Under Secretary Ellen Tauscher for Arms Control and International today stressed that the United States is committed to develop missile defense with Russia.
At the Atlantic Council Missile Defense Conference, Ms. Tauscher reiterated that the Obama Administration is fully committed to implementing all phases of the European Phased Adaptive Approach to counter the threat of ballistic missiles from outside Europe.
“In the full implementation of the EPAA, we are committed to the deployment of the Ground Based Interceptors in Alaska and California to provide the United States with a defense against a limited ICBM strike from countries such as North Korea or Iran.” -Ms. Tauscher
She stressed that NATO and United States must continue their efforts to develop missile defense cooperation with Russia. She said she was in Russia last week meeting with my Russian counterpart Deputy Foreign Minister Ryabkov.
“This is an historic opportunity for the United States, NATO, and Russia. We are continuing work to establish a political framework that would open the way for practical cooperation on missile defense, including a center that would coordinate radar data and another center that would coordinate operations.” -Ms. Tauscher
She noted that the missile defense system they are establishing in Europe is not directed against Russia. She stressed that as full partners in missile defense, the United States would partner to counter threats originating outside Europe, not each other.
“Our NATO European missile defense system is not and will not be directed at Russia, and Russia would continue to be able to confirm that the system is directed against launches originating outside Europe and not from Russia.” -Ms. Tauscher
According to Ms. Tauscher, the EPAA does not possess the technical capability to undermine Russia’s strategic nuclear forces nor do we seek to develop a system that could.
“The mission of our missile defenses in Europe is to counter launches from the Middle East, which would be few in number and at an early stage of technology.” -Ms. Tauscher
She stressed that only through cooperation, by working side-by-side and using their own eyes and ears, will Russians gain assurance on U.S. capabilities and intentions.
She pointed out that absent cooperation on missile defense, there could be more mistrust and opportunities for miscalculation. She said such a path would not serve the interest of the United States or Russia or of strategic stability, and distract them from the 21st century threats they both face.