The United States continues to rely on nuclear deterrence by Russia and China, but the US missile defense system is aimed primarily against “rogue states” such as Iran. This statement was made on Wednesday by a representative of the US high-ranking administration at a special briefing for journalists on the forthcoming publication of a new strategy for the development of the US missile defense system.
“As for Russia and China, they have a very large and high- tech arsenal, and we aim to rely on our deterrence to deter Russia and China in this area,” he said. The representative of the administration also stressed, in response to the clarifying question, that it is about building nuclear capabilities, and not about the expansion of the US missile defense system in the world.
“The US continues to rely on nuclear deterrence to deter potential nuclear threats from China and Russia,” the official explained. At the same time, the representative of the administration added that the US President Donald Trump is committed to establishing good relations with both countries: “as for Russia and China, the President hopes for good relations with each of them.”
“Our capabilities in the field of missile defense are aimed primarily against threats from rogue states,” he also claimed, without specifying against what other threats they are directed. “For example, the forces that we have deployed in Europe are there to counter threats outside the region, such as the threat from Iran,” the official said. “We are very transparent with Russia and China about our plans in the field of missile defense,” he said.
In April last year, the former first Deputy defense Minister Patrick Shanahan (now acting head of the Pentagon) said that the new missile defense strategy will be built taking into account the US rivalry with Russia and China on the world stage. He did not give an exact date for the submission of the unclassified version of the document then, but indicated that he expected it to be made public “probably within the next few weeks”, as “it is subject to final review”. Shanahan made it clear that further development requires “expansion of available means and capabilities” of missile defense aimed at Iran and North Korea.
Space tier of missile defense
Washington subject considering placing in space system of detection of rockets that will help to document and support purposes, in addition, will study the feasibility of launch into space interceptors, including lasers.
The representative of the Executive power of the United States journalists asked is the idea of creating a kind of satellite belt with detection means considered. “We are exploring the possibility of placing a belt of sensors to help early detection and tracking of missiles after they have been launched. We consider space as an important sphere, as a new level of opportunities, ” he said.
He was also asked whether the launch of anti-missile sensors into orbit could naturally lead to the placement of interceptors in outer space. “I would reject the idea that there is some natural or logical sequence of deployment of any possibilities. We intend to study all aspects of implementation, efficiency, financial feasibility and strategic aspects of deployment of such technologies there. And if it makes sense, then appropriate recommendations will be received, and if not — there will be a different outcome,” the official explained.
“We will study this and we will see if it is justified,” he said. As a follow-up to the topic, he was also asked whether there was a possibility that the United States could launch lasers into space that would serve as interceptors. “If it makes sense, then that’s what we’re going to study,” he replied.
Third position area
The US authorities have not yet decided to build a third interceptor missile base on the East coast of the United States.
According to the official, the administration is still considering the creation of a base on American territory and information about this is provided in the new strategy. “We conducted an environmental study on the impact of possible construction of the base on the environment at a potential site construction,” — said the representative of the Executive power of the United States, but did not give details of this study. “We are ready to move forward if it is established that it will really improve our strategy towards Iran. But the decision on the third missile defense base was not made, ” he said.
As told in the administration, the missile defense strategy refers to the current potential of the United States. The document lists information on what the authorities are “already doing to improve their situation in the light of current opportunities”, plans to expand existing programmes and “gradually build capacity”. The doctrine addresses both regional issues, including those related to the allies, and the internal problems of the United States.
Since 2013, The Congress has allocated tens of millions of dollars to the Pentagon to study the possibility of creating a third missile defense position area in the North-East of the country to protect against the missile threat posed by Iran. However representatives of the Ministry of defense declared that consider it inexpedient. As a possible place of deployment of interceptor missiles on the East coast of the media called Fort Drum base in New York state.
Earlier, the United States has repeatedly stated that the ground — based missile defense system with interceptors deployed on the West coast of the country-Fort Greeley in Alaska and Vandenberg in California — is designed to protect against missile attacks by the North Korea.
As expected, the new strategy for the development of the US missile defense system will be announced on Thursday by the US President Donald Trump. It is also expected that more detailed explanations of the doctrine and dissemination of the text will be given on Thursday.