Washington, Jan 17 (PTI) US President Donald Trump on Thursday vowed that America would develop a unrivaled and unmatched missile defence system and invest in a space-based missile defense layer to protect itself from emerging threats, including sophisticated “hypersonic” weapons.
Trump’s remarks came as he unveiled the first overhaul of American missile defense doctrine in nearly a decade at the Pentagon.
Known as the missile defense review, the unclassified report, which was expected last year, is believed to have been delayed because of sensitivities about how to frame threats posed by China, Russia, North Korea and Iran, according to several defense officials.
The 108-page report emphasizes the need for a “comprehensive approach to missile defense against rogue state and regional missile threats,” and calls for the development of new technologies to its system in the future.
“Our goal is simple. To ensure that we can detect and destroy any missile launched against the United States anywhere, anytime, anyplace. As we all know, the best way to keep America safe is to keep America strong and that’s what we’re doing. Stronger than ever,” Trump said.
The United States, he said, must be certain that our defensive capabilities are unrivaled and unmatched anywhere in the world.
Noting that all over foreign adversaries, competitors and rogue regimes are steadily enhancing their missile arsenals, he said these countries are increasing their lethal strike capabilities and they’re focused on developing long range missiles that could reach targets within the United States.
Announcing the results of what he described as most effective cutting-edge missile defense systems, Trump said the new strategy calls for six major changes in missile defense policy. Among others, the review calls for 20 new ground based interceptors at Fort Greely in Alaska and new radars and sensors to immediately detect foreign missiles launched against the US.
“We are committed to establishing a missile defense program that can shield every city in the United States and we will never negotiate away our right to do this,” he said.
Trump said his administration will will focus on developing new technologies.
Noting that it is not enough to merely keep pace with the adversaries, he asserted that the US must outpace them at every single term.
“We must pursue the advanced technology and research to guarantee that the United States is always several steps ahead of those who would do us harm, he said.
Asserting that the US will protect the American people from all types of missile attacks, he said in the past, the United States lacked a comprehensive strategy for missile defense that extended beyond ballistic missiles.
“Under our plan that will change. The US will now adjust its posture to also defend against any missile strikes, including cruse and hypersonic missiles. We are, by the way very advanced also on hypersonic technology and we will always be at the forefront of everything,” he said.
Recognising that space is a new war fighting domain, he said the space is force leading the way.
Trump said his upcoming budget will invest in a space-based missile defense layer.
“It’s new technology. It’s ultimately going to be a very, very big part of our defense and obviously of our offense, he said.
“The system will be monitored. And we will terminate any missile launches from hostile powers or even from powers that make a mistake. It won’t happen, regardless of the missile type or geographic origins of the attack. We will ensure that enemy missiles fine to know sanctuary on earth or in the skies above. This is the direction that I’m heading, Trump said.
“We have some very bad players out there and we’re a good player. But we can be far worse than anybody if need be, said the US President.
His remarks comes as a crucial nuclear weapons treaty between the US and Russia hangs in the balance. In October, Trump announced his decision to withdraw from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces, or INF, Treaty, an agreement that eliminated an entire class of nuclear weapons from U.S. and Russian arsenals.
Russia, Trump says, has violated the arms agreement by building and fielding the banned weapons “for many years.”
This is published unedited from the PTI feed.