Friday, January 18, 2019

US Government Releases 2019 Missile Defence Review

          By Henry Stewart

The US government has released it's latest military review covering the threat posed by Russian, Chinese, North Korean and Iranian missiles and the ways to counter such threats. And this time, at least according to US President Donald Trump, US allies like Canada will have to pay their "fair share" when the new system is deployed.

Cover page of the unclassified version of the "2019 Missile Defence Review." Graphic c/o Office of the Secretary of Defence

As outlined in the January 17th 2019 CTV News post, "Canadian officials look for answers as Trump unveils missile-defence plan" the new report puts a heavy emphasis on "space-based sensors and defences to detect, track and ultimately stop missile attacks against the US and its allies from anywhere in the world."

According to the post:
The final report had been highly anticipated in Ottawa as Canada and the US prepare to launch discussions about upgrading North America's aging early-warning system to protect against attacks that use more advanced technology. 
The North American Aerospace Defence Command, or Norad, is currently configured to detect incoming ballistic missiles and foreign aircraft such as bombers, but not threats such as cruise and hypersonic missiles.
The report also "underscored the importance of being able to defend against attacks with interceptors like those employed by the US ballistic-missile defence shield, which Canada famously opted not to join in 2005."

A partial, unclassified, version of the review is available online, under the title, "2019 Missile Defence Review."

As outlined in the January 17th, 2019 The Drive post, "Here's All You Need To Know About The New Missile Defense Review That Was Just Released," expanding and improving "the US missile defense shield will require significant time and resources, as well. At present, it's unclear whether or not the next defense budget will be smaller or larger than the last."

It will also require much discussion and cooperation between traditional US allies like Canada in order to effectively deploy and fund. A lot of Canadian based think-tanks including the Calgary AB based Canadian Global Affairs Institute and the Vancouver BC based Fraser Institute have recently been recently arguing for Canadian participation in the program, although the Federal government has offered up no concrete movement in this area.

Here's wishing them luck with that.
Editors Note: For an interesting overview of the Missile Defence Review, check out this January 29th, 2019 post on "A discussion on the 2019 Missile Defense Review."  
It's an  audio recording of a presentation held at the Washington DC based Brookings Institution with James H. Anderson, the US assistant secretary of defense for strategy, plans, and capabilities.

Henry Stewart is the pseudonym of a Toronto based aerospace writer.

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