar deployed at Shemya, Alaska; upgrades to five existing ballistic missile early warning radars; and a combination of the Defense Support Program and the Space–Based Infrared Satellite–High satellite systems.
The NMD development program will continue to be conducted in compliance with the Anti–Ballistic Missile Treaty. NMD deployment would require modifications to the treaty. The Administration has begun to engage the Russians and allies on the need to change the ABM Treaty to permit deployment of a limited NMD system.
Theater Air And Missile Defense Programs
In light of the widespread deployment of theater ballistic missiles today, the Department’s immediate missile defense priority is to develop, procure, and deploy TAMD systems to protect key facilities and forward–deployed elements of the U.S. armed forces, as well as allies and friends. This plan envisions time–phased acquisition of a multi–tier, interoperable ballistic missile defense system that provides defense in depth against theater ballistic and cruise missiles. The Ballistic Missile Defense Organization and the Joint Theater Air and Missile Defense Organization share the responsibility for developing an improved capability to defend against air and missile threats. The increased emphasis on interoperable air and missile defenses has led to a family of systems concept. A key aspect of the family of systems approach is to leverage the synergy among air, ballistic, and cruise missile defenses, and to integrate various systems in a comprehensive effort to defeat the threat. This concept calls for a flexible combination of integrated, interoperable TAMD systems capable of coalition joint theater operations. It includes several individual weapon systems, various sensors, and advanced battle management/command, control, communications, computers, and intelligence capabilities.
Lower–tier systems remain the top priority to defeat short–range ballistic missiles. The Patriot Advanced Capability–3 (PAC–3) and the Navy Area Defense systems are the key lower–tier systems for the TAMD mission. PAC–3 will provide air defense of ground combat forces and defense of high–value assets against high–performance, air–breathing, and theater ballistic missiles. The FY 2001 budget begins to procure PAC–3 missiles, with first unit equipped (FUE) projected for FY 2001. Consistent with congressional direction, the program has completed two successful intercepts and is awaiting a final decision before proceeding to low–rate initial production.
The Navy Area Defense program, using a reconfigured SPY–1 phased–array radar and an upgraded version of the Standard Missile (Block IVA) on Aegis–equipped ships, will provide U.S. forces, allied forces, and areas of vital national interest at sea and in coastal regions with an active defense against theater ballistic and cruise missiles. Low–rate initial production of the Block IVA missiles will begin in FY 2001 in support of developmental and operational testing prior to planned FUE in FY 2003. As of the second quarter of FY 1999, an interim Navy Area Theater Ballistic Missile Defense software capability, Linebacker, was deployed and put into operation on two ships.
The Department has worked with its international partners, Germany and Italy, to restructure the Medium Extended Air Defense System (MEADS), to include a three–year Risk Reduction Effort (RRE). The RRE will allow the Department to take advantage of less costly program options that build on capabilities from existing TMD weapons systems, such as the PAC–3. The NATO MEADS Management Agency awarded a contract to MEADS International (comprised of Lockheed Martin, Damiler Chrysler Aerospace AG, and Alenia Marconi Systems) in November 1999 to begin work on the next phase of the program. The RRE effort will focus on reducing the risk and cost of the critical elements of the systems (i.e., fire control radar and mobile launcher) needed to fulfill the requirements for a highly mobile, rapidly deployable TMD system capable of providing 360–degree coverage for maneuver forces. The Department fully funded the MEADS program by adding $721 million from FY 2002 to FY 2005.
Upper–tier systems—the Theater High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system and the Navy Theater Wide program—are designed to intercept incoming missiles at high altitudes in order to defend larger areas, defeat medium– and intermediate–range ballistic missiles, and increase theater commanders’ effectiveness against weapons of mass destruction (WMD). THAAD will make possible more effective protection of broad areas, dispersed assets, and population centers against TBM attacks. With two recent successful intercept tests, the Department determined that the THAAD program had met the exit criteria necessary for entering the engineering and manufacturing development phase of acquisition. Based on this decision, an FUE of FY 2007 is anticipated for THAAD.
The Navy Theater Wide system builds upon the existing Aegis Combat System as well as the Navy Area Defense system and is funded to continue Aegis Leap Intercept (ALI) flight testing through FY 2002. The Leap testing program will determine whether a modified standard missile, operating in conjunction with the Aegis weapon system, can intercept a ballistic missile in the exoatmosphere. The ALI flight test results will provide the data necessary to determine whether the program performance supports accelerated development and deployment of the system, which would require additional funds in FY 2003 and the subsequent fiscal years. Currently the budget provides for continued development through the Future Years Defense Program at approximately $200 million per year.
As an additional layer of missile defense, the Airborne Laser (ABL) will engage ballistic missiles during their boost phase of flight. By terminating powered flight early, ABL causes a missile’s warhead to fall short of its intended target. ABL development is paced to accomplish a lethality demonstration against an in–flight ballistic missile in FY 2005.
Cruise missile defenses (CMD) are either evolving from existing systems or are being developed from scratch. The Cooperative Engagement Capability is being used to net together air defense radar systems while investigations of selected ballistic missile defense weapons’ elements, such as missile defense sensors; elevated network sensors; battle management/command, control, and communications; and weapons, are underway to adapt and apply them to CMD. The investigations include elements from PAC–3 and Navy Area lower–tier systems. The CMD development strategy is to identify and leverage the synergy possibilities among ballistic missile, cruise missile, and air defense, and to employ them to build–up CMD via an integration of weapons systems into a comprehensive network that can defeat the cruise missile threat. In addition, CMD–focused advanced technology programs are investigating ways to add depth to existing capability, such as shooting down land attack cruise missiles at extended ranges, possibly even over an adversary’s territory. One such program is the Joint Land Attack Cruise Missile Defense Elevated Netted Sensor System (JLENS), which will provide a long–endurance, extended range detection and tracking capability required to defeat the land attack cruise missile threat. To position the Department to capitalize on all CMD developments, a collaborative process is underway to devise concepts for joint employment and a TAMD investment plan, including CMD. The combatant commanders in chief, the Services, the Ballistic Missile Defense Organization, and the Joint Theater Air and Missile Defense Organization are participating in this collaborative process.
Cooperation with Allies, Friends, and Strategic Partners
As part of broader efforts to enhance the security of U.S., allied, and coalition forces against ballistic missile strikes and to complement U.S. counterproliferation strategy, the United States is exploring opportunities for theater ballistic missile defense cooperation with its allies and friends. The objectives of U.S. cooperative efforts are:
·To provide effective missile defense for U.S., allied, and friendly troops, and for allied and friendly civilian populations.
·To strengthen U.S. security relationships.
·To enhance collective deterrence of missile attacks.
·To share the burden of developing and fielding theater missile defenses.
·To enhance interoperability between U.S. forces and those of allies and friends.
The United States is taking an evolutionary and tailored approach to allied cooperation that accommodates varying national programs and plans, as well as special national capabilities. This approach includes bilateral and multilateral research and development, off–the–shelf purchases, and coproduction of TMD components or entire systems. Furthermore, as part of an ongoing initiative aimed at countering the TBM threat, the United States is sharing early warning data on launches of theater–range ballistic missiles with allies and friends as a means of engendering greater cooperation on theater missile defense.
In its 1991 New Strategic Concept, NATO reaffirmed the risk posed by the proliferation of WMD and ballistic missiles. The Alliance reached general agreement on the framework for addressing these threats. As part of NATO’s Defense Capabilities Initiative, allies agreed at the April 1999 Washington Summit to develop Alliance forces that can respond with passive and active measures to protect forces and infrastructure from WMD attack. At the summit, the allies also agreed that extended air defenses are necessary for NATO’s deployed forces. A notable achievement in this area was the creation in December 1999 of a trilateral U.S.–Dutch–German TMD planning cell within the U.S.–German extended air defense task force. This cell, building on the enormous success of the Dutch–led optic windmill series of TMD exercises, will ensure interoperability of the three nations’ Patriot Forces. For the past several years, DoD has also held discussions with Japan regarding cooperative research in support of developing a TMD capability. Japan recently decided to participate in such cooperative research, which is aimed at proving key technologies that are needed for the Navy Theater Wide program.
U.S. TMD cooperation with Russia is an excellent example of how cooperative approaches to dealing with new regional security challenges of mutual interest, such as the proliferation of ballistic missiles, can advance U.S. security objectives. The United States and Russia have conducted two TMD exercises and agreed to a third, multiple–phase effort. These exercises have provided a practical basis for U.S. and Russian forces to develop agreed procedures to conduct theater missile defense operations during regional contingencies where they could be deployed together.
Additionally, at the September 1998 Summit held in Moscow, President Clinton and President Yeltsin announced a new U.S.–Russian initiative. The two countries agreed to establish a jointly–manned center in Russia for the timely sharing of information on the launches of ballistic missiles and space launch vehicles detected by each sides’ early warning systems. The United States and Russia will also establish a voluntary multinational system for prelaunch notification of planned missile launches. These initiatives are designed to minimize the risks associated with dangerous reactions to false warnings of a missile attack.
The United States and Russia also cooperate in several technology programs. For example, the United States remains actively engaged with Russia through the Russian American Observational Satellites program. Other programs, such as the Express/T–160 Thruster Experiment, have the potential to improve U.S. satellite on–board propulsion technology significantly. These programs provide mutual technical benefits and serve as the catalyst for increased cooperation with the Russian Federation in the future.
U.S.–Israeli cooperative programs, including shared early warning on theater missile launches and the development of the Arrow weapon system, assist Israel in developing a ballistic missile defense capability to deter and, if necessary, defend against current and emerging ballistic missile threats in the region. Planned interoperability with U.S. theater missile defense systems will afford Israel a more robust defense. Moreover, the program provides technical benefits for both sides by expanding the theater missile defense technology base and providing risk mitigation for U.S. weapon systems.
Advanced Technology Development
Activities in the missile defense technology base are key to countering future, more difficult threats. The technology base program underpins the theater ballistic missile defense, cruise missile defense, and NMD programs. Advanced technology development provides real benefits to the Department’s capabilities by reducing development risk in existing and new weapon systems and accelerating the introduction of new technologies via upgrades to baseline programs. Advanced technology development programs provide innovative technologies. Advanced technologies are also being exploited to reduce the cost of future missile defense systems, as well as advancing U.S. capabilities in attack operations, reducing the pressure placed on theater air and missile defense systems.
Nuclear forces remain a critical element of the U.S. policy of deterrence. Although U.S. nuclear forces have been reduced substantially in size and in the percentage of the defense budget devoted to them, strategic forces continue to provide a credible and a highly valuable deterrent. The United States remains committed to appropriate and jointly agreed upon reductions in strategic nuclear forces, but will protect options to maintain its strategic capabilities at START I levels until the START II Treaty enters into force. The Administration is also committed to protecting the United States, its forces abroad, and its friends and allies from the effects of chemical and biological weapons and the missiles that can deliver them. The United States has a comprehensive strategy for countering such threats. The structure of the theater and National Missile Defense programs meets present and projected future missile threats, provides the best technology to meet these threats, and is fiscally prudent.
[Top] [Bottom] [Previous] [Next] [Table of Contents]