Putin’s new position on Missile Defense announced at the G-8 Summit in Germany yesterday that Russia recognizes the ballistic missile threat from Iran and wishes to cooperate with the United States on Missile Defense is to be commended. We recognize there is a potential threat it is a potential threat to Russia, Europe and we need to have a dialogue about the nature of that threat.
Putins offer to cooperate included a proposal that the United States would be provided real time information from a Soviet built early warning long-range radar that could be sent to interceptors that would provide protection against the threat from Iran. The proposed radar is located in Azerbaijan, a former Soviet Union State which borders Iran. Today, Putin extended his cooperation to advise that U.S. missile defense interceptors could be located in Turkey, Iraq and on U.S. Aegis Ships.They could be placed in the south, in U.S. NATO allies such as Turkey, or even Iraq. They could also be placed on sea platforms.”
Though these latest remarks of cooperation deserve appreciation and respect in hopes of greater gains between Russia and the United States, we must clearly understand that this proposal and words of advice can not, and does not offer any protection against Iranian missiles targeted at the United States of America, United Kingdom and portions of Northern Europe. The current U.S. defensive missile systems and systems that could be deployed by 2015 referred by President Putin will not have the capability to protect these countries from long to medium range missiles if located in Southern NATO countries including Turkey and Iraq. Furthermore, the U.S. Aegis Ships are not configured to protect the United States of America from long-range missiles; their capability out beyond 2015 is in the short to medium range protection. In regards to the use of the Soviet made radar in Azerbaijan which was put in place in the 1980s, it is not an X-band radar, and cannot discriminate and process the targeting information required of the interceptors.
There is no question in terms of geography and technical capability that the national security of the United States of America, the United Kingdom and Northern Europe requires a European Missile Defense Site for both interceptors and long-range radar capability to defend against a threat of ballistic missiles from Iran or other Middle Eastern countries by 2015. It is also noted that 2015 is a projected date of Iranian capability from the National Intelligence Estimate but purchases from Pakistan, North Korea and other proliferators of ballistic missile technology can move the date forward dramatically.
We sincerely hope that the open cooperation on missile defense from President Putin is consistent and continues to unfold to include sharing early warning data, forward basing U.S. X-band radars in Azerbaijan and unified sanctions against Iran if they continue with nuclear and missile proliferation.
We respectfully remind President Putin that we as a nation will not be subject by a foreign leader to determine our national security and protection of our homeland.