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MARCH 20, 2003

Mr. Chairman, it is an honor to come before your committee to provide details about our missile defense policy and the direction of our missile defense program, especially in light of the President's recent decision to begin initial fielding of missile defense capabilities in 2004.

I would like first to identify the basic reasons for moving forward with the fielding of missile defense. We and our allies face serious and unpredictable threats to our homelands, populations, and interests, particularly including the proliferation of ballistic missiles armed with weapons of mass destruction.  One of the reasons potential adversaries seek ballistic missiles is because we have no defenses against long-range missiles, and limited defenses against shorter-range missiles.  Potential adversaries see these weapons as a means for exploiting an obvious U.S. and allied vulnerability.

Ballistic missiles have proliferated on a global basis and are in the hands of over two dozen states, many of which have chemical, biological, or nuclear weapons programs underway.

North Korea, for example, has had an active ballistic missile program for years, and has developed a wide-range of offensive missiles.  It has deployed and exported missiles that can threaten our allies, friends, and forces abroad. 

North Korea caught us by surprise when it launched its three-stage Taepo-Dong I space-launch vehicle/ballistic missile in August 1998.  We knew North Korea was developing longer-range missiles, but we were surprised at the presence of a third stage on the missile.  We have been surprised many times in the past by foreign ballistic missile developments. We likely will be surprised again in the future.  The existing and emerging missile threats of which we are aware are significant; those we can see now only in part almost certainly will be more severe.

For example, North Korea has the Taepo Dong II long-range missile capable of reaching parts of the United States with a nuclear weapon-sized payload, and it could be flight-tested at any time.  And, according to the National Air Intelligence Center, the Taepo Dong II missile may be exported to other countries in the future.  Iran and other countries also are working on space-launch vehicles and intercontinental-range ballistic missiles that could be ready for testing in the next few years.

We are moving forward with missile defense to help protect American territory and forces abroad, and our allies and friends against the use of missiles and weapons of mass destruction by unpredictable, and in some cases, irresponsible states. 

In addition, some countries seek missiles and weapons of mass destruction to coerce us simply by threatening their use. Missile defenses will help to reduce our potential vulnerability to such coercive threats. 

Finally, by reducing the value of ballistic missiles for coercion or use, our missile defense capability will help to dissuade countries from investing in ballistic missiles at the outset.  Missile defense can help to reduce the proliferation of offensive missiles by reducing their value, and thereby reducing the demand for them.  In this way defenses will provide a useful complement to our other non-proliferation efforts.      

In light of this new security environment and the considerable progress made to date in missile defense technology, the President directed the Department of Defense to proceed with fielding initial missile defense capabilities in 2004 and 2005. We will build on the missile defense test range (known as the "test bed") that we have been constructing. As a result of our withdrawal from the ABM Treaty, the fielding of these initial capabilities no longer is prohibited.  The initial missile defenses called for by the President will serve as a starting point for improving our defensive capabilities as budgets and technological progress allow, and as developments in the threat necessitate. 

Finally, as the President has noted, because ballistic missile threats also endanger our friends and allies around the world, it is essential that we work together cooperatively to defend against them.  To do so, the Department of Defense is developing and deploying missile defenses capable of protecting not only the United States and our deployed forces, but also our friends and allies; and we have structured our missile defense program in a manner that encourages participation by other nations.

With these general points in mind, allow me to elaborate on our approach to missile defense development and deployment, and how we are pursuing cooperative efforts with allies and friends.

US defense goals and capabilities-based planning

From the start of this Administration, our approach to developing and fielding missile defenses has been consistent with the Department's goal of transforming U.S. military forces and adopting a capabilities-based approach to planning.  We begin with the recognition that we face a security environment where threats and potential adversaries are less predictable and more diverse than during the Cold War.  Therefore, rather than organizing our defense planning around a fixed and largely static set of enemies, we now focus on how potential adversaries might fight and with what means.

The Nuclear Posture Review concluded that a mix of capabilities -- offensive and defensive -- is required to address the emerging missile threat, and to help meet the four broad defense goals outlined in the Nuclear Posture Review: to assure, dissuade, deter, and if necessary, defend and defeat.   Missile defenses will help to:  

Assure allies and friends that ballistic missiles threats will not coerce the U.S. from fulfilling its security commitments, or allow aggressors the means to undermine the cohesiveness and political stability of a coalition or alliance; 

Dissuade potential adversaries from investing in or developing ballistic missiles and their associated nuclear, chemical, and biological warheads by reducing the value of such weapons;

Deter ballistic missile attacks and threats by reducing an adversary's confidence in the possible success of its missile attack, and by denying the political-coercive or military benefits associated with threatening an attack;

Defeat missile attacks and defend the population of the United States, its forces, allies and friends should deterrence fail.

The Evolutionary Approach to Fielding Missile Defenses

In applying capabilities-based planning to missile defense, we concluded that an evolutionary approach to acquiring and fielding missile defense was the best way to address ballistic missile threats in a dynamic and unpredictable security environment.

The Department has been pursuing a broad-based research, development and testing program to examine the full range of capabilities to intercept ballistic missiles of all ranges and in all phases of flight. On December 17, 2002, the President announced his decision to field in 2004 and 2005 initial defensive capabilities against long- range missiles, and additional capabilities against shorter-range missiles.  As we field these capabilities, our development and testing program will continue to improve our defensive systems over time.

Under this evolutionary approach, we do not envision a final or fixed missile defense architecture.  Rather, the composition of missile defenses, including the number, type, and location of components, will change over time to meet the changing threat and take advantage of technological developments.  The evolutionary approach to the acquisition and fielding of missile defenses is the best means for providing advanced capabilities to the war-fighter, while continuously pursuing follow-on improvements in capability.   This approach facilitates the timely delivery of a modest, but still useful defensive capability that can then be improved with the benefit of technical advancements and operational experience. 

The severity of existing and emerging missile threats, and the potential for surprises, call for this approach to acquisition that permits the fielding of appropriate defensive capabilities as soon as technically practicable.

Fielding modest capabilities in the near-term will provide not only timely defensive coverage, it also will allow operational input from combatant commanders.  This is especially important for the missile defense mission wherein there is little previous operational experience to serve as a guide.     

Two good examples where we have taken a similar approach to the timely fielding of limited capabilities still in development are the Predator Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) and the Joint Surveillance and Target Attack System (JSTARS).  Predator was begun as an Advanced Concept Technology Demonstration project in 1994, conducted its first flight test in 1995 and was first deployed in Bosnia in 1996.  Since then, commanders in the field have provided valuable inputs on ways to improve the system and have continued to request this capability in other operational scenarios including, Kosovo, Iraq, and Afghanistan.

JSTARS aircraft were deployed in 1991 to participate in Operation Desert Storm even though they were still in development. The developmental aircraft flew on 49 combat sorties and accurately tracked mobile Iraqi forces.  JSTARS developmental aircraft also flew 95 operational sorties in support of NATO peacekeeping mission Operation Joint Endeavor in December 1995, monitoring ground movements to confirm compliance with the Dayton Agreements. 

In each case, the timely and limited deployment of a system still in development provided useful capabilities, and facilitated subsequent improvements in the systems.   

Our evolutionary approach to missile defense similarly points to the initial fielding, in limited numbers, of those missile defense capabilities that have been demonstrated to work, and the subsequent improvement of these capabilities through incremental improvements, for example, by inserting new technologies when available. 

We are moving forward with missile defense on the basis of a highly successful test program over the past two years.  For example, since the beginning of 2001, we have had four successful tests out of five for the long-range, ground-based interceptor, three successful tests out of three for the short-to-medium-range sea-based interceptor, and five successful tests out of seven for the short-range, ground-based interceptor. Where tests have failed, we understand what went wrong and have taken measures to correct the problem.  In the next two years, we plan to conduct over 120 flight and ground tests.

Some test failures are to be expected with advanced technology development programs. Indeed many of our most successful programs have had significant test failures. For example, the Corona satellite program, which produced the first overhead reconnaissance satellites, suffered 11 straight test failures.  The Vanguard program failed 11 of its first 14 tries.  And, the Polaris sea-launched ballistic missile failed in 66 out of 123 flights. 

Nevertheless, in each case, these programs continued in development, were successfully deployed, and made significant contributions to our national security. We have learned from our missile defense test successes and failures, and look forward to additional successful tests as we deploy the initial missile defense capabilities and work continuously to improve those capabilities.

Initial Capabilities (2004-2005)

In December 2002 the President directed the Department of Defense to build on the missile defense testbed and begin deployment of missile defense capabilities in 2004 and 2005.  These capabilities will serve as the starting point for the evolutionary improvement of our missile defense capabilities. 

The capabilities planned for 2004-2005 include 20 ground-based interceptors (GBIs) against the intercontinental-range ballistic missile threat; 16 located at Ft Greely, Alaska and 4 at Vandenberg Air Force Base. The GBIs will be available on a continuous basis to intercept long-range missiles during their midcourse phase of flight, while the incoming enemy warheads are outside the atmosphere.

The Ballistic Missile Defense System supporting the GBIs will include an initial set of integrated sensors based on land and at sea, and cued by early warning sensors in space.  We also have made requests to the United Kingdom and the Kingdom of Denmark to upgrade early warning radars on their territory to track ballistic missile threats from the Middle East.  The UK has granted permission and we look forward to hearing from Denmark later this year.

To address the medium range threat, we plan to equip three existing Aegis-class ships with up to 20 Standard-Missile (SM-3) interceptors.  This will provide a highly mobile missile defense capability to help protect US forces and allies and provide some limited protection for the U.S. homeland against shorter-range missiles launched from ships off our coasts.  We also plan to modify other sensors on 15 existing Aegis ships to support the overall ballistic missile defense system.

Finally, with respect to the short-range threat, we will continue to field additional air-transportable and mobile Patriot PAC-3 units with up to 346 PAC-3 missiles and 42 PAC-3 radars.  The PAC-3 missile is the first upgrade of the Patriot system to feature a hit-to-kill missile that can help defeat chemical and biological threats, and is designed to protect U.S. and coalition forces in the field as well as limited geographic areas.

These initial capabilities may be improved later in the decade through additional measures that will lead, ultimately, to a multi-layered missile defense system.  These include additional ground- and sea-based interceptors and PAC-3 units; introduction of the Theater High Altitude Area Defense system to intercept medium-range missiles at high altitude and the Airborne Laser that will use directed energy to destroy a ballistic missile in the boost phase; enhanced radars and other sensor capabilities; development of a common booster for boost and midcourse defense; and initial development and testing of space-based hit-to-kill interceptors.

The budget request for the Missile Defense Agency for FY 2004 and FY 2005 is $7.7 billion and $8.7 billion respectively. Included in this funding request is an additional $1.5 billion dollars total for FY 04 and 05 to provide those initial capabilities directed by the President for 2004 and 2005. Funding requests for our missile defense programs will remain relatively constant at roughly $8+ billion dollars per year from FY04 to FY 09.  This represents less than 3-percent of the total defense budget over these years.

Operational Issues

Fielding a layered missile defense system poses new operational command and control challenges.  A key Presidential document used to organize U.S.
forces, Unified Command Plan (UCP) 2002, assigns the U.S. Strategic Command (STRATCOM) responsibility for planning, integrating, coordinating, and developing the desired characteristics for sea, land, air, and space-based global missile defense operations.  UCP 2002 addresses the missile defense command and control issue through the use of centralized planning with decentralized execution.  Therefore, while STRATCOM will be given responsibility for planning, integrating, and coordinating global missile defense operations, NORTHCOM and other regional combatant commands will retain responsibility for defending their geographic areas of responsibility - including command and control over systems providing defense against ballistic missile attacks.


Cooperation with Allies and Friends

As the President stated, it is essential that we work together with allies and friends to defend against ballistic missile threats.  Accordingly, the Department of Defense is developing and deploying missile defenses capable of protecting not only the United States and our deployed forces, but also our friends and allies. For example, two of the capabilities we plan to operate in 2004 and 2005 - sea-based missile defense and Patriot PAC-3 - could provide some protection for allies against short and medium-range ballistic missiles, depending on where they are located.

The United States also will structure its missile defense program in a manner that encourages industrial participation by other nations, consistent with U.S. national security.  Countries will be encouraged to participate at whatever level they deem appropriate up to and including co-development and production of various systems.  They might also provide in-kind contributions such as territory and facilities upon which to build components of our missile defense system.

There are a number of examples of U.S. missile defense cooperation with allies and friends around the world. For example, the U.S. has been working with Israel since the late 1980s to design and develop missile defense systems.  U.S. and Israeli cooperative programs, such as the Arrow missile defense system, along with the sharing of U.S. missile launch warning information, will continue to assist Israel in the development of a ballistic missile defense capability to deter and, if necessary, defend against current and emerging ballistic threats.  We are also helping Israel to address the threat via a co-production arrangement of Arrow components in the U.S. 

Turning to Asia, the U.S. and Japan have engaged in missile defense research cooperation since the 1990's.  These efforts have focused on sea-based missile defense efforts (Japan has acquired several AEGIS ship platforms), including components developed by Japan that could become part of an evolutionary development upgrade to the U.S. Navy's Standard Missile III (SM-3).  The U.S. and Japan are scheduled to conduct joint flight tests of the SM-3 in FY 2005/2006.  We are exploring additional avenues to enhance missile defense cooperation with Japan. 

Elsewhere in the Asia-Pacific area, we are working closely with South Korea as they proceed with their new air defense frigate development with the aim of including missile defense capabilities.  We have an ongoing dialogue with India on missile defense issues and recently this dialogue expanded to include discussion of India's efforts to determine its own specific missile defense requirements.  Likewise, we have met with officials from Taiwan in an effort to answer their questions regarding missile defense.

Turning to Europe, there is consensus in NATO on the need to develop and deploy missile defenses capable of protecting deployed forces against short-to-medium range ballistic missiles.  The Alliance is undertaking a Theater Ballistic Missile Defense Feasibility study to examine options for protecting Allied forces from ballistic missile threats of up to 3,000-km.

Because Europe increasingly is threatened by missiles of all ranges, we have encouraged the Alliance to expand its consensus on missile defense to include missile defenses capable of protecting all Alliance territory against the full range of missile threats.  As a first step, the Alliance agreed at the November 2002 Prague Summit to initiate a new missile defense feasibility study to examine options for protecting Alliance territory, forces and population centers against the full range of missile threats.

The United States has had a long relationship with the United Kingdom in the area of missile defense research. Recently, British Secretary of State for Defense  Geoffrey Hoon stated that "developing the capacity to defend against the threat of ballistic missile attack is in the interest of the UK and its people."  We are in the process of deepening this relationship between our two nations to facilitate greater missile defense cooperation.  The United States has requested and received permission by the United Kingdom to upgrade the early warning radar located at Fylingdales.

The governments of Germany, Italy, and the United States have been pursuing a multilateral research and development program to field a new mobile air and missile defense system capable of providing protection for forces on the move, the Medium Extended Air Defense System (MEADS).  MEADs is expected to replace the U.S. Army's Patriot system in the next decade and has the potential to become the core short-range missile defense capability for the Alliance.  Both Germany and Italy support MEADS and have programmed funding for the next phase of activities.

The United States continues to engage the Russian Federation actively in the area of missile defense cooperation.  The Joint Declaration signed by Presidents Bush and Putin last May called for missile defense cooperation and reflects the new relationship between our countries.  Our relationship no longer is focused on managing hostility, but instead, on building cooperation. 

To fulfill our commitment to strengthen confidence, increase transparency and study areas for missile defense cooperation, a U.S.-Russian Missile Defense Working Group has been established under the auspices of the Ministerial-level Consultative Group on Strategic Security.  In this venue the U.S. has proposed  to begin voluntary and reciprocal information exchanges and visits, made proposals for potential new cooperation and also encouraged Russian interaction with U.S. corporations working on missile defense.

We already have some ongoing programs of missile defense cooperation.  For example, we have conducted three successful Theater Missile Defense Exercises with the Russian Federation.  A fourth exercise is planned in Moscow in the Spring of 2005.   These unclassified, computer-based exercises are designed to establish procedures for independent but coordinated operations in the event that our forces are deployed together against a common adversary.

We also are seeking to resolve issues that impede implementation of agreed cooperation programs.  Negotiations continue on the Russian-American Observation Satellite (RAMOS) program.  We also continue to discuss the Joint Data Exchange Center, which is held up by a disagreement over tax and liability provisions.


Missile defenses are an essential element of our overall national security policy to transform U.S. defense capabilities to meet the requirements of a dynamic international security environment. As we move forward in 2004 and 2005 to field the missile defenses called for by the President, we will do so in cooperation with our allies and friends.  Our initial missile defense capabilities will be modest; but the evolutionary approach we are pursuing will support continued research, development and testing to improve our capabilities as budgets and technology allow, and as developments in the threat necessitate. 

House Armed Services Committee
2120 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20515

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