Missile Defence: International, Regional and National Implications (Contemporary Security Studies)

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In doing so they undermine the deterrent of the enemy. While research programmes were initiated earlier, the first major step to national missile defence was taken when the Johnson administration proposed building the Sentinel system in the late s. Nuclear-tipped interceptor missiles were to be placed at 15 sites around the country including ten near major metropolitan areas. As people living near the planned sites rebelled, Sentinel was abolished and replaced by a Safeguard system. Here the same technology would be used to protect intercontinental ballistic missile ICBM sites.

However, it permitted both countries to operate two missile defence systems, one at its national capital and the other at an ICBM site. In the number was cut to one. The SDI, a strong platform of research, was never actually deployed as a defence system despite its high political profile. The actual decision to deploy a defence system was, however, subject to additional tests and deferred to the Bush administration.

In his presidential campaign Bush expressed interest in robust defence systems that included space-based weapons. By the end of September at least some of the interceptors at Fort Greely would be placed on alert. Another ten ground-based interceptors would be added at Fort Greely in This would mean that the US could defend itself against limited attacks from North Korea already in and against attacks from the Middle East by , given that the radars at Thule and Fylingdales are upgraded.

President Bush could thus deliver on his campaign pledge to deploy a national missile defence system. Missile defence systems offer a set of technological choices. When an enemy fires an ICBM carrying a WMD warhead, a counter-missile is fired to destroy the incoming missile by hitting it or targeting it with energy weapons.

The first alternative is the boost phase, i. In theory this would be the easiest, as the missile would be destroyed before it deploys warheads or decoys. Furthermore, the ICBM is moving rather slowly and the rocket plume is easy to locate. On the other hand, early detection is difficult, and the time limit to reach the target is only up to five minutes after launch.

Problems arise, as the enemy missile is likely to consist of warheads as well as decoys, which outside the atmosphere travel at the same speed. The warheads have to be destroyed and the decoys distinguished from the warheads before they re-enter the atmosphere. To target the incoming warhead in the final phase, when it re-enters the atmosphere, is also an option. In this case there is a risk of potential fallout depending on whether the warhead carries nuclear, chemical or biological weapons. Launch facilities may be land, sea, air or space-based.

The US Navy has developed a theatre-wide missile defence system, which could be expanded to become a national midcourse defence system as well. The Pentagon also has a programme for an airborne boost-phase defence. The midcourse defence now planned could be supplemented by a boost-phase defence based near the potential enemy country including both ship and airborne missile defences.

In the future, space-based interceptor missiles could track an attacking ballistic missile in the boost phase, combined with ground-based interceptors in the midcourse as well as the final phase. A national missile defence system, however, gives the attacker an advantage. The defence must commit itself to a specific technology and architecture before the attacker does. This allows the attacker to tailor countermeasures to a specific defence system.

For hit-to-kill interceptors, which destroy the incoming missile by colliding with it, there is little margin for error. The development of countermeasures is not just a theoretical possibility, but rather something the countries possessing intercontinental ballistic missiles have been engaged in for a long time.

In fact, it can be assumed that any country possessing the ability to launch this kind of missile will also have the technological capabilities of developing countermeasures. Furthermore, the defender has a much more difficult time in detecting the development of countermeasures. The Union of Concerned Scientists and the Security Studies Program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology carried out, in , an in-depth study of countermeasures. Many highly effective countermeasures require a lower level of technology than that required to build a long-range ballistic missile or nuclear weapon.

Countermeasure programs could be concealed from US intelligence much more easily than missile programs, and the US should not assume that a lack of intelligence evidence is evidence that countermeasure programs do not exist. On the other hand, the authors recognize that this will not be the case and that such tests are not even planned. Constructing threats The development of missile defence systems is accordingly a long-term technological trajectory with fairly stable financing. In fact, the missile defence as an arena for research and technical development has been amazingly adaptable to any images of threat that have been put forth by the US military-political system.

In terms of the sociology of technology the missile defence thus becomes a hybrid between a technological trajectory, a concept used in innovation economics,7 and a social construction of technology,8 which claims that technology is malleable and that there are always choices to be made. In order to understand this interplay between a more deterministic trajectory and the social construction of arguments, I shall shortly review the threat images through the history of missile defence. In the beginning the main goal of missile defence was defence against Russian missiles.

However, as the arms race dynamics of the Cold War entailed a steady growth in both number and sophistication of the Soviet ICBMs, it became clear that a missile defence system based on present technology would in any case be saturated by sheer numbers. Thus, as the concept of deterrence through Mutually Assured Destruction became institutionalized as the guarantee of stability between the US and the USSR, missile defence was seen as a potentially destabilizing element. This changed of course as Reagan introduced the SDI, the goal of which exactly was to question the stability of deterrence by means of reintroducing missile defence.

The Russian reactions have been extremely critical. For Russia a most sensitive point is the technological gap and the fact that Russia is losing out after, during the Cold War, having maintained technological parity in many fields. Particularly in the s, China was expected to acquire strategic nuclear weapons and to threaten the US.

China has, in fact, acquired a nuclear force of some two dozen single-warhead silo-based missiles and submarines capable of carrying ballistic missiles. Even though the Chinese forces are not on alert, they are ready to launch at short notice. The Chinese deterrent today is a question of mere possession of nuclear weapons being enough to prevent a nuclear attack. The United States government has tried to assure China that their plans for a missile defence shield is not a threat to Beijing.

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Given the situation, China has two basic options. One is to develop countermeasures so that the Chinese nuclear force will be able to penetrate the US national missile architecture. The Chinese have protested against the plans and claimed that they have a profound negative influence on the global and regional strategic balance and stability and will trigger a new round of the arms race. The current threat image is the one of rogue states. The assessments of these threats are not about why and how these states would attack the United States with ballistic missiles, but rather about access to the necessary technology.

Since the late s a number of assessments have been made in the US about the ballistic missile threat and the access to weapons of mass destruction technologies.

The first report was by the Rumsfeld Commission in ,14 which for the first time emphasized the potential of missile programmes in emerging missile states. The assessment was that nations such as North Korea, Iran and Iraq could inflict major destruction on the US within about five years of a decision to acquire ballistic missile capability ten years for Iraq.

According to this estimate, a potential threat of intercontinental ballistic missiles existed from three countries, North Korea, Iran and possibly also Iraq. The most advanced capabilities were estimated to be in North Korea, which had even carried out tests. According to the estimate, Iran was expected to have intermediate ballistic missiles and a programme to develop intercontinental systems. Iran would be expected, according to the report, to be able to launch an ICBM missile by the end of the decade.

Even though Iran, according to the report, did not have a nuclear weapon, it was active in the exploitation of civil nuclear technologies. Iraq was expected to have development programmes for both biological and chemical weapons. The current situation October has to some extent confirmed these estimates. In Iraq no indications have been found of a large-scale missile development programme.

The weapon inspection carried out just before the second Gulf War found missiles with a range longer than the km approved by the United Nations. This distance was, however, only exceeded by some tens of kilometres. No nuclear, biological or chemical warfare programmes have been found, a fact that was confirmed by the Iraq Survey Group which presented its report in October Iran is negotiating the inspection of its nuclear facilities with the IAEA in order to confirm its non-military use of nuclear power.

No agreements have been reached and there are indications that Iran will continue its nuclear programme with a potential for weapon-grade enriched uranium production. Combined with its capacity to fire missiles, this presents a potential threat, if not to the US, then at least to South Korea and Japan. A pre-emptive strike as in Iraq is not on the agenda and multilateral negotiations are under way between North Korea and the US, China and Russia. In addition to the current threat of rogue states there are two additional threat images.

One is the threat of terrorists getting access to nuclear material and making a crude bomb. Here the NIE points out that the easiest way of taking a crude bomb to the US is not in a long-range ballistic missile. This assessment is also supported by the advice of 49 retired generals and admirals, who, in advising Bush to shelve his missile defence start-up plan, urged him to spend the money instead on anti-terrorist defences at US ports, borders and nuclear weapon depots.

This risk comes from two states only, China and Russia. Accidental launches from rogue states or other states with emerging missile capabilities are of course a possibility, but such launches being able to target the US are improbable and would not be a motivation to invest billions of dollars in a missile defence system. A Chinese accidental launch is not probable, because the warheads and fuel are stored separately from the missiles. In sum, throughout the previous paragraphs we have seen that the issue of missile defence has been on the political agenda for much of the last 50 years.

The threats have oscillated, and so accordingly has the mission of the system. But the solution and response to the threats have throughout most of the period been a technological fix through missile defence. This can especially be seen after the Cold War. The threats have changed but the means have stayed the same. This is the case even though ample arguments have been provided, questioning whether missile defence has been up to its various missions.

In the following I shall try to provide an alternative and complementary explanation as to why missile defence has continued to be seen as the solution. This report exposes how space becomes a part of US security policy. The government has to sustain its investment in breakthrough technologies in order to maintain its leadership in space. The report concludes further: We know from history that every medium — air, land and sea — has seen conflict.

Reality indicates that space will be no different. Given this virtual certainty, the US must develop the means both to deter and to defend against hostile acts in and from space. This will require superior space capabilities. Thus far, the broad outline of US national space policy is sound, but the US has not yet taken the steps necessary to develop the needed capabilities and to maintain and ensure continuing superiority. The US will in the future conduct operations to, from, in and through space in support of its national interests both on earth and in space.

Furthermore, space systems will transform the conduct of future military operations. These are fullspectrum dominance and conduct of joint operations. The conduct of joint operations 43 TARJA CRONBERG requires interoperability for effective joint, multinational and inter-agency operations and the coordination of information assets, collaborative planning in crisis, and compatible processes and procedures. All this, in turn, requires speed and overwhelming operational tempo, precision engagement, and joint command and control.

These operational concepts can only be obtained, according to the vision, through control of space.

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In short, the conclusions reached in these documents are that space becomes a key area of responsibility. Space is important to secure American national interests, accordingly securing space in itself becomes in turn a vital national interest. In this vision it is underlined that global surveillance is also the key to national missile defence. At this meeting, strong arguments were put forth for prohibiting the deployment of weapons in space.


  • Der blasse Hund: Eine Erzählung (German Edition);
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  • Missile Defence.

Research to clarify these questions is scarce. As space is already militarized, the authors point out that the next step, the weaponization of space, represents a new qualitative challenge. As noted above, this challenge is one of definition. But it is also one of content and legitimacy. On the one hand, weaponization of space is seen as a legitimate interest. One of the authors, Stephen Lambakiss, claims that there is a strong case for possible uses of space in order to enhance ballistic missile defence and in order to achieve a more effective space control.

Weaponization of space and the defence of space-based assets are linked to missile defence through global surveillance and space-based interceptors. First, space-based infra-red sensors are used in all types of interception, boost phase, midcourse and terminal. Second, space-based interceptors, in turn, are at the core of the boost-phase defence. Interceptors from space will be able to target the launched missile within seconds of the launch, rendering the defence more effective than the more problematic midcourse interception.

This way the problem with countermeasures may be overcome. The two options for space-based missile defence, directed and kinetic energy weapons, encounter technical difficulties today. Once developed and deployed, they will, however, greatly impact the weaponization of space and provide highly offensive capabilities. On the one hand the space-based sensors of the projected missile defence system strengthen US dependency on space, thus further explicating the need for the defence of space assets.

On the other hand, missile defence technologies promise to provide that protection. The future technology necessary for space-based interceptor systems is akin to that needed to provide both protection against killer satellites as well as offensive ASAT capabilities. The mission is defence, the potential offence. Missile defence is thus linked to the potential threats to US interests in space.

However, this link is reinforced by the role of the missile defence project in developing new technology — the second part of my argument in explaining missile defence development. Redesigning the technology base and the return of spin-off New technology is needed for space control and surveillance. Indirectly this is simultaneously a way to build a competitive edge for the future in general.

New competitive technologies, for example laser and sensor systems, will be developed, which will support the general US technological lead in the future. The interesting question is: In the US economic system, the government should not pick winners and losers. This is an often-heard statement against state involvement in industrial and technological policy. Unlike European governments, which have paid for industrial and technological developments through grants, loans and subsidies to their enterprises, this is not the case in the US.

The government should not pick the winners. This is the task of the marketplace in the US, with one exception — the military. The military has always been a way for the US government to support its national technological and industrial base. According to this, resources spent on military technologies would profit the commercial sector as well, through spin-off. A number of technological developments in computer science were used as examples to show the advantages of this way of supporting commercial technologies and the American lead in technology. The end of the Cold War, however, left the world of technological policy in the US in a state of turmoil.

The decline in the Department of Defense procurement budgets left the US weapon industry shrinking to align supply to fit demand. A number of companies left the military field; others tried to gain strength through mergers and acquisitions and expanding the export market. There was a need for the defence industry to merge with the broader commercial technology and industrial base.

It would be necessary for the military industry to take advantage of commercial technology developments and to make changes in the US procurement system in order to allow for this. Worst-case scenarios were dramatic: Should defense prove unable to work with the commercial sector, it would be forced to retreat into a specialized ghetto, with military technology focused on specialized requirements pursued by a few private firms or by dedicated government arsenals. With little access to commercial technologies, components and sub-systems, costs would rise and capabilities shrink. In this extreme, this scenario ends in collapse — a debilitated and isolated enclave.

In a famous study, Beyond Spin-off, a number of highly regarded scientists at the Harvard Business School36 showed that the spin-off was highly overvalued. Through examples they showed that the extent of the phenomenon was much less than expected and that supporting commercial technologies through military innovations was not only expensive but also disrupted the emergence of competitive commercial technologies. Other parallel studies37 demonstrated that in many fields commercial technologies developed in commercial industries close to the competitive marketplace were cheaper and more advanced than their military counterparts.

The conclusion on the spin-off paradigm was a radical questioning of the previous policies: The important point about the spin-off paradigm is not that it was a half truth at best, but that the unusual circumstances of the Cold War world did not force the Americans to question it. Few asked whether the spin-off was an efficient way to link government efforts to commercial performance. Here the state would support research and development work on technologies with both potential military and civilian uses.

For example, sensor technology could be developed on a generic level before the military and civilian uses diverged. This would give the state a possibility for funding research work, which at a later stage would have military applications.

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Contemporary Security Policy

A new technological partnership administered by the Pentagon, the so-called Technology Reinvestment Project, was implemented between commercial and military companies, which now would work together in the early pre-competitive stages of the research process. The Department of Defense, which had earlier controlled all specifications for military material, was increasingly expected to use commercial specifications.

The military would get access to advanced commercial technologies and commercial firms could benefit from early participation in technological development. Instead of spin-off, which meant a longer transformation process of military innovations into the civilian, synergies could be identified at an early stage and resources would thus be used more effectively, or so the argument goes. The dual-use concept was not a success.

It was not easy to introduce commercial specifications into the military procurement process. Civilian and military technologies diverged as to their requirements already in the research phases. Secrecy of military developments was a further hindrance. Military research laboratories have special ways of working, not immediately adaptable to combined civilian and military work. By the end of the s, considerable political pressures existed for increasing military research and development.

Missile defence provided an ideal case. Republicans have always advocated high expenditures on military research and development, advocating at the same time state non-involvement in industrial policy. The military industry was yearning for high-skill contracts on military research. Innovations in these fields are not only useful in missile defences but also in developing new warfare and global surveillance.

Here missile defence plays a large role. The budget includes research on a space-based laser and interceptor system, which not only may be used in midcourse defence, but also in the boost phase, i. There is again a large national project, which enables the US government to invest in military technology. The military industrial sector has regained its previous strength. Even the spin-off paradigm is being revived in discussions of the potential for the commercial use of space.

A number of authors in the Moltz anthology stress the importance of commercial space programmes and the possible lead that commercial space uses would take in relation to military use. Commercial space programmes could in fact support US military interests in space. This would apply in particular to communication satellites and imagery. This spin-off effect is also underlined in the Rumsfeld Report, according to which space would be expected to revolutionize both commercial and social activity. Space will come into homes, enterprises, schools, hospitals and government offices. The technologies of space will be applied to traffic, health, environment and agriculture.

Against all treaties The importance of the twin goals of space control and unconstrained technological development become clearly visible when looking at how the US deals with international treaties, especially the ABM treaty and treaties limiting the use of outer space for military purposes. On the other its own policies undermine international conventions and arms control agreements especially with Russia, the country with the largest nuclear arsenal and one under decay. The ABM treaty not only specified quantitative and qualitative goals for missile defences, it also limited technological development.

Article V states that each party undertakes not to develop, test or deploy ABM systems or components, which are sea-based, air-based, space-based or mobile land-based. The Bush administration has been arguing that the treaty is thwarting the development of missile defence technology. While it permits the testing of fixed land-based anti-ballistic missile systems, it prohibits all mobile sea, air and space-based as well as mobile land-based systems. Philip Coyle, senior advisor at the Center for Defense Information and former director of Operational Test and Evaluation at the Department of Defense, and John Rhinelander, former legal advisor to the US SALT I delegation that negotiated the ABM treaty, have argued that national missile defence is in its infant stages and that it will take a decade or more to mature: The bottom line is that the development of national missile defense could go on for many years without violating the ABM Treaty — leaving time for negotiations, if needed, about future changes to accommodate whatever NMD system proves most promising.

At the same time, it must be stressed that it is relatively easy to design a national missile defense testing program with the sole goal of busting the treaty. The current testing plans seem bent on that course. But doing so would run major risks, both technical and political. When Presidents Bush and Putin met in Crawford, Texas, in November there were rumours circulating that they would agree to modify the treaty.

To maintain Russian cooperation in the war against terror, the US could accept constraints on ambitious defences, which in any case would not be ready for years. This underlines the importance of the research and development elements — especially associated with space — in the missile defence project. If the sole purpose was a limited missile defence, a solution would probably have been reached. It was not, however. The US wanted freedom to pursue a broad range of technologies. Of further importance is the Limited Test Ban Treaty, which prohibits nuclear weapon explosions in outer space.

The Outer Space Treaty prohibits placing weapons of mass destruction in space, on the moon or other celestial bodies, and using the moon and other celestial bodies for any military purposes. Finally, the Environmental Modification Convention prohibits all hostile actions that might cause long-lasting, severe or widespread environmental effects in space. The non-interference principle established by space law treaties would be suspended among belligerents during a state of hostilities. The current US positions towards regulating the weaponization of outer space follow these lines.

The US has opposed this. In November the US was one of the three countries that refused to vote for a UN resolution on the need to prevent an arms race in space. We see no need for new agreements. It denotes that technology is intimately linked to society. If the social organization around a certain technology collapses, so does the technology itself.

Power is seen as the result, not the starting point for a certain technological development. Arguments and alliances matter in the process. Although we can talk about the missile shield as a technological trajectory, with stable financing through decades, it is not a technological imperative autonomous of the socio-political environment.

The tasks of missile defence varied according to this environment. Especially interesting in the current developments is the importance of one person. Presently Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld headed the commission which in made the ballistic missile threat explicit, a conclusion followed up by a number of National Intelligence Estimates.

The US threat perception thus changed. He was also the person in charge of the commission defining US space interests and making space a top priority for US security. Of course, there are alliances. A national missile defence is not only supported by Republicans. The commission headed by Donald Rumsfeld on the ballistic missile threat included three Democrats and was thus bipartisan. The conclusions were unanimous. Large military industries in charge of missile defence systems development such as Boeing and Raytheon are also strong allies in technology policy.

Finally, the American people may support the spin-off argument once more, as the US lead role in commercial exploitation of space is no doubt in their national interest, and of course so is the potential of protection against the ballistic missiles of rogue states. There are also critical voices. The State Department was openly critical of the Rumsfeld Report in The main dissidents, however, come from the international community.

The Chinese and Russians have not only been opposed to the missile defence plans, they have worked for treaties to prevent the weaponization of space. All regional great powers such as the European Union, Russia, China and Japan are each preparing to decrease their vulnerability in technological development, particularly in relation to the US dominance in space. Here the European effort to build its own space-based global positioning system, Galileo, is an interesting case.

Not the least, since Europe is teaming up with China in space efforts, which in no way, at least not yet, challenges US domination in space. What is remarkable is that the social dynamics of missile defence reach much wider in American society. In this wider picture, technological policy and the control of space make the difference. To understand the politics of the American missile defence plans these two elements have to be integrated as well as the threat from rogue states. It is the juxtaposing of all three elements that makes missile defence such a compelling policy choice.

Further, the importance of securing space assets and the need to stimulate technological development in general contribute to explain why the missile defence architecture has this distinct appearance. To state it in a different way: Had the need to invest in military technology not been there, the potential missile threat from rogue states would conceivably have been met by other means such as sanctions or pre-emptive strikes.

Seen in this context, missile defence is more than just defence against external threats. It is also, and maybe foremost, a symbol of technological supremacy and a means to secure world leadership in technology in the future also. The concept stresses the continuity of technological developments. See especially the introductory essay by Bijker and Pinch. Advisory Council on International Affairs, Danish Institute for International Studies, Center for Nonproliferation Studies.

Akademisk Forlag, , p. Harvard Business School Press, , p. Quoted in the Rumsfeld Report, op. Statement by John R. Hitchens, Weapons in Space: Silver Bullet or Russian Roulette? See Bijker, Hughes and Pinch, op. The chapter is structured in the following way. After first introducing the state of affairs for missile defence in the United States, second, five historical stages will be identified and analysed, using the long-term political-strategic objectives as a point of departure. Third, the national and international debate on missile defence is outlined and discussed.

Fourth, the recent missile defence policy is explained according to a neorealistic perspective.

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Finally, a brief conclusion is presented. Recent missile defence efforts First we have to set the scene. The political justification for establishing the new American missile defence system is the emergence of new WMD threats from rogue states and rogue non-state actors. This advisor additionally explains the SAS Simulation Studio interface to the JMP design-of-experiments services for producing designs to run opposed to your simulation versions.

This selection of essays offers essentially with the Byzantine sector of Romania from the tenth to the fifteenth century. Extra info for Missle Defence: Nike Zeus was an Army programme and the revived interest in modifying the system for the ASAT role mainly by extending the range was viewed by critics as a way to save the ABM programme as well.

Testing of the ASAT version started at Kwajalein atoll in and continued to , when the system was finally decommissioned. Initially, nuclear weapons did not profoundly alter strategic premises. The emerging main opponent, the Soviet Union, does not seem to have asserted the nuclear threat as a decisive factor until the post-Stalin era in the s, and a major shift first appeared at the end of the s.

What will be the international ramifications of American plans to deploy a comprehensive national missile defence policy? This is a key question for all those wishing to build a sense of the global future and is here answered with clarity and rigour by expert contributors.

This new study breaks the mould of traditional assessments that focus exclusively on the US world picture and are inevitably one-dimensional. Here we see that US action automatically entails reactions as this text advances a more balanced approach. By integrating a focus on US policy with a strong analysis of regional dynamics, it demonstrates that the global ramifications of US policy are indeed contingent upon distinct regional and national variations.

These differences in turn have consequences both for the challenges the US faces in relation to missile defence and for the future of world politics. This is an innovative and groundbreaking study that contains lessons for those wishing to safeguard the future by becoming alert to its challenges and complexities.