And now, for an opposing viewpoint…

Written by Bucherm on Saturday, September 19, 2009 at 7:42 pm

The Shield of the Republic

The Shield of the Republic

The proposed anti-missile sites in Poland and the Czech Republic appear to have been unceremoniously tossed out the window by the Obama administration. The static sites will be removed in favor of a “distributed, adaptable, and flexible” system that will be largely based upon the USN’s SM-3 missile.

As a former sailor, I would be lying if I said I didn’t get a little tingle of joy at the prospect of the USN being crammed once more to the head of the line for “Shield of the Republic.”

The decision to forget about the (planned)sites in the Eastern Europe comes as no surprise. What was surprising, at least to me, was that it took so long for the Obama administration to announce the move, especially given the campaign rhetoric last year. I suspect the Obama team had long seen the proposed sites as a political chip to cash in with Russia, rather than something inherently “evil” because it was associated with Bush. It’s no coincidence that 6-party talks with Iran will be starting shortly. I think it will be reasonable to assume that the Administration expects Russia to play ball during the talks.

SM-3 Problems

Ryan already talked about the system integration difficulties, but to me the biggest worry will be the number of hulls available for the job. Some ways I anticipate this will be mitigated:

  • The USN will charge ahead with the LCS, come Hell or high-water. The underlying reasoning is sound, after all AEGIS vessels are not the optimal asset for chasing pirates around and/or engaging in training exercises with some thirdworld craphole whose biggest vessel is a 25ft RHIB-with-superstructure. With the introduction of the LCS this will release more capable ships for other roles.
  • Fortunately, the confined spaces of the GOO and AG mean that AEGIS vessels will be able to perform both escort roles for strike groups and ABM-patrol.
  • Continue to co-opt allied assets to provide for the common defense. We already see this with JMSDF vessels on(now routine) patrol off the East Coast of the DPRK, and I suspect we’ll be seeing a De Zeven ProvinciĆ«n FFG slid into the rotation for Iran.
  • GBI may come to life again, in another form. Boeing has proposed a mobile, more “politically acceptable” version of it

Go Navy

Categories: ABM, Nuclear Weapons, Strategy

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