Missile Defense

From the Late 1900s to the present, the first-order response to U. S. missile defense initiatives by political opponents has been to assert this logic with confidence, pointing to all historical evidence as proof. The supposed historical proof of the inevitable superiority of the offense, however, is nonsense. Defensive measures have frequently, and for long stretches of history, dominated the offense (Siouris, 2004 p. 213). Athens’s defensive walls, for example, precluded a bloody invasion by Sparta in the Peloponnesian War. The defensive walls of Constantinople provided security for nearly a thousand years.

British air and naval defenses shut down the planned Nazi invasion of the British Isles, Hitler’s Operation Sea Lion. ” Obviously, the lethality of nuclear weapons would necessitate extremely effective defenses if comprehensive protection for cities against a large-scale ballistic missile attack by a peer challenger were the goal (Shenser, 2002 p. 331). This, however, is not the declared U. S. goal, and whether powerful new defensive technologies, such as “exotic” beam weapons, will make this type of defense possible in the future is nor known; but it hardly can be ruled out as if by some inevitable law of history.

Historical evidence supports neither the assertion that offense must dominate defense nor the argument that an action-reaction arms race cycle is inevitable. In fact, predictions based on the action-reaction model have often proven to be far different from the subsequent course of events (O’Hanlon, 2002 p. 66). Missile defense of the United States has been thwarted with several controversies and different accusing perspectives that determine the conditions of safety and ethical placement especially from the bases that hold such operations.

Discussion With the end of the Cold War, the United States perceived one of the major threats to its security to be the proliferation of nuclear, biological and chemical weapons of mass destruction and the missiles that can deliver them to US territory, American troops deployed overseas, and US friends or allies (Ness and Gurtov, 2005 p. 211). As of early 1999, more than 20 nations were capable of producing these weapons of mass destruction and nearly 30 countries possessed theater ballistic missiles or cruise missiles (Kay, 2006 p.

278) While not posing a major direct threat to the continental United States, these weapons did pose an immediate threat to deployed American forces and US friends and allies (Siouris, 2004 p. 214). The development and deployment of an effective missile defense system was viewed as essential to counter the immediate threat in areas such as Northeast Asia and to prepare for the possibility in the twenty-first century of a major theater war or smaller-scale contingency with an enemy possessing advanced weapons such as missiles (Rodgers, 2003 p. 12).

The United States had for many years been interested in missile defense. The Reagan-era Star Wars’ program was an early example, and the American experience in attempting to destroy Scud missiles launched by Iraq in the 1991 Gulf War made the issue of theater missile defense even more urgent (Shenser, 2002 p. 331). The United States began intensive study of missile defense in 1994, but little enthusiasm was felt for the system because of its expense and repeated failures to overcome the tremendous technological challenges of intercepting and destroying incoming ballistic missiles (O’Hanlon, 2002 p.

66). However, political support for a ballistic missile defense system grew in the Republican-controlled Congress during the second term of the Clinton administration, and the August 1998 launch of the North Korean Taepo-dong 1 ballistic missile, capable of reaching Japan and Okinawa, galvanized renewed urgency in developing missile defenses. The cost of missile defense will be enormous, in excess of S 15 billion, with $4 billion for research and development already approved by Congress, and an additional $6.

6 billion to be spent on deployment of a national missile defense system from 1999 to 20O5 (Siouris, 2004 p. 215). The United States established three priorities in its missile defense program: the highest priority was the development and deployment of an effective theater ballistic missile defense and cruise missile defense; the second priority was to develop and deploy an effective national missile defense; and the third priority was to continue to develop the technology to improve missile defenses (Shenser, 2002 p.

331). As an indication of the missile defense deployment schedule, the Department of Defense estimated that it would be able to begin system deployment for the national missile defense program during fiscal year 2005, with construction to begin in 2001 and weapons production to commence in 2003 (Lasater and Yu, 2002 p. 56). Congress has overwhelmingly supported the administration on missile defense and its scheduled deployment (Ness and Gurtov, 2005 p. 211).

In terms of the higher-priority TMD program, the United States sought to merge both missile defense and advanced air defense systems to protect its forward deployed forces, as well as those of friends and allies (Kay, 2006 p. 279). The interoperable missile and air defense systems will comprise a multi-tiered capability against both ballistic and cruise missiles. The theater air and missile defense (TAMD) system will include an integrated architecture consisting of individual weapon systems, sensors, and battle management, command, control, communications, computers and intelligence capabilities.

The lower-tier elements of this architecture are the initial top priority, designed to destroy shorter-range ballistic and cruise missiles (O’Hanlon, 2002 p. 69). The Patriot Advanced Capabiliry-3 (PAC-3) and navy area systems are the core elements of this initial lower-tier TMD program. The PAC-3 system will provide air defense for ground combat forces and high-value assets against cruise missiles and theater ballistic missiles (Lennon, 2002 p. 34). The navy area program, built around Aegis ships, will provide an active defense against theater missiles on a more mobile basis.

A follow-on system for lower-tier missile defense is the highly mobile, medium-extended air defense system (MFADS), being built cooperatively with Germany and Italy (Rodgers, 2003 p. 13). Upper-tier systems are designed to defend larger areas and to defeat medium-range and intermediate-range ballistic missiles. The army’s theater high-altitude area defense (THAAD) system and the navy theater wide program are such upper-tier systems (Kay, 2006 p. 276).

THAAD is designed to protect broad and dispersed areas and population centers, while the navy theater wide system will represent an evolution of the navy area program, again built upon the existing Aegis weapon system. An additional layer of missile defense is designed to attack theater missiles during their boost phase (Causewell, 2002 p. 311). The primary boost-phase defense system is the air force airborne laser program. Boost phase defenses are intended to attack a missile soon alter its launch, probably over the adversary’s own territory (O’Hanlon, 2002 p. 68).

Other programs, such as the joint land-attack cruise missile defense elevated sensor system, are being designed to destroy land-attack cruise missiles over the adversary’s territory. As a political polemic, the argument that strategic missile defense will cause an arms race has an enormous advantage: for any specific future case, no one can demonstrate in a scientific sense that the contention is total nonsense. It deals with predictions of an opponent’s behavior (Lasater and Yu, 2002 p. 56). Thus, no one can “prove” that U. S. defenses will not initiate an action-reaction cycle.

The prospects for such a cycle may be quite limited for a host of reasons, and those who continue to assert that U. S. defenses surely will lead to an arms race are likewise limited in their capacity to predict the future (Siouris, 2004 p. 212). These facts, however, typically do not reduce the absolute certainty with which many opposed to missile defense predict an arms race. They are, after all, simply restating what by now is a well-known “law” of international relations. Despite dramatic changes in the international system, for eight years the United States has perpetuated the main themes of U. S.

Cold War strategic policy (O’Hanlon, 2002 p. 67). It embraced the Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) Treaty, and thereby the 1960s’ deterrence concept of mutually assured destruction (MAD), as the basis for U. S-Russian strategic relations and arms control negotiations (Shenser, 2002 p. 333). Correspondingly, the United States perpetuated the legalistic, adversarial strategic arms control process that characterized the o1d War (Lennon, 2002 p. 34). When the central organizing principle of negotiations is to keep mutual capabilities for nuclear annihilation codified, prospects for political amity are limited.

This process was incompatible with the new realities of the post—cold War landscape, precluding any significant, new strategic arms agreement during the Clinton administration (O’Hanlon, 2002 p. 67; Causewell, 2002 p. 311). The elegance of the action-reaction arms race model and its constant repetition apparently overshadow the fact that, as a basis for actually predicting opponents’ behavior, it is highly speculative at best. The notion that it represents a law of international relations would be laughable if the subject were not serious (Rodgers, 2003 p.

12). The use of this model for years against missile defense is evidence of the unfortunate fact that, if a vapid assertion is made loudly, often, and by influential voices, it can become accepted wisdom, even a law (Hildreth, 2004 p. 43). Mistakenly believing that a crude action-reaction model of the arms race is a law guarantees misplaced confidence in predictions based on it (Shenser, 2002 p. 332). Briefly, the Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI) of the Reagan years was renamed Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) under the Clinton administration in 1993.

BMD was given a variety of labels in the ensuing years—National Missile Defense (NMD), Anti-Ballistic Missile Defense (ABM) and the more media-friendly ‘Son of Star Wars’ among them (Lasater and Yu, 2002 p. 57). The project is now more commonly called simply ‘missile defense’ (the ‘national’ was dropped by the US administration in 2000, in an attempt to make it appear more of a co-operative project) and this is the term applied here (Ness and Gurtov, 2005 p. 213). Under the project, eight sites across the globe would be equipped with upgraded radar systems.

These systems would provide early warning of nuclear attacks from ‘rogue states’, permitting the launch of US nuclear weapons intended to intercept the incoming warheads (Hildreth, 2004 p. 44). The main sites have been chosen for their strategic value to the US includes Greenland, Alaska, the UK and South Korea. Two areas— Alaska and the UK — are considered in this case study (Siouris, 2004 p. 214). Both have high Internet penetration but have very different demographics, cultural histories and economic infrastructures (Lennon, 2002 p. 35).

Alaska is a US state; Britain historically has a ‘special relationship’ with America, dating back to the Second World War. Both use the lingua franca of the Internet, English, and have high literacy rates. Campaigning against the missile defense project has a strong normative dimension (Lasater and Yu, 2000 p. 56). Detractors argue that the project could threaten a new arms race, damage international stability, risk environmental contamination and are characterized by a dominant normative framework that links activists, coupled with local contexts that demonstrate their differences.

On the one hand, there is a unifying global technology, allowing campaigners worldwide to share ideas and information (Siouris, 2004 p. 211). On the other, specific local and regional concerns mean Internet technology, alongside others, is applied contingently. These two factors mean that protests are not undertaken in a uniform fashion. Alaska, which joined the USA in 1959, is often considered one of its most remote and inhospitable states (Lennon, 2002 p. 36).

Its strategic value — it is the most northerly state and during the Cold War was closest to the USSR — has meant that its infrastructure has been developed in line with the broader military objectives of US governments. Alaska is treated as a foreign base by the USA, with military personnel being paid an overseas weighting while stationed there (Rodgers, 2003 p. 12). There is in Alaska, as in many other areas where military bases are sited, an ambivalent relationship between the local population and the soldiers stationed in the region.

At the same time, the local economy is heavily dependent on the business and employment opportunities bases in Alaska provide (Shenser, 2002 p. 331). There are two key missile defense sires, one at Fort Greely, the other on Kodiak Island. The closure of the original Forty Greely base in 2000 dealt a blow to the local economy and the building of missile silos for the defense project has been welcomed by some of the population (Ness and Gurtov, 2005 p. 211). Conclusion

In conclusion of the study, to enhance US security and that of its friends and allies, and to further US non-proliferation strategies, the United States decided to develop and deploy theater ballistic missiles defense systems in cooperation with friendly governments. The objectives in this cooperation were to strengthen US security relationships, enhance US counterproliferarion strategies, share the cost burden of R&D and deployment, enhance interoperability between US Forces and those of its friends and allies, and to share knowledge of benefit to the United States and its partners.However, protests have progressed due to safety concerns from their bases.

ReferencesCausewell, E. V. (2002). National Missile Defense: Issues and Developments. Nova Publishers. Hildreth, S. A. (2004). The Current Debate on Missile Defense. Nova Publishers. Kay, S. (2006). Global Security in the Twenty-first Century. Rowman & Littlefield. Lasater, M. L. , & Yu, P. (2000). Taiwan’s Security in the Post-Deng Xiaoping Era. Routledge.