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Posted: 9/17/2009 12:29:35 PM EST
In his speech announcing the end of the Czech/Polish missile defense shield, Obama announced that we are going to revamp the missile defense program with a new strategy using proven technologies to defend our NATO allies and US personnel and interests in Europe. He said that the new program will utilize proven systems and a combination of land and sea based assets to provide defense against ballistic missile attacks on Europe from Iran. He also said that Russia's concerns on the former program were unfounded, that the threat always was and still is Iran, and that the United States and NATO were inviting Russia to participate in the implementation of the new missile defense program for Europe.

I believe I have provided an accurate synopsis of the President's speech. If not, they please let me know if I have been inaccurate.

So, the question is this:

Do you believe Obama?

Is he scrapping the Bush's missile defense shield in favor of a more reliable, more robust, more adaptable missile defense shield using newer technologies that have proven to be more successful?

Or, is he simply eliminating the Bush missile defense program for Europe and bullshitting everyone about a new system comprised of yada, yada, yada, with no real intentions of lifting one finger to defend NATO or European US interests from Iranian ballistic missile attacks?
Link Posted: 9/17/2009 12:31:24 PM EST
I haven't believed a thing he has said yet, this is no different to me.
Link Posted: 9/17/2009 12:32:09 PM EST
[Last Edit: 9/17/2009 12:33:07 PM EST by Jonny712]
Overhaul, meaning = Get rid of our current one and dont even bother setting up a new one.
Link Posted: 9/17/2009 12:34:08 PM EST
[Last Edit: 9/17/2009 12:34:49 PM EST by dport]
Originally Posted By Jonny712:
Overhaul, meaning = Get rid of our current one and forget all about setting uo a new one.


Not at all. I guess I'm going to have to repeat myself...again.

First and foremost, the GBI(Ground Based Interceptors) were going to be placed in Europe to protect Europe from Iranian IRBMs, not ICBMs. There is a difference. If you don't know what that difference is leave the discussion until you do.

It was going to be placed in Europe not based on the Iranian threat now, but the Iranian threat several years from now. Remember, it takes a while to build the infrastructure. While we're digging holes in the ground the Iranians would, presumably, be buying and developing their own missiles. Mostly buying. They do have a good relationship with North Korea. The assumption is that North Korean advances in missile technology would be sold to Iran. It's a good assumption, most of their missile technology has made it to Persia.

Also remember that Iran has a "peaceful" nuclear program. One where they are trying to refine uranium to weapons grade, because they say they want to use Russian designed nuclear power plants. However, it is conceivable they could refine it a bit more and have uranium worthy of building a nuclear weapon out of. Again, this is the reason we wanted GBIs in Europe. To prevent Iran from blackmailing Europe in the case that the West has to go to war with Iran to secure the SLOCs (again if you don't know look it up) through the Straits of Hormuz.

Fortunately, the ballistic missile threat isn't developing as fast as once thought. The Nork missile test failures are testimony to that.

And the program isn't really going to be killed. Instead, as someone pointed out, we can have a network of some less energetic systems. The front runner is a land-based SM-3, which can be ready in 3 years. Right now with the current SM-3, you'd need 6 launch sites to cover Europe (Vice GBI's one. Which shows the value of a high speed/high energy system). However, SM-3 is due for a block II upgrade, which will include a 21 inch booster. That would allow total protection of Europe with two sites.

SM-3 is already an export system, with Japan as a major player. Some European navies have expressed interest in Aegis/SM-3, and some are already Aegis equipped. This system of using SM-3 (or THAAD, although THAAD isn't the front runner) would allow us to spread the cost of defending Europe among allies, and would get more ballistic missile interceptors into service faster.


Overall, I think this is a good call.

Originally Posted By dport:
U.S. Yanks European GBIs; Plans SM-3s
By Amy Butler

President Barack Obama is making major changes to plans started by his predecessor to establish ballistic missile defenses in Europe, and they will have major ramifications for interceptor makers Boeing and Raytheon.

Defense Secretary Robert Gates and the vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, USMC Gen. James Cartwright, say findings of a congressionally mandated review of missile defense - as well as adjustments in the intelligence assessment of the missile threat from Iran - underpin the changes.

Ten two-stage, silo-based Ground-Based Interceptors (GBI) that were to be placed in Poland and a long-range tracking radar bound for the Czech Republic – a plan pushed by President George W. Bush and endorsed by Gates in 2006 –– will be scrapped. This posture assumed that Iran would have a few intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBM) capable of reaching Europe or, eventually, the United States around 2015. However, medium- and intermediate-range ballistic missiles (IRBM) are proliferating at an alarming pace, prompting the restructuring, the officials told Pentagon reporters this morning. Of particular worry is the “raid” threat that hundreds of these missiles would be launched at once.

“We built the original system on the idea of a rogue nation threat – three to five missiles that could come from either North Korea or Iran. The reality is we are dealing with hundreds of missiles in the IRBM and medium range capabilities,” Cartwright says. “What you can do with an SM-3 in affordability and in deployment and in dispersal is substantially greater for a larger group of [threat] missiles than what we have with the Ground-Based Interceptor.”

The new plan has four phases, the first to be fielded in 2011. It is a mix of Patriot and PAC-3 terminal defenses as well as ship-based SM-3 Block IAs made by Raytheon and deployed in the Eastern Mediterranean and other areas around Europe.

Phase two in 2015, will incorporate land-based and ship-based SM-3 Block IBs (with an improved seeker and divert and attitude control system) and airborne sensors, Cartwright says. Poland and the Czech Republic are among the top candidates to house the relocatable land-based system. The U.S. Missile Defense Agency already has begun to experiment with infrared sensors on unmanned aerial vehicles as a facet of its sensor network.

In 2018, the land- and sea-based SM-3 Block IIA, which adds more range with a 21-in. booster (over the IA and IB’s 14-in. motor), will lead the third phase. This significantly increases range, and Cartwright says up to three sites would be required to protect Europe.

Finally, in 2020, phase four will include a new and yet-to-be described SM-3 Block IIB, which Cartwright says will counter an ICBM from Iran.

The shifting threat and the cost underpin the decision, according to Cartwright, who has telegraphed such changes since the start of the year. A single GBI costs about $70 million, with each SM-3 Block IA at about $10 million and the IB at up to $15 million.

Michèle Flournoy, U.S. under secretary of defense for policy, is in Prague and Warsaw now to address their concerns. Delay in ratification of the GBI sites contributed to slippage to as late as 2018 for those interceptors. Gates and Cartwright emphasize that the land-based SM-3 is a candidate for both nations.Some observers assert that a desire by the Obama administration to placate Russia, which had strongly objected to the GBI plan, is at the root of the shift. Gates says the SM-3 missiles should be viewed as less threatening to Moscow, though he said claims that GBIs could be tipped with nuclear payloads were “unfounded.” Furthermore, the planned deployable X-based radar, which will likely be placed in the Caucasus region, will only be able to focus at the threat area alone. The system proposed with the GBI could have peered into Russia.

Reaction from Congress was swift and generally along party lines. Republicans object, citing possible insult to Europe and an over-eagerness to please Russia. Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.) says the shift is “short sited” and leaves the United States vulnerable.

“It shows a willful determination to continue ignoring the threat posed by some of the most dangerous regimes in the world, while taking one of the most important defenses against Iran off the table,” echoes Rep. John Boehner (R-Ohio), the House minority leader.

Rep. Ike Skelton (D-Mo.), chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, says the new approach will “focus our resources where they will do the most good.”

And his Senate counterpart went further, countering Republican accusations. “President Obama has made a sound choice that will improve our security,” said Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl Levin (D-Mich.).

He noted Polish and Czech hesitations over the previous plans and said the new vision would still provide widespread protection. Poland also is being offered a Patriot battery - which he says was their first priority - and SM-3s for deployment on their soil. “This decision reinforces our security commitment to our European allies; it does not weaken it,” Levin claims.

http://www.aviationweek.com/aw/generic/story_channel.jsp?channel=defense&id=news/NewMD091709.xml&headline=U.S.%20Yanks%20European%20GBIs;%20Plans%20SM-3s

I don't know if you guys know Ike Skelton, but he has been sound on defense as long as I have followed him.

I also encourage you guys to follow the Check Six podcast. They usually break this stuff well before it makes the main stream.

Link Posted: 9/17/2009 12:35:17 PM EST
Personally, I think he's full of shit.

I think that they are going to terminate the Bush missile defense shield and then forget about missile defense systems completely. I think that he's going to leave NATO and US European interests hanging out to dry without a defense and that it will take an Iranian nuke going off in Warsaw, Paris, Berlin or London to get Obama to even think about our NATO obligations ever again.
Link Posted: 9/17/2009 12:38:36 PM EST
[Last Edit: 9/17/2009 12:40:53 PM EST by Jonny712]
Originally Posted By dport:
Originally Posted By Jonny712:
Overhaul, meaning = Get rid of our current one and forget all about setting uo a new one.


Not at all. I guess I'm going to have to repeat myself...again.

First and foremost, the GBI(Ground Based Interceptors) were going to be placed in Europe to protect Europe from Iranian IRBMs, not ICBMs. There is a difference. If you don't know what that difference is leave the discussion until you do.

It was going to be placed in Europe not based on the Iranian threat now, but the Iranian threat several years from now. Remember, it takes a while to build the infrastructure. While we're digging holes in the ground the Iranians would, presumably, be buying and developing their own missiles. Mostly buying. They do have a good relationship with North Korea. The assumption is that North Korean advances in missile technology would be sold to Iran. It's a good assumption, most of their missile technology has made it to Persia.

Also remember that Iran has a "peaceful" nuclear program. One where they are trying to refine uranium to weapons grade, because they say they want to use Russian designed nuclear power plants. However, it is conceivable they could refine it a bit more and have uranium worthy of building a nuclear weapon out of. Again, this is the reason we wanted GBIs in Europe. To prevent Iran from blackmailing Europe in the case that the West has to go to war with Iran to secure the SLOCs (again if you don't know look it up) through the Straits of Hormuz.

Fortunately, the ballistic missile threat isn't developing as fast as once thought. The Nork missile test failures are testimony to that.

And the program isn't really going to be killed. Instead, as someone pointed out, we can have a network of some less energetic systems. The front runner is a land-based SM-3, which can be ready in 3 years. Right now with the current SM-3, you'd need 6 launch sites to cover Europe (Vice GBI's one. Which shows the value of a high speed/high energy system). However, SM-3 is due for a block II upgrade, which will include a 21 inch booster. That would allow total protection of Europe with two sites.

SM-3 is already an export system, with Japan as a major player. Some European navies have expressed interest in Aegis/SM-3, and some are already Aegis equipped. This system of using SM-3 (or THAAD, although THAAD isn't the front runner) would allow us to spread the cost of defending Europe among allies, and would get more ballistic missile interceptors into service faster.


Overall, I think this is a good call.

Originally Posted By dport:
U.S. Yanks European GBIs; Plans SM-3s
By Amy Butler

President Barack Obama is making major changes to plans started by his predecessor to establish ballistic missile defenses in Europe, and they will have major ramifications for interceptor makers Boeing and Raytheon.

Defense Secretary Robert Gates and the vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, USMC Gen. James Cartwright, say findings of a congressionally mandated review of missile defense - as well as adjustments in the intelligence assessment of the missile threat from Iran - underpin the changes.

Ten two-stage, silo-based Ground-Based Interceptors (GBI) that were to be placed in Poland and a long-range tracking radar bound for the Czech Republic – a plan pushed by President George W. Bush and endorsed by Gates in 2006 –– will be scrapped. This posture assumed that Iran would have a few intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBM) capable of reaching Europe or, eventually, the United States around 2015. However, medium- and intermediate-range ballistic missiles (IRBM) are proliferating at an alarming pace, prompting the restructuring, the officials told Pentagon reporters this morning. Of particular worry is the “raid” threat that hundreds of these missiles would be launched at once.

“We built the original system on the idea of a rogue nation threat – three to five missiles that could come from either North Korea or Iran. The reality is we are dealing with hundreds of missiles in the IRBM and medium range capabilities,” Cartwright says. “What you can do with an SM-3 in affordability and in deployment and in dispersal is substantially greater for a larger group of [threat] missiles than what we have with the Ground-Based Interceptor.”

The new plan has four phases, the first to be fielded in 2011. It is a mix of Patriot and PAC-3 terminal defenses as well as ship-based SM-3 Block IAs made by Raytheon and deployed in the Eastern Mediterranean and other areas around Europe.

Phase two in 2015, will incorporate land-based and ship-based SM-3 Block IBs (with an improved seeker and divert and attitude control system) and airborne sensors, Cartwright says. Poland and the Czech Republic are among the top candidates to house the relocatable land-based system. The U.S. Missile Defense Agency already has begun to experiment with infrared sensors on unmanned aerial vehicles as a facet of its sensor network.

In 2018, the land- and sea-based SM-3 Block IIA, which adds more range with a 21-in. booster (over the IA and IB’s 14-in. motor), will lead the third phase. This significantly increases range, and Cartwright says up to three sites would be required to protect Europe.

Finally, in 2020, phase four will include a new and yet-to-be described SM-3 Block IIB, which Cartwright says will counter an ICBM from Iran.

The shifting threat and the cost underpin the decision, according to Cartwright, who has telegraphed such changes since the start of the year. A single GBI costs about $70 million, with each SM-3 Block IA at about $10 million and the IB at up to $15 million.

Michèle Flournoy, U.S. under secretary of defense for policy, is in Prague and Warsaw now to address their concerns. Delay in ratification of the GBI sites contributed to slippage to as late as 2018 for those interceptors. Gates and Cartwright emphasize that the land-based SM-3 is a candidate for both nations.Some observers assert that a desire by the Obama administration to placate Russia, which had strongly objected to the GBI plan, is at the root of the shift. Gates says the SM-3 missiles should be viewed as less threatening to Moscow, though he said claims that GBIs could be tipped with nuclear payloads were “unfounded.” Furthermore, the planned deployable X-based radar, which will likely be placed in the Caucasus region, will only be able to focus at the threat area alone. The system proposed with the GBI could have peered into Russia.

Reaction from Congress was swift and generally along party lines. Republicans object, citing possible insult to Europe and an over-eagerness to please Russia. Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.) says the shift is “short sited” and leaves the United States vulnerable.

“It shows a willful determination to continue ignoring the threat posed by some of the most dangerous regimes in the world, while taking one of the most important defenses against Iran off the table,” echoes Rep. John Boehner (R-Ohio), the House minority leader.

Rep. Ike Skelton (D-Mo.), chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, says the new approach will “focus our resources where they will do the most good.”

And his Senate counterpart went further, countering Republican accusations. “President Obama has made a sound choice that will improve our security,” said Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl Levin (D-Mich.).

He noted Polish and Czech hesitations over the previous plans and said the new vision would still provide widespread protection. Poland also is being offered a Patriot battery - which he says was their first priority - and SM-3s for deployment on their soil. “This decision reinforces our security commitment to our European allies; it does not weaken it,” Levin claims.

http://www.aviationweek.com/aw/generic/story_channel.jsp?channel=defense&id=news/NewMD091709.xml&headline=U.S.%20Yanks%20European%20GBIs;%20Plans%20SM-3s

I don't know if you guys know Ike Skelton, but he has been sound on defense as long as I have followed him.

I also encourage you guys to follow the Check Six podcast. They usually break this stuff well before it makes the main stream.



yep, after reading up on it a bit more, it doesn't sound like that horrible of a call (if they actually go through with it)
Link Posted: 9/17/2009 12:38:53 PM EST
Originally Posted By motown_steve:
So, the question is this:
Do you believe Obama?



That depends.

Were his lips moving?
Link Posted: 9/17/2009 12:39:40 PM EST
Good post dport!

And now to add to this stupid decision, seems some Europeans are now dismayed.

Eastern Europe grumbles about downgrade in US ties


PRAGUE – Scuttling a missile defense shield in the Czech Republic and Poland helps smooth relations between the U.S. and Russia. But at what price?

Some of America's staunchest allies are the East Europeans — and on Thursday, they expressed dismay at what many see as a slight after decades of their support for the U.S.

Among them were some famous names, including Lech Walesa, the former Solidarity leader and Polish ex-president. "I can see what kind of policy the Obama administration is pursuing toward this part of Europe," he said ruefully, adding: "The way we are being approached needs to change."

For most of the past decade, cozy relations with Washington were practically a given across the "new Europe." George W. Bush famously courted the region after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks and leaned on it for troops to fight alongside U.S. forces in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Barack Obama took office undecided about Bush's plan to base 10 interceptor missiles in Poland and sophisticated radar in the Czech Republic — a system designed to shoot down long-range missiles that might be fired from Iran or elsewhere in the Middle East. Building had not started in either country.

The Czech installation was planned for the Brdy military installation 55 miles (90 kilometers) southwest of Prague. The Polish site was to be at a former military air base near the town of Redzikowo, about 115 miles from Russia's westernmost edge.

Obama has been reaching out to Russia, which had expressed outrage at the notion of missiles being pointed in its direction from a region that was firmly in the Soviet orbit just 20 years ago.

On Thursday, Obama announced he was shifting the plan from Eastern Europe to other locations. He and other administration officials said they have concluded that Iran's medium- and short-range missiles pose a greater threat and require more flexible technology.

Obama's decision got a positive reception in Russia, hailed by President Dmitry Medvedev as a "responsible move."

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said she viewed the shift as "a hopeful signal for overcoming difficulties with Russia when it comes to a uniform strategy to combat the threat of Iran together."

Officially, Czech leaders said they understood the rationale for abandoning the shield, and they expressed confidence that the country would remain secure.

But some expressed dismay at the reversal.

Former Prime Minister Mirek Topolanek, whose government signed treaties with the Bush administration to build the radar system — and took a lot of heat from Czechs who feared it would make their country a terrorist target — went on Czech radio to vent his frustrations.

"The Americans are not interested in this territory as they were before," he said. "It's bad news for the Czech Republic."

Obama's decision also drew flak in Washington. Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell called it "shortsighted and harmful to our long-term security interests."

"We must not turn our backs on two loyal allies in the war on terror," he said.

Although Obama said the United States will continue to work cooperatively with "our close friends and allies," the future implications of the move appeared mixed.

Poland's prime minister held out hope his country might play a role in the revamped U.S. defense.

"There is a chance for strengthening Europe's security with special attention given to Poland," Donald Tusk told reporters, adding: "I would not describe what is going on today as a defeat for Poland."

But a prominent Czech legislator suggested the rebuff would have consequences should Washington ask for troops — or anything else.

"If the administration approaches us in the future with any request, I would be strongly against it," said Jan Vidim, a lawmaker with the conservative Civic Democratic Party, which had supported the missile defense plan.

Opponents of the shield, such as Jan Tamas — an activist who had organized numerous protests — hailed Obama's decision.

"It is a big victory for the Czech Republic. We are happy that we will be able to continue to live in our beautiful country without the presence of foreign soldiers," he said.

And Mariusz Chmiel, a top official in the northern Poland region where the missiles would have been based, proclaimed himself "the happiest man in Poland" now that the plan has been shelved.

Even so, scrapping missile defense comes as a huge setback to many Polish and Czech leaders, who viewed it as a way to strengthen military ties with the U.S. in a form of defense against a resurgent Russia.

Fears of Moscow run especially deep in Poland, highlighted by a key anniversary Thursday. Exactly 70 years ago — on Sept. 17, 1939 — Poland was invaded by the Soviet Union at the start of World War II.

Aleksander Szczyglo, head of Poland's National Security Office, characterized the change as a "defeat primarily of American long-distance thinking about the situation in this part of Europe."

"It's quite unfair," said Petr Boubin, 36, who owns a cafe in the Czech capital. "I think Obama is making too many concessions to Russia."
Link Posted: 9/17/2009 12:42:03 PM EST

Originally Posted By motown_steve:

Do you believe Obama?

Is he scrapping the Bush's missile defense shield in favor of a more reliable, more robust, more adaptable missile defense shield using newer technologies that have proven to be more successful?

Or, is he simply eliminating the Bush missile defense program for Europe and bullshitting everyone about a new system comprised of yada, yada, yada, with no real intentions of lifting one finger to defend NATO or European US interests from Iranian ballistic missile attacks?

I don't believe anything he says when it comes to the defense of America. Or actually, anything else. He's just appeasing the Russians, and ignoring the threat from Iran. After all, the Iranians will likely nuke Israel first, so he doesn't care.
Link Posted: 9/17/2009 12:43:30 PM EST
He is full of shit IMO. He just wants to get rid of it but try to trick everyone else at the same time.
Link Posted: 9/17/2009 2:59:41 PM EST
No I can`t say I beleive Obama on anything.

Any reason to believe Iran won`t get missle tech from Russia instead of waiting on NK?

Iran Iran Iran... Why does Russia hate this so bad if it will only be used to keep Iran from being a bully? Seems to me it will take some wind out of both of their sails in that regard. Even if Iran wasn`t a player, wouldn`t we want this system there under Russias nose anyway?

Link Posted: 9/17/2009 3:28:30 PM EST
Obama is merely bowing to the inevitable. We are in no position to challenge a resurgent Russia in that country's historic sphere of influence.

In my opinion, at least half of the justification for the East European BMD sites was to prod the Russians. If the interceptor sites were directed only against the Iranians there would be no reason to put Patriot batteries around them.
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