Yesterday, MDAA hosted its 21st Congressional Roundtable on Capitol Hill, “The Missile Defense Review: Expanding the Mission of Missile Defense” with the Honorable John Rood, Under Secretary of Defense for Policy at the Department of Defense and Lieutenant General Sam Greaves, Director at the Missile Defense Agency. The event was covered by C-SPAN and is available for your viewing, transcripts will be forthcoming.
The Missile Defense Review expands the limited missile defense mission of the previous two administrations with more capability, more capacity, and expanding the mission to include boost phase intercepts, space-based discrimination, hypersonic defense, ICBM underlayer, cruise missile defense, offense-defense integration, and allied partnerships. A bulk of the expansion will be done from existing deployed platforms and systems, most notably the F-35.
“I would say overall that the biggest benefit that we in the agency will receive from the Missile Defense Review is the fact that it provides focus, it provides synchronization, it provides direction to help guide discussions at least within the DoD and then with the administration at large and with the Congress on the Hill and the American public. I’m sure any of you who have been parts of large organizations would know there’s 5000 people with 5000 ideas on what’s best and it can depend on what day of the week it is, and if you’re trying to what we call in the agency turn dreams into reality you know work with industry to put rubber on the ramp, deliver capability; you need that focus you need that guidance, you need that policy to help drive that discussion to deliver on that rapid decision making that were set up to go to. We’re built for speed, but without something like the MDR it makes it very difficult. So from our end with the President of the United States releasing this document and making the statements that he did with any administration I’m not sure where else you go for direction. We know what’s been requested, we know what’s demanded, we know what’s expected its now time, and will mention it again, when Secretary Shanahan talked about being a part of the department that gets stuff done, its now time to get stuff done and we’re doing it in a very disciplined manner so appreciate again the chance to continue this discussion. – Lt. Gen. Greaves, 01/23/2019, MDAA CRT
“The biggest area we are entering in a new era of missile defense is about ballistic missile defense, hypersonic missile defense, and cruise missile defense and what that means not only for the United States but as mentioned in the report the progression of that defense capability with our allies. Because that is just a central component of where we are going and so as you mark these phases of what we’ve tried to do as a nation into chapters of a book if you will I think this will be the starting of the next one to do that. And we are going to do that with new technologies and new approaches as well; starting with sensor capability in space, things we can see then we can therefore intercept and so on.” – Honorable John Rood, 01/23/2019, MDAA CRT
There have been four major missile defense initiatives announced and led by presidents – the first one by President Reagan for the idea on March 23, 1983, who set the vision and concept – the Strategic Defense Initiative, the second, President George W. Bush, for the first deployment of limited missile defenses against North Korea to include the GBIs for the Defense of the United States Homeland in Alaska on December 16, 2002. The third, President Barack Obama for the deployment of the European Phased Adaptive Approach (EPAA), a limited missile defense for Europe using Aegis Navy ships and land-based ballistic missile defense (BMD) capabilities against Iran on September 17, 2009, and the fourth on January 17, 2019 by President Donald Trump for the expansion of the limited deployed missile defense systems. The President put forward the following six major changes in missile defense policy.
- Prioritize the defense of the American people above all us
- Developing new technology and pursuit of advanced research to change much faster
- Protect the American people from all types of missile attacks
- Recognize space as a new warfighting domain
- Dramatically speed up the acquisition and deployment of new technology
- Fair burden sharing with our allies
“We are not interested in keeping pace with the emerging threats. We want to outpace them. This requires not just defensive weapons, but a host of enabling technologies that will allow us to integrate the missile defense mission across our department.” – Acting Secretary of Defense Pat Shanahan, 01/17/2019, Release of the MDR