Why Rocket Shields? Part II

4: USA out of the ABM agreement

Towards the end of the 1990s, the need for testing arose, and it would break with the ABM agreement. Bill Clinton pushed the question over to his deputy, George W. Bush , who withdrew the United States from the agreement immediately. The program is a Republican flag issue that the Democrats have followed up, with only slightly smaller allocations. George W. Bush spent $ 66 billion during his time as president, and Obama was not far behind.

Today, just over 30 years and more than $ 150 billion later, technology is still imperfect and unreliable. Despite the unresolved technological challenges, the missile shield is still a well-protected budget item in the US Congress. The question is whether much will be more, or a little less.

President Donald Trump has ordered a full review of nuclear weapons policy and the missile defense program. He believes the missile defense needs to be upgraded and points to North Korea and Iran. Congress is impatient and wants to boost Trump’s budget proposal for 2018, which is $ 8 billion. The leaders of Reagan’s old “Star Wars” program are eyeing new opportunities and reviving the idea of ​​space-based defense systems that can destroy opponents’ missiles in all phases on the way to the target.

5: NATO Missile Shield

NATO’s missile shield (see facts: also referred to as missile defense) takes shape through four phases : The first is aimed at short- and medium-range missiles , connecting elements already developed and tested with interceptor missiles on ships (Aegis) and a land-based one. early warning radar that Turkey said it was willing to house.

Phase two expanded the military’s coverage area with a new base in Romania and better missile launchers (Block 1B). The base became operational in December 2015.

Phase three , which runs until 2018, expands the coverage area further, with a new base in Poland and more advanced launchers (Block IIA). Now the system will also be able to intercept missiles with a greater range (intermediate range, ie up to 5500 km.).

Phase four , until 2020, will also be able to target intercontinental missiles that threaten the United States with the help of a further upgrade of the interceptor missiles (Block IIB). The command and control system are upgraded through all four phases.

The aim is to integrate contributions from the Alliance’s members so as to provide full coverage and protection throughout the NATO area for the population, territory and military forces against the threat posed by the proliferation of ballistic missiles.

6: The rationale for the NATO shield

The rationale for NATO’s missile shield began with the need to protect itself against possible Iranian nuclear missiles, which Obama admittedly assured the world that the Iranians would never get. Before it possibly got that far, he wanted to bomb.

Then came the nuclear agreement with Iran in 2015, which places strong restrictions on the Iranian nuclear program for the next 10-15 years. If the Iranians still try to make nuclear weapons, it will take them at least a year to produce enough fissile material for one bomb, and then the international community will have plenty of time to react. The inspection scheme is more comprehensive than for any other country.

However, the missile defense program has remained unchanged , with only a more general reference to the Middle East . Critics of the agreement, for their part, emphasize that almost all the provisions are limited in time. What will happen when the time is up? Should not one think long-term and take into account that the threat may re-emerge? Security policy is and should be long-term, here too.

7: Relations with Russia and China

NATO believes the Russians have no cause for concern, but that is exactly what the Russians believe they have – they worry. They believe that the shield is aimed as much at them as at the Middle East. The Chinese think the same. According to the United States, a country located in North America according to a2zdirectory, the shield in South Korea is a response to the challenge from North Korea , but the Chinese believe it is just as much aimed at them. South Korean President Moon was initially opposed to its establishment, but the tense situation on the Korean Peninsula has led him to give in, despite sharp Chinese criticism and breaches of some economic ties.

The shield – of the type THAAD (Theater High Altitude Area Defense) – has close to 50 launchers , and a radar that sees 3000 km. into China and a little into Russia. It is the radar that worries the Chinese the most, because they believe it can distinguish between explosive charges and decoys that are sent out with the actual weapon to confuse the missile defense. Both Russia and China fear that the deterrent – the ability to respond to a nuclear attack with the same coin – will be undermined by the US BMD program.

The hands on the doomsday clock

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