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“Today we need to think through on, step back a little bit and think through on the bigger picture of what’s going on in the world. We are seeing President Xi of China and President Putin of Russia lowering deterrence. You saw the speech over the weekend by Xi. Russia’s continued acceleration of different ways to attack Ukraine through ballistic missiles, through drones, and you’ve seen them lower that deterrence factor. Our job as a community, as a world, is to raise that level in deterrence, to fight that lowering and raise it. And missile defense is a key component of that, and it just can’t come from the United States. It has to come across from our allies, joined, excuse me, joint and through our allies and partners. And this is going to happen in these gray area states, in Taiwan and in Ukraine, where it’s a gray area. And we have to be able to integrate a full architecture of layered capabilities that are here today.”

Mr. Riki Ellison, “Missile Defense in Ukraine – Proven Here, Proven Anywhere”, October 20, 2022

“And what I really want to start with is big picture, which is what is 21st century modern warfare in our era characterized by? It’s characterized by a lot, but I would say definitely facts are, is that it’s characterized by long range precision strike weapons. And what we’re seeing in Ukraine right now, we’re approaching 4,000 ballistic missiles and cruise missiles launched by the Russians against Ukraine. Not every single one of those precision guided, some of them not, but a significant portion of them are. So when you’re watching video footage of a Kalibr cruise missile cruising by, that’s exactly what I’m talking about. And if we think that, “Oh, the Russians have expended all their rounds and so it’s going to take them a long time for them to catch up.” Maybe, maybe not.”

“This is not only a regional problem, we’re seeing it play out live regionally, but it is a homeland problem. So then it gets to now bringing it down to a little bit of brass tax. We are making investments in acquiring capabilities for not an ally, but a partner in the form of Ukraine, and we’re offering them and presenting them very significant capabilities in the forms of NASAMs as a system. The question we should be asking ourselves is, yes, we understand the approximate cause for doing that, but why are we not doing the same for the United States homeland?”

Lt Gen (Ret) Jon Thomas, “Missile Defense in Ukraine – Proven Here, Proven Anywhere”, October 20, 2022

“There’s an old saying, “Never let a crisis go to waste.” Well, what a great opportunity to knock down some of those barriers and develop that commanding, that control and that architecture and leave it in place, whether it’s in a cold status or warm status. And I get the security concerns and the challenges that exist with regards to cyber and so forth. Never let a challenge go to waste. The other opportunity again with the lack of capability in Europe is how do we push capability into the Ukraine in an effort to bring on 21st century capability to the other nations that are donating these systems, that are contributing these systems, that are providing the training to the Ukrainians that are providing additional security resources and formations along the eastern flank, whether it’s up in the Baltics, whether it’s in Poland, in Romania, Bulgaria, Slovakia and so forth.”

COL (Ret) Dave Shank, “Missile Defense in Ukraine – Proven Here, Proven Anywhere”, October 20, 2022

“Within the next six weeks we’re going to have our first combat experience with NASAMs and I think they’ll successfully shoot down Russian cruise missiles. And this really reflects the speed with which this has happened. Very few of us would’ve predicted it could go this fast.”

“I do believe NASAMs can shoot down in a drone just like I think Stinger can shoot down a drone. And I think neither one of them is really optimized for it. C-RAM, as you mentioned earlier, on the other hand, is absolutely optimized for it. And in addition to the four or 500 at least, successful rocket engagements it’s had in the Middle East, it very specifically had success against Iranian drones in January of this year. So we know it works.”

“And then second is we got to get at this NATO issue. And the US has to lead, even though we don’t have the system right now to lead with. I mean, we have it in an actual capital issue, we don’t have it in Europe. We are the leader. We’re the thought leader of Europe, of NATO, and we need to do that. And then finally, we’ve got to get the defense of Guam and the defensive of Misawa Airbase right against the Chinese, because all they are is Russia with a thicker inventory of better missiles. So we need to be ready for that.”

RADM (Ret) Mark Montgomery, “Missile Defense in Ukraine – Proven Here, Proven Anywhere”, October 20, 2022

“This is really a crescendo of why we have to have this stuff and we can’t wait. We can’t wait five years, two years, a year. And we’ve got capability that can save thousands of lives. Thousands of lives are going to die if we don’t put this stuff in. And we could be in a World War if we don’t put this stuff in. In Guam, in the First Island Chain, in Ukraine. And we’ve got real capabilities today. We don’t have to create them. They’re there. They need to be moved into these regions to deter, to raise that level of Deterrence, we’re not doing that.”

“So Russia and China will be more aggressive until we start doing that. And we got to work together as a team joint and partners to get it. We know we got ACMs there, we know we got C-RAM we can deliver. And we got to get the C2 thing. That C2 thing is huge. So it’s there for us. It’s being forced the hard way. We’re losing lives over there in Ukraine, that’s forcing us. But we have to do it. We’ve got the capability, we have to have the political will to make this happen. And we’re going to do everything we can to make this happen because it saves lives and prevents wars. So thank you everyone.”

Mr. Riki Ellison, “Missile Defense in Ukraine – Proven Here, Proven Anywhere”, October 20, 2022

Click here to view roundtable discussion on “Missile Defense in Ukraine – Proven Here, Proven Anywhere”, October 20, 2022

Click here to read the full transcript on “Missile Defense in Ukraine – Proven Here, Proven Anywhere”, October 20, 2022


COL (Ret) Dave Shank
Former Commander
10th Army Air and Missile Defense Command

Lt Gen (Ret) Jon Thomas
Former Deputy Commander
U.S. Pacific Air Forces

RADM (Ret) Mark Montgomery
Former Director of Operations
U.S. Pacific Command

Mr. Riki Ellison
Chairman and Founder
Missile Defense Advocacy Alliance

Mission Statement

MDAA’s mission is to make the world safer by advocating for the development and deployment of missile defense systems to defend the United States, its armed forces and its allies against missile threats.

MDAA is the only organization in existence whose primary mission is to educate the American public about missile defense issues and to recruit, organize, and mobilize proponents to advocate for the critical need of missile defense. We are a non-partisan membership-based and membership-funded organization that does not advocate on behalf of any specific system, technology, architecture or entity.