Archive for September 22, 2015


Future Flashpoints.

Soldiers fire missiles from a multiple rocket system, during the South Dakota Army National Guard's annual training on Camp Guernsey, Wyoming. (Defense Dept. photo)

Soldiers fire missiles from a multiple rocket system, during the South Dakota Army National Guard’s annual training at Camp Guernsey, Wyoming in August.
(Defense Dept. photo)

UPDATES with link to full story below

Russia continues to act aggressively on land, sea and air from the Baltics to the Black Sea — and now in Syria. China is blamed for massive cyber hacks of U.S. commercial and government computers, while continuing to antagonize its neighbors by a military buildup in the South China Sea. North Korea has nuclear weapons and wants more, along with intercontinental ballistic missiles. Iran has been trying to develop nuclear capability for years, as well as missiles with increasing range.

At a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on global threats earlier this year, Senator John McCain of Arizona, the panel’s chairman, noted “the current international environment is more complex and dangerous than at any time in recent memory.”

Here are just a few of the top current and future threats facing America and its partner nations — and the likely challenges they pose to integrated air and missile defense:

Russia – The new chairman and vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff – Marine Corps General Joseph Dunford and Air Force General Paul Selva – say Russia is the greatest threat to national security because of its nuclear and ballistic missile capability – second only to the U.S. arsenal. Moscow’s bullying tactics towards western neighbors – especially former Warsaw Pact members like Poland and the Baltic states that are now NATO members, is creating tensions in Europe not seen since the Cold War ended. Moscow’s deployment of tanks and combat aircraft have policy makers around the globe wondering what’s next?

Russia has made significant progress modernizing its nuclear and conventional forces and developing long range precision strike capabilities, notes Marine Corps Lieutenant General Vincent Stewart , director of the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA). “In the next year, Russia will field more road-mobile SS-27 Mod-2 ICBMs with multiple independently targetable re-entry vehicles,” he told Congress, adding that development of the RS-26 ballistic missile, the Dolgorukiy ballistic missile submarine and next generation air- and ground-launched cruise missiles will continue.

China – Beijing continues an unprecedented buildup of army, naval and air forces to protect what it sees as its territorial integrity and sovereignty, including Taiwan and a number of islands in the South China Sea, where overlapping claims with at least five other countries — some of them U.S. allies — remain a potential flashpoint. China continues to produce JIN-class nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarines, and sub-launched ballistic missiles. It has 50-60 ICBMs, according to the DIA, and is adding more survivable road-mobile launch systems, enhancing its silo-based systems and developing a sea-based nuclear deterrent.

China continues to deploy growing numbers of the DF-21D anti-ship ballistic missile, which could limit U.S. force projection in Asian waters. And China is developing a tiered ballistic missile defense system. The People’s Liberation Army is augmenting more than 1,200 conventional short-range ballistic missiles.

Proliferation – “Nation states’ efforts to develop or acquire weapons of mass destruction (WMD), their delivery systems or their underlying technologies constitute a major threat to the security of the United States,” according to Director of National Intelligence James Clapper. Among the likely suspects he told a Senate hearing earlier this year: Iran for its continuing quest to build missile-deliverable nuclear weapons,. Klapper noted that Tehran already has the largest inventory of ballistic missiles in the Middle East.

North Korea has exported ballistic missiles and other materials to several countries including Iran and Syria. “Today, nine nations possess, or are suspected of possessing, nuclear weapons and 22 have ballistic missile capabilities,” says Lieutenant General David Mann, commander of U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command and Army Forces Strategic Command.

To read the complete version of this story, Click here.

The threats these developments pose will be among the topics discussed next week at the Integrated Air and Missile Defense conference in Arlington, Virginia. The three day event, hosted by the Institute for Defense and Government Advancement (IDGA), runs from September 28-30.

September 22, 2015 at 11:13 pm Leave a comment


September 2015


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