The United States began to deploy a global missile defense system at the beginning of the 1980s and has already spent for this purpose more than $150 billion. At the present time they have created six positioning areas for missile defense: two of them are on its mainland in Alaska and California; one is a sealand in the Pacific Ocean jointly with Australia, Taiwan, South Korea and Japan, its closest allies in the region; one is on the European continent as strategic ABM radar systems installed in the UK, Denmark and Norway, and Patriot PAC-3 air/missile defense systems, and one more in the Middle East, served with Israel.
The Aegis sea-based missile defense systems with the Standard Missile interceptors, SM-3, mounted on the three cruisers and 15 destroyers of the U.S. Navy's guided weapon, which can keep watch in any place of the World ocean, can be regarded as a particular area of the U.S. global missile defense system. The Pentagon has already used this missile defense system as an anti-satellite weapon, having destroyed in 2008 an out-of-control U.S. spy satellite by an interceptor missile.
At present the modernization of all of these ships for a more advanced version of the system has been completed. The next stage of its modernization will be carried out in 2011, an important part of which will be installing a new processor with improved features for tracking complex ballistic missile targets and also capable of disabling anti-missile systems programs of an opposing enemy. In the next decade the Aegis missile defense system will be also installed on 47 U.S. Navy ships.
At the same time, the U.S. Missile Defense Agency is developing air-based missile defense components for installation on the military transport aircrafts.
Barack Obama's administration also intends to sharply increase the capability of the missile defense system in Europe, its qualitative and quantitative characteristics in comparison with the plan for missile defense in Europe, proposed in 2007 by his predecessor. Thus, in accordance with the current U.S. President's project on reconfiguration of the transatlantic missile defense system, also called “an adapted step-by-step approach”, combat anti-missile systems with a wide spectrum of action will appear on the continent: the PATRIOT PAC-3 short-range SAM systems, systems of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD), and the additional Standard Missile-3 interceptors (SM-3) around the continent, which will be subsequently enhanced by their specially designed ground option.
In addition to deployment of the mobile short-range Patriot-3 SAM systems in Poland and the medium-range standard missile interceptors, SM-3 in Romania, experts do not exclude that the U.S.A. will bring to many NATO countries modernized ground-based interceptor missiles (GBI), similar to those that have long been installed on the U.S. missile defense bases in Alaska and California, for the destruction of intercontinental ICBM and SLBM. For comparison: the East European anti-missile architecture by George W. Bush included the deployment of only a limited number of interceptor GBI missiles within ten units, even then only in Poland.
According to experts, a universal echeloned network type missile defense will be created on the European continent, it will be almost impossible to destroy and which will be able to protect the Europeans not only against ballistic missiles but also against medium and short range missiles, and covering at that a much larger area than its earlier planned predecessor in Poland and Czechia. The new antimissile defense will be much more mobile and easily upgraded to counter threats that may arise in two or three decades. To use U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates’ definition, “A new plan of U.S. President Barack Obama ensures the future of missile defense in Europe”.
Another feature of Barack Obama’s global “missile shield” is that it will cover not only the U.S. armed forces stationed in Europe, as it was earlier supposed by his predecessor’s plan, but also the armed forces of all 28 NATO member countries, as well as their forward-based means.
As opposed to Bush's anti-missile strategy Obama’s plan to transform the missile defense system will greatly enhance the NATO constituent part in the combined system of the U.S.A.-NATO missile defense on the European continent. Over time, this branched structure, having now mostly features of a tactical missile defense system, will be transformed into a strategic one. But, however we are reassured and lulled, according to Russian experts, both in the first and the second case it will be projected against Russia.
It should be emphasized: neither the Soviet Union nor the Russian Federation have never deployed their missile defense facilities on foreign territories. Russia does not have them now as well. The Soviet Union had only one region of strategic missile defense protecting Moscow. Russia takes a similar line too: it keeps the same missile defense area and continues to adhere to the provisions of the special protocol to the Soviet-American 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty, which limited the number of antimissile areas by only one for each side, and forbade to deploy there more than 100 interceptor missiles.
The United States, which unilaterally withdrew from the ABM Treaty in summer 2002, has approximately 500 interceptor missiles, both tactical and strategic ones. In the next five years the Pentagon can build up the combat component of antimissile defense to the level of 800-1000 units, which will significantly increase the gap between American and Russian similar capabilities. Considerable funds are predesigned for this. According to the U.S. Government Accountability Office, in 2002-2009 the Missile Defense Agency spent on the development of the “anti-missile shield” $56 billion, and by 2013 will spend for this purpose approximately $50 billion.
Dramatically increasing the group of tactical and strategic missile defense systems at the regional and global dimensions, Washington violates the principle of objective organic interconnection existing between strategic offensive and defensive weapons. That is, the logical principle that has always defined the level of strategic stability between the leading nuclear-missile powers in the world and on a global scale in general.
The ongoing U.S. forced breakthrough in the horizontal (geographic) and vertical (technological) improvement of the architecture of strategic and tactical antimissile defense does not make it main objective restraining Iran’s or North Korea’s nuclear ambitions as Washington is trying to present it. For this purpose, the Pentagon has the necessary counterweapon, deployed on a permanent basis in close proximity to these states. The main purpose of this breakthrough, according to Russia's military analyst Vladimir Kozin, is a devaluation of Russian nuclear-missile deterrents by means of the expansible ABM system. Because it is well understood that even Russia's downsized strategic nuclear triad can cause irreparable damage to the other side, covered with a multilayer dispersed in many countries and villages highly efficient anti-missile palisade.
The U.S. global missile defense potential is being also built up in other regions of the planet. Thus, for example, the White House took a decision to speed up its plans to create an anti-missile umbrella on Iran. The deployment of eight batteries of the Patriot SAM system and several U.S. Navy destroyers equipped with the Aegis missile defense system will be carried out in the Persian Gulf - Qatar, Kuwait, Bahrain and United Arab Emirates. Creation of this anti-missile umbrella, capable of intercepting Iranian medium-range missiles, is explained by the Pentagon as the need to prevent Iran's plans to achieve military superiority in the region.
But let us return to the European region and emphasize the fact that the U.S. global missile defense created in Europe provides for the deployment of more missiles of various classes at the borders of Russia than previously envisaged. And placing the Aegis BMD system with Standard Missiles-3 (SM-3) on the U.S. Navy ships, mobile Patriot-3 SAM systems at the border with Kaliningradskaya oblast will make it possible to put them on combat duty and launch in water areas adjacent to Russia's borders, including the Baltic and Black Seas. And most importantly, the new ABM system has a much greater survivability - according to experts, it will be almost impossible to neutralize it.
Whereas the appeal of the United States, Poland and Romania to Russia to remove any fears for its safety in connection with plans to build an American missile defense system on the territory of the European countries is unlikely to correspond to their intentions and capabilities of the created antimissile defense. And in this connection, it is quite clear that against this background our country should take the necessary and appropriate military-technical and politico-diplomatic countermeasures. According to experts, in this context it is necessary first of all to enhance the capacity of our SNF, improving their tactical, technical, and combat characteristics, survival rate and ability to overcome the deeply echeloned missile defense system of the U.S.A. It would be well to modernize Russia’s missile facilities, improving their combat capabilities and expanding the area of their deployment on the perimeter of our borders.
The suitability of such measures is also dictated by the fact that the United States, having imposed nuclear weapons on our planet, do not intend itself to move toward a nuclear-free world. Neither within the lifetime of the current American president, as Barack Obama declared on April 5, 2009 in Prague, nor within the lifetime of “future generations”, as it was publicly promised by U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on October 22 of the same year in the United States Institute of Peace, the United States will not seek the total elimination of nuclear weapons.
The U.S.A. is also slow to sign a new treaty on SNF (the validity of the previous contract expired on December 5, 2009). Signing the new treaty between the U.S. and Russia on SNF has been postponed until November 2010.