Washington, D.C., July 29, 2010
-- Riki Ellison, Chairman and Founder of the Missile Defense Advocacy Alliance
(MDAA), www.missiledefenseadvocacy.org <http://www.missiledefenseadvocacy.org>
, has analyzed the U.S. military exercises off the Korean Peninsula this
week . Ellison is one of the top experts in missile defense in the
country. His observations are the following:
“Off the Korean Peninsula this week our U.S. forces, led by
the USS George Washington Battle Strike Group made up of 20 ships, 100 aircraft
and 8,000 sailors, made a definitive statement to our ally, South Korea, of
extending our military deterrent.
This military exercise with Korean forces involved a
coordinated and integrated application of both offensive and defensive forces
that are required to handle a military crisis in this region of the world. This
exercise ties together the advancements of military technology, the updating of
older systems and new sailors and officers gaining needed experience. It is a
necessary requirement that needs to take place regularly in order to secure the
peace and stability of our allies that live on and around the Korean Peninsula.
The timing of this exercise comes only a few months after the
sinking of the Cheonan, a South Korean ship, by a North Korean torpedo which
resulted in the death of 46 South Korean sailors. The exercise is not deemed to
be a provocative act towards North Korea. Instead, it is a much needed show of
stability and U.S. extended protection of the people and government of South
Korea in this particularly dynamic situation. The South Korean leadership
resisted any provocative military response to the sinking and deaths of its
sailors on the strength of the U.S. influence and diplomatic skill. This
military exercise was needed for a show of respect and a continued display of a
strong alliance to the South Korean public and their leadership.
One of the critical new platforms and military strategies
that are being integrated and re-introduced in this exercise is the missile
defense component consisting of the U.S. Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD)
Ships in the participating battle group. This combination of offense and
defense adds a much broader, stronger and safer deterrent as it forces Kim
Jong-Il and his military leadership to change their strategic and tactical
calculus; putting his threats into rhetoric rather than reality.
These Aegis BMD destroyers and cruisers are tasked with
protecting the battle group as well as selected nearby areas from short-range
ballistic missile attack.
In light of the large numbers of North Korean short-range
ballistic missiles, with an approximate range of 300km, and their growing
nuclear capability it is essential to show, through these types of military
exercises, that South Korea and our allies will be protected throughout the
world. It will also show those who are reliant on U.S. extended deterrence that
we have the deployed military capability and clear intent to protect them.
With the resolve and mission of the U.S. Navy to provide extended deterrence along the vital waters of our world, the growth of the United States Navy's ballistic missile defense capability is warranted.