Are US Missile Defenses Directed At Russia?

At the Russian Ministry of Defense Conference on Missile Defense in Moscow, US officials underlined that the United States’ missile defenses don’t undermine Russians’ strategic deterrent.

At the special briefing via teleconference, Special Envoy for Strategic Stability and Missile Defense Ellen Tauscher said the United States welcomes the opportunity to participate in the conference.

“We appreciate the chance to make our case in a broader forum.”-Ms. Tauscher

Presidents Bush and Putin at the 33rd G8 summit, June 2007.

She stresses that it is in US mutual interest to engage in cooperation and avoid confrontation with Russia.

While the United States and Russia are cooperating on a wide range of issues, from Afghanistan to counterterrorism to trade, cooperation on missile defense could be a game changer in the U.S.-Russia and NATO-Russia relations, Ms. Tauscher added.

She notes that cooperation has the potential to enhance the national security of both the United States and Russia, as well as build a genuine strategic partnership.

US-Russia cooperation is opportunity to put aside the vestiges of the Cold War thinking, and move away from mutually assured destruction, toward mutually assured stability, she highlighted.

The United States is committed to all four phases of the European Phased Adaptive Approach.

The United States has been transparent with Russia about the timing, deployment, and scope of U.S. missile defense deployments.

However, Ms. Tauscher stresses that while both parties can work cooperatively together, the United States cannot agree to pre-conditions outlined by the Russian Government.

“We cannot agree to any limitations on our missile defense deployments.” -Ms. Tauscher

She notes that both parties are able to agree, however, to a political statement that US missile defenses are not directed at Russia.

Ms. Tauscher emphasizes that such a political statement would publicly proclaim US intent to cooperate and chart the direction for cooperation, not limitations.

She hopes that Russian colleagues recognize that US has no capability or intent to undermine strategic stability, that its objective is not about winning public relations points.

“Our cooperation is a much better approach than sticking to the previous pattern of competition.” -Ms. Tauscher

The US delegation includes Madelyn Creedon, Assistant Secretary of Defense for Global Strategic Affairs, who is also leading a U.S. delegation to participate at the Russian Ministry of Defense Conference on Missile Defense.

With the relentless efforts of the United States to fight nuclear terrorism, the US government wants and is prepared to cooperate with Russia on missile defense.

US intends to continue negotiations with Moscow on broadening missile defense cooperation with Russia both in diplomatic channels and at the military-to-military level.

Both governments are continuing to discuss a mutually acceptable approach to practical missile defense cooperation.

United States and Russia have been working together to transform mistrust into partnerships and progress as both countries affirmed cooperation in keeping global security after the end of the Cold War.

In an effort to promote understanding and cooperation on missile defense issues, Presidents Obama and Medvedev agreed at the July 2009 Moscow Summit to conduct joint assessments of missile challenges and threats, which we now refer to as the Joint Threat Assessment, or JTA, for short.

The objective of these talks has been, at a minimum, to share with one another our respective threat perspectives and, if possible, to come to agreement on the nature of the common threats that both countries face. Both Governments have held three JTA sessions, in July and December 2009, and again in May 2010.

The United States has offered a number of proposals for bilateral missile defense cooperation. Specific areas of potential cooperation include, among other things:

Joint research and development; Joint missile defense testing; Joint modeling and simulations; Missile defense exercises; and Joint analyses of alternative U.S.-Russian missile defense architectures for defending against common, regional threats.

These recent proposals build on earlier initiatives that involved sharing missile warning data and providing timely launch notifications between our two countries.

Mina Fabulous follows the news, especially what is going on in the US State Department. Mina turns State Department waffle into plain English. Mina Fabulous is the pen name of Carmen Avalino, the NewsBlaze production editor. When she isn’t preparing stories for NewsBlaze writers, she writes stories, but to separate her editing and writing identities, she uses the name given by her family and friends.