Trump Prepares Case for Funding New Missile Defense Plan

President Trump announced a major shift in us defense strategy on Thursday, ordering the Pentagon to rapidly expand current missile defenses and build new interceptors, space sensors, and advanced technology to neutralize foreign missiles at multiple stages of attack.

A senior administration official speaking to reporters on the condition of anonymity that while that a space-based layer of satellite sensors "is something we're looking at to help give early warning tracking", the review stopped short of calling for the deployment of interceptors in space.

Officials said the review is expected to embrace putting advanced sensors in space in a bid to better detect enemy missiles, allowing the United States military to intercept them even earlier.

But while the earlier review focused exclusively on the ballistic-missile threat, the new review broadens the scope to include cruise missile and hypersonic threats being developed by Russian Federation and China.

Furthermore, Trump said that the U.S. would "recognise that space is a new warfighting domain, with the Space Force leading the way".

This is the first missile defense review since the Obama administration carried one out in 2010.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has also unveiled new strategic weapons that he claims can't be intercepted.

Insisting that US allies bear a "fair" share of defense spending.

Trump talked about increasing the missile capability of the United States first, selling that technology to trusted allies and keeping a watchful eye on rogue regimes that might pursue the capability to launch missiles at the United States. Though the US and North Korea are conducting peace talks, the two have remained wary of one another's missile capabilities and Trump's hardline stance against Iran has only inflamed tensions between the USA and the Middle East's largest missile power.

For Trump, who is trying to revive efforts to persuade North Korea to abandon its nuclear arsenal, the report's release comes at an awkward moment.

It also called for investments in space-based sensors that can better detect and track incoming missiles, and perhaps counter super-fast hypersonic technology, an area in which China has made major advances. And he said the announcement Trump was expected to make on Thursday represented America's violating the spirit of missile disarmament.

Pentagon officials contend that USA missiles defenses are too few to be able to counter a first-strike on the U.S. homeland by a major nuclear power, like Russian Federation or China. "We must make sure that our defensive capabilities are unrivaled and unmatched anywhere in the world".

President Trump also said America must recognize space is a new war fighting domain and create a space-based missile defense system.

The release of the strategy was postponed previous year for unexplained reasons, though it came as Trump was trying to persuade North Korea to give up its nuclear weapons.

Trump did not mention the North Korean missile threat in his remarks at the Pentagon.

While the United States continues to pursue peace with North Korea, Pyongyang has previously threatened nuclear attacks against the USA and its allies and has worked to improve its ballistic missile technology. Senior administration officials, asked whether there is still a threat from North Korea, deflected.

The document was even stronger.

The 2019 Missile Defense Review, published Thursday, specifically identifies Russia, China, Iran and North Korea as "Current and Emerging Missile Threats to the American Homeland".

Missile defenses "must be continuously strengthened and expanded given the growing challenges posed by potential adversaries, particularly rogue states, who are contesting the established worldwide order and deploying greater numbers of increasingly sophisticated offensive missiles", the report said.

  • Joey Payne