Rose Gottemoeller
Acting Under Secretary for Arms Control and International Security
Warsaw, Poland
October 31, 2013

As Delivered

Thank you so much for inviting me to speak here and thank you for your kind introduction, Nancy. It is always a pleasure to visit Warsaw. The United States greatly values its relationship with Poland and looks forward to further strengthening our cooperation.

As you have all heard from my colleagues, Under Secretary Miller and Admiral Syring, the global threat from ballistic missiles is very serious. Missile defense is an important part of how we combat this threat. In our increasingly-connected and fiscally-strained world, efforts and collaboration of allies and partners on missile defense are more important than ever. The United States will continue to do its part in this regard and today, I would like to focus on the broader picture about how missile defenses fit into our larger strategy to respond to the threat, including the defense of the United States, our Allies and friends.

Comprehensive Tools

The United States has a large number of tools available to it to prevent the threat from growing. We are active participants in the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR), which serves as the global standard for controlling the transfer of equipment, software, and technology that could make a contribution to the development of WMD-capable missile and unmanned aerial vehicle delivery systems.

We are also working through the Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI) and other counter-proliferation activities to help partners improve their ability to stop shipments of missiles or missile parts. My last visit to Warsaw was for the PSI 10th anniversary in the spring. We made some real progress on that occasion in expanding the reach and depth of the PSI, and thank you again to Poland for hosting such an effective meeting. We have worked directly with specific governments to convince them to renounce their missile programs. For example, in 2003, Libya committed to eliminate its long-range ballistic missile programs, which led to the elimination of their 800-km range SCUD missiles. These are just some of our ongoing efforts to tackle the missile threat and prevent missile proliferation. While much of this work is performed quietly, the impact of all of these efforts is of crucial importance to international peace and security.

At the same time, we are realistic that these programs cannot completely halt missile proliferation and that other steps are needed to dissuade countries from acquiring or developing ballistic missiles. That is why missile defense is an important part of our efforts to strengthen regional security. The missile defense systems that we deploy are critical to reassuring our allies. They signal that, in the face of threats from countries like Iran and North Korea, we will meet our defense commitments. As you heard yesterday, missile threats exist around the globe and have been used in recent and current conflicts. In both the Libyan and Syrian conflicts, ballistic missiles were used.

As Iran and North Korea conduct more ballistic missile tests, our defense systems make it more likely that our allies will embrace our diplomatic efforts, whether it is engagement or sanctions, knowing that missile defenses are doing their part to defend against a regional threat. That assurance is critical as we seek regional cooperation to persuade some states to abandon their nuclear programs and stop the proliferation of nuclear material.

Where we can, we seek to integrate our missile defense systems into a broader system of defenses deployed by our allies and friends. We are better off where we can leverage the capabilities of our allies and combine that with a flexible, capable cost effective system. The Obama Administration is improving these regional security architectures by deploying and improving regional missile defenses. These deployments are tailored to the unique requirements of the regional threat. We do not purchase more than what is required and we are very transparent about what we do purchase. Let me discuss some of our efforts around the world related to these efforts.

Cooperation in Europe

First, in Europe, the United States remains firmly committed to defending NATO Europe against ballistic missile threats to populations, territory and forces. We are deploying the European Phased Adaptive Approach (EPAA), which will provide protection to all NATO European territory in the 2018 timeframe. We are making great progress on EPAA, most recently with Monday’s Phase 2 site ground-breaking in Romania, in which Under Secretary Miller and Admiral Syring participated, as well as my colleague DAS Frank Rose. That site will be operational in the 2015 timeframe. We will also forward-base four BMD-capable Aegis warships to Rota, Spain in the 2015 timeframe to support the EPAA. Our commitment to deploy Phase 3 in Poland is ironclad, and preparations are currently on-time and on-budget for the establishment of the Phase 3 interceptor site at Redzikowo. It will be operational in the 2018 timeframe.

Although not related to EPAA, the Dutch, German and United States deployment of Patriot missile defense units to Turkey this year in response to a Turkish request to NATO for defense against potential Syrian ballistic missile threats is an excellent example of how missile defense can provide reassurance to Allies and deter potential adversaries.

Cooperation in the Middle East

The United States continues its robust BMD partnership with Israel. This cooperation includes the Arrow 2 interceptor, the more advanced Arrow 3, and the David’s Sling Weapon system. And the United States and Israel worked closely together to deploy an AN/TPY-2 radar to Israel in 2008. This powerful radar is linked to U.S. early warning satellites, and intended to enhance Israel’s missile detection and defense capabilities.

In the Gulf, the United States has had a continuous missile defense presence and seeks to strengthen cooperation with its partners in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). We have begun an initiative, launched at the U.S.-GCC Strategic Cooperation Forum in March 2012, to strengthen missile defense cooperation.

At the September 26 meeting of the U.S.-GCC Strategic Cooperation Forum, Ministers resolved to work together to continue to work towards enhanced U.S.-GCC coordination on Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD), including the eventual development of a Gulf-wide coordinated missile defense architecture built around interoperable U.S. and GCC forces that would serve as an integrated system to defend the territory and assets of the GCC states against the threat of ballistic missiles. A number of states in the region already deploy PATRIOT batteries and are exploring purchases of some missile defense capabilities under the auspices of the foreign military sales (FMS) program. To build a coordinated architecture, it is critical that our partners select systems that are fully interoperable.

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) continues to be a leader in the field of ballistic missile defense. On December 25, 2011, the UAE became the first international partner to purchase the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense, or “THAAD,” system from the United States. This robust area defense capability, in conjunction with the UAE’s acquisition of PAC-3 point defense systems, will provide the UAE with a layered missile defense capability, ensure interoperability with U.S. forces, and contribute to regional stability. These purchases highlight the strong ties and common strategic interests between the United States and the UAE.

As our partners acquire greater missile defense capabilities, the United States will work to promote interoperability and information sharing among the GCC states. This will allow for more efficient missile defenses and greater security cooperation in the region.

Cooperation in the Asia-Pacific

In the Asia-Pacific region, we have robust missile defense cooperation with Japan and are increasing this cooperation. Japan is one of our closest allies, a leader in missile defense within the region, and one of the United States’ closest BMD partners. The United States and Japan have made significant strides in interoperability. The United States and Japan regularly train together, and our forces have successfully executed cooperative BMD operations.

Japan has acquired a layered integrated BMD system that includes Aegis BMD ships with Standard Missile 3 interceptors, Patriot Advanced Capability 3 (PAC-3) fire units, early warning radars, and a command and control system. We also worked cooperatively to deploy a forward-based X-band radar in Japan. At their October 3, 2013, “2+2 meeting, U.S. and Japanese foreign and defense ministers confirmed their intention to designate the Air Self-Defense Force base at Kyogamisaki as the deployment site for a second AN/TPY-2 radar (X-band radar) system that will further enhance the defense of our two countries.

One of our most significant cooperative efforts is the co-development of a next-generation SM-3 interceptor, called the Block IIA. This co-development program represents not only an area of significant technical cooperation but also the basis for enhanced operational cooperation to strengthen regional security. The Republic of Korea (ROK) is another key U.S. ally and with the increasing North Korean missile threat, the United States stands ready to work with the ROK to strengthen its BMD capabilities. We are working together to define possible future ROK BMD requirements and the United States looks forward to taking further steps to build upon this ongoing missile defense relationship.

Defense Against Regional Threats

As we work with partners abroad, the Obama Administration is enhancing our homeland missile defenses; a development which will also provide reassurance to our Allies. On March 15, Secretary of Defense Hagel announced an increase in the number of ground-based interceptors to ensure that the United States remains well hedged against a North Korean ICBM threat. This change in our missile defenses will also provide the United States with additional defenses against an Iranian ICBM capability should that threat emerge.

We also strengthened our defenses of U.S. territory through deployment of a THAAD battery to Guam during the tensions with North Korea earlier this year. Homeland missile defenses ensure that the United States reduces the risks that come with helping to defend our Allies and allows our Allies to be confident that the United States will meet its Treaty and security commitments.

Strategic Stability

As we move forward with our programs, I want to be very clear - our missile defense deployments are not directed at Russia or China. We are committed to maintaining strategic stability with these nations. U.S. missile defenses are not designed to intercept Russian ICBMs or SLBMs, nor are they technically capable of intercepting Russian ICBMs or SLBMs. As stated in the Ballistic Missile Defense Review, our homeland missile defenses are to defend against the threat of limited ballistic missile attack.

Russia and China both field advanced ICBMs and SLBMs. In addition, with just 44 ground-based interceptors scheduled to be deployed, both Russia and China’s nuclear arsenals far exceed the number of interceptors we have; thus clearly establishing that we are talking about – to use an American phrase – apples and oranges when it comes to how U.S. missile defenses impact strategic stability with those nations. There is therefore no way that U.S. missile defenses could undermine the effectiveness of Russia’s or China’s strategic nuclear forces.

Dialogue with Russia

We remain convinced that increased predictability on missile defense between the United States and Russia (and between NATO and Russia) is in the national security interests of all countries involved. For that reason, missile defense cooperation with Russia remains a priority for President Obama, as it has been for nearly 20 years with both Democratic and Republican Presidents.

As such, the United States has had discussions with the Russian Federation on increasing predictability on missile defense. Secretary of Defense Hagel and Russian Defense Minister Shoygu agreed in March to reconvene missile defense discussions between Under Secretary of Defense Jim Miller and Deputy Defense Minister Antonov. I also had discussions with my Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs counterpart, Sergei Ryabkov, on strategic stability issues, including missile defense. We are committed to a dialogue on missile defense, both bilaterally and in the NATO-Russia Council, and stand ready to begin practical discussions.

While we seek to develop ways to cooperate with Russia on missile defense, it is important to remember that in keeping with its collective security obligations, NATO alone bears responsibility for defending the Alliance from ballistic missile threats. Just as Russia must ensure the defense of Russian territory, NATO must ensure the defense of NATO territory. NATO cannot and will not outsource its Article 5 commitments. Russia continues to request legal guarantees that could 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 made clear that we cannot and will not accept limitations on our ability to defend ourselves, our allies, and our partners, including where we deploy our BMD-capable Aegis ships.

The United States believes that through cooperation and transparency, Russia will see firsthand that this system is designed to respond to ballistic missile threats from outside the Euro-Atlantic area, and that NATO missile defense systems will not undermine Russia’s strategic nuclear deterrent. Cooperation would also send a strong message to proliferators that the United States, NATO, and Russia are working together to counter their efforts.

Dialogue with China

We are in the beginning stages of holding dialogues with China on these issues that span both governments’ interagencies. In May, I traveled to Beijing to hold a Security Dialogue with my Chinese counterpart. On the State Department side, there are a number of fora in which we discuss important issues, including the Strategic and Economic Dialogue led by Secretaries Kerry and Lew and the Strategic Security Dialogue led by the Deputy Secretary of State. The Defense Department also has a number of important dialogues with the Chinese, including the U.S.-China Defense Consultative Talks. General Dempsey and other senior defense officials have also met with their Chinese counterparts this year. These mechanisms and opportunities for deep discussion are important for strengthening our strategic stability with China.

Looking Ahead

Looking ahead, the United States knows that we have a lot more work to do on creating opportunities for missile defense cooperation and on defending against ballistic missile proliferation, but that is why forums like these are so important. The discussions, debates and ideas that develop here can help us move to a safer, more secure world.

Thank you.