Japan, US silent over ending ballistic missile patrols

2018/12/51CC2F96-6A61-4E92-89CE-416911CF3C51-1544613237.jpeg
Read: 508     15:58     12 December 2018    

In June, US Navy Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) Admiral John Richardson said during a speech at the US Naval War College that the US Navy should terminate its current practice of dedicating several US Navy warships solely for Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD).


Richardson wanted US warships to halt BMD patrols off Japan and Europe as they are limiting, restrictive missions that could be better accomplished by existing land-based BMD systems such as Patriot anti-missile batteries, the US Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) anti-missile system and the Aegis Ashore anti-missile system.

In the months since dropping his bombshell, Richards – and much of the debate – has gone quiet.

“My guess is the CNO got snapped back by the Pentagon for exceeding where the debate actually stood,” one expert on US naval affairs told Asia Times.

But others agree with him. Air Force Lt Gen Samuel A Greaves, the director of the US Missile Defense Agency (MDA), acknowledges Richardson’s attempts to highlight how these BMD patrols were placing unwelcome “strain on the (US Navy’s) crews and equipment.”

But there are complications. While it may free US Navy warships for sea-control, rather than land defense, there is a concern that next- generation hypersonic cruise missiles could defeat land-based BMD systems, such as Aegis Ashore, while the US Navy’s Aegis-equipped warships offer the advantages of high-speed mobility and stealth, resulting in greater survivability overall.

As Japan prepares to acquire its first Aegis Ashore BMD system – and perhaps other systems such as the THAAD system which has been deployed previously in Romania and South Korea – the possibility that the US Navy will end its important BMD role represents abrupt change.

Could it happen?
Professor James Holmes, J C Wylie Chair of Maritime Strategy at the US Naval War College, hopes the US Navy “offloads that mission, at least as a vessel’s chief mission at sea.”

“One imagines we will, especially since the money for a 355-ship navy may not be forthcoming. We will have to squeeze more combat power out of existing assets,” Holmes told Asia Times. “So when you divert an Aegis combatant to missile defense you are not devoting it to a destroyer’s chief purposes, namely fighting enemy maritime forces for command of the sea and then making use of the sea to project power afterward.”

Garren Mulloy, Associate Professor of International Relations at Daito Bunka University in Saitama, Japan agrees that there is a good prospect it will happen, but for a very different reason.

“The White House sees little need for US missile defense efforts, given that US President Donald Trump believes the bulk of the problem has been solved,” said Mulloy. “The USN ships were there primarily not for Japanese, but for US mainland forward defense – to intercept or deter [North Korean] ballistic missiles overflying Japan. And that is how the US tended to view the [Japanese Maritime Self Defense Forces’] effort as well.”

Meanwhile, Trump’s threats to cut US defenses in Japan have not been borne out, Mulloy observed.

“My guess is the CNO got snapped back by the Pentagon for exceeding where the debate actually stood,” one expert on US naval affairs told Asia Times.

But others agree with him. Air Force Lt Gen Samuel A Greaves, the director of the US Missile Defense Agency (MDA), acknowledges Richardson’s attempts to highlight how these BMD patrols were placing unwelcome “strain on the (US Navy’s) crews and equipment.”

But there are complications. While it may free US Navy warships for sea-control, rather than land defense, there is a concern that next- generation hypersonic cruise missiles could defeat land-based BMD systems, such as Aegis Ashore, while the US Navy’s Aegis-equipped warships offer the advantages of high-speed mobility and stealth, resulting in greater survivability overall.

As Japan prepares to acquire its first Aegis Ashore BMD system – and perhaps other systems such as the THAAD system which has been deployed previously in Romania and South Korea – the possibility that the US Navy will end its important BMD role represents abrupt change.

Could it happen?
Professor James Holmes, J C Wylie Chair of Maritime Strategy at the US Naval War College, hopes the US Navy “offloads that mission, at least as a vessel’s chief mission at sea.”

“One imagines we will, especially since the money for a 355-ship navy may not be forthcoming. We will have to squeeze more combat power out of existing assets,” Holmes told Asia Times. “So when you divert an Aegis combatant to missile defense you are not devoting it to a destroyer’s chief purposes, namely fighting enemy maritime forces for command of the sea and then making use of the sea to project power afterward.”

Garren Mulloy, Associate Professor of International Relations at Daito Bunka University in Saitama, Japan agrees that there is a good prospect it will happen, but for a very different reason.

“The White House sees little need for US missile defense efforts, given that US President Donald Trump believes the bulk of the problem has been solved,” said Mulloy. “The USN ships were there primarily not for Japanese, but for US mainland forward defense – to intercept or deter [North Korean] ballistic missiles overflying Japan. And that is how the US tended to view the [Japanese Maritime Self Defense Forces’] effort as well.”

Meanwhile, Trump’s threats to cut US defenses in Japan have not been borne out, Mulloy observed.

Asia Times



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News Line

Japan, US silent over ending ballistic missile patrols

2018/12/51CC2F96-6A61-4E92-89CE-416911CF3C51-1544613237.jpeg
Read: 509     15:58     12 December 2018    

In June, US Navy Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) Admiral John Richardson said during a speech at the US Naval War College that the US Navy should terminate its current practice of dedicating several US Navy warships solely for Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD).


Richardson wanted US warships to halt BMD patrols off Japan and Europe as they are limiting, restrictive missions that could be better accomplished by existing land-based BMD systems such as Patriot anti-missile batteries, the US Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) anti-missile system and the Aegis Ashore anti-missile system.

In the months since dropping his bombshell, Richards – and much of the debate – has gone quiet.

“My guess is the CNO got snapped back by the Pentagon for exceeding where the debate actually stood,” one expert on US naval affairs told Asia Times.

But others agree with him. Air Force Lt Gen Samuel A Greaves, the director of the US Missile Defense Agency (MDA), acknowledges Richardson’s attempts to highlight how these BMD patrols were placing unwelcome “strain on the (US Navy’s) crews and equipment.”

But there are complications. While it may free US Navy warships for sea-control, rather than land defense, there is a concern that next- generation hypersonic cruise missiles could defeat land-based BMD systems, such as Aegis Ashore, while the US Navy’s Aegis-equipped warships offer the advantages of high-speed mobility and stealth, resulting in greater survivability overall.

As Japan prepares to acquire its first Aegis Ashore BMD system – and perhaps other systems such as the THAAD system which has been deployed previously in Romania and South Korea – the possibility that the US Navy will end its important BMD role represents abrupt change.

Could it happen?
Professor James Holmes, J C Wylie Chair of Maritime Strategy at the US Naval War College, hopes the US Navy “offloads that mission, at least as a vessel’s chief mission at sea.”

“One imagines we will, especially since the money for a 355-ship navy may not be forthcoming. We will have to squeeze more combat power out of existing assets,” Holmes told Asia Times. “So when you divert an Aegis combatant to missile defense you are not devoting it to a destroyer’s chief purposes, namely fighting enemy maritime forces for command of the sea and then making use of the sea to project power afterward.”

Garren Mulloy, Associate Professor of International Relations at Daito Bunka University in Saitama, Japan agrees that there is a good prospect it will happen, but for a very different reason.

“The White House sees little need for US missile defense efforts, given that US President Donald Trump believes the bulk of the problem has been solved,” said Mulloy. “The USN ships were there primarily not for Japanese, but for US mainland forward defense – to intercept or deter [North Korean] ballistic missiles overflying Japan. And that is how the US tended to view the [Japanese Maritime Self Defense Forces’] effort as well.”

Meanwhile, Trump’s threats to cut US defenses in Japan have not been borne out, Mulloy observed.

“My guess is the CNO got snapped back by the Pentagon for exceeding where the debate actually stood,” one expert on US naval affairs told Asia Times.

But others agree with him. Air Force Lt Gen Samuel A Greaves, the director of the US Missile Defense Agency (MDA), acknowledges Richardson’s attempts to highlight how these BMD patrols were placing unwelcome “strain on the (US Navy’s) crews and equipment.”

But there are complications. While it may free US Navy warships for sea-control, rather than land defense, there is a concern that next- generation hypersonic cruise missiles could defeat land-based BMD systems, such as Aegis Ashore, while the US Navy’s Aegis-equipped warships offer the advantages of high-speed mobility and stealth, resulting in greater survivability overall.

As Japan prepares to acquire its first Aegis Ashore BMD system – and perhaps other systems such as the THAAD system which has been deployed previously in Romania and South Korea – the possibility that the US Navy will end its important BMD role represents abrupt change.

Could it happen?
Professor James Holmes, J C Wylie Chair of Maritime Strategy at the US Naval War College, hopes the US Navy “offloads that mission, at least as a vessel’s chief mission at sea.”

“One imagines we will, especially since the money for a 355-ship navy may not be forthcoming. We will have to squeeze more combat power out of existing assets,” Holmes told Asia Times. “So when you divert an Aegis combatant to missile defense you are not devoting it to a destroyer’s chief purposes, namely fighting enemy maritime forces for command of the sea and then making use of the sea to project power afterward.”

Garren Mulloy, Associate Professor of International Relations at Daito Bunka University in Saitama, Japan agrees that there is a good prospect it will happen, but for a very different reason.

“The White House sees little need for US missile defense efforts, given that US President Donald Trump believes the bulk of the problem has been solved,” said Mulloy. “The USN ships were there primarily not for Japanese, but for US mainland forward defense – to intercept or deter [North Korean] ballistic missiles overflying Japan. And that is how the US tended to view the [Japanese Maritime Self Defense Forces’] effort as well.”

Meanwhile, Trump’s threats to cut US defenses in Japan have not been borne out, Mulloy observed.

Asia Times



Tags: