An official website of the United States government

Reinforcing Stability Through Missile Defense
May 14, 2012

Remarks by Frank A. Rose
Deputy Assistant Secretary, Bureau of Arms Control, Verification and Compliance
National Defense University Congressional Breakfast Seminar

Washington, DC
May 11, 2012

Thank you so much for inviting me to speak today. I attended a number of these breakfasts as a Congressional Hill staffer myself, so I’m very pleased to be on the opposite side of the podium today.

At the State Department, I am responsible for overseeing a wide range of defense policy issues, including missile defense. In that capacity, it was my responsibility to negotiate the details of the BMD agreements with Poland, Romania, and Turkey that will enable the United States to implement the European Phased Adaptive Approach. I will touch more on this later in my presentation, but suffice to say that I have been focused over the last couple of years on ensuring that we are able to meet the vision the President laid out in his 2009 announcement regarding the European Phased Adaptive Approach.

Missile Defense Policy

Today, the threat from short-, medium-, and intermediate-range ballistic missiles to our deployed forces, allies, and partners is growing. This regional threat is likely to increase in both quantitative and qualitative terms in the coming years, as some states are increasing their inventories, and making their ballistic missiles more accurate, reliable, mobile, and survivable.

Recognizing the seriousness of the ballistic missile threat, the United States seeks to create an environment, based on strong cooperation with allies and partners, which will eliminate an adversary’s confidence in the effectiveness of ballistic missile attacks. This will devalue and provide a disincentive for the development, acquisition, deployment, and use of ballistic missiles. To that end, President Obama has made international cooperation on missile defense a key priority, and we are pursuing a region-by-region approach based on the following three principles:

1) First, the United States will deter adversaries through strong regional deterrence architectures built upon solid cooperative relationships with an eye toward efficiently incorporating assets and structures that our partners already have today or are seeking.

2) Second, the United States will pursue Phased Adaptive Approaches (PAAs) within key regions that are tailored to their unique deterrence requirements and threats, including the scale, scope, and pace of their development, and the capabilities available and most suited for deployment. We will phase in and implement the best available technology to meet existing and evolving threats, and adapt to situations that evolve in an unforeseen manner.

3) Third, recognizing that our supply of missile defense assets cannot meet the global demand we face, the United States is developing mobile capabilities that can be relocated to adapt to a changing threat and provide surge defense capabilities where they are most needed.

Missile defense plays an important role in the broader U.S. international security strategy, supporting both deterrence and diplomacy. Missile defense assures our allies and partners that the United States has the will and the means to deter and, if necessary, defeat a limited ballistic missile attack against the U.S. homeland and regional ballistic missile attacks against our forward deployed troops, allies, and partners.

NATO and European Missile Defense

I’d like to focus today on our work in Europe, which continues to receive a great deal of attention. In order to augment the defense of the United States and a future long-range threat and provide more comprehensive and more rapid protection to our deployed forces and European Allies against the current threat, the President outlined a four-phase approach for European missile defense called the European Phased Adaptive Approach or EPAA. Through the EPAA, the United States will deploy increasingly capable BMD assets to defend Europe against a ballistic missile threat from the Middle East that is increasing both quantitatively and qualitatively.

The EPAA will protect our deployed forces and our allies and partners in Europe, as well as augment the defense of the U.S. homeland against a potential by ICBMs from the Middle East in several ways. As part of Phase 1, we have deployed to Turkey missile defense radar, referred to as the AN/TPY-2 radar, which will provide data earlier in the engagement of an incoming ballistic missile from the Middle East. This radar enhances the homeland missile defense coverage of the United States provided by our Ground-Based Interceptor (GBI) capabilities in Alaska and California.

A year ago last week, we concluded negotiations with Romania to host a U.S. land-based SM-3 BMD interceptor site, designed to provide protection against medium-range ballistic missiles. The land-based SM-3 system to be deployed to Romania is anticipated to become operational in the 2015 timeframe. We also reached an agreement with Poland to place a similar U.S. BMD interceptor site there in the 2018 timeframe.

Defense of the homeland will be further augmented by the basing in Poland of the SM-3 IIB interceptor, which is a future evolution of the SM-3 series of interceptors. The SM-3 IIB interceptor will provide us an opportunity for an early-intercept against potential long-range missile launched from the Middle East. It is important for everyone to know that we are already protected from limited ICBM attacks by the GBIs we have deployed at Fort Greely, Alaska, and Vandenberg, California.

The EPAA will eventually provide us with additional protection, ensuring that we can take multiple shots at a long-range missile heading to the United States. The EPAA – in all of its phases – also provides protection to for the thousands of U.S. military personnel based in Europe.

The Obama Administration is implementing the EPAA within the NATO context. At the 2010 Lisbon Summit, NATO Heads of State and Government approved a new Strategic Concept and decided to develop the capability to defend NATO European populations and territory against the growing threat from ballistic missile proliferation. The Allies also welcomed the EPAA as a U.S. national contribution to the new NATO territorial missile defense capability, in support of our commitment to the collective defense of the Alliance under Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty. At the Lisbon Summit, NATO Heads of State and Government also decided to expand the scope of the NATO Active Layered Theatre Ballistic Missile Defense (ALTBMD) program to serve as the command, control, and communications network to support this new capability. NATO allies have committed to investing over $1 billion for command, control, and communications infrastructure to support NATO missile defense.

These decisions have created a framework for Allies to contribute and optimize their own BMD assets for our collective defense. Our Allies possess land- and sea-based sensors that could be linked into the system, as well as lower tier systems that can be integrated and used to provide point defense. For example, Germany and the Netherlands each have Patriot PAC-3s while Spain and Greece have Patriot PAC-2s. Turkey is also considering Patriot PAC-3s to address its air defense and BMD requirements. On the sea-based side, the Dutch announced in September 2011, their intention to upgrade the SMART-L air search radars on their De Zeven Provinciën-class frigates with an extended long-range (ELR) mode. In December 2006, the Dutch frigate Tromp participated in an Aegis BMD test during which it demonstrated the capability of a modified radar to track ballistic missiles.

Germany also has the SMART-L and Active Phased Array Radars (APARs) on its F-124 frigates and may decide to pursue a BMD capability in the future, while Spain has frigates equipped with a version of the SPY-1 radar used on our Aegis BMD ships. In June 2007, the Spanish frigate Méndez Núñez, participated in a BMD test off of Kaui, Hawaii, during which it was able to detect and track a ballistic missile with a minor modification to its Aegis Weapon System. Italy and Germany are also working with the United States to develop a Proof of Concept for MEADS, which will allow all three nations to harvest the advanced technologies of MEADS for follow-on systems.

Later this month on May 20-21, the NATO Heads of State and Government will meet in Chicago for the NATO Summit. Our goal is to declare an interim NATO MD capability at the Summit. What this means is that the United States could transfer select missile defense assets to NATO operational control should conditions warrant which results in a limited NATO missile defense capability. Over time, through additional contributions by the United States and other Allies, NATO missile defense will become even more capable.

Separate from the EPAA, it is important to note that our European allies are contributing directly to the defense of the United States today. The United Kingdom and Denmark each host an Upgraded Early Warning Radar at Fylingdales and Thule, Greenland, respectively. These radars are critical to the defense of the United States against a potential long-range missile threat from the Middle East. I would also note that U.S. EPAA capabilities will provide protection for these important assets. Therefore, I think it’s fair to say that the defense of the U.S. homeland is linked to the defense of Europe.


An update on missile defense cooperation with Europe should also include a discussion of our efforts to pursue cooperation with Russia. Missile defense cooperation with Russia is a Presidential priority, as it has been for several Administrations going back to President George H.W. Bush in the early 1990s.

When President Obama announced his new vision for missile defense in Europe in September 2009, he stated that “we welcome Russia’s cooperation to bring its missile defense capabilities into a broader defense of our common strategic interests.” Missile defense cooperation with Russia will not only strengthen our bilateral and NATO-Russia relationships, but also could enhance NATO’s missile defense capabilities. Successful missile defense cooperation would provide concrete benefits to Russia, our NATO Allies, and the United States and will strengthen – not weaken – strategic stability over the long term.

This means it is important to get Russia inside the missile defense tent now, working alongside the United States and NATO, while we are in the early stages of our efforts. Close cooperation between Russia and the United States and NATO is the best and most enduring way for Russia to gain the assurance that European missile defenses cannot and do not undermine its strategic deterrent.

Through this cooperation, Russia would see firsthand that this system is designed for the ballistic missile threat from outside the Euro-Atlantic area, and that NATO missile defense systems will not threaten Russia’s strategic nuclear deterrent capabilities. Cooperation will also allow Russia to see that the EPAA is designed to be flexible. Should the ballistic missile threat from nations like Iran change, our missile defense system can be adapted accordingly. Working together on missile defense would also send a strong message to proliferators that the United States, NATO, and Russia are working to counter their efforts.

That said, Russia has raised the issue of a legal guarantee with a set of “military-technical criteria” that could, in effect, create limitations on our ability to develop and deploy future missile defense systems against regional ballistic missile threats such as those presented by Iran and North Korea. We have also made it clear to Russia that we cannot and will not accept limitations on our ability to defend ourselves, our allies, and our partners, including where we deploy our Aegis ships. These are multi-mission ships that are used for a variety of purposes around the world, not just for missile defense.

The United States cannot accept any Russian proposal that limits the operational areas of U.S. or allied ships. Such limits are contrary to international law on navigational rights and freedom of the sea. We also will not accept limitations on the capabilities and numbers of our missile defense systems. Let me be clear, our missile defense capabilities are critical to our ability to counter a growing threat to our deployed forces, allies, and partners; therefore, no nation or group of nations will have veto power over U.S. missile defense efforts.

And while we seek to develop ways to cooperate with Russia on missile defense, it is important to remember that under the terms of Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty, NATO alone will bear responsibility for defending the Alliance from the ballistic missile threat. This is why the United States and NATO cannot agree to Russia’s proposal for “sectoral” missile defense. Just as Russia must ensure the defense of Russian territory, NATO must ensure the defense of NATO territory.

We would, however, be willing to agree to a political framework including a statement that our missile defenses are not directed at Russia. Any such statement would be politically binding and would publicly proclaim our intent to work together and chart the direction for cooperation, not limitations. Our bottom line is that missile defense cooperation with Russia will not come at the expense of our plans to defend against regional ballistic missile threats or our plans for the defense of the U.S. homeland.


Today’s ballistic missile threats continue to increase in number and sophistication. This increasing threat reinforces the importance of our collaborative missile defense efforts with partners around the world, which not only strengthen regional stability, but also provide protection for our forces serving abroad and augment the defense of the United States.

Thank you for your time and attention. I look forward to your questions.