Trump Unveils Space-Based Missile Defense Strategy

Trump Unveils Space-Based Missile Defense Strategy

Pentagon correspondent Barbara Starr said Thursday that Pentagon officials are growing increasingly concerned that President Donald Trump's partisan decisions -such as his tit-for-tat decision today to deny House Speaker Nancy Pelosi access to a military plane for an upcoming trip to Afghanistan- are beginning to upset the military.

President Donald Trump speaks about American missile defense doctrine, Thursday, Jan. 17, 2019, at the Pentagon.

The Trump administration will roll out a new strategy on Thursday for a more aggressive space-based missile-defence system to protect against existing threats from North Korea and Iran and counter advanced weapon systems being developed by Russian Federation and China.

Pyongyang has developed a ballistic missile arsenal now capable of hitting the United States. Under our plan, that will change.

The United States will change its posture with a new comprehensive strategy that can defend against cruise missiles and hyper-sonic missiles.

Specifically, the looking at putting a layer of sensors in space to more quickly detect enemy missiles when they are launched, according to a senior administration official, who briefed reporters Wednesday. Washington will continue to rely on its nuclear deterrent to prevent such attacks, the senior administration official said, noting that US missile defense capabilities are still "primarily postured to stay ahead of rogue threats". That includes 20 new ground-based missile interceptors at Greely, Ala., that can detect hostile missiles and shoot them down. The strategy pushes for studies.

Congress, which ordered this review, already has directed the Pentagon to push harder on this "boost-phase" approach, but officials want to study the feasibility of the idea and explore ways it could be done.

The goal is to better defend the US against potential adversaries who are developing and fielding a much more expansive range of advanced offensive missiles.

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Both China and Russian Federation, the president noted, are fielding more missiles, both current ballistic missiles, and newer, more lethal cruise and hypersonic missiles.

Trump said that the military was "very tired" and "depleted" when he took office, but that it was "being rebuilt at a rapid rate and, very shortly, will be more powerful than ever before". The Pentagon "will increase investments in and deploy new technologies and concepts, and adapt existing weapons systems to field new capabilities rapidly at lower cost", the report said.

"Developments in hypersonic propulsion will revolutionize warfare by providing the ability to strike targets more quickly, at greater distances, and with greater firepower", Lieutenant-General Robert Ashley, director of the Defence Intelligence Agency, told Congress previous year.

While the US efforts will look to counter regional missile threats, they don't seek to protect against a full-scale strategic missile attack on the American homeland by a nuclear-armed nation such as Russian Federation or China.

Insisting that USA allies bear a "fair" share of defense spending.

In addition to a space focus, the MDR breaks down the threat into two camps: protecting the US homeland and defending USA forces overseas from any missile source.

The report outlines plans to improve and expand the United States' existing missile defense shield, as well as add additional layers with space-based sensors and interceptors, technology to track and defeat hypersonic weapons, unmanned aircraft with lasers to shoot down threats, and missile-hunting F-35 stealth fighters, among others.

"Listening to national security experts, and the president's own remarks, it seems clear that an effective high-tech missile defense system is a higher national security priority than building a wall across the southern border", Senator Jack Reed, a Rhode Island Democrat and ranking member of the Armed Services Committee, said in a statement.

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