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WH Fact Sheet: A "Phased, Adaptive Approach" for Missile Defense in Europe

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maddezmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 01:12 PM
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WH Fact Sheet: A "Phased, Adaptive Approach" for Missile Defense in Europe
Fact Sheet on U.S. Missile Defense Policy
A "Phased, Adaptive Approach" for Missile Defense in Europe
Office of the Press Secretary

The White House

September 17, 2009
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President Obama has approved the recommendation of Secretary of Defense Gates and the Joint Chiefs of Staff for a phased, adaptive approach for missile defense in Europe. This approach is based on an assessment of the Iranian missile threat, and a commitment to deploy technology that is proven, cost-effective, and adaptable to an evolving security environment.

Starting around 2011, this missile defense architecture will feature deployments of increasingly-capable sea- and land-based missile interceptors, primarily upgraded versions of the Standard Missile-3 (SM-3), and a range of sensors in Europe to defend against the growing ballistic missile threat from Iran. This phased approach develops the capability to augment our current protection of the U.S. homeland against long-range ballistic missile threats, and to offer more effective defenses against more near-term ballistic missile threats. The plan provides for the defense of U.S. deployed forces, their families, and our Allies in Europe sooner and more comprehensively than the previous program, and involves more flexible and survivable systems.

The Secretary of Defense and the Joint Chiefs of Staff recommended to the President that he revise the previous Administration's 2007 plan for missile defense in Europe as part of an ongoing comprehensive review of our missile defenses mandated by Congress. Two major developments led to this unanimous recommended change:

New Threat Assessment: The intelligence community now assesses that the threat from Iran's short- and medium-range ballistic missiles is developing more rapidly than previously projected, while the threat of potential Iranian intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) capabilities has been slower to develop than previously estimated. In the near-term, the greatest missile threats from Iran will be to U.S. Allies and partners, as well as to U.S. deployed personnel – military and civilian –and their accompanying families in the Middle East and in Europe.

Advances in Capabilities and Technologies: Over the past several years, U.S. missile defense capabilities and technologies have advanced significantly. We expect this trend to continue. Improved interceptor capabilities, such as advanced versions of the SM-3, offer a more flexible, capable, and cost-effective architecture. Improved sensor technologies offer a variety of options to detect and track enemy missiles.


Obama Overhauls Plans for Missile Defense in Europe
By Kate Andersen Brower and Viola Gienger

Sept. 17 (Bloomberg) -- President Barack Obama said hes scrapping a Bush administration plan to install a missile defense network in Poland and the Czech Republic for a new system that he said would be more flexible and better able to counter threats to the U.S. and Europe.

Obama said hes acting on the unanimous recommendation of Defense Secretary Robert Gates and the Joint Chiefs of Staff. The decision reflects advances in missile technology since the original plan was unveiled by former President George W. Bush and revised assessments of Irans missile programs, Obama said.

The best way to responsibly advance our security and the security of allies is to deploy a missile defense system that best responds to the threats that we face and that utilizes technology that is both proven and cost effective, Obama said today at the White House.

The original plan would have installed land-based missiles in Poland and a radar system in the Czech Republic to defend against threats from hostile nations, primarily Iran. While it was backed by the Polish and Czech governments, it stirred protests in both countries and strained relations with Russia, which argued the defense network posed a threat to its security.

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