President Donald Trump Unveils 2019 Missile Defense Review

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un inspects a launching drill of the medium-and-long range strategic ballistic rocket Hwasong-12 at an undisclosed location in 2017

President Donald Trump speaks about American missile defense doctrine, Thursday, Jan. 17, 2019, at the Pentagon.

The Trump administration is planning an overhaul of the nation's missile defense system with an intensity unseen since the end the Cold War, focusing on developing new space-based sensors that can detect long-range missiles from the arsenals of increasingly sophisticated nation states and rogue actors alike. The United States is also working to advance its space-based, anti-missile systems to improve its tiered defense method.

The Missile Defense Review is a sweeping examination of efforts to shield the United States from enemy missiles. Under our plan, that will change. "The United States has been very transparent throughout the development of its missile defense capabilities about what they are posturing to defend against".

As part of the U.S.'s move into space defense, Trump announced on Thursday that he is including a space-based missile defense layer in the Pentagon's upcoming budget to more quickly detect enemy missiles when they are launched. The United States sees space as a critical area for advanced, next-generation capabilities to stay ahead of the threats, said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity to disclose details of the review before it was released.

There renewed emphasis on new space-based systems, especially potential space-based weapons, is also significant.

Recognising the potential concerns surrounding any perceived weaponisation of space, the strategy pushes for studies.

The president will "make a case for urgent investment in new and advanced anti-missile capability", one official said.

"If deterrence fails and conflict with a rogue state or within a region ensues, US attack operations supporting missile defense will degrade, disrupt, or destroy an adversary's missiles before they are launched", the report said noting that that concept is part of a new comprehensive missile defense strategy that would reduce the number of missiles that would be need to be struck during flight or at the end of their flight.

China has also alarmed the Pentagon with advances in super-fast "hypersonic" technology that could allow Beijing to field missiles that are far harder to detect.

Yet Acting Defense Secretary Pat Shanahan, speaking prior to Trump, said the Pentagon is making a policy shift to integrate offensive and defensive capabilities. He said that more caravans are already forming and said the government is still shut down because Democrats refuse to fund border security.

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"Developments in hypersonic propulsion will revolutionize warfare by providing the ability to strike targets more quickly, at greater distances, and with greater firepower", Lieutenant-General Robert Ashley, director of the Defence Intelligence Agency, told Congress a year ago.

Pentagon officials contend that United States missiles defenses are too few to be able to counter a first-strike on the USA homeland by a major nuclear power like Russian Federation or China. "Our missile defense systems constitute a cornerstone of our efforts to deter a missile attack by a rogue state on the USA and make a clear contribution to our alliances".

In particular, Trump announced there would be 20 more ground-based interceptors in Alaska, a location aimed at countering North Korean missile.

Bloomberg reported that Mr. Trump will deliver the findings of the Missile Defense Review, which was completed in October.

Trump joined a number of his top generals Thursday at the Pentagon to deliver an address in support of his initiative, which sought to install detection systems in outer space as a means to counter new weapons being developed by top military rivals Russian Federation and China, as well as burgeoning missile powers Iran and North Korea.

The release of the strategy was postponed previous year for unexplained reasons, though it came as Trump was trying to persuade North Korea to give up its nuclear weapons.

Still, the review itself stresses that North Korea is "an extraordinary threat and the United States must remain vigilant". "As senior DoD officials have said so frequently, the time for studies is over".

The document was even stronger.

"While a possible new avenue to peace now exists with North Korea, it continues to pose an extraordinary threat and the U.S. must remain vigilant", the review said.

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