2010 Strategic Deterrence Symposium - Panel 2 "Missile Defense: What is its Effect on Deterrence?"

| Omaha, Neb. | Aug. 11, 2010

Dr. Miller: Thank you very much. Thanks to General Helms and General Chilton and the hosts for including me in this impressive event.

I don't have any stories about alligators, but I do have a couple of preparatory remarks to kind of set the stage.

The topic of this panel really harkens to a 50 or 60 year old discussion and debate we've been having about what role should missile defense play in America's defense posture? For several decades, obviously, this debate took place almost entirely in the Soviet-American context, and within the reality of very large numbers of warheads and delivery systems on both sides. The deterrence theory as it unfolded in that era really was focused on influencing our adversary and preventing nuclear attacks on the United States by threat of retaliation -- that is punishment as a way of negating threat.

Our goal was to credibly threaten to impose unacceptable damage on the Soviet Union. We of course had huge fights, which I imagine many people in this room remember and others participated in about what did it mean to have a credible threat, what did it mean to impose unacceptable damage and so on. We had huge fights about all these questions.

Now missile defenses fit somewhat awkwardly in relation to deterrence theory because deterrence in those days was principally about retaliation and missile defense was really about defeating an opponent's attack, or at least mitigating an opponent's attack which was a somewhat different conceptual category. But there were two ways in which missile defense intersected with deterrence.

One was you could protect your forces with missile defenses and thereby enhance your retaliatory capabilities. This was thought to reinforce deterrence. Or alternatively, you could envision missile defenses as part of a first strike capability where you protected yourself against the degraded remaining forces of your opponent. But this undermined deterrence by circumscribing one side or the other's ability to inflict unacceptable damage.

So we had elaborate theologies that developed over these issues, but in the end the prevailing view, far from the unanimous view, but the prevailing view reflected in the
ABM Treaty of 1972 was that missile defenses were too easily negated by augmentations of the offensive forces on the other side to be useful, and therefore we agreed to forego them for a very long period of time.

What we've seen over the last two decades is the evolution of a very different missile defense debate, and I believe that's what we'll be hearing about from these gentlemen here.

Obviously a lot has changed. First and foremost, the strategic context, the missile defense discussion is no longer principally or primarily in the Soviet-American context, although there's still a dimension to that. But in addition the technologies have changed, our sense of the adversaries has changed. It makes a big difference if you're thinking about the adversarious North Korea or Iran as opposed to the Soviet Union in the heyday of its massive nuclear capabilities. We can still envision some pretty substantial threats, particularly China down the road. But many of the threats that worry us are quite circumscribed in their current and forecastable capabilities.
So the scale of the threat is more limited and juxtaposed against better missile defense technologies. The feasibility of missile defense seems different today than it did, the judgments come out differently. And some of the things that we used to worry about in the Soviet-American context -- saturation attacks, sophisticated penetration strategies and capabilities, degradation attacks on a large scale against defenses which are inevitably self-protecting. These have disappeared or receded from the discussion.

In addition, whereas the first missile defense debate was largely in a global context, much of the thinking today has to inevitably be about regional contexts because the threats are regional and the reach of those regional threats is not international.

The last thing I would say that has changed the dynamic of this discussion and explains why a missile defense panel is in this deterrence symposium is that what we've seen over the last couple of decades is an enlargement of the concept of deterrence. General Burg this morning put it generically in saying deterrence is about ways of influencing the decision-making of your opponent. And put broadly, the threat of retaliation, the imposition of costs remains one instrument in influencing your opponent's decision calculus, but what we see explicitly in American thinking and it's reflected in the deterrence operations concept that we have in front of us today is the idea that denial of benefits is also a dimension of deterrence, and it's here that missile defense comes into play because opponents who cannot effectively threaten us with missiles because we can defeat their missile attacks will think very differently about what benefits accrue to them.

So that I think is where we sit and why we're here. We have a very distinguished panel. I'm not going to describe them in detail because you can find longer introductions in the conference materials, but we're going to go in the order that you see them.

Lieutenant General Patrick O'Reilly who is head of our Missile Defense Agency; Mr. Avi Schnurr who is head of the Israeli Missile Defense Association, an organization he founded; and finally our French colleague, Brigadier General Emmanuel de Romemont, who is a senior official in the French Ministry of Defense. We have a diverse group, very international, with a variety of professional perspectives.

I turn the floor first to General O'Reilly.

Lieutenant General O'Reilly: Thank you. Good morning everyone.

First of all, if you can bear with me I feel that in order to keep my opening comments short I'd like to use some charts. I know that it isn't a format everyone else is using, but a picture is worth a thousand words and I do want to utilize that.

First of all, there are a couple of points I'd like to make in the opening. Missile defense is an effective instrument for deterrence, but the practitioners of that strategy must clearly understand the realities of missile defense.

I hear often claims that missile defense can't do capability when it absolutely has proven it can; and the expectation set that I don't believe missile defense can make. So understanding the reality in the middle there is extremely important in order to not only deter the use of ballistic missiles, but start to get into affecting the strategies that an adversary would use in their earlier calculations of do they even want to invest their precious resources into arsenals of missiles. Then I believe we have absolutely used missile defense in its greatest role.

First of all from a point of view of practicality, it is not a shield. Missile defense is not being built in a way that there is an absolute agreement, or there's an absolute concurrence that the missiles that are being shot, large attacks, hundreds of missiles, let's say, from a short range point of view which is very capable, it's very conceivable today. Would missile defense be able to negate all of those effects? No. Do I believe it in the future? No. I do believe there's a practical reality to, there will be some threats coming through, and I hear this discussion of building shields. I do believe that is not beneficial to have that point of view.

On the other hand, there are great capabilities that it can have and it can definitely cause an opponent or adversary not to be successful in achieving their military objectives or even their geopolitical objectives, and there's a case where I believe missile defense does have a direct application, but it must be done in a specific way.

Missile defense is not so much a deterrence against strategic threats as it is an effective way to prevent escalation of wars and other conflicts in order that it grows to be a strategic, to a strategic context of warfare. So it is very effective, I believe, in preventing escalation of lower level conflicts into what we would call higher level conflicts.

So there are some fundamentals, though, and I'd like to discuss those in the next couple of charts.

First of all, again, quoting our distinguished lunch-time speaker here today, Dr. Schlesinger, back in 2008 a point that he made that rings through with my agency is the fact that the psychological and political objectives of deterring opponents and reassuring allies are really built on the precepts that you have a physical and credible deterrence against the use of ballistic missiles in our case.

Now I don't want to put Dr. Schlesinger on the spot, but I know there's a lot of discussion of cyber and so I'm not going to get into physical and non-physical from that aspect, but I think that this is the appropriate conference. But from the case of missile defense, we are looking at tangible, something tangible that an adversary can see, and communicates across cultures, across levels of understanding and it becomes very effective in the realm of deterrence.

Next chart.

A basic fundamental, as I said, about missile defense is it's not a foolproof shield. But the more layers you add, the much better effectiveness you have. That goes without denying. And so number one, there is not one single system out there that would provide the type of protection that I think any of us would be satisfied with. But when you combine systems you get to a very high level of protection. As Roger was saying earlier, Roger Burg, our estimates of these precise numbers, we're not there yet. We have a lot of testing to do in the future before we can accredit our models and simulations and have a lot of confidence. But one thing we do know is there is an extensive amount of capability available and it becomes very difficult to counter a missile defense system that is deploying several different layers of defense and takes several opportunities for an intercept of an incoming missile, and has the ability to handle rate sizes, has the ability to have preferential defense over some assets over others that it's trying to defend, and it gives you a very effective military capability when deployed in layers. Primarily our ICBM defense today, the ground-based mid-course defense system, is a defense system being established against a first generation of ICBMs or perhaps a second generation. That's what we're building the capability for today so that there is credible deterrence in the area of someone going to launch a first or second generation ICBM. I can talk more about that in questions.

The next layer, though, is the area that's growing the most. That is in our medium range and intermediate range threats. There were hundreds a few years ago, there are thousands now around the world and not only in numbers, but also in proliferation of launchers, so rate sizes become more credible.

Then for short range ballistic missile defense you can see the systems here, both our lower tier Aegis system and our Patriot system and our THAAD system that works in both is being developed.

So when we test and when we do our war games and our exercises, we do that to a greater extent now in integrating these systems together. It's the integration which is the key to having an effective missile defense. As you can see, some of our futuristic capability we're developing now such as Aegis Ashore, which lends to a more semi-permanent type commitment or defense in areas around the world.

Next chart.

What I believe is most beneficial in the area of deterrence is first having credible capability. Realistic, more challenging flight tests.

We had a failure in our GMD system last year, earlier this year, but we were testing for the first time against a threat from 8,000 kilometers away, rather than 3500 which we had had many successes at. So the more success they have, the more we're going to challenge the system. We're looking at how we can improve the system.

Nineteen of 22 intercepts since four years ago, about four years ago this time. And the numbers keep increasing with our success, but one thing that's not in the statistic is we go after much more difficult intercept attempts every time we do test.

Credible capacity. That isn't discussed, I believe, or understood enough in the areas of missile defense. We demonstrate capability against one or two missiles in the air at once, but as I said, the threat is growing today where it's very reasonable to assume 50 to 100 missiles could be launched at you at any one time, especially in the short range category.

We must have the ability to intercept that many missiles in the air at once and with a shot doctrine, let's just say, of two interceptors against every missile that means in a region if you're threatened by 100 missiles you obviously have to have at least 200 interceptors deployed in the local area. So that's a capacity. Our government is addressing that issue in our upcoming budgets, and the requests and demands from our warfighting commanders for the Missile Defense Agency and Department of Defense, is to provide that capacity.

But what goes along with that also is mobility. We obviously can't build thousands and thousands and thousands of interceptors to cover the globe, but what you can do is what we do with the rest of our precious defense resources is have mobility and the ability to surge. But the next point is very critical. If we're going to surge into an area, the nature of missile defense, the way one country can threaten non-contiguous countries often over great distances, we must rely on an international network to have not only utilizing their capability but also frankly their access and their real estate and their geometries that they allow us to effectively have missile defense.

That means our command and control networks need to be established now so that we can practice and do wargames and exercises. Also demonstrating our commitment to extended deterrence in this realm.

Demonstrated operations is the next step after you have the networks in place and the agreements. We need to have a greater demonstration of missile defense capability in our operations. If you look at our allied wargames and exercises the number is increasing significantly over the last ten years.

Finally, enduring commitment. Aegis Ashore, as I mentioned before, that's where you take the Aegis system, a very effective system we have shown short range. We're moving into the realm at this point in time of medium and intermediate range capability testing with Aegis. But moving it to a location where it provides the basis and an anchor for that framework that we can surge the rest of our capability around underscores the credibility, not only capability but capacity.

The next chart just gives a quick snapshot, I won't go through all of this, but it just shows those international wargames and exercises which emphasize and exercise our ability to conduct missile defense operations with our friends and allies on an international basis.

Next chart.

Finally, I just want to say, as I said in the beginning, I believe deterrence does require a demonstration of capability and also our ability to have the type of analysis that Roger was referring to before with nuclear deterrence in the past. We must anchor our models and simulations with empirical data to give us greater confidence. We can make judgments. I'm not saying -- To me, a goal of this would be within plus or minus ten percent. I would be extremely happy with that. And that's what the test program that you see across the board here.

So I'll leave my opening comments from the fact we are not only committed to developing missile defense, but demonstrating it in a way that allows it to be an instrument of deterrence. Thank you.


Dr. Miller: Thank you very much. Now Mr. Avi Schnurr.

Mr. Schnurr: Thank you. Good morning.

First I'd like to thank General Chilton, General Helms for arranging or organizing this event, and certainly Dr. Miller for chairing this panel.

In Israel I think it's fair to say we live in what might be called a rather tough neighborhood. We're dealing with ideologically driven implacable enemies who are extremely well armed when it comes to missile threats. So this tends to be a sobering reality which focuses a lot of attention on thinking carefully about what one has to do, how missile defense plays a role, how it plays a role in deterrence, and how it fits into the bigger picture of a defense strategy. So I will try to speak to that.

Let me start by providing a context of what it is that we are facing. First, in terms of range, we are looking at a very wide variety of threats. We're looking at everything from TBM class ranges, medium range threats, to extremely short range threats.

Targeting. We are facing a variety of targeting strategies, everything from very wide dispersion terror threats, the short range rockets, to what we're expecting in the next war to be an inclusion of much more accurate targeting against key facilities with the short range and the medium range missiles.

Rate of fire. We're looking at a combination of very heavy barrage capabilities that we will almost certainly be facing for the short range threats combined with limited rate of fire for the longer range threats.

Finally, to the extent that the deterrence strategy that we can bring to the table through missile defense and through other means does not work, we're looking at in the future a growing trend toward unconventional weapons and threats which could include the potential for a physical attack on cyber infrastructures and electrical infrastructures such as EMP. I'll talk a little bit more about that in a minute.

To understand this context I think it's important to view the geography of the Middle East for a moment.

As Israel looks to the north we see Hezbollah in Syria with literally tens of thousands of rockets and missiles. To the point that in the next war, and I put it that way because in Israel that tends to be the understanding. The question is really not if but when there will be another war. What we are seeing is a capability that will almost certainly generate attacks of many hundreds of rockets per day. So this is, again, a very sobering reality. This will be a significant increase from what Israel faced several years ago.

In addition to the very short range threats as we look again to the north, Hezbollah and Syria, we see SCUDs. There's also a missile called the FATA-110, which is a 300 kilometer range missile. It has the accuracy to be targeted against key facilities.

So this combination of terror threats which could be launched in very heavy barrages, and more specific threats with specific targeting capability provides a mix that we will have to face in the event of the next war, the very likely event at some point in the future from the north.

As we look to the east, I wanted to start with quoting Ambassador Robert Joseph, the Special Assistant to the President on the National Security Council Staff. He made the comment that “There is no greater threat to the United States than Iran's race to nuclear weapons.” I think certainly Israel shares that perspective and I believe at this point the European Union and other nations share that perspective.

But Iran is an example of a trend. Proliferation seems to be something which over time has grown. There is the potential for it to continue to grow. One of the objectives of deterrence is to reverse that trend, and I do think it amounts to a reversal because historically that's the direction that it has gone.

As we look at Iran's capability, there again is a mix of systems from the Shahab-3 which is a 1300 kilometer threat which could easily hit Israel, Turkey, India, and of course U.S. military stationed in Iraq, Afghanistan, and the Persian Gulf. The Qadar-1 which is a 2000 kilometer system. It's basically a Shahab upgrade, both range and accuracy upgrade. There is also the Sajil which is also a 2000 kilometer system, and then the BM-25. The BM-25 is estimated to be anywhere from 2500 to 4000 kilometer range. So this is a system, it's really a North Korean adaptation of a previous Soviet design, but it is now present in Iran. It is a system which puts at threat and at risk most of Europe. And of course Israel.

There's one more aspect of what we face from Iran which I believe is important to keep in mind. Iran has achieved a satellite launch capability. Indeed what they achieved was a very limited payload system. Nevertheless, the difference in what it takes to go from nothing to a limited payload satellite launch and what it takes for them to take the next step to a more serious payload, very very different. It will be a smaller step for them to take that next step and the combination of that capability with the nuclear capability which they are moving towards could be quite dangerous.

It's true that they do not have an ICBM capability and probably will not for some years to come, but there are ways to use nuclear weapons including, as I mentioned before, as an EMP attack which could be quite devastating and do not require an ICBM capability. A satellite launch capability with adequate payload would be sufficient.

So as we look to the future there are a variety of concerns that we have to the east.

We look to the south. Hamas at this point has thousands of rockets of different sizes from the Kassam to the Katusha to the Grad and this gives it a capability to attack a wide area of Israel. It's a terror threat, but it's a terror threat which in the next conflict is likely to reach the neighborhood of Tel Aviv.

So as I said in the beginning, it's kind of a tough neighborhood. We are very focused on trying to find a way to address this full set of threats. And not only the set of threats that we have to deal with today, but as we look to the future, proliferation and changes in the threat and growth in the threat. That's going to take a variety of different architectures.

So with that context, I wanted to spend just a few minutes talking about the goal of missile defense in terms of deterrence. How does missile defense relate to deterrence?

Now as a number of people have alluded to before, the basic idea is to convince one's enemies that in this case missile war will not achieve objectives. That in spite of the investment that's being made, it's unlikely to achieve the objectives of the people, the nation that is launching such attacks.

But in the case of Israel's enemies there is a slight twist to this. It's not so much as it might be in other cases a win/loss calculation. It's more a case of whether or not in the case of an ideologically driven enemy there will be the capability to credibly project what they can claim is victory, both for local consumption on the street at home, and also as a means of intimidating other regional powers.

Again, it's not nearly as discreet. It's more about psychology. That's a very important issue. That relates directly to the next question which is how can deterrence be applied with this kind of a mindset.

In this regard I wanted to repeat something that you had said a moment ago, General, that when we deal with missile defense we're certainly not dealing with a shield or something which becomes a hermetically sealed capability. But I think it's very important to point out, as the General did, that that does not mean by any means that this is not an important element of deterrence. On the other hand, I would say it is a critical element of deterrence. Here's why.

If your enemies have an unchallenged access to such a powerful dimension of weapons as missile threats, and it's an unchallenged domain. They own this domain. There's nothing anyone can do. All right, they can be punished in other ways, but every time they successfully launch a missile they can count on the fact that it will go where they want it to go.

Then when you're dealing with ideologically driven enemies, they can count every missile launch as a success. This is a very serious problem. Without a missile defense system which has reasonably good capability, other elements of deterrence are severely weakened. With a reasonably good missile defense system, you're in a very very different world when you have enemies with this kind of a mindset.

The reverse is also true. Not only do you need active missile defenses to be able to have a credible deterrence, but of course the missile defense systems, the active missile defenses, need to fit into an overall comprehensive context of defense. In that regard there are two other elements, of course. There's attack operations and there's passive defenses. This combination of the three together can be a very, very important architecture which can help with the strategy of deterrence.

How does this fit together?

Active missile defenses, as I've said, deny the enemy an unchallenged use of the missile battle space. But active missile defenses also do something else, which is they protect key assets, they of course protect the population, they protect the other dimensions of what you'd like to apply in your defense strategy such as attack operations and such as critical elements of the public infrastructure. They also, of course, deny as I said before an enemy the capability of using each missile launch as a propaganda victory.

Attack operations as another element of what I would call comprehensive missile defense is critical because, first of all, from a missile defense perspective, it suppresses the launch rate. It suppresses an enemy's ability to effectively launch missile attacks in the first place which then makes the active missile defense piece that much more effective. It reduces, of course, the operational flexibility of the enemy, and it forces an ideologically driven enemy to pay a growing propaganda price because whatever else is going on, his infrastructure and his capability is being steadily degraded. The population, the people are living in that country can see on a regular basis that they are suffering, that they are losing ground.

If in combination with that they're active missile defenses so that they cannot claim victory with every missile launch, now you begin to have something which can act to deter an aggressor.

Then there's the third piece of the picture which is passive protection. Passive protection is quite important, and certainly for Israel this is quite well understood. Israel has perhaps more than many countries bomb shelters which are available for use by the population, but there are other aspects of passive protection which are also important, and the goal for passive protection is growing.

As we now look at a very high tech culture, and we look at increasing technologies both in our defenses and our weapons, but also in our underlying infrastructures, that then raises the goal for what is required for a passive protection capability. An example of that, certainly there was discussion in the previous panel about cyberspace and the need to look at deterrence from cyberspace attacks. A physical attack on either cyberspace infrastructures or other electrical infrastructures is something which a passive protection scheme is going to be essential for, and in this regard we're looking at in the future what it might take to prevent against either an EMP attack or a set of IEMI attacks, intentional electromagnetic interference attacks. Our societies and developed nations have become extremely vulnerable and our civilian infrastructures have become increasingly vulnerable. If we don't have a strategy using a combination of means including passive protection to provide security in this realm as well, then those infrastructures which are essential to project force, to project attack operations, to deal with active missile defenses, will be very severely handicapped, in addition, of course, to the other issues.

In summary, I believe this is a multidimensional subject. When it comes to missile defenses it is essential that active missile defenses play a role. They must play a role across all of the different features of potential attack, meaning short range, medium range, and what in Israel's case would be long range or TBM ranges. In each of those elements of potential aggressive attack it's going to be essential to have some level of active missile defense so that you can deny an enemy unchallenged use of that dimension.

In addition, a combination of attack operations to cause the enemy to pay a price which is obvious and visible for an ongoing attack, and of course passive protection so that your fundamental infrastructures will continue to survive, you can continue to project power.

If we can find a way to use these together, and I believe moving in that direction is really what this is all about, then I think we can project in the future an improved capability for deterrence.

In all of this, one of the most important elements, of course, is active missile defenses and the fact that there is now growing capability of course in the United States, there's growing capability in Israel, will have an important affect as we go forward.

Thank you.


Dr. Miller: Now the floor goes to General de Romemont.

Brigadier General de Romemont: Distinguished guests, General Chilton, General Helms, thank you for your hosting and the way you host us in a remarkable manner.

You know that in France the name of Omaha is linked to Omaha Beach and it's linked to everything we owe to the American citizens, American soldiers who died on Omaha Beach. Thanks for helping me to discover Omaha.

Ladies and gentlemen I have the privilege to be the last speaker of the panel. I won't surprise you with new theory regarding the relationship between deterrence and missile defense. As you can guess, I will not plead for the replacement of nuclear deterrence by ballistic missile defense even in the long term.

Referring to what President Sarkozy said in [Chambourge] in the speech in 2008, “In order to preserve our freedom of action, missile defense capability against limited strike could be a useful complement to nuclear deterrence without being a substitute for it.” Nothing has changed in our mind today.

There are two points I want to raise today. First, a [means] will never be a substitute to a strategy. Second, but it has become more clear in the last year that ballistic missile defense is and will be a useful complement to nuclear deterrence and de facto to deterrence.

I will focus my contribution to this debate around these two observations, but first of all just to clarify the point of semantics, I think it's important because I've been dealing with NATO issues regarding missile defense, and the light remarks [INAUDIBLE] what I just said on nuclear deterrence and deterrence in order to avoid confusion. This remark will structure my quick [INAUDIBLE].

On semantics, first, when we speak about missile defense my Israeli colleague said, and also General O'Reilly said when they explained the notion of layers, we speak now about one overarching concept which can [encompass] capability to defend territories as well as force deployed in theater of operations. I think this is clearly the added value of the Strasburg/Kiehl NATO Summit, that now we have one concept where you mix theater missile defense and territorial missile defense. This is something which is important. When we speak about missile defense we speak about sensors, shooters and everything. We speak about all the spectrum of that.

The remark. The remark is about the relationship between deterrence and missile defense which is not new. It does change, yes. Some people can discuss if we are at a tipping point today. The fact is that the threat analysis should be, another thing my Israeli colleague said and we share that, should be a drawing factor in forging ahead to protect our territory's population and deploy forces. The French authorities are aware of that enlightened statement. I have developed this to a point that I will make it short and will not deliver it today, but here is my point.

What has changed more is not the relationship from MD to deterrence, as such, but the relationship from nuclear deterrence to deterrence. The way the nuclear deterrence is becoming part of deterrence in general, of a comprehensive and global deterrence, a broadened deterrence, to say the words used in the morning, and using some NATO discussions.

From our point of view there are some risks in using systematically in general terms. Although the French attempted to favor general [INAUDIBLE] concept, history has told us the [INAUDIBLE] of being pragmatic and avoiding excessive holistic terms which can lead us to a certain form of nominalism. The risk is indeed a risk of intellectual [equity] and de facto strategy [equity]. In other terms, recognizing that deterrence is based now on an appropriate mix of nuclear and conventional capability, nuclear and non-nuclear elements, that nuclear deterrence is referring to a certain rationality, more specifically to calculations made by a potential adversary regarding the cost and benefit. But he might have to act aggressively. The issue of the debate should be formulated around three questions.

Question number one. Does the rationality attached to nuclear strategy, to nuclear deterrence, apply also to other elements, to the non-nuclear elements -- BMD being one of them?

A subsidiary question which, question number two, is BMD contributing to the implementation of nuclear policy, meaning nuclear deterrence?

Question number three, is BMD contributing to deterrence in general?

The answers are not so easy. That is the reason why we are here today and I think we'll continue to discuss during the coming years. But let me address quickly the third question I just raised and give you general insight just to stimulate the discussion that we are going to have.

On the first question regarding rationality. Our point of view is the answer is no. The nuclear rationality does not apply to missile defense. This is the reason why BMD will never be a substitute. We know that as a matter of fact among several nuclear powers, with basic nuclear capability, nations would consider MD systems, none of them seems to consider MD as a substitute, meaning that none of them consider that the rationale attached to nuclear deterrence cannot apply to MD.

Moreover, when some nuclear weapon states like I think [Japan] consider MDs a part of deterrence system, they never argue that MD could be a substitute to the nuclear umbrella. “Not in our lifetime,” just to quote a speech of President Obama in Prague.

There is a certain logic behind it. There is a lot of rationale beyond, but let me list some of them.

First, BMD is not supposed to address all the threats.

Second, MD will certainly increase costs and reduce the benefit of an aggression, but it will never replace a certainty that this adversary is risking unacceptable damage. In other terms, MD can increase what we call the ballistic threshold that the adversary should go over to decide for an attack but you will never reduce a threshold under which we might consider that our vital interests are at risk and that the threshold which might trigger a nuclear strike.

In facing a BMD system, ballistic will be aggressor has basically five options.

First, it's increasing the number of its ballistic missiles for saturation strategy.

Secondly, it's improving its ballistic missile penetration capability with decoys in it.

Third, it's combining the two options, increasing both quality and quantity.

Fourth, looking at the alternate course of action not excluding the previous option.

Five, be deterred by denial or due to a reevaluation of its cost and benefit calculation.

Here comes the point. MD will most certainly impact to what we could call the basic threshold of potential aggressors, which is to say that they will be forced to consider a combination of the force for options to expect strategic benefit. Basically we could say that MD will not enforce a rogue state to give up their ballistic capability, but it will deny, and that's exactly what my Israeli colleague said also. We agree, it will deny the access to ballistic capability to the ones who are still wondering if they will or will not try to acquire such capability.

Third point, and they will never transfer the risk to the adversary as a nuclear umbrella is doing. And MD is the fourth, MD is dedicated to the gray zone which is below the threshold that I just mentioned, which doesn't mean it is useless, but it is limited.

Fifth point, just to go on the question of rationality, if we want to go beyond the level of a threshold then we have to invest tremendously as Europeans, French, we think it's unaffordable and it's impossible to enlarge the spectrum that MD covers right now.

So all this helps to make clear transition to the second and third question, the question of contribution to deterrence, nuclear deterrence.

The answer in that case is more yes. BMD helps to implement the rationality of a nuclear strategy. Moreover, it prepares it and it is contribution constantly updating the foundation of the implementation of nuclear policy. And here I refer to the lessons we have learned from the excellent exercise that we participated in in [INAUDIBLE] in 2010, which clearly demonstrated the added value of MD. First, by providing a better threat assessment, question of attribution, through MD early warning. Second, if the threats remain below what we are calling vital interests, BMD [INAUDIBLE] in protecting us from a limited and non-nuclear attack. Second if the threat comes from a non-state actor, we could imagine a situation where it's not possible or not desirable to seek for a stable deterrence relationship. MD combined with nuclear deterrence will then try to deter the enemy, both by the threat of retaliation and by denial, [INAUDIBLE] convincing the enemy of the ballistic [INAUDIBLE] ability of the country equipped with a ballistic missile defense system. This is exactly what he said.

The last point is giving a look to the classical dilemma of the extended deterrence, BMD, and this is something quite new on our French banner, is help in dealing with aggressor which will not believe that one state will dare to respond with a nuclear strike in case of an aggression against a friendly country covered by its extended deterrence. It's what we call the coalition effect or the coalition of the willing effect.

Lastly, the last question, is BMD contributing to deterrence in general? In all cases the answer is yes. BMD could provide our political authorities with supplementary options to deal with a crisis. Will reinforce protection and enlarge the spectrum of prevention, [INAUDIBLE], and the [white book] where [INAUDIBLE] this year, that we wrote in 2008 and were listed five strategic functions, one stump coming from [INAUDIBLE] prevention. Last being nuclear deterrence.

That is sufficient to say that MD will continue to deter from aggression, especially if we have the coalition effects that I just mentioned.

Which leads me to the statement that the real question for staying point of MD is not the question about the real contribution of deterrence, although it is very interesting, but the question is what MD brings in general to the defense policy, to our strategy when you deal with a crisis.

Just to finish my remarks, I want to come back on the lessons we, the French, have learned from [INAUDIBLE] exercise, certainly different from the one from other nations. But let me enumerate them quickly.

First, MD is a relevant tool to prevent and manage internal crisis. We agree on that.

Second, MD is clearly contributing to reduce the risk of escalation of, and General O'Reilly touched upon this topic, by limiting the coercion and blackmail capacity of the adversary.

But third, MD logic appears to be more closer with the logic of preemption rather than the logic of deterrence. It offers, in fact, an alternative option in case if a preemptive attack will appear too risky and too premature.

Fourth, strategically the proper role of MD appears to interpose itself between purely diplomatic options and the preparation for more offensive military posture.

Fifth, MD appears to be a weapon which prepares the use of force, which prepares the employment of force, and which gives you a protection against conventionally loaded missiles that could be used on theater and everywhere which leads to something which is I think quite new, to consider ballistic missile as a weapon that we can use, as a battle of weapon, and therefore, that missile defense could be used as a weapon that we need to use on the other and to fight with.

I will conclude here my point just to say that tomorrow we will need both a balance, to find a proper balance between defense missile capability and nuclear means. That's something we agree on. The problem is to find the proper balance, but I leave the debate open for other fora.

The only message I want to pass, and it was embedded in the previous message, is to go step by step. The first thing for us is to have a good situation awareness, meaning the first step is building together a coalition, a quick and early, clear and early warning and [C2] capability. Thank you very much.


Dr. Miller: Very good. We've had three very different perspectives on the missile defense question. There are a number of questions already on the screen, but also a microphone is available for questions from the floor.

Let me start by taking a question off the screen. “How can we be sure that an extensive missile defense system will not cause an adversary to escalate?”

Lieutenant General O'Reilly: My quick reaction to that would be if we have a situation where it makes it easy for an adversary to escalate, we must have missile defense capability that is overwhelming.

I think coming into a theater where we're on par with what an adversary can impart on us from a ballistic missile point of view is not the approach which would give us the greatest credibility to deter any attack at all.

So I think that's why it is so important to have surgeable capability ,where we can develop capability, have the ability to use it around the world, but surge it in certain regions, to have a preponderance of missile defense capability that actually would not leave that as a near term option.

Mr. Schnurr: I would just say briefly, this whole thing is a process, and both attack and defense is something which occurs over time. And one of the critical elements here is that if we project as a community of nations that we believe that active missile defenses are an essential element of our national security, then what that also means is over time we will enhance them and grow them as required as the offenses change.

So I think credibly projecting, not only are we in the game in terms of active missile defense today, but we plan to stay in the game, is a way to address that concern.

Dr. Miller: Does the panel think that the wider global deployment of increasingly competent missile defense encourages global proliferation of offensive systems including both missiles and WMD?

Lieutenant General O'Reilly: That's kind of a derivative of the original question. I would say that in the past missile defense has largely been in the area of developing capability, not deploying it, and definitely not deploying it on an international coalition basis.

A point to make is that when you're looking at other ways of responding to adversarial actions, sanctions goes a long way. But if you're going to have a community of nations that are going to stand up, especially ones within the range of an adversary's weapon, we have to extend our deterrence, our assurance, that in fact that the adversary saw that as aggression from its neighbors as participating in sanctions. There needs to be some assurance that in fact we can negate that threat.

So as is being said here on the panel, it's a multidimensional question, but it definitely had the benefits of missile defense again, it strengthens many arguments, not just the military one, as a response to an adversary that's threatening.

Mr. Schnurr: I would certainly agree with that, and I would also say this. A question like that probably has more teeth if it's asked in the context of a missile defense architecture which somehow would be expected to stand completely on its own, rather than being embedded in a comprehensive defense strategy.

But when there is a multidimensional defense strategy which includes attack operations, includes passive defense, it includes diplomatic objectives, it includes a mix of options, and also, of course, the fact that there is a sense and a plan to move forward and continue the process as required. Then against this comprehensive set of architectures I think you tend to diminish that concern significantly.

Dr. Miller: I'm happy to recognize questions from the floor. There's one over here. The lights are quite blinding, so don't be shy about making yourself known.

Question: General de Romemont, you clearly articulated the French position that missile defense can complement but it cannot substitute for nuclear deterrence. I think that's a very reasonable position. Could you address to what extent you see in Europe and some other European countries that some may believe that in fact missile defense can substitute for nuclear deterrence? Is that an issue and is that why France is so keen to emphasize that that's not the case?

Brigadier General de Romemont: It's difficult to speak in the name of the northern European countries. What I can say is that when you know the business of nuclear things, and I'm not a very high specialist of the issue, but [INAUDIBLE] the one who can speak about it more than me. But when you know the business it's tradition, it's strategic tradition, it's intellectual, it's a process.

My point is you need to know the rationality and also the techniques that goes beyond that.

We are one of the nations who knows the business. It's a business. Our argument, the difficulty, some European countries don't understand the rationality. So my point is, it's easy to find out a trap and say let's go from the MD will replace nuclear. It's totally different on an intellectually strategic link.

Someone this morning referred to exerting the will, it's influencing the will of an adversary. This is totally different. This is a different matter.

So we can dream about a world free of nuclear weapons, we can dream of. But the reality is there. So I think it's a question of, I think this is a struggle we had during the negotiation on the Treaty for Non-Proliferation. This is a struggle we are going to have in Europe. But I think it's more political. It's used to place, but we can't neglect -- In Europe you have a lot of people stare against nuclear weapons, they are against the use of force.

I referred in the entrance to my speech about Omaha Beach. I'm sorry, but there is certain [INAUDIBLE] in Europe that you can't neglect. So it's a very complex answer. I don't want to be unpolite or uncorrect to other nations, but it's a struggle.

My point is mainly that rationality, if you look at President Obama say “Not in my lifetime” say that, and if we 20 years from now who is going to say that we can get rid of nuclear weapons? Who can say that? Who can say that at the time we are in now when China is increasing the number, when Iran is increasing the number of missiles. So there is a certain irrationality in the process. But international relations are made of rationality and sometimes irrationality.

The good thing of nuclear deterrence, it's bringing rationality in the process. I think it's because of this rationality that we will live in peace. But that's something we have to pay.

So our message, I would say, is be aware of an excess of irrationality which can lead, again, to an over-mini-conference type of attitude or something which can lead to defeat. I think we have to face reality.

Dr. Miller: There are several questions which touch on the issue of the implications of missile defense for nuclear reductions. Does missile defense mean that less offensive deterrence capabilities are necessary, or alternatively, do missile defenses imply a floor below which states won't be prepared to go with their nuclear forces because of their need to defeat enemy defenses?

Lieutenant General O'Reilly: As was said by the panel and my discussions on international discussions in Paris and other places, I think there is a recognition that where we are today, again, where we are today and especially in the short and medium range areas, we are far outnumbered. The missile defenses are not capable of totally negating the threat of an adversary at an initial level of missile defense threat. So if you can't do it at that level it makes it much more difficult to prevent at an escalated level. So by logic, in the near term there is not, we're not in a position to say that missile defense could substitute for nuclear weapons or even what -- I believe it's a moving dynamic. The dynamics of the threat, the intelligence that gives us the confidence whether or not we can enter into those type of calculations. The uncertainty mentioned earlier today is definitely there in the area of missile defense and the threats, and the clandestine way that missiles continue to be developed.

So I believe that developing a calculation of where you would have sufficient missile defense, where you could rely less on nuclear weapons is fraught with tremendous uncertainties. When you start talking about margins to handle those uncertainties, margins in capability and capacity, you get into a very expensive proposition.

Mr. Schnurr: I think it's important to recognize that the capability provided by active missile defenses is a very different dimension than the capability provided by attack operations in general or a nuclear attack specifically. They simply address different aspects of influencing a potential enemy -- very, very different approaches. When you're dealing with different kinds of tools, and ultimately these become deterrence tools or psychological or diplomatic tools, at least before a war breaks out, then you really cannot substitute one tool for another if it has a very different kind of function.

I think as the General has pointed out, this is certainly the case here and certainly for the foreseeable future.

Dr. Miller: I'm trying to cluster questions together so that we cover as many of them as possible. There are several that flow from an earlier question, but offer more detailed queries about potential adversary efforts to defeat our missile defense deployments. Questions about pursuit of conventional strategies or covert operations, a question about the acquisition of cruise missile capabilities as a way of bypassing missile defense capabilities. And also a question about proliferation of enormous numbers in regional or theater contexts. If we're dealing with thousands or hundreds of missiles and very limited missile defense capabilities, how much have we really bought ourselves? So those were several different questions, but I think the common theme was what are the adversary options for neutralizing our efforts to defend ourselves and what do we think about coping with those?

Lieutenant General O'Reilly: If I would offer that there is a consistent theme from not only the panelists here but in my discussions with the practitioners on how to employ missile defense and what our priorities are for developing missile defense capability, it is this. It is not a stand-alone capability. These questions start to make less sense and are less pertinent when you think of the multidimensional capabilities that nations and coalitions develop so that it is not one for the other. Missile defense does not substitute for cruise missile defense. It does not substitute for intelligence. It does not substitute for covert operations. It is a very effective instrument if it's used in a multidimensional strategy to change the behavior and the actions of an adversary.

That's the best I could say. We could get into arguments all day long. If missile defense was hypothetically deployed by itself, or as I showed in my chart, one layer of missile defense. It's not.

Do we continue to invest in not only demonstrating and producing missile defense capabilities but also increasing the capabilities so that it makes it increasingly difficult to defeat and counter missile defense?

I referred earlier to a first generation missile capability, indigenous capability that's developed in a lot of countries around the world. I believe we have a lot of confidence that we have the capability and we are not achieving the capacity to counter first generation. But could you go to a third or fourth or fifth generation with exotic materials and so forth? Yes, you could. Are we developing capability to anticipate that? Yes, we are. And it takes a very long period of time and a series of technical successes in order to reach that, but we are not ignoring that.

But again, I think the very basis of the questions and the responses I've seen from the other panelists here is along the lines of missile defense, I would not anticipate, it would be very rare, would ever be deployed by itself as a stand-alone capability.

Mr. Schnurr: I might add just a couple of comments.

It's been said that one of the problems that we face in developing any variety of weapon system is when we paint our enemy as ten feet tall. We can defeat ourselves by looking far into the future, assuming that our enemy will very successfully develop new systems, new approaches, and that we will somehow fall off the train and leave this spiraling offense/defense enterprise. I don't anticipate that's the case.

I do think it adds the dimension that it's important to project, as I believe has been projected by certainly Israel, by the United States, by the European Union, that there is an ongoing interest in missile defense.

So the capability to stay in this spiral and to plan to stay ahead of the opposition is an element. I think it is a smaller impact than what General O'Reilly you just said, which is this sits in an overall complex of many other strategies and many other approaches, but this is an important thing to keep in mind as well.

I could provide perhaps one example of this complex of other strategies. In the second Lebanon war in addition to the very large number of Katushas and Kassams and short range missiles of various kinds that were launched at Israel, at the beginning of the war there were some longer range missiles. Those launches ceased fairly quickly. The reason they ceased was because Israel was extremely effective with its attack operations at those launchers.

Now this is not to say that that challenge cannot grow and more missile defenses may be needed or more attack operation changes and strategies will be needed, but it is an example of the fact that this does not exist. Active missile defense does not exist in a vacuum, and one cannot talk necessarily about huge numbers of launchers or missiles in an environment where you would create wonderful targets for an Air Force without taking into account the fact that you will be mixing together the tools that you can use to counter these systems.

Brigadier General de Romemont: One thing I think we have to realize and I think we all agree on it, that in terms of discussion at the strategic level there is sort of interaction between the potential adversary and the nations. So I think MD is a player now. It has an influence on the will, on the way potential adversaries do. In that sense we couldn't neglect this point.

My point is it keeps you from, a Western country if I can say, so that more initiatives. The problem is not to be only reactive and only being active, it gives you more initiative. It gives you a possibility and a notion which is very important, the notion of apportionment of the proper use of force, to have a gradation between what you can do until the end which is a nuclear strike. So there is a notion, and that gives initiative, it forces the adversary to react. If the adversary is [INAUDIBLE], the question about thousands of missiles. If you say that two of ten missiles will be intercepted and they decide to go for 100 missiles in fact they go beyond what I call the threshold. Then it helps then for us to clarify their intentions. In that sense it's very helpful strategically. So it gives you more margin of maneuver and the problem of being reactive or being -- We are always reacting to other people. Who is going, what is going, was it al-Qaida? What are we going to do? We're over-reacting. We can predict it, we can help, but everything which can help us to force them to interact. Certainly they will try to contain and to divert, to do other things. But I'm saying we need to take into account and we can't avoid that.

Dr. Miller: There's a question that asks how can we think about measuring the success or failure of missile defense in influencing an adversary in desired ways.

Lieutenant General O'Reilly: Well, there's a very positive, hopeful approach to do that and then there is probably a somewhat more realistic approach.

To be very optimistic and positive, one can hope that as adversaries see the capability which is being created, which is being deployed, they understand that we've seen that these tests are very effective, it's looking increasingly unlikely that our missile forces will do their job. We understand that there's a mix, there's attack operations, so we won't do anything.

That is possible, and for some enemies I think it is certainly credible and realistic. But as we look at, for example, Israel's enemies and we look at people who are ideologically driven, I think there is a second dimension which may lead to a more measureable capability to understand how effective this deterrence is which is that when a war does occur, if it occurs in an environment in which there is a multi-tiered, multi-layered missile defense system in place which begins having an effect, then you will see at the beginning of a conflict an awareness which will begin to take place. I think missile defenses are effective, they are playing a role. They are greatly increasing the likelihood that enemies will not achieve their objectives, especially when mixed with everything else.

So I think seeing the effectiveness in actual conflict is something which we may be forced to deal with. I think it's likely in the Middle East that we will be forced to deal with that. But given that we continue on the path that we're on, that multiple layers are deployed, I think we can look forward to an opportunity to see more and more if conflicts do occur, to see a defended nation watching its active missile defenses be launched, watching enemy missiles be destroyed, cheering their destruction, having a sense of yes, this is something that shows we're achieving victory, a certain level of embarrassment on the part of people who are launching missiles which cannot be depended on to reach their targets. So I think seeing it in practice at least in some cases may be necessary, but also could be an important element, an important metric of seeing what effect this will have on enemies in the future.

Mr. Schnurr: I would just like to add to that another dimension, and that is the economic investment in ballistic missile programs. If a criteria of measuring success in this area is as we look at the trends over the last several years there's a growing investment made by these countries in not only buying capability but also developing indigenous production capability of ballistic missiles. They're challenged, they have challenges within their own government obviously, economic challenges. So there's a lot of pressure there.

As was said, the more you put doubt into a country on the benefit, the return on investment and pursuing ballistic missile forces and the training and everything else, the infrastructure, the things associated with it, I think that's a clear indication that we are having success in missile defense as far as a measure.

The second associated with that is proliferation. To what extent, what is the price of buying these missiles on the arms market? And to what extent is the market viable? Is the market thriving or is it one where with each failure in the development of a ballistic missile or each success in a missile defense test, what is the impact of that on a country which is contemplating whether or not they ought to be investing in this military capability which is expensive for missile defense, but it's also expensive for the ballistic missiles. And as they maintain them over time, what's the reliability of those offensive missiles?

Dr. Miller: We have plenty of questions. I haven't seen any hands. I hope I'm not overlooking or suppressing anybody.

There are several questions directed to General O'Reilly having to do with the anticipated technological evolution of the U.S. missile defense program, and discreet questions about phase four technologies, directed energy airborne lasers and so on. So perhaps you could give a quick reply to that.

Lieutenant General O'Reilly: My quick reply would be that before you reach product development where you're applying a technology usually by a team of aerospace corporations to build this capability, there is 10 to 15 years of research and development and technology work done, less to a degree nowadays by industry, but more on the government. But it's still there. And again, we are in those cases we're looking at what's the threat in 2025. Those are the investments we're making today.

So you have to set up a maturity evaluation. How mature are these technologies? There are very promising technologies and what we want to make sure is that we're not evaluating a promising technology before it's really fair to evaluate it. We have extremely promising technology, let's say, the potential for directed energy, for example. There was a lot of discussion in the last couple of years whether you'd be successful in shooting down a missile with a laser beam from an aircraft. We did that earlier this year. We plan to do that again in the next couple of weeks at twice the range because the folks came back and said yeah, you can do it -- The ones that said you couldn't do it now say yeah, you can do it at that range but you couldn't do it at twice the range. Okay, we'll do it at twice the range.

The point is, can you immediately take that and weaponize it and deploy it? No, it has to go through a development process.

So I'm just trying to draw the linkage here between intelligence assessments and where we think the threat can potentially be in the future, and the forward thinking that must occur to determine even with our challenging resources, what do we invest in today so that we have the option to be making decisions in technologies in the future. And it's not constrained in missile defense. A lot of these technologies are not also just constrained to missile defense, they have overlap into many of them.

So I think this just underscores the importance of having a viability of a technical base both in industry and with academia and in our government labs, but not only that, many discussions going on and many programs in missile defense and other areas that are international as we jointly see the vision of what we need in order to defeat these type of threats. We're working to a greater extent now than we ever have.

I have probably over 100 international projects in research and development, studies and projects looking at just this, so that we can do this on an international basis and not just one country.

Dr. Miller: There is a question directed specifically to Mr. Schnurr. What deterrence activities or policies do you feel should be taken to deter Iranian nuclear weapons development or use?

Mr. Schnurr: Let me answer it this way.

First of all, I think it's important not to lose sight of the fact that Iran is the leading edge of a wave of what I will call potential proliferation or potential proliferators. In that regard, as the world makes a decision, as developed nations around the world make a decision on what should be done about Iran, it's important to keep in mind that there are many other nations who are watching. Certainly throughout the Middle East, Israel is by no means, by no means the only nation that is extremely concerned about Iran's apparent race toward nuclear weapons. And the consequence of finding a way to successfully prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons will be positive not only in terms of the potential for what could happen due to an Iranian achievement of that objective, but it's very important for what it could mean for proliferation more broadly.

So I think it's very important to keep that in mind. We think about Iran, but there tends to be a focus on Iran as a unique issue. It is certainly not unique. It is the leading edge of what could be a new wave of proliferation if we do not succeed in deterring it. If we do succeed, on the other hand, I think we could be on a much more positive path.

What will it take to deter Iran? I think that's something that the international community certainly must work out. It's critical, it's essential. Iran must not be allowed to achieve nuclear weapons. I would certainly agree with the comments of the Ambassador, U.S. Ambassador I quoted earlier. There is no greater threat to the United States, to Israel, to the European Union. As I mentioned before, nuclear weapons have a number of different ways that they could be used, that they could be deployed. You don't necessarily need a very large number to have devastating impact on developed nations around the world.

So the international community must find a way. I think it's a priority. And I think there is a very high level of understanding both in the United States, certainly in Israel, the European Union and elsewhere that this is a critical priority.

Dr. Miller: Thank you very much.


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