MDAA Congressional Roundtable Discussion: Missile Defense in Europe

May 11, 2015

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(Transcript Provided by CQRollCall Inc)


MAY 20, 2015





ELLISON: Good afternoon, everybody. Is it Dogbert Dean Alexander (ph)? Dogbert Dean, OK.

I’m — welcome. I’m Ricky Ellison. I am the founder and CEO of the Missile Defense Advocacy Alliance.

We’ve been around for over a decade. Our sole purpose — we’re a nonpartisan group. Our sole purpose is to education and advocate on missile defense. We believe that having a missile defense system around the world makes the world a safer place and deters conflict.

I got involved with missile defense back in the late ’70s with the defense adviser of Governor Ronald Reagan right at the birth of the Strategic Defense Initiative. In the 1980s, I was able to work on the — excuse me, the second interceptor, the IRIS (ph) program out of Sunnyvale for that decade. I was working with the different administrations during that time.

In the ’90s I moved over to work on the GMD, and the movement from our GMD system, basically, from North Dakota up to Alaska. And in — after 9/11, 2002, our country, the United States, withdrew from the ABM Treaty to deploy missile defense capability. And this organization was founded at that point.

Over the past 10 years we’ve been to over 330 missile defense sites around the world. We’ve been in 26 countries. We’ve built memorials. And we’re a lead advocate on missile defense.

This year, alone we’ve been to 22 bases and Aegis ships. We’ve hosted, and we’re very proud of it, we’ve hosted over 18 events recognizing our war fighters that operate the systems. Both our country and our allies.

We recently just came back from Europe, where we had the NATO missile defenders of the year. And we recognized Italians — the Germans, the Dutch and our military that we’re serving over there.

Today’s discussion, I think it’s going to be a great discussion. It’s an informal discussion. It’s an open discussion. And we want — we’re offering — we’re focusing on missile defense in Europe.

We’ve got some great speakers for you. I think our good friend from the Russian Embassy, Alexander Trofimov, I guess it is, a little bit like that, I’m sorry. And he is a — you know we’re honored to have you here, sir, as the political military attache or counselor for the Russian embassy, for the Russian Federation.

We have Ambassador Bob Joseph, a good friend, and he’s going to talk about the policy perspective a bit. And we have former retired general, Lieutenant General Dick Formica to talk about the military application of Europe.

So we’re going to end up probably doing about seven to 10 minutes for each speaker. And then we’re going to be able to open up the discussion for questions and answers on this topic. It’s a great topic. I think it really — we really are excited about being able to inform everybody as much as we can on non-biased, nonpartisan viewpoint on the issue that we see in Europe.

So I’m going to start off with you, Alexander. If you could go first and give us your perspective the Russian aspect of things, and…

TROFIMOV: OK, so I’m first. Thanks very much. First of all, I’m going to thank you for this opportunity. Thanks to the Missile Defense Advocacy Alliance for the opportunity to speak about missile defense and present the position of my country.

And I’d like to clarify that I’m not a military personnel or attache. I’m not a (inaudible). I’m a counselor of the embassy, a diplomat, and the head of the political military section (ph).

(Inaudible) similar section for disarmament and nonproliferation issues, all referring now to relational discernment (ph). Well, missile defense. So, to the point.

I’m going to start maybe to say that some people — many people in American and around the world think that Russia is against America (ph) in missile defense, and especially in Europe. Well, this is I would call it the wrong per se.

We are not against the missile defense, per se. The same piece (ph) — it’s about the way, how the U.S. develops and promotes this concept. And (inaudible) there is stability and security concerns for Russia.

We’re unfortunately, our history in missile defense, our liberal (ph) history is a history of new opportunity potentially (ph). Since long ago (ph), since the times of Soviet Union, especially for those countries under the integration of offensive and defensive weapons. It was set in the (inaudible), I would say.

Then in 1997 we have (inaudible) so that they allowed you to develop missile defense in the way without creating political divisions. But out of this United States decided to preserve its own (inaudible) and started to implement plans to put some missile defense side (ph) near our bodies, in the Russian bodies.

And you know where it started to explain would be you as a danger of this place, mainly to conduct (ph) for international security, for Russian security, for European security. And we called a lot of times for European (ph) assistance, because — not completely, what (inaudible) where missile threats are.

We presented a lot of packages for joint cooperation on missile defense. I mean from 2002 to 2015 like maybe five packages, different packages related to join the missile defense cooperation.

So, unfortunately all for us it was all vain. And nobody took our (inaudible). And nobody took our proposals seriously. And we only heard that, “please, be quiet, it’s not against Russia.”

Well, OK. It’s not against Russia. But in this situation we do quite logical step, in my view. We decided to ask our American partners to put it on their paper. So, we believe that it claims that it’s not against Russia. If it’s true, there will be no problem to put it on the papers.

But restrictions set us doesn’t form any restrictions from missile defense. But for us it’s not about restrictions. For us it’s not against Russia. It’s about creating, you know, a framework of mutual missile (ph) cooperation. It’s about lower (ph) (inaudible) stability in the world and the Europe, especially.

So, this flat review (ph) if you put it on the news paper undermined (inaudible) few — few concerns. And we still consider this on the same plan. Like yesterday I know — continuously in CSIS. But it’s not against Russia. It’s not against Russia.

Put on the paper. Oh, it’s against Russia. For example, we listen very often that these sides in Romania and Poland in Europe are not favorable for interception, are not favorable to intercept Russian ballistic missiles. But we cannot verify it.

And second, if I may, I will pull from the RAND Corporation report, which says, If the interceptor is predictable, Poland will be able to intercept from two Russia sites. These are ships located in the North Sea and the Bering Sea will be able to intercept Russian today.

Well, of course all this under ideal conditions, so zero liability (ph). But, please, we cannot confirm this one.

Second, as we speak, missile defense capability is intended to endure (ph). But what people saw defense even more is that as we think the Aegis Ashore fire not only interceptor, but also a type of missile strike, Tomahawk. Administration — or this administration, says to us, “But it’s not true.”

Well, OK. But this just works. It does not allow to verify this. They don’t give us any assurances.

And at the same time we see other statements from military like the (inaudible) program, missile defense (inaudible), for example. Is this ashore system uses nearly identical configuration of the vertical launch system apparently used aboard a Aegis ship.

OK. Add to this a statement made by Admiral Greenert. I quoted him. This is about missile being vertical on a ship. Quote, “If a self-destruct missile, then we may not know. I think that’s critical,” unquote

So for me that means that nobody knows what is going on from that Aegis Ashore to — that is identical to the shipment (ph). This is not only is a security concern for us, but this (inaudible) respond because it means (inaudible).

This might constitute the material breach of (inaudible). I say might “might constitute,” because we don’t know, we left those countries.

Even the (inaudible) that you cannot change standard missile for Tomahawk and have to make kind of (ph) configurations. I don’t think this (inaudible) based on fact.

OK. This Aegis issue. We have to remember about this for this progress and (inaudible). And then quite often go three or four, soon. Why go — quite often go (ph)?

Then we — I want to say they, in Russia, we have to remember that additional leadership (ph) at any time may come to the northern sorts of view (ph). And these are sheets (ph) of the biggest men in the world, contracted by military budget. We have 10 times bigger than Russian military budget. Add to this other (inaudible) facts, that refusal to discuss organization of other press (ph) issues.

I sort of see it as a big issue (ph). I don’t know what for (inaudible). So put it all together and you might understand both our Russian concerns about missile defense and further on.

Again, it’s not missile defense, per se. It’s about how it’s promoted by United States. It’s about polity of discussion with my government. There is no discussion at this time, unfortunately and wasn’t good discussion. No.

It’s about rights that this represents, the stability. And unfortunately it must — don’t have to be discussion of missile defense. It wasn’t even advice. It’s unproductive.

And my hope only is that we still have common ground on missile defense for you. That it’s very important to my country and I expect it’s important to United States as well.

(Inaudible) perhaps to have an equal partnership on missile defense to continue, but we have to take into account all this partners that — that depart on stability.

And maybe — it was not (ph) mention. I ask myself, is it a good ground (ph) for my country to go further and take proposal in the form of expression (ph), or cause for disarmament. This is a good for my country to disarm further without having discussions. And I was thinking about what’s going on in missile defense. And I (inaudible) as I mentioned.

And I forgot to mention also that our strike assessment (ph) is such that we don’t see threat from Iran — missile threat. For you — moreover, it’s almost deal, with a deal. And (inaudible) it’s nothing, because Iran does not precision technology. And moreover, they have problems with this. They think — to reach a long distance with us. And politically, it would be you know strange to put in mind, (inaudible). So, we have completely different set of assessments, and we are ready to share this — our European and proponents (ph).

Thank you very much for your attention. If you have any questions, I will answer them (inaudible). (Inaudible).

ELLISON: Thank you, Alexander. It was great to hear your perspective, and understand where you’re coming from on your paradigm on the viewpoint you see from your side of the world on Aegis Ashore systems and so forth. And it’s a great dialogue. We’re going to open that up. I appreciate that.

Our next speaker, I’m going to give you your formal title here, if I can, Bob.

JOSEPH: Retired.

ELLISON: He’s a former special envoy for the Nuclear Nonproliferation, and former undersecretary of State for Arms Control and International Security, Ambassador Robert Joseph.

JOSEPH: Thank you, Ricky. And thank you for all the great work that NDAA does. It really is making an important difference in advocacy and in other areas as well.

I do want to return to a number of things that our first speaker has said, and I will do that. But before I do that, let me just start with a statement that is found in today’s press release. As it’s the lead article in the STRATCOM news brief. And it is an accounting of Admiral Winnefeld’s talk yesterday at CSIS.

And according to this report, the admiral emphasized that we need to take the ballistic missile threat seriously, and that a robust and capable missile defense is the best bet against ballistic missile threats from countries like North Korea and Iran.

And at the center of U.S. missile defense policies and programs for Europe, has been and remains Iran, which has for many years been viewed as a military threat, not just in the Gulf region but beyond that. I think it was with the outing of Iran’s nuclear program in the fall of 2002.

And the continued demonstration of Iran’s progress in developing and deploying ballistic missiles of increasing range and increasing sophistication that missile defense became an important part of our overall response, in both the Bush 43 and Obama administrations.

A response that, of course, takes into account the need to protect U.S. forces, our friends and allies in the Gulf, and also to deter and defend against any Iranian ballistic missile attack or the threat of attack, blackmail or coercion against NATO allies, and of course, first and foremost in my view, the U.S. homeland.

And it was the emerging long-range ICBM class threat from Iran that led to the Bush administration decision to deploy the original third site in Europe, consisting of the 10 ground-based — two-stage ground-based interceptors in Poland and a radar in the Czech Republic.

The U.S. assessment at that time, and has remained so was that Iran would have the ability to achieve a rudimentary ICBM capability as early as 2015 with significant foreign assistance. Read “foreign assistance” from North Korea and perhaps other sources as well.

In September 2009 the Obama administration canceled the third site without any real consultation with allies in order to advance the president’s disarmament agenda, which he had articulated in the so-called Prague speech in April of that year. In place of the third site, as you all know, the administration announced the Phased Adaptive Approach for Europe, which was again directly connected to Iran’s missile threat against NATO allies and initially against the U.S. homeland as well.

I think the general will, when I’m done talking about the progress that has been made in deploying the Phased Adaptive Approach, which is again you know, consists of two Aegis Ashore sites, radars in a number of locations, and of course Aegis ships.

I would just note that Phase 4 of the Phased Adaptive Approach was canceled in March of 2013 for the same reason that the original third site was abandoned. And that was to promote the arms control agenda and to move in the direction of Russia. But I will come back to that.

Phase 4, which called for the deployment of the SM-3 IIB, would have provided the only capability of the Phased Adaptive Approach to counter longer range missiles able to strike the United States territory. And this was initially the focus of Russia’s complaint at the time. But of course, once the Phase 4 was given up, Moscow immediately reaffirmed its opposition to the entire European missile defense program.

As a footnote, I would add that when Secretary Hagel, some of you probably remember him. Secretary Hagel announced the cancellation of Phase 4.

He also announced that the U.S. would deploy 14 additional ground-based interceptors in Alaska, bringing that number to 44, which was of course, the Bush number. The Bush number was 44 in Alaskan Vandenberg (ph), 10 in Europe with the ability to go to 100 as threats from North Korea and Iran expanded, which they’re clearly doing.

The down sizing, interestingly enough, of the Phased Adaptive Approach, was not accompanied by any reduction in the assessed ballistic missile threat from Iran. In fact, the administration has been clear with its stated intention to proceed with the Phased Adaptive Approach, because of the Iranian missile threat to NATO.

And this notion of Iran as a ballistic missile and nuclear threat does not lessen under a nuclear agreement along the lines that has been described by the administration. In fact, there is a clear, though it is unstated, recognition that the threat will actually grow.

Iran’s ballistic missile force, the largest in the region to date, is continuing to expand. And it is not constrained in any way in the negotiations.

We see the ICBM capability emerging as recently as the latest space launch by Iran, which of course demonstrates the same technology as ICBMs. And Iran as a nuclear threat remains inherent in the acknowledgement or recognition of Iran as a nuclear weapons threshold state.

When one moves away from denying Iran a nuclear weapons capability, to the goal of simply expanding the amount of time for breakout from two months to 12 months, there is a recognition of Iran as a threshold state.

We can deny it. We can try to convince ourselves that that’s not the case. But I think our friends in the Gulf have made very clear that they don’t quite see it the way that it has been described.

So this leads me to the conclusion that missile defense of NATO, Europe, and the U.S. homeland will become even more important in the future against the Iranian threat.

I won’t go into sort of the fallacies associated — be happy to, if there are questions. But I won’t go into them now, with the fallacies associated with the concept of extending the breakout time. With the fallacies associated with the verification scheme in the current construct, or the so-called snap back sanctions.

Under — let me just say, under the best scenario, even with an agreement as described by the White House, the Iran threat does not diminish. The Iran threat grows, requiring the U.S. and NATO to add ballistic missile defense capabilities in Europe, and requiring the United States to add more capabilities to protect the U.S. homeland, perhaps with a third site in the United States, perhaps with some means of reestablishing a Phase 4 capability in Europe.

I don’t have the answer to that, but we clearly require the capability. So, you contrast the Iran threat with the threat from Russia. And I say threat from Russia, because of General Breedlove, Senator McCain recently.

A number of the American leaders in the national security field have described Russia as a threat. Now, that probably shouldn’t come as a surprise, because Russia, at President Putin’s level, has been describing the United States and NATO as the principle threat to Russia since 2007, when President Putin addressed the Munich Security Conference that year.

And my sense is that missile defense is clearly one component of Russian concern, so I certainly understand that. But it’s useful, I think, to look a little bit at the history, starting with the abandonment of the withdrawal of the United States from the ABM Treaty.

I had the privilege of working in the White House at that time, being President Bush’s principle staff officer working for Condi Rice on the withdrawal of the ABM Treaty. And that included extensive consultations with allies, extensive dialogue with Russia, because President Bush was trying to move beyond the Cold War thinking.

He was trying to move beyond this notion of Russia as a strategic enemy, trying to move beyond this notion that nuclear weapons were the chief currency in our relationship. And we also have the imperative of defending against countries like North Korea, who were rapidly demonstrating the ability to build and deploy ICBM class capabilities a direct threat to the United States, in conjunction with their nuclear program.

It’s interesting that when President Bush announced the withdrawal of the United States from the ABM Treaty, that President Putin also made a statement that very day, in which he said that this is not a — this is not a threat against Russia. It’s not a threat against Russia.

And we started to have an extensive dialogue with Russia. Now we’re — lasting 10 years. I would say it was not just extensive, it was exhaustive.

Ambassador Kislyak, I think one of the most talented diplomats that I’ve had the opportunity to work with in my career, was the deputy foreign minister when I was undersecretary of State. And we led the U.S.-Russia Strategic Dialogue.

We talked about missile defense all the time, to the point where I think he and I could’ve just lifted a little number up. And he knew my talking points and he knew his talking points. There was complete transparency on the part of the United States in terms of the briefings. And we wanted to make Russia comfortable with our need to deploy missile defenses.

I don’t know how much progress we made in that. But I can tell you that there was a shift in sort of the Russian position once the United States announced the third site — the original third site in Europe.

Now, it could be because we were going to build 10 silos in Poland, could be, against hundreds of thousands of ballistic missiles that Russia possessed. It could be those camps (ph). Or, my sense is, it was not about missile defense.

It was about the United States and NATO moving east. I’m not denying that’s not a legitimate concern. But it’s not about missile defense. And I don’t think it ever has been about missile defense.

And as for the assertion that the United States has never taken into account Russia position, again, I would just point to the cancellation of the third site. There’s no question that that was designed specifically to get Russia to negotiate the New START treaty, another — well. A treaty under which Russia goes up and we go down.

And the March 2013, you know, decision to cancel Phase 4 was directly related to sort of Russian concerns, because this was the only capability, as I said, that had any impact on — or any capability against ICBM-class missiles. And this was considered to be a rudimentary ICBM-class capability. That was designed against.

So clearly the Russian concerns have been taken into account. But I think what this tells you is it is, it is about missile defense. It’s about its broader geostrategic interests. And I’m happy to have that discussion.

The perception of Russia as a threat, I think, has changed dramatically since Ukraine, and the annexation of Crimea. As I said, General Breedlove, Senator McCain have all talked to this. There is a clear and growing recognition in NATO of Russia as a threat. There is a clear and growing sense that we need to have a better deterrent.

It’s my sense that Russia and Russian military and national security leaders have thought a lot about not just missile defense, and when you’re thinking about strategic stability, if — you can’t just isolate missile defense.

It’s missile defense in combination with nuclear offensive capabilities, with all of the sorts of capabilities that a country can bring to bear. Everything from the so-called hybrid capabilities, to more conventional — conventional capabilities, to theater nuclear and then strategic nuclear. And missile defense is part of that

And I think there is a growing recognition that the hollowing out of NATO’s capabilities, really across the board, has to be addressed. Or the Russian calculation may very well be to move beyond Ukraine, to challenge NATO, to instigate the exact type of outcome that one sees in Crimea and now in Eastern Ukraine.

We have to sort of understand the nature of the threat, and the nature of what we need to do to deter that threat. The greatest miscalculation is from misunderstanding in my — the greatest prospect for miscalculation is misunderstanding each other.

I think the Russians have thought about this threat and thought about the threat that they see from the West, the U.S. and NATO. They’ve revised their doctrine. It’s no longer the Cold War doctrine. And they’ve revised their forces in accordance with their doctrine.

I think this is — this is how a country and how an alliance should behave. We should think about our doctrine, because in my view, we are stuck. We are stuck in the Cold War. We have a Cold War doctrine.

And we have a legacy Cold War force posture. And we need to — we need to be able to think about these issues, to revise our doctrine, to revise our capabilities, again with missile defense as a component, but a component across a broader spectrum of capabilities. In order to deter what I think is a true threat to NATO — to the NATO alliance.

And the worst thing — I’ll end with this. The worst thing is being perceived as lacking the resolve. The resolve to think through these problems, the resolve to expend resources on the needed capabilities, and the resolve to stand up to aggression, whether it’s in Europe, or in the Middle East, or elsewhere.

Weakness is provocative. And I think that President Putin would agree with that. One of my favorite quotes from President Putin is, you know, “We will not be weak. We will not be perceived as weak, because weakness will lead to war.” And I think, on that point, I agree entirely with President Putin. Thank you.

ELLISON: Thank you Bob. Thank you for your extensive viewpoint. And Alexander, we’ll give you a chance to respond to that after Dick talks.

Our next guest had the rank of the commander of the Army Space and Missile Defense. And that’s the highest ranking three-star position expert on missile defense for the United States Army.

He advises STRATCOM commander. He advises NORTHCOM commander. He is just out of that post. The person replacing him is Lieutenant General David Mann, who’s in power today.

So we’re very fortunate to have his perspective on this subject. And we’re going to move from policy now into the military spectrum of the capabilities that are in existence today.


FORMICA: Well, good afternoon. Thank you for coming together and sharing this discussion.

I’d like to also start off by adding my thanks to Ricky Ellison and the Missile Defense Advocacy Alliance, for all that they do to advocate for this important capability. I particularly appreciate nonpartisan advocacy that Ricky talked about. And it will clearly be from that perspective that I’ll talk to you today.

But mostly I came to — I didn’t know Ricky. I was not a San Francisco Giant — or San Francisco 49ers fan growing up. I didn’t know him until I got to the Army Space and Missile Defense Command. And I spent most of my three years there trying to figure out exactly who he was and what his shtick was.

But all that notwithstanding, what I really came to value, besides his advocacy for the capability area, which we both share a concern for. But what I really took to him as a result of all the Missile Defense Advocacy Alliance does direct to the missile defenders. And every time I talk in a public forum, I used to always remind folks that we can talk about the technology and we always will.

We talk about missile defense, we always talk about the technology. But we should never forget that the true missile defense capability of the United States of America resides in the soldiers, sailors, airmen, marines, and civilians, who develop, deploy, and operate those capabilities.

And Ricky in Missile Defense Advocacy Alliance does a great program of recognition of those missile defenders of the year (ph) — here in Washington and around the world. And I truly value that. And it is for that reason alone, if not anything else, that I would continue to support the Missile Defense Advocacy Alliance.

That said, as Ricky said, I commanded the Army Space and Missile Defense Command from 2010 to 2013. I did not come to it with missile defense background, but came to learn and appreciate the role and value of missile defense on that job.

I was dual-hatted as the commanding general for U.S. STRATCOM’s Joint Functional Component Command for integrated missile defense, not only an Army billet, but a joint-billet (ph). And had in that role the responsibility to make recommendations to the commander of U.S. STRATCOM to the Joint Staff for the global force management of missile defense assets.

And it was in that role that it was clear to me then, that while we continue to invest in missile defense capability, that there was an increasing demand for requirements by combatant commanders. And we had insufficient missile defense assets to meet of all those demands.

And we were constantly — and I talked about this in forums — in this forum, here, a couple — several months ago, and in several other when I was in command, about the need and the importance of balancing the number one priority for missile defense, which is to defend the homeland, and the regional requirements for missile defense, which we try to manage through the global force management process.

It’s also clear to me that in the two years since I retired, that the demands for missile defense to defend — not only to continue to defend the homeland, but to be able to defend regionally, to meet COCOM — to increase COCOM’s demands continues to grow, putting more and more challenges on the precious resources and assets that we do have.

When we talk about missile defense, as the ambassador mentioned, to talk about it within the context of a broader capability area. It’s not just missile defense, and we certainly don’t do missile defense in a vacuum. You’ll hear — we talk about having the rank offensive operations and our offensive capability, the ability to deter and to respond.

Oftentimes, you will hear the comment or the phrase, left to launch, which has its own unique military challenges to it. But again, a very important part of our total defense capability rests first on our ability to conduct offensive operations, like as I said, both as a deterrent and in response to a missile attack.

Most of the discussions when we talk about missile defense centers around active missile defense, and that’s much of what we will talk about today. And again, it’s also important to remember those elements of passive defense, those things that you would do to protect yourself, keep yourself from being observed, from being easily targeted and to defend your positions. That’s an important part to consider as well.

One of the other discussions that we have to have as well is, this is not just about the United States and our ability to provide for missile defense. Clearly it’s our responsibility is to defend the homeland, and as our second priority identify the need to defend U.S. interests, forces, and allies in the regions, and we do that by meeting the requirements of the combatant commanders.

But it’s also important that we work closely with our allies, coalition partners, and friends, and that not only do we talk about the need for increased U.S. capability, but to remind them that there’s a need for increased capabilities on their part to defend their critical assets and that they want defended and to contribute to the defense, certainly of the alliance and of the regions.

Of course it brings with that a whole other discussion about interoperability and challenges associated with interoperability, and we can talk about that if you have questions, but we do advocate not only for increased U.S. capability, but the capabilities of our allies and partners.

Several times during the first two speakers’ comments, you heard references to the European Phased Adaptive Approach I thought I would take a second and level the playing field and quickly go over what that means from a military perspective.

There are now three phases to the European Phased Adaptive Approach which are intended to increase capability and enhancement, short and medium, and then ultimately intermediate-range ballistic missile threat against again, U.S. national security interests, forces and allies in Europe.

Phase 1, which began in 2011, started with the existing capability that it — was in Europe and some maturing systems targeted at a short range and medium-range ballistic missile threat, to be in place by the end of 2015, it included the deployment of a TIP-B 2 radar in Turkey, to upgrades in command and control, and to the deployment of four B&B capable Aegis ships to Spain, with a missile capability, again capable of defending against short and medium-range ballistic missiles.

And that — Phase 1 is on track. Three of the four ships are deployed. TIP-B 2 is in Turkey and those that are planned (ph) full upgrades are in place.

Phase 2 was designed to provide an enhanced capability against those same short and medium-range ballistic missiles, and it includes the deployment of an Aegis Ashore capability, using Aegis-like, Aegis-ship-like spec (ph) deployed off of the ship, and (inaudible), capable of providing missile defense using the SM3 Block-IB (ph) missile, again to increase our capability against short and medium-range ballistic missiles, and it would be positioned in Romania. It is on track to be completed by the end — to be technically capable by the end of this year.

Then phase 3 would improve our area coverage and enhance our capability against medium and intermediate range ballistic missiles, by having Aegis Ashore site in Poland by the end of 2018 timeframe, again with an increased SM3 missile capability. All three phases and all capabilities intended to provide missile defense.

As I said, we are on track to achieve all three of those phases, and those capabilities will be integrated into the larger defense design that we have that’s maintained for the defense of — the physical defense of Europe, again to defend our U.S. national interests, forces, and allies in the region.

It’s been said, and I’ll reiterate from a military perspective, it is clear that this was not intended against the Russians. It was clearly designed for and implemented against the threat posed by Iran to our interests in Europe. I don’t know that Iran poses the only threat to air and missile defense in Europe, and we recently deployed Patriots to Turkey, for instance, to provide defense to that NATO ally.

There’s a wide range of threats that need to be considered, but EPA was designed against the threat that Iran poses to our interest in Europe. Thank you.

(UNKNOWN): Thanks, Dick. Thank you. I going to move the floor over to you, Alexander to respond to Bob quickly and then Bob, you can respond back. Then we can open it up to some questions.

But I also would just want to help U.S. — help educate us on what’s going on at Kaliningrad with the S-400 build up for the Icelandic missiles, or access of denial in that region. If you could just point on that, if that’s a threat or not a threat to NATO at the end of your comments to Bob.

TROFIMOV: Well, OK. I — I will say he wrote, but I will say that it’s an answer to what to do. Maybe just a bit of discussion. First of all, what I see both these English speakers can talked much (inaudible) not about missile defense. Missile defense is not only Russian — the conflict is not in a vacuum. What about the changes in the self-defense plan in the United States and Europe when the south side (ph) was canceled, then when the first phase of the EPA was canceled. I’m sure Ambassador was right, it’s about promote. And the decision was to try to promote its agenda. But when have we seen to mandate that — and more over, it isn’t official publicly, and the prime minister was saying that, “please don’t — don’t feel that this is an concession, because it’s not.

And I was told by my senior — my senior accordance (sic) that simply as long as there are — problems (inaudible), then I look at the different problems with the — start up in size (sic), block to be in this respect. So maybe in future it can build up again, I don’t know. But we don’t believe — what is this, a — a concession for my country. And I don’t why, but we’re always pointing two things about the EPA. That one point it’s — yes, a sure — it’s problem for us.

And another fallacy (ph) about sea compartment (ph). This issue that might come and go without a war. But here (inaudible). And it’s very comparable now to say that Block 2B was canceled, but still Russia has concerns — yes, we have concerns about the sea compartment, and also about the possibility of developing a new missile more, right, that can fight much better modern missiles.

And, as I mentioned also that (inaudible) that could gross missiles stand (sic). It is ashore. So it’s a matter of discussion, I think, and we should discuss this (inaudible). And what about gleaning this — we’ve always had some missiles there, there, and short range missile, of course, maybe short. It almost was a military base there, so…

(UNKNOWN): Maybe there is a sensitivity from NATO of that buildup in that region.

TROFIMOV: So you propose to withdraw…

(UNKNOWN): No, no, no, I’m not propose — I just wanted to hear your perception of that, because of what has happened in Ukraine…

TROFIMOV: Well, I — maybe if I’m NATO, or Europe (ph), or, you know, Germany, I’d feel threatened, but — if I’m Russia, I can remember, you know, United States nukes in Europe, and NATO countries are learning how to use them — no, maybe not how to use, but how to manage them, how to plan nuclear missions. But there are a lot of things from both sides, maybe. And — I don’t know what to say. NATO feels certain by small branch of — standard. They’re group or their short range, and we’re not — we have no military compliance for their defensive weapons, also. No, sorry, their standard of defense. My bad.

But it’s perplexing to me to hear things like — that Russia can attack Ukraine, pursue these whole war games and then alone, they’re punishing (inaudible).

(UNKNOWN): Bob, you want to respond?

JOSEPH: Just very briefly let me say something that might surprise most people. I think there have been a number of lost strategic opportunities in our relationship with Russia. I was actually optimistic at one point that we would — that we would move in a similar direction and share similar goals. Perhaps that’s naivete on my part, but I would argue that the Putin of 2002 is different from President Putin today. He sees the world differently.

He saw it in power terms in 2002. And I could tell you stories about sitting in the Kremlin, listening to him and reporting back. This is when he wanted to be our friend. He wanted to tell us about the strategic issues associated with the Soviet debacle of going into Afghanistan. I mean, he was open, he was transparent, he was forthright. But it was all about power then, and it’s all about power now. It’s just we have become the focus of the threat, we have lost those opportunities, and I think the responsibility is a shared responsibility. I think that’s both our fault in terms of some of the policies that we have pursued, as well as Russia’s fault and responsibility.

I mean, when your boss, Ambassador Kislyak and I worked together, we work together in areas where our interests intersected. We worked on nuclear energy and trying to make the expansion of nuclear energy more proliferation-resistant. We worked on combating nuclear terrorism. Set up an initiative together. There interests that we shared.

But as we moved more and more to “let’s get back to nuclear weapons, let’s continue this fruitless dialogue on missile defense” — I’m all for transparency on missile defense, but at some point it becomes counterproductive — we just lost our way, and other events have certainly occurred which has led President Putin to consider us to be the enemy, says so — clearly says so often.

I think we need to find a way forward. I don’t know what that way forward is, but I know it’s not weakness. It’s not by demonstrating weakness. U.S. policy today is very clear. Missile defense is not aimed against Russia. One can be clear and wrong, and I think that’s a wrong policy.

I think we need to explore how missile defense contributes in terms of our overall capabilities to our ability to deter a threat that exists. OK? But it’s by deterring and it’s by pursuing other opportunities that I think, you know, over time we have the best means of reversing the course, the strategic course that we have followed with Russia over the last decade.

TROFIMOV: I want to say — want to shorten it up. You mentioned in your statement about mutual compliance as result of the seventh speech of my president, there. One thing I want to state about Putin there — the leadership by president that to send to the Europe and the United States about mission preparedness. Because they can immediately as decide — (inaudible), but because the signal to rest, please stop doing what they’re doing in security area that it’s a lot of concerns about the stability in these countries.

Because (inaudible) the weaknesses that all technical polity in the United States are — they are sort of — only the missile defense and other weapons. So, my president tried to say, “Stop doing that for European security. Let’s cooperate. Let’s see the (inaudible), and he was immediately criticized (ph) for this.

Unfortunately this, you know, missile department (ph), and thank you for your words about finding a way forward. I we should — we should…

JOSEPH: I think we should too, and I won’t quote. I have the quotes here. It’s the academic in me, I’m afraid from that conference in which he literally denounced the United States as the instigator of almost everything evil in the world. I can get into quotes, but there’s no real point to do that.

(UNKNOWN): Thanks, Bob. Thanks, Al.

We’d like to open the floor up to questions, and I know some of you might have to leave, and you’re welcome to leave, but we will engage you as long as you’re here. Any questions?

QUESTION: Lena Regarstein (ph) with Sputnik International News. I have a couple of questions. First, it is, in the MDAA, the Congress approved of an amendment with full funding for the New Start (ph). The question on that, how should that be interpreted? This is the second year in a row that that amendment (inaudible)?

The second question, it’s my understanding that the INF compliance group has not met for a very long time. The main discussion, the main issue around INF compliance has been in the form of discussion, as opposed to verification. So, why — we were left in some part of the United States, for example, invite Russian technical experts to look at the facilities in Romania rather than saying at a diplomatic level, “no,, no, this isn’t what you think?”

Why the reluctance to put that handout to get the technical assurance, and just keep it at this diplomatic level that’s mostly pawned (ph)?

(UNKNOWN): Bob, you’re the best one to…

JOSEPH (?): Alexander (ph), do you want to respond? I think that was — I think that was about a hundred, huh? Alexander?

TROFIMOV: I can talk about, NDA (ph). I just know that…

JOSEPH: So you want me to talk about it long enough?

TROFIMOV: … last year, this amendment was a — group (inaudible).

JOSEPH: I’m sorry, the question is, in terms of the allegation that the U.S. is violating the INF treaty?

QUESTION: Yes, there’s an allegation, and then…

JOSEPH: That’s just — I mean that’s just a rabbit hole that we don’t want to go down, it seems to me. I mean, there is a clear violation on the part of Russia in terms of INF. The Obama administration — I mean, that’s got to tell you something, OK? The Obama administration has found Russia in violation of the INF agreement, with the development and possible deployment of a ground-launched cruise missile within the band range. That ought to be the focus of the discussion, not chasing some rabbit down a hole with regard to, you know, the tubes in Romania.

TROFIMOV: (Inaudible) I wish I knew what — what is our application (ph), because it’s very general. You know (inaudible) something launched between this timeframe, in five years. There was (inaudible) where this all — (inaudible) this is true, we don’t know what Obama administration does. We have no special — you can ask for it.

To the general question. It’s like, you know, this concession (ph) to Europe, this is a level of discussion unfortunately. And don’t — what I mean by rabbit holes (ph), but we can speak — we can’t judge the (inaudible).

It’s the same — we can measure — can find the technical discussion, then the technical expert (inaudible). And I hope that the administration will be more specific in their allegations. And — because we’re already — this discussion.

JOSEPH: You know, but if you take this up a notch, and you look at sort of the Russian violation in the more strategic context, and you put that in the context of Secretary Kerry and others in the administration are doing for more negotiations to further reduce our nuclear weapons, it’s just mind-boggling to me that you have this violation, you have aggression in Ukraine, you have all of the other issues, and what we are calling for is more nuclear negotiations?

I’ve got to tell you, on this one I’m siding with the Russians too. I don’t think that’s going to work. Senator McCain had a very powerful statement on this the other day, and I think Senator McCain is exactly right. I mean, if you are going to have an arms control dialogue, it ought to be one that has integrity. And part of that integrity is ensuring compliance, and if you can’t ensure compliance, and if you don’t know — and if you know that the other side is in violation of arms-control commitments, moving forward with yet another set of commitments is just counterintuitive.

(UNKNOWN): Thanks, Bob. Any other questions? Tom?

QUESTION: So I think — if I should just figure out a subtle point, is often appears in this discussion. At least three different formulations I think about, in relation to Russia. Often said — repeat we’re not in Russia, doesn’t sound very offensive (inaudible). The second one is about Russia, right? They’re about Iran, so some of them — and the third point in relation to the talk now here, this is not about defending against or engaging the Russian’s strategic nuclear threat (ph). And of those three I think the third one is really the preferable one. That is the one valued (ph) as the most defensive view, for example, the most precise version.

And so it really raises the question, what’s so wrong — with the second one especially — what’s so wrong about they wanting to defend themselves, or the United States defending itself from (inaudible) missile threats from rovers (ph). And so, the Poland, or Germany, if we’re looking at aerial defenses like they are, right now, lower tier stuff, what’s so wrong with NATO and the United States defending against those common threats?

The answer — the short answer is, nothing. So let me turn this into a question (inaudible). The House bill had no provisions about an extra THAAD battery for Europe and SM2 air defenses for Poland.

More from the Army perspective or from the Air perspective, what are kind of systems (ph) — those kinds of defenses might we be looking at for Europe now?

Again, (inaudible), which is not capable in terms of number, speedy arraignment (ph), or vocation for lower tier (ph)…

(UNKNOWN): And to reiterate on both points. One not capable for countering a strategic threat, insufficient in quantity to counter the strategic threat, and not U.S. policy to counter the strategic threat. So I’m with you on all of those.

Your point is well taken that from a military perspective, U.S. forces and NATO forces clearly have to take NATO 5 — Article 5 seriously and have a responsibility to defend not only our U.S. forces, but our interests and allies in the region, and be able to respond to a NATO — to a threat to NATO.

Whether that’s on the ground or from the air, that’s one of the things NATO does. And it does prudent planning. And I am confident that military leaders in NATO and in the United States and EUCOM are doing prudent planning for those things that it would take to defend Europe.

We don’t have sufficient missile-defense capacity to provide all of the resources that the European commander, combatant commander would ask for, clearly having more air defense terminal capabilities, Patriot, THAAD. You brought up THAAD. We are growing to seven THAAD batteries. Those THAAD batteries will be high-demand (ph), low density assets. They will be managed inside low density assets.

I’m not sure where they are, but there will be a conscious decision on where those THAAD batteries are best deployed, and likely the discussion will be some combination of forward deployed to be immediately available in a region, or strategically withheld in the United States and you can deploy them where you need them, when you need them. And they’ll — I’m sure they will come to some balance, some combination of that, and other the factors, we have to — where we deploy them, they have to want them as well. And we’ll have — and using some of those discussions already into whether or not THAAD can be deployed to (inaudible).

So I think there is, in my view, clear need for increased — both air and missile defense capability. It comes at a time when we have decreasing defense resources. That’s a concern for me. And I know it’s one of the challenges that the Army has to face as it looks at an ever increasing smaller active component, reductions also in the Guard and Reserve, where we try to balance what are the total capabilities that we need to have? Increased demand for missile defense, at the same time you are reducing force structure.

We have reduced force structure considerably since the end of the Cold War, and our force structure in Europe considerably reduced since the end of the Cold War. And I think that’s one of the challenges that we face. Again, one of the reasons why I would continue to advocate for increased capacity in our air and missile defense capability in Europe and to meet the demand of the other combatant commanders.

Here we are talking about Europe today, but those demands, as I said in my opening remarks, PACOM, CENTCOM, all have demand for air missile-defense capability. Admiral Linsom (ph) made a reference yesterday to cruise missile defense in the United States. That is a whole other discussion. We have not deploy air defense assets to defend the United States against cruise missiles. Again, another increase in the demand for air and missile defense resources.

Answer your question?

(UNKNOWN): Any other questions?

Well, thank you. Thank you, Ambassador, thank you, Alexander, thank you Dick.

We are going to have this out on our website. We will have a recording if anybody would like to see it, would be great. We’re going to be — I want to thank you for your time. We are going to be heading out next week to celebrate the Japanese-American relationship at an event at the Ronald Reagan Library, and then next weekend we are doing a NORTHCOM, NORAD Defender of the Year with the Canadians and celebrating their recognition.
I want to thank Abel and Ian for handling this event, and thank all of you for coming to the event. Thank you.