Entries Tagged as ''

Moscow wants arms treaty to cover missile defense

Kyiv Post
March 23, 2010

The United States has been refusing to include the missile defense issue in the new strategic offensive arms reduction treaty, said chief of the Russian armed forces’ General Staff, General of the Army Nikolai Makarov.

“The treaty is about 95% prepared, but individual aspects have yet to be negotiated, including the American side’s consent to include the problem of missile defense in the treaty – a matter of crucial importance for us,” Makarov said in an interview with Rossiiskaya Gazeta, published on Tuesday.

Missile defense must be entered on the strategic arms reduction treaty in view of the United States’ plans to deploy elements of its missile defense system in Poland, Romania, the Czech Republic and Bulgaria, he said.

Makarov said the inclusion of missile defense reflects Russia’s national interests, noting that the Russian delegation to the talks will defend its basic position.

“The possibility and time of signing the new treaty will depend, in the first place, on the sides’ readiness to heed each other’s interests,” Makarov said.

The new strategic arms reduction treaty must seal the nuclear weapons parity between the United States and Russia. But in the absence of a separate agreement on missile defense, the U.S., while further developing this system, could shift the balance of forces in its favor, the general said.

“Even though the missile shield is a defensive system, if further developed it could give a new impulse to the arms race,” Makarov said.


Northrop says well-positioned for missile pact bid

By Andrea Shalal-Esa
March 23, 2010

Northrop Grumman Corp said on Tuesday it has collected “strong” award fees for its work on two key missile defense programs, and feels it is well-positioned to bid for a $6 billion contract to manage the core U.S. missile defense system.

John Clay, vice president for missile systems, told reporters that Northrop has had an excellent track record managing the nation’s arsenal of 450 Minuteman II intercontinental ballistic missiles, and has been a key player on many other missile defense programs.

He said the company also has had experience working on performance-based logistic contracts for other military services, which means it understands the Missile Defense Agency’s priorities and goals for the new contract.

Missile Defense Agency Director Army Lieutenant General Patrick O’Reilly on Monday said he was withholding funding from current missile defense programs due to quality issues, and called on industry to fire people when problems arose. …

Northrop officials said the company is also exploring other possible missile defense work, including bidding to build hundreds of millions of dollar of targets and countermeasures, adapting the company’s high-altitude unmanned Global Hawk plane to monitor enemy missile launches, and building follow-on satellites for tracking.


U.S. Base to Stay on Okinawa, Japanese Official Says

By John Brinsley and Sachiko Sakamaki
March 3, 2010

Japan’s government will keep a U.S. military base on Okinawa, meeting the demands of the Obama administration, even if that means alienating a coalition partner and local people, a vice defense minister said.

Okinawan residents, who want the Marine base moved off the island, will be offered “compensation” for accepting the government’s decision, Akihisa Nagashima said in an interview in Tokyo yesterday, without elaborating. His remarks are the most definitive by a government member indicating the base will stay on Okinawa.

Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama has set a May deadline for settling a dispute that has overshadowed the 50th anniversary of the U.S.-Japan security treaty. Almost 50,000 U.S. military personnel are stationed in Japan, more than half on Okinawa, located 950 miles (1,530 kilometers) south of Tokyo. …


US ponders denying Israel arms needed for Iran war

March 14, 2010

With Israel making apparent efforts to build a case for war on Tehran, the Obama administration reportedly considers denying Tel Aviv the military items needed for an attack on Iranian nuclear sites.

Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak had reportedly required the urgent delivery of a long list of US-made military equipment, including systems needed by the Israeli Air Force, certain types of missiles and advanced electronic war equipment; military sources told DEBKA on conditions of anonymity.

During a recent visit to Washington, Barak had reportedly criticized his hosts for stalling the delivery of the military items for the past three months, during which Israel was making preparations for a strike on Iran’s nuclear infrastructure.

It is absolutely essential for these items to reach Israel before a military flare-up occurred in the region, Barak said, to such extent that if they could not be supplied to Israel at short notice, they should at least be held ready in emergency stores in US bases in the Negev desert in Israel. …


Russia-U.S. arms cuts deal to include missile defense link – Lavrov

March 9, 2010

A new Russia-U.S. treaty on strategic arms reductions will link offensive and defensive armaments, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Tuesday.

The Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START 1), the backbone of post-Cold War arms control, expired on December 5, and there is no formal replacement to it yet.

“This link [between missile defense and strategic arms] will of course be reflected,” Lavrov told journalists.

Asked what kind of link it will be, the Russian minister said it will be “legally binding,” recalling that the Russian and U.S. presidents confirmed the link last summer and told the two countries’ negotiators to include it in the document.

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said early in March that Russia and the United States are close to completing negotiations on the new treaty, and expressed the hope that the document could be signed soon. The talks were to resume in Geneva on Tuesday after a 10-day break.

Russia and the United States have been negotiating a replacement to START 1 since the two countries’ presidents met in April last year, but finalizing a document has dragged on, with U.S. plans for missile defense in Europe a particular sticking point.

Lavrov has repeatedly made statements suggesting that a new nuclear arms cuts deal should be linked to Washington’s missile plans in Eastern Europe.

Some experts say, however, that the Russian demand will probably not be satisfied as the U.S. Senate is unlikely to ratify any document containing a formal linkage between the arms cuts and the missile shield.

U.S. President Barack Obama scrapped plans last year for interceptor missiles in Poland and a radar in the Czech Republic pursued by his predecessor as protection against possible Iranian strikes in an apparent move to ease Russian security concerns.

In February, however, Romania and Bulgaria said they were in talks with the Obama administration on deploying elements of the U.S. missile shield on their territories from 2015, triggering an angry reaction from Moscow.


Conservatives seeking to deep-six nomination of missile-defense critic

The Cable
By Josh Rogin
March 11, 2010

President Obama’s nomination of a key White House science advisor is facing strong and mounting opposition from GOP senators, with help from leading conservative Washington think tanks, due to his views on missile defense.

In October the president nominated former lead Pentagon weapons tester Philip Coyle to become the associate director for national security and international affairs at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. There he would lead a team tasked with giving scientific advice to Obama on a range of national-security issues and would report to Director John Holdren.

But Coyle’s nomination is stalled, despite the Senate Commerce Committee reporting his nomination out favorably on Dec. 3. Since that time, a steady and growing drumbeat of conservative opposition has been building, fueled partially by the Heritage Foundation, which has been locked in a decades-long struggle with Coyle over his well-known criticisms of U.S. ballistic missile defense systems.

The pushback against the Coyle nomination first surfaced in this Weekly Standard blog post written by missile-defense supporter John Noonan, who wrote, “If theology has crept into the missile defense debate, Coyle is the high priest of nay saying.” Noonan is linked to the Foreign Policy Initiative, a new right-leaning national security organization that’s acquiring increasing influence in Washington. …


Another interceptor missile at Fort Greely

March 5, 2010
Associated Press

Another interceptor missile has been installed at Fort Greely.

The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reported Thursday that the missile installed last month is the 22nd at the Missile Defense Agency site outside Delta Junction.

The Pentagon plans to install 26 of the missiles at Fort Greely by October.

The missiles are part of the Ballistic Missile Defense System and are designed to shoot down enemy warheads in mid-flight outside the Earth’s atmosphere.

Fort Greely is one of two sites for the missiles, with three installed at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, the Missile Defense Agency says.

The new missiles are being installed in silos at Missile Fields No. 2 and No. 3 at Fort Greely. Missiles at the original field, which held six interceptors, are being moved to those fields because of plumbing problems and other reliability concerns at the hastily built early silos, the newspaper said.


U.S., NATO Intensify War Games Around Russia’s Perimeter

March 6, 2010
By Rick Rozoff

Along with plans to base anti-ballistic missile facilities in Poland near Russia’s border (a 35 mile distance) and in Bulgaria and Romania across the Black Sea from Russia, Washington and the self-styled global military bloc it leads, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, have arranged a series of military exercises on and near Russia’s borders this year.

While the White House, Pentagon and State Department pro forma identify al-Qaeda, Taliban, Iran, North Korea, climate change, cyber attacks and a host of other threats as those the U.S. is girding itself to combat, Washington is demonstrating its true strategic objectives by deploying interceptor missiles and staging war games along Russia’s western and southern borders. …

The NATO war games included troops from 15 nations, among them – in addition to the U.S. – Britain, Austria, Finland, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway and Sweden. Austria, Finland and Sweden are Partnership for Peace affiliates of the North Atlantic military bloc. …

American author Edward Herman recently presented a similar perspective in pointing out that since the end of the Cold War “Across the globe…U.S. military bases are expanding, not contracting. The encirclement of Russia and steady stream of war games and exercises in the Baltic, Caspian, Mediterranean and Western Pacific areas continue, the closer engagement with Georgia and effort to bring it into NATO moves ahead, as do plans for the placement of missiles along Russia’s borders and beyond.” …

American and other NATO member states’ troops, warplanes and warships are visiting Russia’s neighborhood more frequently and approaching its borders more precariously. Over the past five years the Pentagon and NATO have secured permanent air, naval and training bases in Poland, Bulgaria, Romania and Lithuania and interceptor missile sites in the first three nations. …

As Indian journalist M K Bhadrakumar remarked, NATO’s post-Cold War drive to the east began in the Balkans and has proceeded inexorably to the Black Sea, the Caucasus, Central Asia and Afghanistan. It has also turned the Baltic Sea into a U.S. and Alliance lake, with Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland and Sweden within the Western military phalanx – all have troops in Afghanistan under NATO command, for example – and Russia left alone in the region.

That trajectory – from the Baltic Sea to the Black Sea, the Caucasus and Central Asia – places U.S. and NATO military presence along a substantial portion of the land borders of European Russia.


U.S. Tightens Missile Shield Encirclement Of China And Russia

March 4, 2010

So far this year the United States has succeeded in inflaming tensions with China and indefinitely holding up a new strategic arms reduction treaty with Russia through its relentless pursuit of global interceptor missile deployments.

On January 29 the White House confirmed the completion of a nearly $6.5 billion weapons transfer to Taiwan which includes 200 advanced Patriot anti-ballistic missiles. Earlier in the same month it was reported that Washington is also to provide Taiwan with eight frigates which Taipei intends to upgrade with the Aegis Combat System that includes the capacity for ship-based Standard Missile-3 interceptors. …

If the proposed placement of U.S. missile shield components in Poland, the Czech Republic, Japan, Australia, South Korea, Alaska and elsewhere were explained by alleged missile threats emanating from Iran and North Korea, the transfer of U.S. Patriot Advanced Capability-3 (PAC-3) missiles to Taiwan – and, as was revealed in January, 35 miles from Russian territory in Poland – represents the crossing of a new threshold. The Patriots in Taiwan and Poland and the land- and sea-based missiles that will follow them are intended not against putative “rogue states” but against two major nuclear powers, China and Russia. …

In fact the current U.S. administration has by no means abandoned plans to surround Russia as well as China with a ring of interceptor missile installations and naval deployments. …

…the ring encircling China can also be expanded at any time in other directions….Washington is hoping to sell India and other Southeast Asian countries the Patriot Advanced Capability (PAC)-3 missile defense system. …

Airborne laser anti-missile weapons will join the full spectrum of land, sea, air and space interceptor missile components to envelope the world with a system to neutralize other nations’ deterrence capacity and prepare the way for conventional and nuclear first strikes.


Additional Missile Interceptor Deployed At Fort Greely

Global Security Newswire
March 4, 2010

The U.S. Defense Department has recently fielded its 22nd missile interceptor at the missile fields of Fort Greely, Alaska, the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reported today.

The February installation was in accordance to the Obama administration’s aim to deploy 26 interceptors at Fort Greely by October, according to Alaska Missile Defense Spokesman Ralph Scott. The plan was initiated by the Bush administration, which had intended to station 40 Ground-based Midcourse Defense weapons at the installation.

Another four interceptors are to be deployed at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. The weapons are intended to provide the United States with a defense against incoming long-range ballistic missiles. …