Space and Missile Defense Symposium Remarks

By Admiral Cecil D. Haney | Huntsville, Ala. (via VTC from Offutt AFB, Neb.) | Aug. 12, 2014

Admiral Haney:  Hello, can you hear me.  Good morning, and thank you Kevin [Gen (ret) Kevin Campbell].  Thank you for this opportunity to join you today from the Heartland of America.  I know Kevin has been instrumental in setting this up.  He understands the world back here in Offutt Air Force base at U.S. Strategic Command. 

[pause: technical difficulties]

Thanks again for this opportunity.  I apologize for the confusion here electronically, but usually this works, and I’m happy to participate with all the distinguished members you have assembled there, Kevin, for this space and missile defense symposium.  It is very very important to me given the roles and responsibilities I have here. So it’s great to be with you, even though virtually. But today’s innovative technology allows me to do this and I thank you all for allowing me to participate virtually given my other commitments for today. 

In fact, I was just recently at a retirement ceremony last week, where the individual retiring had his mother -- who couldn’t travel – attend the ceremony via VTC…and this was a rather large forum. So, much as I’m also doing here today. But I will say it is a little hard to do, to participate in things like your ice breaker yesterday and your other forums, so I will have missed that opportunity.   But thank you for at least allowing me to try to do this. 

It’s great to take advantage of the communications technology today in such a simple way, yet we depend on the sophisticated command and control and communications systems that provide our essential missile defense solutions.  So I am sorry I can’t be there with you there in person, but I thought I’d join you from the “Commander’s Situation Room” here at US Strategic Command.  I spend a lot of time here, getting updates and threat assessments briefs, but this is also where we form the “Battle Staff” during exercises and of course during increased world tensions.  It is where we combine strategic assessments with inputs from intelligence and other combatant commanders that will ultimately provide our national leadership -- to include the President of the United States – with updates and options.  Of course, part of that strategic assessment includes recognizing that missile threats continue to grow in numbers and in capabilities; that the proliferation of technology expands the scope and complexity of these threats, and challenges to space access impact operations. This, in turn, elevates the importance of maintaining robust capabilities to protect the homeland, U.S. forces and our allies and partners from these threats.  Hence the importance of this symposium.

The timing of these conferences is always interesting relative to historical events.  We are about a month shy of 70 years since the Germans launched V-2 rockets in an offense against Paris and London.  Back then the only way to defeat the V-2 was for ground forces to move forward and capture its launch sites. In essence, to ensure the cities were outside their threat ring.  Clearly we have come a long way in dealing with missile threats.  This history as well as more recent events reminds us of the importance of dealing with these missile threats.

So I want to thank you all for taking time out of your busy schedules to participate in this symposium and for the tremendous work and collaboration that will go on over the next couple of days.  You have a rich agenda and a very diverse audience that I think will really get to the objective of encouraging information exchange between our industry leaders, our international partners, and of course our government in an effort to synchronize our priorities so that we can provide both the United States and our allies with advanced capabilities for the 21st Century.

Over the course of the next couple of days your panel moderators and keynote speakers will engage you on strategic issues related to space and missile defense.  They will present you with some incredibly difficult issues, and I encourage you to also challenge traditional thinking to think outside the box to consider the full spectrum of crises as they relate to homeland defense and the defense of our overseas forces and our allies.

Missile Defenses, as you know, are an essential element of strengthening homeland security and regional deterrence, and it requires us to work together.  So I appreciate the opportunity to share with you a few of my thoughts.  I will advertise up front that I am encouraged by any questions you may have for me, and also I would encourage questions throughout this symposium because in these types of forums, it is the rich dialogues that stimulate further discussion and of course action.

So with my remaining time, I would like to talk about three things:  the global security environment; how I see space and missile defense contributing to strategic deterrence; and some of the challenges I see and how to address them.

As you know, our nation is dealing with a global security environment that is more complex and dynamic, perhaps more so than at any time in our history. Advances in state and non-state military capabilities continue across the air, sea, land and space domains, as well as cyber-space.  The space domain is becoming ever more congested, contested and competitive.  Worldwide cyber-threats are growing in scale and in sophistication.  Nuclear powers are investing long-term in wide-ranging strategic modernization programs.  Proliferation of weapons and nuclear technologies continues.  Terrorist threats remain a source of significant problems.  And the threat of home-grown violent extremist organizations remain a concern.

That complexity is readily apparent today.  I am sure most of you are monitoring the crisis, for example, in Ukraine.  Some of you may even have seen some Russian You-Tube videos during this crisis where Russia was exercising and demonstrating their strategic capabilities.  We have seen the use of chemical weapons in Syria, and North Korea continues their provocations and associated rhetoric with their missile launches and nuclear threats.  Iran’s ambitions for nuclear weapons is, of course, no secret.  While diplomatically we hope the P5+1 talks will be successful.  Not to mention the more recent turmoil in Israel and Palestine and in Iraq.  We continue to see advancements and modernization of global strategic military capabilities in areas of nuclear, space and cyber-space. But ballistic missile capabilities are advancing and proliferating around the world, and in absence of restraint, can present a significant threat to the homeland, our overseas forces, and, of course, our regional allies and partners. Therefore, to secure our global interests, to deter strategic attacks on the United States and provide assurance to our allies and partners, we must maintain a robust missile defense capability.

As stated in the 2014 Quadrennial Defense Review, we must “stay ahead of limited ballistic missile threats from regional actors such as North Korea and Iran” [QDR p14].  Both North Korea and Iran have goals to increase accuracy, lethality and range.  

Now as Commander, U.S. Strategic Command, I’ve been charged with providing and maintaining a credible and responsive 21st Century strategic deterrent, to ultimately provide the President of the United States with flexibility and timely options should deterrence fail.  This includes a synthesis of dedicated space and ground sensors that provide critical early warning for both missile launches and bomber threats and assure command and control and communications.  And both of these are vitally important to missile defense.  Also included in a credible strategic deterrent is a triad of strategic delivery systems, nuclear weapons and their associated infrastructure, space and cyber-space capabilities that can have strategic effects, trained and ready people, treaties and policies, and a campaign plan that orients all of our assigned capabilities and activities toward a common daily purpose…that is to deter strategic attack against the United States of America and our allies with a combination of capabilities that is more than our nuclear capabilities.

This strategic deterrence solution set also includes maintaining a robust missile defense system for which Lieutenant General Dave Mann, one of my component commanders, has the responsibility for planning and integrating and coordinating global missile defense operations.  He is dual-hatted as the commander of Joint Functional Component Command-Integrated Missile Defense & the US Army Space and Missile Defense Command/Army Forces Strategic Command.  I don’t want to steal his thunder because he will be speaking with you later today.  But it is critical to have a command that integrates efforts across geographical combatant command boundaries, applying the warfighting focus, looking for gaps and seams, and making recommendations on how best to employ these  limited operational assets.

Part of that decision calculus involves understanding what our adversaries value that we can hold at risk, ensuring they understand the actions from which they must restrain and the unacceptable cost of non-restraint.  That is deterrence at the most fundamental, foundational level.  It is influencing an adversary’s decision making so that they do not take undesirable actions.

One purpose of our missile defense is to strengthen deterrence and provide options for decision makers.  It provides a presence and decreases any incentive for an adversary to use ballistic missiles against the United States and allies. It increases incentives for countries to seek diplomatic solutions and for allies and partners to work together.  Of course, if deterrence fails, missile defense makes it increasingly difficult for adversaries to achieve their objectives as we have seen with the Iron Dome system.  It is great also to have seen the recent success of our latest ground based interceptor test in June.  I give a real salute to the Missile Defense Agency, to Dave Mann and his team, and especially the 100th Missile Defense Brigade.  Well done.

Maintaining such a robust and diverse strategic deterrent, however, isn’t without challenges, so how do we address them?  As you know, technological advances have increased at an unprecedented rate, and weapons and defensive capabilities continue to proliferate around the globe.  Couple that with a considerably smaller defense budget in a global geo-political environment that is dealing with constant and rapid change.  To counter this increased uncertainty, we must continue to work with our allies and partners to maintain a flexible approach in maximizing our current capabilities, as well as developing future capabilities- capabilities that will provide both a technical hedge against future threats, as well as providing increased capabilities.

So how will we do that?  First, we must continue to strengthen our relationships across the globe by using innovative solutions to meet emerging security threats.  Last year, for example, a THAAD battery deployed to Guam in response to ballistic missile threats from North Korea.  We have also forward deployed Aegis destroyers to Rota, Spain, and by the end of this year we'll have our second TPY-2 radar site operationally in Japan.  Of course, we are also diligently working with Japan on the co-development of the advanced version of the Standard Missile-3 interceptor, and we continue to work closely with the Republic of Korea for their missile defense capability against threats from North Korea. 

Our Alliances, of course, are much broader than Japan and Korea, and is evident in the bi-annual US Strategic Command sponsored Nimble Titan exercise, an international effort to promote interoperability between 22 nations specifically to share information and leverage one another’s capabilities. There is no stronger deterrent message than this type of unity among the United States our allies and our partners.

Second, it will be incumbent upon us to continue to press for technology and associated development.  Part of this solution will be to focus our technologies that will maximize effects, increase accuracy, and improve our capability to identify and engage targets. This requires the necessary sensing and discrimination capability improvements.  For example, this is why Vice Admiral Jim Syring is working hard to develop and operationalize a new Long-Range Discrimination Radar to provide persistent sensor coverage and to increase discrimination capabilities against more advanced threats. It is this kind of forward thinking that will increase our battle space awareness, better provide integrated coverage, and allow us to maintain our weapons inventory more effectively.

Third, ballistic missile defense is a joint mission.  The United States [Navy], United States Air Force, and United States Army all bring multi-mission capabilities that form a “system of systems,” often creating competing demand signals, such as the multi-mission ballistic missile defense capability ships or radars that provide both space situational awareness and missile defense early warning capabilities such as those of COBRA DANE.

Having the responsibility for synchronizing planning for global missile defense, my team and I must maintain a “world view” to determine where the highest needs are and what risks we are willing to accept in order to provide a recommendation to the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff on how to allocate these precious high-demand, low-density assets.  To do that, it is essential that I engage in discussions and build relationships with other combatant commands as well as with our allies and partners as we continue to work together to have a better understanding of the threats that exist in order to determine the “effects” needed in support of defense.

Naturally, as you would expect, I work very closely with General Chuck Jacoby, the commander of U.S. Northern Command, in terms of advocating for increased capabilities and partnering with the Missile Defense Agency, just as I work very closely with Lieutenant General Mann as discussed, but also the services to address issues such as the reliability of the ground based interceptor fleet and the development of  THAAD and Standard Missile 3 programs.

Since taking command in November of 13, I recently also met with the Japanese Minister of Defense as well as the deputy commander of the Republic of Korea-US Combined Forces Command, and both the French and the Republic of Korea chiefs of defense, and I look forward to continuing to build and maintain relationships with our allies and partners, particularly in this critical mission.  Additionally, here at headquarters, I benefit from the counsel of my liaison officers from United Kingdom, from Australia, Denmark, and Canada, who keep me up-to-date on strategic issues associated their particular countries and associated regions.

Fourth and finally, with a national debt more than $17.6 trillion today, we must prioritize our resources and provide a thoughtful assessment on the impacts to our strategic capabilities that are foundational to the defense of our nation, and which provide assurance of our commitments to our allies and contribute to strategic stability.  To that end, we must use our existing budget in the most effective manner possible.  This includes partnering with our allies for burden sharing, increasing international cooperation, and squeezing every ounce we can out of our large-scale exercises, research and development, current processes and tactics, techniques and procedures, and of course improving the latter two.  This requires addressing missile defense and space threats holistically with effective kill chain analysis and solutions.

In conclusion, missile defense is essential for the protection of our nation, our deployed forces, our allies and partners and with a goal to provide a fully integrated and layered system of defenses that requires the employment of all elements of national power and a whole of government effort.  We can’t always predict how and when adversaries will choose to challenge us, so we must anticipate change and confront uncertainty with agility and innovation.  Innovation that couples the essential hardware of our missile defense systems to the technology that has brought us together this morning, and which is the backbone of our command and control apparatus that is so critical for a layered approach to missile defense.

It’s wonderful that we have such an incredible industry coupled with academia, military, government, allies and friends all assembled here.  I recognize many of you don’t wear military uniforms, but you also serve our nation with this valuable mission.  Your work is essential to enhancing the war fighting capabilities of tomorrow…keeping America and her allies free and strong.  And finally, before I stop for questions, I just want to salute our joint military forces and all who support them.  I can’t say enough about the professionals who work for me, those Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines, and civilians who are key contributors to our security and especially as it pertains to space and missile defense.  I thank you all for your contributions because as President Reagan said 31 years ago, quote “Our security is based on being prepared to meet all threats.” end quote.   And without you, we would not have a responsive, flexible, incredible deterrent.  Thank you.  I stand by for your questions.