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U.S., NATO Have Some 1,000 Interceptor Missiles – Rogozin

RIA Novosti
January 20, 2012

The United States and its NATO allies already have about one thousand missiles capable of intercepting Russia’s intercontinental ballistic missiles, the Russian deputy premier in charge of defense said.

“Along with its allies, whom the U.S. now persuades to buy ships equipped with the Aegis Combat System, the overall potential can be estimated at about 1,000 interceptor missiles,” Dmitry Rogozin [Deputy Prime Minister] who is also the Russian president’s special representative for talks with NATO, said in an interview with the Ekho Moskvy radio station.

He said that the figure is currently approaching the limits established by the recently signed Russia-U.S. strategic arms reduction treaty.

“There are no guarantees that after the first, second, and third phases [of the U.S. missile shield project] are completed, there will be no fourth, fifth and sixth. Do you really think they will halt all their technologies after 2020? That’s nonsense! …”

He said that U.S. interceptor missiles cover all European Russia to the Urals Mountains, and are capable of hitting not only small and medium-range missiles of “rogue states,” but also intercontinental ballistic missiles of Russia’s armed forces.

“The fact that the missile defense system can hit strategic missiles and the fact that those bases and fleet are deployed in northern seas demonstrate the evident… anti-Russian nature of the [U.S.] missile defense,” Rogozin said. …

Read in full: http://en.ria.ru/world/20120120/170856516.html

Thousands of US Soldiers to leave Germany

The Local – Germany’s news in English
January 13, 2012

The US military will withdraw thousands of soldiers from Germany as the American military takes half of its troops out of Europe as part of a forces redeployment to focus more on the Middle East and Asia.

American Defence Secretary Leon E. Panetta said two of the four combat brigades currently in Europe would be moved. That is between 10,000 to 15,000 soldiers in total.

As three of those four brigades are in Germany, several thousand US soldiers stationed here are bound to be packing their bags soon. The third brigade is in Italy. Panetta said other units would be moved and out of Europe on a rotational basis.

Panetta played down the effect of the withdrawal on European communities by saying that many combat troops had been sent to Afghanistan and Iraq in recent years anyway.

In a written statement, Lt. Gen. Mark P. Hertling, who is the Army’s commanding general in Europe said he could not release details.

“Until those plans mature and are formally approved, we can provide no further information regarding specific units or communities involved, or the methods of rotating units,” he said.

But the US military’s Stars and Stripes newspaper said that previous discussion about troop withdrawal from Germany had focused on Army troops stationed in Grafenwöhr, Bavaria and Baumholder, Rhineland-Palatinate.

Approximately 41,000 US Army personnel are currently based in Europe, with the majority in Germany. There are about 80,000 US military personnel, including the Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps members in Europe.

US authorities have been steadily reducing their European forces since the end of the Cold War, when more than 200,000 US military personnel were stationed on the continent.

The British government has also announced a withdrawal of its own, with half of the country’s 20,000 Germany-based troops returning home by 2015 and the rest leaving by 2020.


Ron Paul wins support of the military while Obama cashes in on war-profiteers

14 January, 2012

Defense contractors are pumping money into the campaign for President Obama as he runs for reelection, but one of his biggest competitors, Ron Paul, is cashing in on his opposition to militaristic imperialism.

In South Carolina where the next Republican primary is slated for the coming days, Texas Congressman Ron Paul is gaining support for his anti-war views, despite the rhetoric being heard in a state largely dependent on the military-industrial complex. The Department of Defense has a number of bases in South Carolina and the economy of the state is driven by-and-large by the role the military has. Non-interventionist ideals held by Rep. Ron Paul would be expected to fall on deaf ears there, but on the contrary, the candidate remains within the top-tier of politicians vying for the GOP nomination.

After surging to second place in the New Hampshire primary last week, Congressman Paul delivered a roaring address to supporters in which he plead that he doesn’t want to discontinue America’s military superiority. Rather, said Paul, he wants to end America’s reliance on the war machine to corruptly generate profits and endure unnecessary wars.

Speaking from Manchester, New Hampshire, Paul attacked the Federal Reserve, saying it “was established, to take care of the powerful interests, the military industrial complex, the banking system and deficit financing.”

“In the last 10 years, the wars that have gone on have added $4 trillion of debt. And I don’t think we have been one bit safer for it. I think we have been less safe because of all the money that we have spent overseas,” said Paul. “So often they say that if we tell people that we think we should spend less in the military, they say, ‘Oh, that means you want to cut defense.’ No, if you cut the military industrial complex, you cut war profiteering, but you don’t take one penny out of national defense.”

Read on: http://rt.com/usa/news/paul-military-obama-defense-753/

Tanaka low-profile in Okinawa, stance on base issue remains unclear

Mainichi Daily News
January 14, 2012

The appointment of Naoki Tanaka as Japan’s new defense minister Friday prompted some puzzlement in Okinawa Prefecture, with some local officials and residents saying they are unfamiliar with the new minister whose stance on defense matters, including the long-stalled issue of relocating a U.S. base in the prefecture, is unclear. …

But a senior Okinawa official remained wary about how Tanaka will handle the base issue. “I have no idea what stance he has on security issues. We’ll gather information (about him) from now on.”

Okinawa residents, who have been calling for easing the concentration of U.S. military facilities in the prefecture, have strongly opposed the plan to relocate the U.S. Marine Corps’ Futenma Air Station from Ginowan to a less populated area in Nago’s Henoko district within the prefecture.

The people of Okinawa have urged the government to move the key U.S. base outside the prefecture, but the central government intends to implement a Japan-U.S. agreement to relocate the base within the prefecture.

“Cabinet members change one after another, but (the government’s) stance of maintaining military bases (in Okinawa) never changes,” said 61-year-old Tsuyako Watanabe, a resident of Nakijin village in Okinawa. …

In full: http://mdn.mainichi.jp/mdnnews/news/20120114p2g00m0dm019000c.html

Missile Defense Will Have Long Presence In Alaska

Alaska Public Radio Network
By Dan Bross, KUAC – Fairbanks
January 11, 2012

Missile defense will have a long presence in Alaska. That was the message of Missile Defense Agency Director, Lieutenant General Pat O’Reilly to the Fairbanks Chamber of Commerce in an address Tuesday. The Ft. Greely Missile Base with 26 interceptors is the center piece of the nation’s Ground Based Midcourse Missile Defense System. The $18 billion Ft. Greely facility is nearing completion, and O’Reilly said his agency is committed to operate and maintain it for the long term.

General O’Reaily said a dangerous political climate in the world is driving the long term commitment. O’Reilly cited smaller nations, like North Korea and Iran, which possess thousands of missiles that Alaska is in a key place to intercept. …

Read on: www.alaskapublic.org/2012/01/11/missile-defense-will-have-long-presence-in-alaska/

U.S. Likely to Press On With Missile Defense in Poland

The Wall Street Journal
By Marcin Sobczyk
January 12, 2012

The U.S. will likely keep its commitment to place missile interceptors in Poland to counter a military threat from Iran regardless of any opposition from Russia and despite defense cutbacks, a U.S. senator said Thursday.

U.S. President Barack Obama in 2009 scrapped the missile-defense plan drafted by his predecessor, George W. Bush, under which Poland would host a base near its border with the Russian exclave of Kaliningrad. The U.S. later proposed a new system envisaging 24 interceptors in Poland at the same location.

“Indications are that despite defense cutbacks, we’re going to maintain the commitment to build the Polish missile-defense system, and that is because the threat from Iran is growing, it’s clear that Iran’s nuclear programs are accelerating,” Illinois Republican Senator Mark Kirk told reporters in Warsaw.

“My hope is that we stay on schedule for a 2018 full operational capability of 24 interceptors at Redzikowo to defend NATO and the United States,” he added. “The Russians have been pretty hostile to missile defense. They say that in some way this threatens their nuclear deterrents, but we’re going to build only 24 interceptors in Poland and last I checked Russia has more than 24 nuclear weapons. … We need to defend a free, sovereign and independent Poland regardless of what Russia thinks.” …

Read on: blogs.wsj.com/emergingeurope/2012/01/12/u-s-likely-to-press-on-with-missile-defense-in-poland/

Israel, U.S. to hold missile defense drill

By Ian Deitch – The Associated Press
January 5, 2012

The Israeli military is gearing up together with U.S. forces for a major missile defense exercise, the Israeli military announced Thursday, as tension between Iran and the international community escalates.

The drill is called “Austere Challenge 12” and is designed to improve defense systems and cooperation between the U.S. and Israeli forces. It follows a 10-day Iranian naval exercise near the strategic Strait of Hormuz.

Israel’s military said the drill with the U.S. was planned long ago and is not tied to recent events.

Both Israeli and U.S. officials said the exercise would be the largest-ever joint drill by the two countries.

The Iranian war games came as the West was adopting new sanctions against Tehran over its nuclear program, charging it is making weapons. Iran insists its program is peaceful.

Israel considers Iran a strategic threat because of its nuclear and missile programs and support of violent groups in Lebanon and Gaza, as well as frequent references by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to Israel’s destruction.

The Israeli military spokesman did not give a date for the drill Thursday, but a senior military official said it would be in the next few weeks. …

Read on: www.marinecorpstimes.com/news/2012/01/ap-us-israel-missile-defense-drill-010512

U.S. – Romania Missile Defense Comes Into Force

Voice of America
January 3, 2012

This agreement provides for the deployment of a U.S. ballistic missile defense interceptor site to Romania.

The United States and Romania have announced that the U.S.-Romania Ballistic Missile Defense Agreement has entered into force. This agreement provides for the deployment of a U.S. ballistic missile defense interceptor site to Romania. The interceptor site will be located at Deveselu Air Base as a part of the European Phased Adaptive Approach to missile defense, the U.S. contribution to NATO missile defense. The base, said both countries, represents a significant contribution to the NATO missile defense capability Allies agreed to develop at the 2010 NATO Summit in Lisbon.

The United States remains committed to proven missile defenses that provide flexibility to address emerging threats. As President Barack Obama has said, “Our new missile defense architecture in Europe will provide stronger, smarter, and swifter defenses of American forces and America’s allies. It is more comprehensive than the previous program; it deploys capabilities that are proven and cost-effective; and it sustains and builds upon our commitment to protect the U.S. homeland against long-range ballistic missile threats; and it ensures and enhances the protection of all our NATO Allies.” …

While the BMD interceptor site in Romania will provide a defensive capability to protect Europe and the United States against ballistic missiles launched from the Middle East, it is important to note that this system is neither designed nor capable of undermining the Russian strategic deterrent. In fact, the United States is pursuing missile defense cooperation efforts with the Russian Federation. …

Read in full: www.voanews.com/policy/editorials/US—Romania-Missile-Defense-Comes-Into-Force-136698993.html

Boeing Wins 3.8Bn Contract for GMD from MDA


The Missile Defense Agency is announcing the award of the Ground-based Midcourse Defense (GMD) Development and Sustainment Contract (DSC) to The Boeing Co., Missile Defense Systems, Huntsville, Ala.

The total value of this contract is $3,480,000,000. This contract was competitively awarded following the receipt of two proposals.

The scope of work under this contract includes, but is not limited to: future development; fielding; test; systems engineering, integration and configuration management; equipment manufacturing and refurbishment; training; and operations and sustainment support for the GMD Weapon System and associated support facilities.

Work will be performed at multiple locations, including: Huntsville, Ala.; Fort Greely, Alaska; Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif.; Schriever Air Force Base, Peterson Air Force Base, Cheyenne Mountain Air Station, and Colorado Springs, Colo.; Tucson, Ariz.; other government designated sites and other contractor designated prime, subcontractor, and supplier operating locations.

The Boeing Company and industry partner Northrop Grumman Corporation have received the development and sustainment contract (DSC) from the U.S. Missile Defense Agency for future work on the Ground-based Midcourse Defense (GMD) element of the United States’ ballistic missile defense system. …

Read on: www.defenseworld.net/go/defensenews.jsp?id=6418&h=Boeing%20Wins%203.8Bn%20Contract%20for%20GMD%20from%20MDA

Boeing wins $3.48 billion U.S. missile contract

December 31, 2011

Boeing Co beat out Lockheed Martin to retain its position as the prime contractor for the U.S. long-range missile shield, the Pentagon said on Friday.

The U.S. Defense Department said it was awarding Boeing a $3.48 billion, seven-year contract to develop, test, engineer and manufacture missile defense systems. …

The shield has been shaped initially to guard against ballistic missiles that could be fired by Iran and North Korea. It is the only U.S. defense against long-range missiles that could be tipped with chemical, biological or nuclear warheads.

Read in full: www.reuters.com/article/2011/12/31/us-boeing-missiledefense-idUSTRE7BT19T20111231