The United States is working with its allies in Europe, East Asia, and the Middle East to develop regional approaches tailored to the specific ballistic missile threats faced in each region. "The threat from short-, medium-, and intermediate-range ballistic missiles to U.S. deployed forces, allies, and partners is growing," said Frank Rose, U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Bureau of Arms Control, Verification and Compliance. Many states, he said, are increasing their inventories, and making their ballistic missiles more accurate, reliable, mobile and survivable.
Countries such as Iran and North Korea continue to pursue ballistic missiles with extended ranges, in addition to their short-, medium, and intermediate-range missiles that already threaten U.S. deployed forces, allies, and partners. Iran and North Korea continue to pursue indigenous space launch vehicle programs, which could aid their development of longer-range ballistic missile systems.
Recognizing the seriousness of the ballistic missile threat, the United States is, together with its allies, trying to eliminate the adversary's confidence in the effectiveness of missile attacks and thereby devalue the development, acquisition, deployment, and use of ballistic missiles.
In Europe, the U.S. is pursuing a phased adaptive approach in which the United States will deploy ballistic missile defense, or BMD, assets over time to defend Europe against existing and emerging ballistic missile threats. The system is being implemented within NATO.
In East Asia, the U.S. is working with Allies and partners to strengthen stability and security in the region. Japan has acquired a layered integrated ballistic missile defense system that includes Aegis BMD-capable ships with Standard Missile 3 interceptors. South Korea has acquired Aegis ships and Patriot batteries and has expressed interest in additional missile defense capabilities. Australia was one of the first U.S. partners on BMD and has been a strong supporter of the Nimble Titan series of multilateral missile defense wargames and bilateral technology cooperation with the U.S.
In the Middle East the U.S. has had a continuous missile defense presence and seeks to strengthen cooperation with the members of the Gulf Cooperation Council. The United States and Israel have a long history of cooperation on missile defense plans, operations, and specific missile defense programs.
"Beyond bilateral cooperation," said Deputy Assistant Secretary Rose, "we need to develop regional missile defense architectures that will enable us to leverage our bilateral cooperation so that nations share ballistic missile defense information and capabilities on a multilateral basis."