Skip to comments.Independent Working Group Report on Missile Defense, Space Relationship, & the 21st Century
Posted on 07/19/2006 12:11:16 PM PDT by Paul Ross
[An 8 megabyte PDF download at the link.]
This report provides an assessment of missile defense requirements beyond the limited ground-based system currently being deployed, together with opportunities to benefit from existing and new technological opportunities. More specifically, it is intended to provide a greater understanding of proven technology options that should form the basis for deployment of an innovative missile defense that draws upon the legacy of technologies developed during the Strategic Defense Initiative program of the Reagan administration and the first Bush administration.
The Report provides the necessary vision to exploit existing and future technologies, with space as an indispensable part of missile defense. These technologies/systems, encompassing sea- and space-based assets (such as Brilliant Pebbles), could form the basis for an effective layered defense of the United States, its forward deployed forces, and allies, against a missile threat that, given present proliferation trends, can only increase in the years ahead as additional states, and perhaps terrorist groups, acquire weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missiles.
The report's seven sections address the threat; requirements/timelines for missile defense R&D and deployment; the role of space; the historic and present politics against missile defense; international dimensions; and the U.S. science and technology base; and conclusions, recommendations, and several appendices. It was written by the Independent Working Group whose members include missile defense experts from the scientific, technical, and national security policy communities. The report will be distributed throughout the executive branch, on Capitol Hill, and in the broader public policy community, and is also available here for download.
COMMENT: Extensive in scope and blunt in conclusions about the Administration's failings to either test or deploy seriously, and allowing the most effective, least-cost options to be waylaid by internal service rivalries or NMD political opposition.
Excellent capsule summary of the gritty points can be found for subscribers here at Insight Magazine: Bush-43 kills Bush-41's missile defense programs
I. What are the implications of the key issues raised in the Cornerstone Paper for missile defense, and specifically for space-based missile defense, as we look beyond 2005?
Given the missile threats currently facing the United States, the Ground-based Missile Defense (GMD) system being de ployed represents only the first step required for a robust,global layered defense, capable of intercepting ballistic missiles in each phase of their trajectory. By itself, however, GMD is a limited midcourse defense that will be effective against only a few missiles with simple decoys.
Because GMD cannot adequately discriminate among mid- course threats, it may be prone to failure unless it becomes part of a layered missile defense. The United States must be prepared to deploy a missile defense sufficiently advanced that rogue states will be dissuaded from making the necessary investment in missiles. At the same time, the United States should also deploy a missile defense capable of deterring strategic competitors such as China or Russia.
More than a decade ago, the United States had vig orous space-based sensor and interceptor development programs underway such as Brilliant Pebbles which were terminated because they did not conform with the restrictions of the ABM Treaty. These technologies should be revived and incorporated, along with advances made since then, into a high-priority development program that not only draws on the lessons learned from Brilliant Pebbles program but also from other successful weapon development efforts such as those that produced intercontinental ballistic missiles, the Polaris nuclear submarine and missile, and stealth technologies.
The threat environment for missile defense includes the possibility that missiles could be launched against the United States from anywhere on the globe. We are increasingly vulnerable to both short- and long-range missiles from rogue states and non-state actors, as well as from strategic competitors such as Russia and China. Because we cannot know with certainty where or when a missile will be launched against the United States, our missile defense must be capable of handling a broad spectrum of threats. In short, the United States needs to deploy a global,multi-tiered missile defense system against an increasingly worldwide missile threat.
II. What are the implications of the key issues raised in the Cornerstone Paper for overall U.S. national security?
The United States faces a global security setting characterized by accelerating proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and the means to deliver them. New actors are acquiring technologies ranging from individual components to complete systems resulting in such capabilities. Although Russia does not today pose a missile threat to the United States, despite its continuing possession of large numbers of delivery systems with sufficient range to reach American targets, it possesses technologies, including ballistic missile components and expertise, that are being actively proliferated. Furthermore, we have no assurance that a future Russian leadership will not threaten the United States with its extensive nuclear-armed missile inventory.Indeed,under President Vladimir V. Putin, Russia appears increasingly committed to the reestablishment of a neo-imperialist sphere of influence in the new states to its south and west. Putin has spoken of rebuilding a Great Russia. Russia has also demonstrated a sustained and alarming drift toward authoritarianism. A U.S. missile defense must therefore be sufficient to counter a future threat from Russia.
China, meanwhile, is expanding both its ballistic missile capabilities and its space presence. China has benefited considerably from U.S. technology, including missiles, and now has an inventory of intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) capable of striking the United States. This capability is being improved by replacing China s existing arsenal of CSS-4 Mod 1 ICBMs with the longer-range CSS-4 Mod 2, together with the development of mobile and submarine-launched variants of the Dong-feng (DF)-31 ICBM. Estimates suggest that its arsenal could grow to as many as sixty ICBMs by the end of the decade. China seems determined to build a nuclear force designed to inhibit U.S. action in the event of a renewed crisis such as in the Taiwan Strait.At the same time,China is deploying between 650 and 730 short-range ballistic missiles opposite Taiwan,with roughly one hundred such missiles expected to be added each year. These missiles could also be used to conduct strikes against Okinawa and Japan, including U.S. forces stationed there.
China also possesses an active space program designed to make it a military space power.With the launch in October of its first manned spacecraft, China became the third nation, after the United States and Russia, to send a manned vehicle into space. A second successful manned mission was completed in October 2005. China s space program is designed to demonstrate Beijing s achievements and potential in such areas as computers,space materials, manufacturing technology, and electronics, technologies with dual-use military and civilian space applications, as well as to challenge U.S. dominance in space.
At the same time, the United States faces threats from other states that are either the exporters of WMD technologies or the breeding rounds and training sites for terrorists. One such nation is North Korea, which launched . In addition to missiles, North Korea now is able to export fissile material or even assembled nuclear devices, posing an additional and unacceptable threat to the United States. A nuclear-armed North Korea would also weaken deterrence in and around the Korean peninsula.
Moreover, many states, as well as terrorist groups, could launch short-range missiles from ships off American coasts. We currently have no missile defense capable of destroying such missiles. The devastation caused by short-range missiles such as Scuds armed with a nuclear warhead would be far greater than the 9/11 attacks. A comprehensive approach to homeland security, in which missile defense and efforts to identify, destroy, or change such regimes are priorities, is therefore needed.
III. What steps need to be taken in light of these issues to achieve space-based missile defense, both immediate and longer-term?
During the Cold War, it was clearly possible to identify the Soviet Union as the source of a potential nuclear attack against the United States and the object of retaliation on which Mutual Assured Destruction was based. The twenty-first century strategic environment differs fundamentally: missile threats to the United States can now be mounted from almost any point on the globe.
Given the nature of this missile threat, only a global missile defense is adequate. Moreover, such a defense cannot be achieved without a space-based interception component. In the near term, kinetic energy space-based intercept technologies developed more than a decade ago in the Brilliant Pebbles program could be revived at minimal cost (approximately $5-7 billion over a five-year period).. A research program in directed-energy weapons based on technologies already developed for applications in space and on aircraft should also be pursued.
While less flexible than space-based defenses, sea-based anti-missile options should be vigorously developed and deployed. This includes upgrades to the U.S. Navy s Aegis system and Standard Missile to provide increasingly effective intercept capabilities. Both sea- and space-based missile defenses are essential to a global layered missile defense.
IV. What are the key obstacles to space-based missile de- fense and how can they best be addressed and overcome?
While in effect, the ABM Treaty served as a critical impediment to U.S. deployment of space-based missile defense.
With the Treaty s termination in 2002, new opportunities for space-based missile defense have emerged. However, the key obstacles to space defenses remain more political than technological in nature.For example,certain constituencies continue to voice vehement opposition to space-based missile defenses in the mistaken belief that they could result in the weaponization of space. This assumption is the result of the dubious logic that if the United States refrains from the deployment of space-based missile defense, other nations will behave in similar fashion. There is no empirical basis for expecting such international reciprocation, however. Whatever the United States chooses to do (or not to do),China,among other nations,seems determined to pursue space programs and, at least in the case of Beijing, to establish itself as a space superpower.
Another issue is the failure to connect the emerging global missile threat to an adequate understanding of the requirements for an effective defense against such threats. This means that confining a U.S. missile defense to a few fixed land-based interceptors, together with an extremely small sea-based and land-based interceptor force provides extremely limited coverage without any global capability that would result from deployment of a space-based missile defense component.
Other political obstacles exist. Should U.S. public awareness of the threat environment increase the Bush administration could potentially come under criticism for having underestimated (or ignored) the growing threat. That same public will want to know why so little has been accomplished to date.
Closely related are institutional barriers in which departments and agencies responsible for missile defense are understandably reluctant to see their efforts questioned or their roles changed. Furthermore, defense contractors often have strong financial interests in maintaining existing programs.
Last but not least, China and Russia have adopted strategies designed to prevent or discourage the United States from pursuing space-based missile defense options. Both nations seek to undermine the position of the United States as the dominant space power and to keep it from developing space-based missile defense and other space capabilities.
V. Are there opportunities that can be seized to press forward with space-based missile defense?<.u>
Despite the political obstacles,there is a desire within the general American public to maintain space superiority,including the deployment of space-based missile defense. If the United States is perceived as no longer dominant in space, many people will want to know how and why such dominance was lost and what needs to be done to restore it.
By the same token, there is a broad, but mistaken, belief that the United States is already defended by missile defense (which underscores the public s support for missile defenses).
Moreover, as noted above, China s increasingly prolific space program could offer another catalyst to building an American consensus on missile defense. The fact that other nations are manifestly interested in space and pursuing their own programs provides yet another important consideration for pressing forward with a robust U.S. missile defense program that prominently includes space.
Last but not least, the Bush administration has yet to de- fine clearly its missile defense plans post-GMD deployment.
Therefore, we have an important opportunity to shape the future and in doing so, to set forth the need for a global layered missile defense system that encompasses a space-interdicton component.
VI. What are the implications of key issues raised in Panel I for other panels?
The Cornerstone Paper raises a number of important issues including the global nature of the missile threat, the need for a correspondingly global defense and the role of space in that architecture,and existing obstacles and opportunities to the development and deployment of a layered global missile defense. Creating a robust,flexible,and expandable missile defense will have important implications for the U.S. scientific-technological base, including required investments, lead times, and ensuring that a cadre of trained personnel remain available. Such issues will need to be addressed as the United States moves forward with missile defense. They are discussed in greater detail in subsequent Sections of this report.
Like I have been saying!
Unless of course they are RATs...we will never see this sentiment expressed for the evening news...
I sure wish we could get the graphics illustrations from the IFPA in html format. They are just awesome...
You're welcome, and thanks for your echoing this insight:
Surely we need leadership that will look very carefully at the need for SDI and associated ground/sea based system integration, and realize, if we don't start to advance along the "just right path", it will not see the light of day for a very long time if at all.
Its mortifying to me, and simply awful that the current Administration thought they could have their political cake and eat it too...that they could just posture as pro-NMD Reaganites...but then deploy only like Democrats! Not actually standing up for what they claim to stand for. Limited NMD is no NMD. Getting general votes from the electorate for the principle of NMD, but then garnering RAT support for governance by not seriously and consistently implementing that principle.
Eveyone is simply flummoxed by this White House refusal to actually deploy. It admits the threats, but won't respond. It is a contradiction that cannot be reconciled absent a conclusion of outright political chicanery...that they really never believed in it...
FReeper Sandyeggo pointed to something Whittaker Chambers once said that resonates across a wide number of issues about this White House...but especially to me on this issue:
But if the Republican Party cannot get some grip of the actual world we live in and from it generalize and actively promote a program that means something to the masses of people-why somebody else will. Then there will be nothing to argue. The voters will simply vote Republicans into singularity. The Republican Party will become like one of those dark little shops which apparently never sell anything. If, for any reason, you go in, you find at the back an old man, fingering for his own pleasure some oddments of cloth. Nobody wants to buy them, which is fine because the old man is not really interested in selling. He just likes to hold and to feel. . . .
The Russians and Chinese are not going to stand still in developing new ICBm systems that is for sure. And we no longer have a jump from the technological stand point.China has been spending apparently significant sums on advanced asymmetrical break-throughs in science. They and Russia have W promising to "limit" our NMD into uselessness, while meanwhile, they could be achieving the completion of missile defense programs we have already proven are possible...but never exploited for our ourselves...Sigh.
One has to wonder where our priorities are. To many short term profit folks run things now adays. Do something that may make one look like a good guy, while the farm is sinking into a sinkhole in the background.
Thanks for the ping!
This is the most-definitive, and thorough and well-thought piece I have yet seen on the subject in public.
I expect the Claremont Institute and Frank Gaffney's Center for Security Policy are still busy trying to digest it.
But it is simply undeniable now that we have been sabotaged from the top...again.
We need to educate and mobilize the populace...the bully pulpit of the White House remains deliberately vacant on this issue, unfortunately.
By chance, have you ever heard of Riki Ellison and his organization?
Note the rather startling degree of silence by the Administration post-July 4th about its slow-walk testing, development and deployments policies. Positively glacial. They seem to be taking way too much comfort in the failure of the North Korean long missile tests... It could just have easily gone the other way, with the Taepo-Dong 2 actually being successful...and word has it that they are already preparing a second test-launch right now. Did you hear this REPORT: KOREAN MISSILE WAS AIMED NEAR HAWAII
For all the talk about our having effective defenses for the North Korean threat, I am not sanguine about them. That missile burned successfully for far longer than originally reported...i.e., almost a full 4 minutes...only another two to three minutes more of burn were required!.
As it was, that four minutes of ascent was more than long enough for an Aegis NMD picket ship to have mounted a counter attack...if we had them or it was authorized. We moved a ship out there, but when their seven rockets got lit off, we did nothing.
Agreed. This is simply mind-boggling for an administration which touts itself on its self-promoted managerial expertise. We lack the kind of incisive and acute intelligence that we used to have in military intelligence, deployments policies and preparedness. It is appalling to compare today's "analyists" to what we once had. Here is a solemn reminder of our loss two years ago, one such unsung great that links up to the issue of missile defense...
Center for Security Policy.
Decision Brief No. 02-D 57 2002-11-04
In Memoriam an unsung hero of the Cold War: William T. Lee
(Washington, D.C.): A formidable intellect and tenacious analyst of Moscow and Beijing's military capabilities passed away last week. His friends and colleagues on the Center for Security Policy's National Security Advisory Council remember William T. Lee as a fearless intelligence officer whose assiduously documented and generally correct views often brought him at odds with the intelligence establishment.
In the darkest days of the Cold War, Bill Lee was one of the behind-the-scenes intelligence professionals who never received public recognition for his tough estimates concerning the Soviet Union's vast military expenditures. At a time when the conventional wisdom within the intelligence community (IC) deemed such spending to be relatively close to the Kremlin's officially released, laughably low and wholly misleading numbers, he disagreed with his characteristic truculence.
His often lonely judgments were largely embraced in 1976 by the famous "Team B," a committee of skeptics whom then-Director of Central Intelligence George H.W. Bush chartered to provide a second-opinion on Soviet military capabilities. More importantly, they were confirmed as far more accurate than the IC's low-balled estimates when the demise of the Soviet Union provided Bill and others a fleeting opportunity to examine selected Kremlin archives.
After he retired from government service in 1992, Bill Lee continued with his work, making extraordinary use of open sources to penetrate and unravel Soviet/Russian secrets. Of particular importance was his path-breaking analysis of documents from the former USSR, including memoirs published by officials associated with the Kremlin's anti-ballistic missile programs.
His book, The ABM Treaty Charade: A Study in Elite Illusion and Delusion, distilled from these materials a stunning conclusion: As a matter of state policy, the USSR never complied with the requirements of the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty and built and deployed a territorial ABM system explicitly prohibited by that accord. What is more, according to Mr. Lee, post-Soviet Russia maintained this illegal capability and took steps to modernize the complex of radars, dual-capable anti-air/anti-missile interceptors and associated launchers that comprised it.
The Bottom Line
So long as the United States continued to adhere to this treaty, the U.S. intelligence community, in a phenomenon known as "cognitive dissonance," studiously ignored the fact of Soviet/Russian non-compliance that Bill Lee spent his life monitoring. Now that the United States is no longer bound by the ABM Treaty, however, there is no excuse for failing to look at evidence with the same unflinching determination to find the truth that Bill Lee brought to his work. It would be a fitting tribute indeed for this career intelligence professional if the subject of his final investigation were to achieve the sort of validation, however belated, ultimately secured by his earlier, courageous Cold War analyses.
William T. Lee received a B.A. degree from the University of Washington in 1950 followed by graduate work at Columbia University. He spent 41 years in the U.S. Intelligence Community and retired from the Defense Intelligence Agency Senior Executive Service in 1992. He is the author of five books and numerous classified intelligence studies and the recipient of two intelligence medals. Mr. Lee has lectured on Cold War history at a number of universities. His most recent book is The ABM Treaty Charade: A Study in Elite Illusion and Delusion, and he is currently writing a book on how the Cold War was lost and won.
Maybe the pain just hasn't hit yet! Actually, if you grab for your wallet...you might find its been picked...and they gave you no missile defense... although if they had simply deployed Bush Sr's version back in '93 it would have been effective and comparatively cheap, as from the Independent Working Group conclusion:
A detached observer perhaps could be excused for some puzzlement as to the origin and nature of the differences in ballistic missile defense tastes, judgments, and directions of the Bush-41 and -43 administrations.
The total life-cycle DOD CAIG-validated cost-estimate of this Bush-41 defensive deployment, including all of its RDT&E expenses, all of its production and launch costs, all of its operational and testing costs for 20 years plus complete replacement of the constellation (involving the orbiting of another 1000 pebbles) was $11 billion (1990 dollars)..21 In marked contrast to having an impressive global mis- sile defense capability for 20 years, the 6-year RDT&E budget for the Bush-43 ballistic missile defense program (2001-2006) including no deployment costs is administration-stated to be roughly $50-billion as-spent dollars. A January 2006 Congressional Budget Office study estimated that the current missile defense program could cost another $247 billion between now and 2024.
A detached observer perhaps could be excused for some puzzlement as to the origin and nature of the differences in ballistic missile defense tastes, judgments, and directions of the Bush-41 and -43 administrations.
Though if you look at most tech haevy programs cost over-runs were collosal during the 90s. The tech developed too rapidly that new stuff would be junk before the requisition could be closed.
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