The ICAS Lectures


Trump Administration's Missile Defense Policy

Thomas O. Karako

ICAS Winter Symposium

February 24, 2017, 1:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Kennedy Caucus Room
Russell Office Building SR-325
United States Senate
Washington, DC

Institute for Corean-American Studies, Inc.

Biographic sketch & Links: Thomas O. Karako

Trump Administration's Missile Defense Policy

Thomas O. Karako
ICAS Fellow; Senior Fellow, CSIS
February 24, 2017

Alex Kim: Dr. Thomas Karako, a newly minted ICAS Fellow, is a senior fellow with the International Security Program and director of the Missile Defense Project at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, where Tom arrived in 2014 as a fellow with the Project on Nuclear Issues. His research focuses on national security, US nuclear forces, missile defense, and public law. Tom is also an assistant professor of political science and director of the Center for the Study of American Democracy at Kenyon College, where he arrived in 2009. For 2010-2011, Tom was selected to be an American Political Science Association Congressional Fellow, during which time he worked with the professional staff of the House Armed Srevices Committee on US strategic forces policy, nonproliferation, and NATO. Tom received his Ph.D in politics and policy from Claremont Graduate University and his BA from the University of Dallas. He previously taught national security policy, American government, and constitutional law at Claremont McKenna College and California State University, San Bernardino. Tom has also written on executive-congressional relations, the thought of Niccolo Machiavelli, and international executive agreements. Ladies and gentlemen, please join me in welcoming Dr. Thomas Karako.


Thomas Karako: Well thank you. Pleased to be here. Delighted and honored for the invitation. Thank you, Mr. Kim. Also, very pleased to be an ICAS Fellow. Thank you for that as well. I apologize. Unfortunately, my slides aren't working. But we can just talk through this without that. That will work just fine. Mr. Kim, asked me to talk about Missile Defense broadly for the Trump Administration. So obviously, I think we're going to talk about the Korean peninsula issues and THAAD in particular. But really, I'll take a broader view to come at this. So one of the first things, just to note, and I think it's one of the reasons we heard THAAD come up so much in the first presentation, is just the pace of missile testing has gone like this, just tracking all of the missile tests from not only Kim Jong Un's regime, but his father and his grandfather, and it's gone way up. He's done more in the last couple of years than all previous years for North Korea combined. And it's not merely the number, of course, but also the characteristics, not really the range, but other characteristics as well. The fact about solid fuel, the fact that it may be mobile, these kinds of things. And the motors tested, not merely the range of the particular missile's testing, but the fact that those motors could be combined and configured in different ways. So, let me come at this... I'm going to talk about seven key issues that I think the Trump Administration will have to wrestle with for missile defense policy broadly. The first is going to come at some of the large strategy and budget questions. From the strategy side, I think it's fair to say that really, I think like my friend Michael O'Hanlon was emphasizing, there's been a lot of continuity and probably will be a lot of continuity, notwithstanding significant programmatic vacillation and significant budget changes between say Bush and Obama. On a policy level, our approach to long-range missile threats to the United States in particular has had a lot of continuity. So I expect that's not going to change, what we have done to have a kind of limited, but effective missile defense against certain kinds of threats to the United States, that has nevertheless strategic effect. There are some countries in the world with which we do not want to live in a deterrence relationship, or in a mutual vulnerability relationship. And I suspect that that kind of general strategic posture, relative to the missiles of North Korea, relative to the missiles of Iran, is unlikely to change. And if so, however, just keeping that general strategy is going to require increased effort, not just sitting on what we've got right now. But it's going to require, on the homeland missile defense side, both capability improvements and also, by the way, capacity improvements. On the second half of that, the budget question, I would note the Missile Defense System, the material developer for most of these things, is down 24% in its top-line budget in the past ten years. Down 24%. So the North Korea missile testing is going up and the budget for all this is going down. It's not going in the right direction, suffice to say. But let me point to one other thing. Not the Missile Defense Agency, but the Former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, General Dempsey, back in late 2013, issued a document called Vision 2020, the Joint Staff vision for integrated air and missile defense. The idea was that the United States would have, relative to the emerging threats from a lot of different places, across a whole spectrum of low-tier rocket, artillery mortar, cruise missile, anti-ship missile, and [unintelligible], that we would need to come at that more in an aggressive way. Well guess what, folks? 2020 is getting a little close to where we are today, and we have not been taking the actions to execute that vision that he expressed in 2013. So that Vision 2020, at these kinds of budget levels, that's going to be more of a Vision 2035. And in the meantime, the threats are not going to keep up with our budget delays.

The second big question is the relative priority of homeland versus regional missile defense. And on this one, I'll try to describe the graph. In 2009, the attention to homeland missile defense went like this. And the budget to regional defense went like this for the Obama administration. And it really kind of switched priorities. As formal proposition, homeland missile defense has remained the priority to the United States, but the budget tells a slightly different story. And so I think one big muscle movement that we might expect for the budget this year is increased attention to homeland missile defense. And again, if your strategy towards North Korea and others is to outpace, not chase, the threat, then we're going to need to do more in that realm. And frankly, I think whoever would have won in November probably would have inflected that curve in terms of the relative trade-off between homeland and regional.

The third big question is going to be how do we talk about, how do we think about missile defense relative to Russia and China. And we heard just now from Mike and from other in discussion the importance of communicating that THAAD is not directed or oriented to China. And of course that's all true. One THAAD battery translates to about 96 interceptors, co-located with it. And that just isn't enough to really affect a thousand or more short-range missiles that China could throw if it wanted to. In the scheme of things, it's not even a close question. I'm going to come back to the Aegis question. I have a slightly different take on that. But having said that, in terms of communicating to Russia and China what is our posture, I think it's pretty important that we don't overstate or misstate what US policy has been. Under the Bush administration and the Obama administration, the United States has scrupulously refrained from any binding limitations on capability, capacity, or characteristics on our missile defenses sensors or interceptors. That, I think, will be important to retain. Furthermore, the 2010 ballistic missile defense review, often misunderstood on this point, said that while US missile defenses, long- range missile defenses are not intended and not capable of affecting the strategic stability with Russia and China, not intended and not capable. That nevertheless, we will not forswear the use of missile defenses against a threat missile, even if it on the side of it painted in Cyrillic or Chinese characters. In fact, that document said that we would even use our long-range missile defenses against those kinds of threats. I think that the big question is going to be... we're not going to necessarily pursue the kind of early SDI vision. But having said that, the United States has not, over the past two years, forsworn the use of especially regional missile defenses against either Russian or Chinese non-strategic missile threats. And so one of the big questions, and it's been percolating here on the Hill quite a bit in the past couple of years if you're looking at the legislation, one of the big questions is non-strategic aerial missile defense for NATO. But that has an Asian-Pacific analogue. So just as we have never forsworn the use of regional missile defenses to protect US fleets, to protect our allies, from missile threats of any source, I suspect you're not going to see any new limitations on what the United States will or will not do. Now with respect with THAAD, I just wanted to have a little injection here. As Mike, I think rightly noted, you can't.... Let me put it this way. Back in Desert Storm, this was back after 1991... One of the Generals on the ground there said... people had captured the imagination, the Patriot experience. But you will never have enough Patriots in the world to cover an area. The defended area is simply too small. So that's one reason why THAAD, or multiple THAAD batteries, as I heard someone say earlier, is really going to be necessary to cover even a limited defense for the Korean Peninsula. With respect to the Aegis question, however. I would say to whether Aegis is a substitute... The answer to that is yes and no. If by Aegis, you mean the SM3, which most people think of as Aegis, the answer to that is no. That is an interceptor that only works outside the atmosphere. And for this kind of distance, you're going to have such a depressed trajectory, presumably or potentially, that it's going to be outside the atmosphere looking, opening its eyes, and the threats are flying beneath it. If by Aegis, you mean Aegis Ashore, equipped not with SM3, but with SM6, more of a terminal, lower-tier interceptor for in the atmosphere, then you have a different story. And by the way, the US government just greenlighted foreign military sales for the SM6. That's a big deal. And South Korea, I think, is a potential customer for that. That would make a lot of sense if they're doing a lot of Aegis stuff on ships. Frankly, SM6's are a lot cheaper and they can defend within the atmosphere. That's a good thing. You could also, by the way, put a lot of even cheaper and even shorter range interceptors in the same launcher. Going back to the SM6, because we're still on that number 3, Russia and China thing... If you think China is mad about THAAD, they would go bananas, even more bananas, about not the missiles, but the launchers that Aegis Ashore uses. Why is that? Because those are the same launchers on Aegis ships that launch Tomahawks. So actually, I kind of like the idea. Let's present it to China, "you pick. Do you want THAAD, or do you want Aegis Ashore?" I'd be up for that.

The fourth big question is the future of NATO missile defense. Obviously, this is going to be derivative from the kind of overall posture that this administration takes relative to Russia. But I think that if you look at the actions, say at the last NATO summit in Warsaw, the 28 members of NATO in Warsaw really kind of came around to the fact that we now have a Russia problem. Where we still have not come to admit to ourselves, is that we have a Russia missile problem. Although that New York Times story a couple weeks ago, about the sort of blatant INF violation, I think is probably going to inflect that curve. And there was just legislation introduced here in the Senate this week directly going after that as well. The first A, in EPAA, stood for Adaptive. I think it's going to be important and its NATO allies together adapt to the fact that there is a new threat, a new regional threat to our NATO allies, and that is Russia. This, of course, has a transregional effect. Once I think we begin to slaughter some of the sacred cows here in the air and missile defense realm, we begin to think a little bit more differently about missile defense in the Asia-Pacific as well.

The fifth main question is allies and partners. And I think this actually fits very well with some of the things that President Trump said during the campaign season last year and has said since. [unintelligible] Expect more of our allies and partners. And this, I think, is a ripe area for that kind of increased activity. This can take a lot of forms. I think that this administration, one thing they ought to think about, is a strategic initiative for trying to make certain kinds of foreign military sales cheaper and more attractive. And by the way, not really doing it in a one-off basis, but looking for transnational and even transregional bulk buys. So THAAD sales, and I think there's going to be a lot THAAD sales in the Middle East in the next couple of years... That might actually bring down the unit cost in terms of the production. And you bring it down in one region, you bring it down in others as well. The US army can benefit as well as our potential allies and partners. But also, putting aside [unintelligible] I think a lot more opportunities for co- development and co-production of different is going to be important. We might also, by the way, consider the kind of active proliferation of those very launchers that I was describing earlier, the Mark-41 launchers. Put a lot of empty launchers in a lot of places, so that if you really needed to, you could fill them up as kind of forward-deployed launchers.

A sixth area is next-generation technology. Here, I think it's unfortunate, but the Appropriation Committees have all too often cut the very areas of focus on missile defense that have been... some of the greatest long-term potential, that's in part lasers, and other directed energy weapons... Things have come a long way since 2009, when an airborne laser shot down several missiles successfully. It's actually advanced quite a bit since then. A couple of other options, including most particularly, a space-based sensor layer. And finally, the seventh and last big issue that I want to throw out there, is that we need to think differently about missile defense. The THAAD question... This giant one-billion-dollar question mark... We got to find a way to make our capability deployments, and our additions of capability at the margin, a lot more agile and a lot more flexible. What I mean by that is... in part, we're moving towards "any sensor, any shooter" capability, where rather than having lots of different assets co-located with a big price tag attached to it, what we might want to think about is the sort of splicing and dicing, the ability to co-locate different kinds of interceptors in the same location. Maybe even have different types of missiles in the same box. Kind of a layered defense in a box, as it were. Mobile boxes. Mobile launchers that can then be moved around with greater facility. You begin to do that, and you begin to, I think, one lower the cost curve, allow yourself to have cheaper ways to intercept while retaining your longer-legged things as well. And you begin to, I think, really add capability. Those are the seven. I'm going to leave it off there. And hopefully we can talk about it. Thank you.


Moderator: Thank you. Tong?

Tong Kim: I just have a few questions about the efficacy of the entire concept of missile defense as it has been pursued administration after administration. That is... Let's take an example, THAAD for example and its deployment. The rationale behind the deployment of the THAAD battery to South Korea is that not to defend the entire territory of South Korea against possible threats of North Korean missiles, but US forces there first. That was the same idea when they first mobilized Patriot. That was the same idea, possibly including US forces and also launching and stages areas, where US reinforcement forces that would come and would be targeted by North Korean attacks. To protect those areas. Suppose we mobilize one THAAD battery to South Korea. Aside from all of the political arguments and all the reactions and oppositions that the Chinese and Russians and North Koreans have raised... Let's put them aside and think about the actual efficacy of what the battery can do. It has about 40 interceptors. Now North Korea has hundreds and hundreds, thousands of SCUD missiles, and recently, back in February 12th, they tested, successfully for that matter, a new type of solid fuel, intermediate ballistic missile from a removable launcher. And that makes it more difficult to detect and destroy from the allies' point of view. And also, they have successfully tested the launch of a submarine-launched ballistic missile last year. And that's again something that is going to make it very difficult for THAAD's capability to deal with. I understand that there's a need to focus on the continuing development of technology to improve the efficacy of missile defense systems. But it all comes.... I think missile defense is part of the strategy to deter potential launching of missiles, to protect the United States homeland, to begin with, then allies and elsewhere. So there is a need to continue on this. But I think as far as deploying the THAAD battery to South Korea, is still controversial. In our earlier sessions, we talked about Moon Jae-in being skeptical about it. He first opposed it, and he later changed his position on this... But Korea is developing different types of missile defense systems, the KMD, Korean Missile Defense Systems, to, number one to stray away of the pressure that South Korean people might not go along with the idea that South Korea should buy the THAAD system from the United States, which would benefit the defense industry in the US, which is part of the economy in the US as well... The idea is... South Korea has to upgrade its own low-altitude defense systems, up to Patriot 3, and then reinforce that with the KMD system. Their objective is to develop capability with which they can detect and destroy, or disrupt and destroy, if they... to use that capability as a part of kill-chain strategy, they call it. That's part of the idea of a not preventive, but pre-emptive strike. But there is very risky talks there. That does not really make it easier for diplomats or for state departments or anyone else that would like to pursue another channel or value of other different types of resolution through dialogue and engagement. So my question is when you talked about the budget involved in this and political atmosphere here, and Trump's policy. And Trump recently talked about that apparently his doctrine is to secure peace through strength with emphasis on America first. But what is the broader idea of his policy, nobody knows. O'Hanlon said he has no idea what Trump's policy will be about Asia. I don't think anyone else has it either. I don't think Trump has it. I don't think his National Security Team has it yet, because it's still evolving. It's been only one month since they've got into the administration and they have to develop a lot of stuff... Trump just recently said he's going to increase US nuclear capability. Does that really assure stability or more security for the United States? Because as he said himself, in his relations, or his perspective of relations with Russia, Russia is a very strong nuclear power himself. So is this a trigger of arms race again? Is it... we talked about continuity, but I think it's not only changed, but it's not only a disruption of continuity if you think the trend has been, or mainstream policy has been to reduce nuclear arsenals involving all different countries. So let me just give you a quick question. So when and how we can stabilize potential instability of missile confrontation, and that could trigger a war?

Moderator: Thank you. Peter?

Peter Huessey: Thank you very much for your remarks. I just finished writing a piece on the North Korean threat, and I think Tom, you're right. But I think some of the comments we've heard are missing the mark. I'm glad to see Tong is now impressed with North Korean missile capabilities, because it wasn't too many months when I said somewhat the same thing that you criticized me for being too praiseworthy of North Korean's capability. We're not asking the question of what does North Korea want to do with this capability. And you either deter it and you deny the use of the capability, or you defend against it. Those are the three options you have. And you can do it diplomatically, politically, economically, or militarily. You have to decide what you think North Korea's aims are. If every time the North Koreans criticize the joint exercises with South Korea, what do they claim? They ask the United States forces to be removed from the peninsula. That's everything they say. That's the bottom line. That's the last thing they talk about, often not reported. The media look at this and say, "Well North Korea is not stupid. They're not going to launch a rocket to hit somewhere in the East River of Manhattan because we'll know where it comes from." I remember at the time Senator Joe Biden, I sponsored a missile defense conference where he speak with Senator Levin and Senator Kyle, and he stood not more than two feet in front of me and said "missile defense is the craziest thing in the world. We don't need it. If they launch a missile at us and we'll hit him back." When you think of it is... Is that the only option, as Paul [unintelligible], do you want to incinerate thousands, if not tens of thousands of people in another country that are innocent? Because if you're going to retaliate, are you going to retaliate with a bomber that takes 16 to hours to get there? Because in the meantime, they're going to be launching a few more rockets at you. Senator Biden at the same said we nuke them. Well if you nuke North Korea, you're not only going to kill a lot of innocent people in North Korea, the plumes of the nuclear weapon are going to go South, because that's the prevailing wind, and you're going to radiate a lot of South Koreans. So we haven't asked ourselves the question: what is the North Korean... What's their goal in having greater and greater missile capability and nuclear weapons? They want the South of the peninsula. If you read Tom Reid's book, The Nuclear Express, China's role in the development of nuclear weapons in North Korea is quite extensive because of their support and creation of the [unintelligible] network. That's where North Koreans got a lot of their capability. They in turn helped the Pakistanis with ballistic missiles. And if you look at the history that is detailed in Tom Reid's book... Now Tom Reid is not just an academic. He's former Secretary of the Air Force, Former Deputy National Security Advisor to the President of the United States, Ronald Reagan. And if you look at that, then you begin to think what is North Korea up to? Do the Chinese want American forces off the peninsula as well? Because look at the South China Sea. If you take the island chains the Chinese are militarizing, what's the difference between that chain and the co-prosperity sphere of Imperial Japan? They're identical. The geography is the same. They want to keep us out, meaning as far east as possible, so they can run the show. And the question you ask yourself about the Chinese is why do they want to run the show? Mike O'Hanlon said well they want to mine nodules on the seabed and get oil and gas. Well hell, ask American companies, do the joint venture, get some money from the World Bank, and do it. That's not what they want. They want to keep us out so they can stay in, in part because they want to use their military power to push other people around and control the seven billion dollars of trade that is going through that area. That's what the Chinese are up to. They're also worried that the Indians and other enemies might cut off some of the seafaring commerce that they get, particularly oil and gas. And so when you ask yourself... Tong says that a THAAD battery of X numbers of interceptors is not going to be able to match thousands of artillery tubes or missiles from North Korea... I'm always amazed... Missile defense always seems from its critics to have to solve every problem that a military threat poses. No it doesn't. It's one element of a whole series of things that you either deter, defend, or deny. Deny is... Mike O'Hanlon said that the President of the United States previously did not say that we'll pre-emptively go after the North Korean sites. But the Secretary of Defense in three democratic administrations, Harold Brown, Bill Perry, and Mr. Carter, all said that we should pre-empt the North Korean launch sites. Yeah, they weren't President, but they were working for Presidents and they carried a great deal of weight. And I understand why they said to do it. Bill Perry said "I don't want anyone to know that North Korea could actually launch a ballistic missile successfully. I want to take that out of their hands so nobody knows." I understand that thinking. But the idea that when Mr. Trump said they will not do that, what was he referring to? He was referring to dropping a nuclear warhead on America. He said we're going to shoot it down with missile defense. Look at the missile defense proposal that they sent over to Mr. Mattis, called the Missile Defense Review. It talks about a layered, global, with our alliances, with our neighbors, with our friends, building missile defense capable of shooting down the threats. Congress, God love them, have said that we are no longer in the business of only dealing with limited threats, with limited deployments. What if your adversary give you a limited threat? Do you just not deal with it? And so Congress has gotten rid of that part of the 1990 Missile Defense Act, which is great. And now we can actually defend against the threats that we decide to defend against. And that requires not just missile defense, and not only airplanes and strategic bombers and sensors and satellites. The entire panoply and what we bring to the table and what the South Koreans and Japanese bring to the table, and our allies that could probably help us, to either, as they said, you either deter the North Koreans from doing something crazy, you defend against, or you deny them the capability to do it. And finally, there is always an assumption that North Korea will do something that we can determine it was them. What is terrorism? What is a lot of the activities... the cyber attacks we get from China. As someone said, China steals 300 billion dollars of industrial secrets from America through cyber theft every year. That's from American industry, according to Keith Alexander, the former head of NSA. Now, can I actually prove that they do? If you ask the cyber people, yeah. They can say. But I can't reveal all of it. There's a lot of attacks that we can get where we won't know where they're from. If a submarine off the coast of North Korea, 400 miles out, launches an EMP, which is a missile that goes 70 kilometers above the Earth's surface, explodes, and takes down the grid of the entire Eastern United States, how are you going to know who it is? You might not know who it is. Now, can we take data from... do nuclear forensics? When it's exploded 70 miles up in the air, there's no forensics. Also it doesn't have to be re-entried, so you don't have to worry about shielding the warhead to go through the atmosphere, as everyone talks about how the North Koreans haven't shielded a weapon correctly so it can actually re-enter the atmosphere...

Moderator: Thank you, Peter. Bill?

William Brown: Just a couple of questions on the missile defense. Ultimately, it all depends on whether the bad guy thinks it's going to work. Maybe we don't. I'm always skeptical, to tell you the truth, that missile defense works. It seems so magical. But if the other guy thinks it's going to work, or it might work, it's a good thing to have. It seems like that's such an incredibly different issue across the DMZ, 30, 50, 200 miles, and 5, 10000 miles. In other words, missile defense for Korea seems like an incredibly different issue than missile defense for San Francisco from North Korea. So I guess I'm wanting to know from you whether... Obviously nothing is perfect. But do you think that the THAAD equipment coming online is actually going to be able to convince North Korea that it's going to work, enough that they don't ever try. And I'm not... I'm also... on the longer-range, the intermediate-longer range, the SM3 for example, I'm surprised. It wasn't very noticed, but a week before Kim Jong Un fired his missile, [unintelligible] said they had a successful test of the SM3 C or D. And with the Japanese. This is a key thing to me. With the Japanese, they shot down a target, intermediate missile, like a Musudan. That didn't even get the [unintelligible] press, which surprised me. But I think for this audience, a couple things in mind. The cooperation Japan on Aegis SM3s is very tight. Japan is helping pay for the whole system and develop it. That's something South Korea needs to keep in mind. The Japanese on doing the heavy lifting on the mid-intermediate-longer range stuff. But that seems to be working. So I guess my final question for you would be will one of these days, a North Korea firing off a Musudan or an intermediate or longer-range missile, and we fire an SM3 at it, what's the likelihood we could hit it... I guess there's a newer one that is coming online that's even faster that can track and come up behind it. What's your view on that? I'm an economist. I have no idea of the technicalities.

Moderator: Thank you. In Bum?

In Bum Chun: I was leaning towards the SM3, Block 2A, which Bill just mentioned. The Japanese paid thirty percent for the development of the missile. And the Koreans want to get the missile, or they're planning to get the missile by 2020 because the three Aegis ships that we have, the vertical launch tubes are empty right now. So I was leaning more to that. My other American friends told me that the SM6 is less stable than the SM3. So once this is over, I'm going to have to go back and do some more research on these three or six missiles. The advantage that I see with these missiles are that they're more versatile and the radar can also look at the East Sea, which to a lot of Koreans, except this one, feel that the North Korean submarine missile is a threat, but anyway... So I was leaning to that. I just want to mention the [unintelligible] administration, the defense budget average increase went from 9% to 6%. So 3% went down. During the past three years, it's been at a 4% average. What Mr. Ahn and Mr. Moon are saying is that they want to increase it by 30% to about 3% of the GDP, which for a military guy like myself, we've been asking and begging for the past two decades. So I just want to say that because we're going to... we might have a progressive government, doesn't mean that the defense is going to be on the sideways. I also think you brought up a very good question on whether this thing is going to work or not, because that's always going to be a question. If I were still in the military, I'd say to destroy the missile when it's on the launch pad, not when it's in flight. It has consequences.

Thomas Karako: There's a lot to chew on here. Let me walk through these, beginning with Tong Kim's questions. There was a lot there, so let me just, I think, go to what I think is the core of it. You emphasized the capacity issue, the fact that there's hundreds of missiles really. But I think actually, my friend Peter, in the course of his comments, said something of what I was going to say, which is that the strategic purpose of this is not to sit there and play catch. Its purpose is to protect in the first instance your forces. I think I sense a little bit of resistance to the idea that THAAD or other defenses would, in the first instance, protect US forces or something else. But I would say that those are the brakes when you have a limited defense. You're going to have to first protect those things to ensure and contribute to the credibility of your retaliation. There are no silver bullets. And THAAD is not going to protect Seoul from a lot of things. It's also not going to protect Seoul from all of that artillery. But nonetheless, I think it contributes in an important way. And let me say a little bit about the politics of THAAD. I didn't say it explicitly earlier. My particular take on this is that I think it's time to pull off the band aid. They say that if you must offend, offend quickly and get it over with. I would like to see this relocatable asset moved, if we have to do it... we can't decide where it's going... put it on the US base. Get it over there and then we can relocate it if need be. Get it over there with limited capability if we have to move the personnel over there later. But get it down quickly. The question of the overall direction of the Trump administration, I think that the Trump administration is the reflection of the American soul. I would remind folks, he was elected by the American people. It's a reflection of the American soul on these issues. And I would remind that Secretary Bob Gates, as he was leaving as Secretary of Defense, said, really speaking to NATO allies in the first instance, "you guys need to do more," he warned. Or the American people are going to get a little more ambivalent about this extended deterrence and this commitment to Europe. He was warning that back in 2012. Now with respect to Peter, I wasn't sure whether he was going at my not being impressed with North Korea or someone else's. I would say that the facts are the facts in terms of what North Korea has tested. I was quite explicit in my remarks to emphasize the rocket motors, although they've not been tested in a full-out ICBM, that's true. They could be put together in different ways. I think that, to go to Tong Kim's question earlier about the Kill-chain... Exactly. It is a piece of this larger thing, and I think, for instances, South Korea's acquisition of strike assets to quickly decapitate, that makes a lot of sense. All of this stuff fits together. And I would bring up somebody else in the region, who both has some strike assets, also has some limited missile defense assets, and also has an enormous saturation problem, and that's Taiwan. Now why does it make sense for Taiwan to have some Patriots in the face of a thousand Chinese missiles? Why does that make sense? How does it contribute? Why does Taiwan bother to spend 1 dollar for missile defense? And they'll be very up front about it. It's to protect the brain. It's to protect Command and Control. They know they can't defend every square inch of Taiwan against China's saturation problem. But what they can do is ensure and communicate with China that there will be retaliation coming. It's a little bit of a different case, but I think that's the strategic logic that goes into this. Second, Peter mentioned the Missile Defeat Review. Congress threw this out to the incoming administration. It's not exactly a proposal, but it is a report requirement. I think it's really going to really fall to the Trump Administration to answer the questions that Congress posed. There are some leading questions to be sure. But that report is going to be due in January 2018. And CSIS, we're actually going to put out a collection of essays next week specifically on the Missile Defeat Review, and I would invite you to take a look at that probably late next week on our website. To the question here on whether these things works. This is a perennial question. I mentioned earlier that there's no silver bullets. Having said that, THAAD is 13 for 13 in terms of its intercept tests. That isn't bad. And the SM3 family is 28 for 34. That isn't bad either. And you mentioned the 2A. I don't think South Korea is slated to get the 2A because it doesn't really exist just yet. You're probably thinking of the 1B. But these missiles are tested against certain kinds of threat profiles. They don't do everything. But that kind of testing record is pretty good. And that's why I think you see a global demand signal for more air defenses, for missile defenses. That signal is going up. And I think you're going to see a lot more buys in the Middle East and Asia-Pacific. And since you specifically, both of you talked about the SM, I think the real prospect here is Aegis Ashore. Turns out when you park a ship on land, it's a lot easier and a lot cheaper to maintain and operate. And so the prospect, the concept of operations that we see in Romania and Poland today, putting that with different kinds of interceptors, putting those launch tubes in South Korea, probably putting a couple of them in Japan, that has a lot of potential. And you could put a lot of different effectors into those tubes...

William Brown: You mentioned China though... And it seems kind of interesting. China doesn't seem to complain about the ship-based ones the way that they would complain hugely about a shore-based one in Korea. Does that make sense in the Chinese angle?

Thomas Karako: I think that with respect to Korean ships, as you point out, most of those tubes are empty. In terms of the things that they would worry about, South Korea doesn't have Tomahawks. Maybe they should. And if the INF treaty goes away, this legislation that I mentioned that was introduced here in the Senate last week asks the Department of Defense to explore the prospects for facilitating the transfer of INF ranged missiles to our allies. And that can mean a lot of different folks. And if we want to tell Russia and China that it isn't funny anymore and that we mean business, then you begin to look at aerial missile defense for our allies in the Asia-Pacific, and you begin to look at strike assets like we mean it. And I think there's a lot of interesting possibilities there.

In Bum Chun: I just want to make clear again my statement that when I said SM3s and 6s, I did not mean it as a substitute for THAAD. The THAAD battery comes in, but like I said, one THAAD battery is not going to hack it. So whatever additional assets to come in, SM3s and 6s are probably looking for us.

Thomas Karako: We are going to have find some cheaper ways to do it though. And I think that cheaper and quantity. And that's why I think that in addition to THAAD, once we pull off that band aid, get it over with, and then no kidding look at the what's the right mix of various defensive capabilities, and what's, by the way, the right mix of offensive capabilities that may need to be supplemented. I think that we, in a way, need to get rid of these artificial constraints, these ideological or diplomatic bullying constraints, and just do what we as allies feel is necessary for our defense.

William Brown: So in a nutshell, you sound optimistic that we really can defend South Korea or South Korea can defend itself from a North Korean nuclear attack.

Thomas Karako: When you say defend, in the sense of having an impenetrable shield?... I think that we are so far in the [unintelligible] side. There isn't a whole lot there. There's a couple of Patriots and that's it. So I think there's a long way to go towards that optimal mix of offense and defense to really contribute to deterrence. But we're pretty far south of that right now.

Man 1: [unintelligible]

Thomas Karako: So what I would say there is I think that the... This kind of stuff gets a bad rap sometimes. But if you take a look at what's going on in Poland for their air defense, what's going on in a lot of other places, there's lots of ways, and Japan has been a model of not merely co- financing, but also co-development... They've been doing the stack. They've been doing the motor and the US has been doing the kill-vehicle on top of it... There's a lot of opportunities for workshare and these other things. So one thing I would suggest is that it's not about the name... When you realize these systems are not really American made, but they're potentially and actually cooperative efforts. There's a lot of cooperation with Israel on this stuff. US puts a lot of effort there, a lot of financing, but also a lot of tech cooperation, back and forth. I think there's tremendous potential with South Korea. If South Korea really wanted to go after the artillery problem, whether its directed energy... Directed energy I'm a little bit of a skeptic for longer- range stuff. But I think for shorter-ranger stuff, you want to go after with kind of an iron-dome, cheap interceptor... There's no reason why there couldn't a lot of workshare, a lot of shared economic value on these things. And likewise with THAAD. Look at the Japan-US cooperation model. The United States has been doing this a lot longer in terms of the crown jewels technology of the kill-vehicle. But there's a lot of other parts there that a country like South Korea, with a lot of industrial capability and capacity, could do. And by the way, investing in the skills and such for the rocket motors can have carryover effects to other capabilities as well.

Man 2: [unintelligible]

Thomas Karako: So I think Mike O'Hanlon got this question, if I'm not mistaken. And I guess my attitude there is this is why I'm saying pull off the band aid and do it tomorrow. Put it on a US base tomorrow and declare limited operations and then apologize later. You can't predict the future. And it's up to the Republic of Korea to chart its own course, just as it is for everybody else. But I think the best thing we can do is articulate what we think is the right thing and then push for it. There's no final axe in American politics. There's no final axe in international politics. And I think, as Mike said earlier, you do the best you can to push for what you think is the right thing.

Moderator: Thank you.



( Transcribed by David Lee, ICAS Intern )

This page last updated April 20, 2017 jdb