Published: Fri, January 18, 2019
Worldwide | By Lisa Hogan

Donald Trump calls for new focus on missile defence programme

Donald Trump calls for new focus on missile defence programme

President Trump on Thursday channeled President Ronald Reagan's dream from the "Star Wars" era of the Cold War, pledging in a speech at the Pentagon to "detect and destroy any missile launched against the United States anywhere, anytime, anyplace".

The administration's Missile Defence Review is the first such programme since 2010.

As part of the new strategy, the Department of Defense will focus on tighter integration of offensive attack capabilities-both US and allied forces-with existing missile defenses, with the goal of detecting and shooting down an incoming missile much earlier in its flight, according to the report.

Starr said that as commander in chief Trump "can pick up the phone and say to the Air Force, 'don't give them an airplane, '" but questioned his motivations.

"Their arsenals are getting bigger and stronger".

"China is improving its ability to strike regional targets, such as U.S. bases and naval assets, at greater ranges with the addition of the growing number of medium and intermediate-range ballistic missiles". Now it is again broadening its ambitions, both in terms of technology and missions.

"Overall, the Trump administration's Missile Defense Review offers up a gamut of expensive, ineffective and destabilizing solutions to problems that missile defense simply can not solve", Kristensen and Korda wrote.

The president reiterated his call for a Space Force as a critical domain for missile defense.

The missile defense review report said that the current Alaska and California defenses "in the event of conflict, it would defend, to the extent feasible, against a ballistic missile attack upon the US homeland from any source".

For years, US missile defenses have focused exclusively on combating threats from rogue nations such as North Korea and Iran.

Part of the new strategy is to create a level of sensors in space. The threat is not only coming from traditional cruise and ballistic missiles, but also from hypersonic weapons.

"So - wealthy, wealthy countries that we're protecting are all under notice and all cooperating very nicely", he said.

"While a possible new avenue to peace now exists with North Korea, it continues to pose an extraordinary threat and the United States must remain vigilant", it said.

"Missile defense necessarily includes missile offense", said Acting Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan during the rollout event.

The review was due to be released previous year, but its publication saw repeated delays. People familiar with the document discussed some of its contents with The Washington Post, speaking on the condition of anonymity because the review has yet to be released. Senior administration officials, asked whether there is still a threat from North Korea, deflected. The strategy will encourage prototypes for promising new technologies to be evaluated outside the standard acquisition process to increase speed. "The United States has been very transparent throughout the development of its missile defense capabilities about what they are posturing to defend against".

The Pentagon wants to equip its latest and most advanced stealth fighter "with a new or modified interceptor capable of shooting down adversary ballistic missiles in their boost phase", the report states.

The strategy also calls for assessing the practicality of developing and possibly fielding laser-armed drones flying at 50,000 to 60,000 feet that could strike enemy missiles during their ascent.

"We are committed to establishing a missile-defense program that can shield every city in the United States". The U.S. military could also take some of the Aegis missile defense test systems in Hawaii and make them operational to better protect the state.

He said the upcoming 2020 budget will invest in a space-based missile defense layer.

In a speech delivered in the Pentagon, Trump made claims for the planned missile defence system that went far beyond the capabilities of the systems, even according to his own administration's review.

The President has frequently called on nations in the alliance to pay a larger share of their defense spending. It will also seek to field more mobile missile defense systems so American forces can respond quickly during regional crises or conflicts and ensure their access to the battlefield isn't denied by an adversary.

Pentagon officials contend that American missiles defences are too few to counter a first-strike on the United States homeland by a major nuclear power like Russian Federation or China.

The president says that America's adversaries are "increasing their lethal strike capabilities" and that his "first duty is defense of our country". The Bush administration, led by national security adviser John Bolton, lifted such limits with its withdrawal from the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty with Russian Federation in 2002.

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