2003 Strategic Policy Issue Briefs

Issue Brief 88, August 14, 2003
Threats From The Sea - And Still No Defense

    The front page of this morning's Washington Post revealed again how ballistic missiles, as well as other threatening cargo, can be transported by ships. Reported is a 1999 discovery by customs agents in India of a "hidden missile factory" on a North Korean freighter - apparently on its way to Libya, acording to unnamed U.S. intelligence officials. Indian technical experts are reported to have concluded that the equipment was "unimpeachable and irrefutable evidence" of a plan to transfer not just missiles but missile making capability.

    The missiles of concern in this incident could reach only 300-500 miles, not enough to reach the U.S. from Libya. But North Korea has long been working to build a longer-range missile capability and such North Korean proliferation bodes ill for future developments that could threaten us. In 1998, the year before this incident, North Korea launched a three-stage missile over Japan and almost to U.S. territory, so its commerce in missile technology with Libya, Iran, Pakistan, Syria etc. is a troubling prolifertaion reality.

    Furthermore, if such short-range missiles were clandestinely transported to near our coasts, they might be launched to attack major American cities. That shipping assembled ballistic missiles is not novel was demonstrated last December - so the 1999 Indian incident did not lead North Korea to stop this class of its proliferation activities. Almost 4 years after the above incident, Spanish Navy personnel and U.S. Navy Seals boarded, in the Gulf of Aden, a ship from North Korea carrying 15 Scud missiles to Yemen. Scud smuggling is a reality.

    As Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz pointed out last year, Scuds were launched from ships forty years ago. launching ballistic missiles from ships at sea is not a technological challenge. The trick for the terrorist is getting close to targets of interest - say near the U.S. coasts, where most of our population lives. In both of the above incidents, we discovered the clandestine cargo in time to keep it far away from U.S. coastal areas. However, that may not always be the case.

    If such a launch were to occur, we still have no defense against it. This is an unsettling situation, to say the least. Defense Secretary Rumsfeld surely understands that this is a possible threat - before either of the above two mentioned events, his 1998 bipartisan commission on the ballistic missile threat pointed out that the threat of short-range missile attack from the sea already existed in 1998 - actually long before 1998.

    Yet on Secretary Rumsfeld's watch, the Pentagon has done nothing to deal with this known threat - doubly unsettling since this absolutely total vulnerability could be ended within nine months for a very modest investment. For over two years, High Frontier has been explaining that the U.S. Navy could modify its existing Standard Missile air defense system to give it a limited capability againts this existing threat for less than $50 million. This claim was based on public statements over two years ago by the director of the Navy's missile defense programs. There have been additional substantive studies that back up his claims.

    To be sure, such a defense capability would be far from perfect, but it would be better than nothing, which is what we have today. It could be a meaningful stop-gap measure until we can build truly effective defenses against such a threat.

    High Frontier urges Secretary Rumsfeld to look into the reasons that this possibility stagnates in the Pentagon bureaucracy.

Issue Brief 87, July 17, 2003
APS Study On Space-Based Interceptors: Garbage In, Garbage Out!
By Ambassador Henry F. Cooper

“This seems to be one of the many cases in which the admitted accuracy of mathematical processes is allowed to throw a wholly inadmissible appearance of authority over the results obtained by them.  Mathematics may be compared to a mill of exquisite workmanship, which grinds you stuff of any degree of fineness; but nevertheless, what you get out depends on what you put in; and as the grandest mill in the world will not extract wheat flour from peascods, so pages of formulas will not get a definite result out of loose data.”
T. H. Huxley (In a public debate with Lord Kelvin in 1869)

    Were he alive today, Huxley might have made these same comments about the recently published study by the American Physical Society Study Group, Boost-Phase Intercept Systems for National Missile Defense – especially regarding space-based interceptors. This 400+ page tome is full of calculations using the equations of orbital mechanics, the rocket equation and other well known equations of physics – but, with the wrong input assumptions, they deliver the wrong answers. Or, in the modern vernacular, “Garbage in; garbage out.”
    These same equations were used by the Fletcher Study , consisting of nationally recognized physicists and engineers, formed in 1984 to provide the initial direction for President Reagan’s Strategic Defense Initiative. In particular, they identified the critically important objective to achieve lightweight, very capable hit-to-kill vehicles – and that became a driving objective of the SDI program – particularly for space-based interceptors. The heavier the kill vehicle (KV), the bigger the booster required to deliver the kill vehicle and the greater the system cost.  
    Working backwards using the well-known rocket equation, competent engineers can establish weight budgets for sensors, on-board computers, kill vehicle propulsion, etc., which must be met to have a cost-effective interceptor – which was determined in the 1980s, by the way, to be an order of magnitude less than the KV weight assumed by the APS study team. So their conclusion from their mindless grinding through various formulae was predetermined to be negative – and should have been well known based on well-known earlier work.
    Indeed, it should have been well known to any group of informed experts that by the late 1980s, the SDI investments in technology had produced the technology base for the key components of a light weight, cost effective space-based interceptor – passing the countermeasure gauntlet posed by the APS study team. In what the Missile Defense Agency’s Historian, Dr. Don Baucomb, calls “A Season of Studies,” the Brilliant Pebbles space-based interceptor concept in 1989 passed the scrutiny of over a dozen internal and external reviews by well-known science and engineering experts on space-based interceptor technology .  
    In particular, JASON, a group of eminent physicists from academia – not known as advocates for missile defense – reported there were “no show-stoppers” for this important program, which became SDI’s first fully approved Major Defense Acquisition Program (MDAP) in 1990. This formal status meant that the concept passed formal cost screens and passed muster with the Joint Chiefs in meeting necessary decision timelines to achieve boost-phase intercept capability.
    In spite of the political headwinds against the space-based interceptor program, scientists and engineers at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and in two contractor teams (TRW, now part of Northrop Grumman, and Martin Marietta, now part of Lockheed-Martin) made considerable progress in developing and demonstrating the essential technology for a viable space-based interceptor system. But the Clinton administration scuttled this important program in early 1993 – and, at least as important, most of the important technology demonstration programs geared toward meeting the goals established by the Fletcher Study and pursued for the better part of a decade. Lost were the achievements not only to space-based defenses, but also for other basing modes – such was the price of political correctness of an administration more concerned with strengthening the ABM Treaty than building cost-effective defenses.
    Now there seems to be collective amnesia about the state of technology. The APS says the technology for space-based defenses is a decade away.  Partially right, but they got the sign wrong.  It was available a decade ago.

Issue Brief 86, July 9, 2003
Needed: A New Home For Developing Space-Based Defenses
By Ambassador Henry F. Cooper

    The current issue of Space News reports that Terry Little, Director of the Pentagon’s Kinetic Energy Interceptor program, said that “technical problems with miniaturization and weight proved severely limiting” in recent reviews by industry of the possibility of demonstrating space-based interceptors by 2005 . He also reportedly argued, “You need a lot of satellites and they need to be affordable to buy and launch – they’re not there.”
    Consequently, the Missile Defense Agency (MDA) has delayed its space-based testbed program until 2008 until “research” provides answers to these critical problems.  According to Space News, Little justified this delay by noting, “If you enter development with major technical problems, you’re going to end up in trouble.”
    These views are so ludicrous it is hard to figure out where to begin in dismissing them.
    Perhaps it is first worth noting that the program to examine the potential for space-based interceptors was not a serious effort – the cuts heralded in the Space News article were to a $14 million effort, mostly to produce viewgraphs.
    Apparently forgotten is the work accomplished a decade ago, e.g., when $300 million was “appropriated” in 1993 to support two contractors – Martin Marietta (now included in Lockheed-Martin) and TRW (now subsumed by Northrop Grumman) – before the Clinton administration scuttled this competitive space-demonstration effort of the most advanced technology produced for the $30 billion SDI investment during the Reagan-Bush I years. Perhaps, Mr. Little might get a clue or two by reading “The Rise and Fall of Brilliant Pebbles” written by MDA’s historian, Dr. Don Baucomb .
    A little checking should educate Mr. Little to the fact that the key first generation Brilliant Pebbles technology except for miniature propulsion was space-qualified by the 1994 Clementine mission, which mapped the Moon’s surface in 13 spectral bands and discovered water at its South Pole. (A replica of the award-winning Clementine spacecraft hangs in an honored place at the Smithsonian.) The miniature propulsion was demonstrated on an Astrid flight later in 1994.
    Second, I’d call Mr. Little’s attention to the fact that how to build inexpensive small satellites is reasonably well known – though perhaps the United States has forgotten how after the Clinton purge of the SDI space defense programs and personnel in 1993.  The two contractor teams mentioned above were working on fully approved Major Defense Acquisition Programs which had withstood the scrutiny of numerous Defense Science Board and other critical technical reviews, the Pentagon’s independent cost analyses and other Defense Acquisition Board reviews – and their objective was to develop and deploy 1000 Brilliant Pebbles and operate them for 20 years for $11 billion in FY1989 dollars. (Included was replacing each Pebble once, so that 2000 were purchased.)
    To persuade himself that building relatively inexpensive lightweight satellites is still possible today – even if the contractors with whom he has consulted have forgotten how, Mr. Little might visit the webpage of Surrey Satellite Technology, LTD (http://www.sstl.co.uk/) – which claims with some justification to be the world’s pioneer of small satellite applications and technology. They have for years been building small (under 10 kg) satellites, which they construct in very short periods of time (1-2 years) at very low cost ($2-3 million each).  This technology is being transferred to others, including China. China’s official news agency (Xinhua) has reported on “parasitic” satellites intended to attach themselves to target satellites and wreck them upon subsequent radio command. Thus, miniature military satellites already exist, though MDA personnel and their contractors – who do what they are told, of course – appear to be uninformed.  As to operating large constellations of satellites, I’d suggest Mr. Little consult with Motorola, which applied SDI technology and methods to build and operate Iridium with a handful of qualified people.
    Finally, the appalling mindset betrayed by Mr. Little’s suggestion that all major technical problems must be solved before entering development illustrates why the development of space-based defenses should be removed from the Missile Defense Agency. Needed is a small, competent, informed technical team in government and industry to develop space defense systems – a time proven way to innovative development.  For example, long before we knew how to solve all “major technical problems,” such teams built our first land-based and sea-based ballistic missiles in around 4 years.
    In the 1950s, these Air Force and Navy teams were specially formed outside of the existing bureaucratic order to conduct the innovative development and deliver for the Nation. If the Bush administration is at all serious about developing space-based defenses, such a dedicated team is again needed – away from the Missile Defense Agency, which clearly has no interest in innovative development.

Issue Brief 85, March 2003
On The Legacy of Ronald Reagan's SDI Vision
By Ambassador Henry F. Cooper

    I’m pleased to join in singing President Ronald Reagan’s praises, especially in recalling his speech that initiated the Strategic Defense Initiative 20-years ago.  I wish Gen. Danny Graham, High Frontier’s founder, were here to recall his efforts that set the stage for this speech – especially in the preceding year when, at President Reagan’s request, he and his High Frontier team took the pulse of the American people to demonstrate they would support SDI.  And High Frontier’s first report advocating SDI, published by the Heritage Foundation, was the centerpiece for that 1982 grassroots effort.
    We all recall Reagan’s persistent vision that the best national security policy was “Peace Through Strength” and his willingness to take head-on the Mutual Assured Destruction (MAD) crowd – those wedded to the idea that “stability” rests on keeping the American people vulnerable. They consented to the idea of strategic defenses only to protect our strategic offensive forces, so they could retaliate to underwrite MAD. But actually building even such defenses was not taken seriously after the MAD doctrine was enshrined in the ABM Treaty that precluded even the testing of the most effective defenses – mobile systems based at sea, in the air and space, and on the ground.
    After the ABM Treaty precluded fielding an effective defense, serious science and technology efforts to examine the most effective defense concepts were dramatically scaled back in the so-called “breakout safeguard” efforts of the Army’s missile development activities in Huntsville, Alabama – which focused on defending Minuteman silos rather than the American people.  Since the Treaty would not permit effective systems to be built even for that purpose, the best and the brightest scientists and engineers soon moved on to other subjects – most people want to work toward goals that can actually be realized rather than academic subjects that, as in this case, received little political or financial backing.
    President Reagan wanted an effective defense rather than to rely solely on threats of retaliation, as his important speech made clear. With SDI focused on protecting the American people, he sought to change the dynamic by challenging America’s scientists and engineers to take off the blinders and work toward that objective.
    Many think SDI was just a political ploy – intended to challenge the Soviets, as indeed it did. We’ll not soon forget Reykjavik and SDI’s role in ending the “evil empire.” The MAD crowd would have you believe the end of the Cold War came simply because “containment” worked – and they downplay the fact that Reagan’s successful policies called for confronting the Soviet Union, not containing it. And certainly SDI had a major role in Reagan’s strategy of confrontation.
    Reagan’s SDI also achieved its stated technical purpose. By the end of his presidency, it was widely recognized that the primary roadblock to building effective defenses was political, not technical.  In his campaign for the presidency, George H.W. Bush observed that what was required to begin deploying defenses was political will and he committed to developing an appropriate architecture by the end of his first term and to beginning deployment by the end of his second – which regrettably was not to be. 
    By the end of the first Bush administration, the SDI community had provided a program, approved by both the Pentagon’s acquisition bureaucracy and the Congress, to build global defenses, including for the American people.  In the Missile Defense Acts of 1991 and 1992, SDI was given a mandate to build as soon as possible a ground-based U.S. homeland defense – in an architecture that included 5-6 sites and 1000 interceptors – and to conduct “robustly funded” technology demonstrations of space-based interceptors.
    I’ll never forget the meeting in Senator Malcolm Wallop’s office in late 1991, when we “cut the deal” with the Democrats (then in the majority) that removed the Brilliant Pebbles space-based interceptor program from its fully approved Major Defense Acquisition Program status in exchange for a commitment to begin deploying ground-based defenses, then less mature both technologically and programmatically. I consented to this deal because I believed that we could maintain a viable technology program with the $300 million appropriated for Pebbles demonstration efforts and restore it to its appropriate acquisition status within a few years – at least under a friendly political regime.
    It is important to observe that we were also annually investing well over $1 billion in other science and technology programs – for a total approximately equivalent to the initial (1984) SDI budget derived from a redistribution of programs from DARPA and the services;  we were engaged in high-level negotiations with the Russians – the Ross-Mamedov Talks – aimed at alleviating the ABM Treaty constraints and for the U.S. and Russia to work together to build a Joint Global Defense, as Boris Yeltsin proposed in January 1992. As 1992 ended, I believed that we could have reached agreement within a short time – perhaps months – that would have shifted the underlying doctrine from MAD to MAS, Mutual Assured Survival, which many of our Russian friends were positively considering. 
    But the Clinton administration immediately abandoned all that had been achieved – as Defense Secretary Aspin taunted, they “took the stars out of Star Wars.” They killed the key technology efforts and purged the missile defense programs of related science and technology and key personnel. Specifically, they killed the most mature system concept, the Brilliant Pebbles space-based interceptor; cut by 80-percent the Congressionally approved ground-based interceptor program – the contractor proposals to begin implementing that Congressionally mandated program were returned unopened; cut by 25-percent theater defense programs – the Clinton’s administration’s advertised top priority; and cut by over 95-percent – from about $1.5 billion to about $50 million-a-year – very important science and technology programs.
    It is important to recognize the severe damage to overall Defense Department efforts resulting from the Clinton purge of SDI’s key technical personnel and S&T programs – which drew their heritage from the DARPA and service programs that formed the basis of the SDI initial effort in 1984.  This was an enormous hit, still not rectified by the current Bush administration.  After a decade of neglect, the impact of the Clinton purge casts an ominous shadow where DoD programs seem oblivious to: 1) the military benefits of decade-old technology better than what is being used in today’s missile defense programs, and 2) key defense-related technology now being advanced in the private sector to which even our potential adversaries have access – and in some cases serious interest.
    The Clinton administration also dropped the high-level talks with the Russians – when Presidents Yeltsin and Clinton met in Vancouver in April 1993, the Russians wanted to continue the Ross-Mamedov talks; and apparently we had no one on our side of the table who even knew what Yeltsin was talking about. A great opportunity for the U.S. was lost when the Clinton administration quickly changed the agenda from Mutual Assured Survival back to Mutual Assured Destruction.  Many Clinton spokesmen seemed never to tire of the mantra of “strengthening the ABM Treaty” as the “cornerstone of strategic stability” – Cold War code words for MAD. This undercut our Russian friends who had accepted the Reagan-Bush I agenda of working cooperatively toward a joint global defense and were only quibbling over details. 
    Furthermore, it is fair to say that only because of persistent Congressional prodding after the 1994 elections did any serious effort to defend the American people continue. The Clinton administration worked just as tirelessly to assure that whatever was done would require at most minor changes to their beloved ABM Treaty and its objective of not permitting an effective defense of the American people.
    Now we again have a President who shares the Reagan vision. President George W.  Bush has repeatedly called for an effective global defense that protects Americans at home and our overseas troops, friends and allies against attack with missiles of all ranges. As he promised, he abandoned the ABM Treaty last June and in December directed that, by 2004-5, the Pentagon field 20 ground-based interceptors – 16 in Alaska and 4 in California – and 20 sea-based interceptors on 3 ships.  The Bush plans also call for space-based interceptors – but so far Pentagon programs do not suggest a revival of a serious effort. As noted above there is no apparent effort to revive a serious science and technology program directed at the cutting edge technologies – or even decade-old technology that was cast off during the Clinton purge of anything that might be closely identified with Reagan’s SDI.
    The challenge for the friends of SDI is now to overcome: 1) the bureaucratic impedance resulting from 30-years of ABM Treaty restraints that limited even the testing of concepts for the most effective defenses; and 2) collective amnesia from the Clinton purge of the people, concepts and technology advanced by Ronald Reagan’s vision and SDI program.
    The Pentagon’s missile defense programs still focus on minor modifications to the Clinton defense programs designed to make at most minor modifications to ABM Treaty-compliant defense concepts. We need again to issue Ronald Reagan’s challenge to the best and brightest – now to build the most effective global defenses possible as soon as possible, without consideration to the MAD idea (still alive in some quarters) that there is virtue to keeping the American people vulnerable.
    In particular, it is very important to exploit fully President Bush’s mandate to field a sea-based defense in the next two years.  This is the pathfinder program because it is the first system-level effort to exploit the freedom from the ABM Treaty’s ban on testing mobile defenses for the American people.  Making sure that this sea-based defense is operationally flexible and given the best possible capability to protect U.S. cities will be very important in setting the stage for even more effective mobile defenses – e.g., including those in space. For example, making sure these sea-based defenses enable continuing Fleet flexibility will require light-weight, very effective technologies that were the key product of Reagan’s SDI program, but then purged by the Clinton administration and not yet revived by the Bush administration.
    Ronald Reagan had it right – while returning to his vision, we again need the best technology created by his SDI to field the very best defenses possible, as quickly as we can. Thanks to President Bush’s leadership, we are free to do this without the ABM Treaty burden and its underlying doctrine that made a virtue of keeping the American people vulnerable to ballistic missiles. As Reagan believed 20 years ago, America’s scientists and engineers can deliver for his vision!

Issue Brief 84, March 21, 2003
The Vision Thing - 20 Years And Counting

“I have become more and more deeply convinced that the human spirit must be capable of rising above dealing with other nations and human beings by threatening their existence. . . . One of the most important contributions we can make is, of course, to lower the level of arms. . . . If the Soviet Union will join us, we will have succeeded in stabilizing the nuclear balance.  Nevertheless, it will still be necessary to rely on the spectre of retaliation, or mutual threat.  And that is a sad commentary on the human condition.
“Wouldn’t it be better to save lives than to avenge them?  Are we not capable of demonstrating our peaceful intention by applying all our abilities and ingenuity to achieving a truly lasting stability?
“I think we are.  Indeed we must. . . . Let me share with you a vision of the future which offers hope.  It is that we embrace a program to counter the awesome Soviet missile threat with measures that are defensive. . . . What if free people could live secure in the knowledge that their security did not rest upon the threat of instant U.S. retaliation to deter Soviet attack, that we could intercept and destroy ballistic missiles before they reached our soil or that of our allies?
“I know this is a formidable task, one that may not be accomplished before the end of this century.  Yet, current technology has attained a level of sophistication where it is reasonable for us to begin this effort. . . . Isn’t it worth every investment necessary to free the world from the threat of nuclear war?
“. . . My fellow Americans, tonight we’re launching an effort which holds the promise of changing the course of human history.  There are risks, and results will take time.  But I believe we can do it.”
President Ronald Reagan, March 23, 1983

    Ronald Reagan had it right.  His Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI), launched 20-years ago on Sunday, showed that the technology could end America’s vulnerability to even a single ballistic missile. As the first Bush administration ended 10-years later, SDI technology was ready to be fielded in a global defense capable to defend the United States and our overseas troops, friends and allies – at least from limited ballistic missile attack.
    But then the Clinton administration killed the most advanced programs – by “taking the stars out of Star Wars,” as Defense Secretary Les Aspin derisively boasted.  All space defense programs were killed – even the most advanced SDI technology, which was associated with these programs, was scuttled even though it was a great enabler of other ways to base defensive interceptors. Approved SDI funding was cut dramatically – for a ground-based homeland defense (then fully approved by Congress) by 80-percent; for theater defenses (the Clinton administration’s alleged top priority) by 25-percent; and for cutting edge science and technology (S&T) demonstrations by over 95-percent.
    Most importantly, the Clinton administration purged the Pentagon of the key SDI concepts, associated technology, and most, if not all, who shared Reagan’s vision and understood what had been accomplished during the SDI years. The Clinton years were spent “strengthening the ABM Treaty” that blocked even the testing of the most effective defense concepts. Only system concepts permitted by the Treaty’s terms were explored – as business returned to usual as defined before Reagan initiated SDI, which many believe played a major role in bringing an end to the Soviet Union.
    Now we have another President who shares Reagan’s vision for protecting the American people from missile attack. On December 13, 2001, President George W. Bush gave Russia 6-months notice that the U.S. would withdraw from the ABM Treaty – and on June 13, 2002, America was free for the first time in 30-years to employ its best technology to defend the American people against ballistic missiles. Finally, American engineers and scientists are free to press toward the vision, stated 20 years ago by President Reagan – to end America’s vulnerability to even a single ballistic missile and to leave the Cold War’s Mutual Assured Destruction (MAD) doctrine in the ash bin of History along with the Soviet Union.
    Now the key remaining problem is two-fold – to overcome: 1) bureaucratic inertia from 30-years that blocked even testing the most effective defense concepts and 2) the Pentagon’s collective amnesia resulting from the Clinton purge of SDI’s most advanced technology. President Bush has clearly indicated he wants to field a global defense to protect Americans at home and our overseas troops, friends and allies – the very global defense concept that was the focus of his father’s administration. But the Pentagon is belatedly relearning just how confining the ABM Treaty was and seems oblivious to SDI advances from the decade after Ronald Reagan’s famous speech. The Pentagon is focused on minor modifications to the Clinton ground-based defense plan that was designed more to be consistent with the Treaty’s ban on effective defenses than by technical requirements for building them – or by S&T possibilities known a decade ago.
    President Bush has again taken the lead – seeking to fulfill his campaign promise to build effective defenses, “by the earliest possible date.” Last December 17, he directed the Pentagon to field, by 2004-5, 16 ground-based interceptors in Alaska, 4 ground-based interceptors in California, and 20 sea-based interceptors on 3 Aegis cruisers.
    By doing sea-based defenses right, the Pentagon could revive the best SDI technology. But will the Pentagon exploit SDI technology advanced for space-based defenses to make a sea-based global defense all that it can be - or will progress continute to be hampered by the legacy of the Clinton purge of SDI? It's the vision thing, you see.

Issue Brief 83, February 3, 2003
Virginia House of Delegates Votes Overwhelmingly For Missile Defense

    By an overwhelming majority (76 yes, 12 no, 3 abstain, 9 no-votes), the Virginia House of Delegates just passed the following resolution.  It endorses President Bush’s call for ocean-to-ocean multi-layered defense – of all 50 states – and specifically urges East Coast testing similar to that being conducted in the Pacific, to begin protecting the East Coast by 2005.  In December, President Bush directed that by 2005 the Pentagon is to field 16 ground-based interceptors in Alaska, 4 ground-based interceptors in California and 20 sea-based interceptors on 3 ships.  If those ships are tested in concert with existing operations in the Hampton Roads-Norfolk, they could begin providing initial protection of the Eastern Seaboard by 2005.  Thus, both coasts of the United States could end their complete vulnerability to even a single ballistic missile by 2005.  High Frontier commends Delegate John Cosgrove of Chesapeake, Virginia for his initiative in sponsoring this important resolution.

Commonwealth of Virginia
House of Delegates
House of Delegates Resolution – HR40

Whereas Virginia, the Old Dominion, is located in the upper South region of the United States and is populated by over 7,000,000 persons, and is noted for its contribution to the founding of the United States through leadership and political thought, and maintains distinguished centers of higher education and research, and is the site of advanced information and defense technology, and is the center of national naval force concentration, and is the foremost shipbuilder on its coast while possessing natural endowments of mountains and forests on its western limits and agriculture on its southern tier; and
Whereas, the people of Virginia are conscious of these assets of the Old Dominion and a favorable future for their children and future generations; and
Whereas, Virginia provided leadership in the Revolutionary War and was the location of the surrender of Great Britain that ended it, and has contributed notably to national defense through its citizenry both in the military and industry ever since; and
Whereas, the people of Virginia are aware of the global proliferation of short-range, medium-range and long-range ballistic missiles as weapons of mass destruction and their threat to our nation, our allies, and our armed forces abroad; and
Whereas, the United States does not possess an effective defense against such missiles launched by hostile states or by terrorist organizations within the borders of such states or from ships anywhere on the world’s seas and oceans, including near to the coastal cities of America; and
Whereas, the President of the United States has withdrawn from the treaty with the now extinct Soviet Union that prohibited American effective self-defense against ballistic missile attack, and has announced the deployment of a ground-based and sea-based limited missile defense system by the year 2005 as a beginning towards a robust system that will be multi-layered, meaning land, sea, air, and space interception components; and
Whereas, short-range and medium-range ballistic missiles launched from ships off the East Coast of the United States will be outside the protective reach of the Pacific Ocean-Alaska-based system, and the population of Virginia’s tidewater as well as the preponderant national naval presence located therein are now vulnerable and will be still vulnerable to such a missile attack with warheads of mass destruction after planned fielding in 2005 of missile defenses in Alaska and California; and
Whereas, missile defense interceptors based in Alaska and California may not be able to protect the population of Virginia’s tidewater and other East Coast areas from long-range ballistic missiles launched from threatening states in the Middle East and North Africa; and
Whereas, the United States Navy has demonstrated its capability to use ships that can be based in Virginia’s Tidewater area to intercept short-range and medium-range ballistic missiles while they are rising from their launchers, which could be on nearby ships, and this capability can be improved to intercept long-range ballistic missiles; now, therefore, be it

Resolved by the House of Delegates:
That the Virginia House of Delegates hereby supports the President of the United States to continue to take all actions necessary, directing the considerable scientific and technological capability of this great Union, to protect all 50 states and their people, our allies, and our armed forces abroad from the threat of missile attack; and
That the Virginia House of Delegates hereby conveys to the President of the United States and the Congress that a ocean-to-ocean, effective missile defense system will require the deployment of a robust, multi-layered architecture consisting of integrated land-based, sea-based, air-based, and space-based capabilities to deter evolving future threats and to meet and destroy them when necessary; and
That the Virginia House of Delegates urges the President of the United States and Congress to plan and provide funding for a Tidewater Virginia and East Coast Testbed activity, similar to the West Coast test activities in Alaska, California, and the Pacific Ocean, leading by 2005 to an East Coast sea-based defense – initially against ship-based short- and medium-range ballistic missiles and, with improvements, against ballistic missiles of all ranges launched from anywhere; and
That copies of this resolution shall be sent by the House Clerk to the Virginia Congressional delegation, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, the President of the Senate of the United States, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and the President of the United States.

Issue Brief 82, January 29, 2003
Space Technology For Missile Defense: Too Little, Too Late!

    The Space News article below indicates the continuing legacy of Defense Secretary Les Aspin’s 1993 boast that he was “taking the stars out of Star Wars,” as he canceled the most effective programs pursued during the Reagan and Bush I Strategic Defense Initiative.  The most advanced technology, particularly useful for space-based defenses, was cancelled outright – and the system was purged of all advocates and applications of that technology, which, except for political reasons, could have been deployed by the mid-1990s to provide a global defense to protect America and our overseas troops, friends and allies.  After numerous critical reviews by the scientific community in 1989-90, a Major Defense Acquisition Program for a space-based interceptor system – Brilliant Pebbles – was approved in 1991 by the Pentagon’s formal acquisition bureaucracy and then scuttled for political reasons.  
    Last week, the Naval Research Laboratory gave to the Smithsonian Institute a replica of the Clementine spacecraft, which in 1994 mapped the surface of the Moon and discovered water at its South Pole.  That mission, which won awards from NASA and the National Academy of Sciences, space-qualified a full complement of vintage 1992 technology for space-based interceptors – which in many ways was more advanced than that being used by the Pentagon’s mainline missile defense programs today.  The science community also strongly supported a follow-on mission – but President Clinton used his fleeting line item veto in 1997 to kill that effort because it applied even more advanced SDI technology and he was concerned about exceeding ABM Treaty constraints – so said a White House spokesman.  Thanks to President Bush, the Treaty is gone – but the prejudice against such technology remains.
    It is simply astounding that the second Bush administration is not aiming higher than paper studies to begin a space “test bed” in 2004 – the last year of its first term.  There is a great need to overcome the collective amnesia resulting from the Clinton administration’s purge of such technology from its missile defense programs – and to reinstate well funded programs to take advantage of technology demonstrated a decade ago.  
    Plans, highlighted in the article below, to start a lidar program next year as if that is a new, advanced technology idea illustrate the problem.  Lidar was understood to be fundamental to providing a sound boost-phase interceptor – at least by 1989 during the intensive technical reviews mentioned above!  Two lidar units were space-qualified on Clementine in 1994.  Why wait until “next year” – the last year of President George W. Bush’s first term – to revive vital technology from his father’s administration if we are truly serious about fielding a boost-base intercept capability?  And how can this administration claim to be serious when no such capability is planned until the last year of a possible Bush second term in this well known – for at least 20-years – key area?  
    Reviving key SDI technology is not only important for space-based defenses – as Greg Canavan pointed out in the article below. A light-weight kill vehicle based on decade-old technology can enable high-velocity sea-based interceptors that fit within the existing vertical launch system deployed on Aegis cruisers around the world – sooner than a larger booster using the current ground-based kill vehicle can be built – for less money and with much less impact on the operational capability of the fleet.  Yet the Pentagon seems clueless about such real options for providing the best defenses as quickly as possible – as President Bush has directed.
    According to the article below, the Pentagon wants to develop high-speed interceptors without using new technology. Without debating the Luddite aspects of this point-of-view, it should be noted that the challenge is not to invent new technology; the challenge is to revive old technology.  It’s time for the powers that be to wake up – and revive and fully fund efforts to revive key technology programs, rather than – at best – reinventing the wheel under constraints inherited from the Clinton administration.

Critics Question MDA's Interest In New Technology
By Randy Barrett/Space News/January 27, 2003
    Terry Little was blunt: "We want what's here today, not tomorrow." Hundreds of aerospace contractors packed into the Crystal City, Va., ballroom nodded and diligently took notes.
    In that single admonition in December, Little, a program manager for the U.S. Missile Defense Agency (MDA), set a major technical challenge before the contractors hoping to win a piece of the Kinetic Energy Boost program. He wants a booster that can go 6 kilometers per second – twice as fast as existing rockets - to kill ballistic missiles without using any new technology. And Little wants it by 2008, the equivalent of demanding a five-course French dinner at Big Mac speed.
    With U.S. President George W. Bush's Dec. 18 decision to deploy a limited missile defense shield by 2004, the MDA is under enormous time pressure. Industry executives say the program is no longer in development; it is in acquisition mode. Veterans of the Strategic Defense Initiative Organization of the 1980s say the successor agency is now on a collision course with the limitations of commercial, off-the-shelf technology.
In this climate, many question the clout and relevance of MDA's Advanced Systems Office, which is responsible for new technology development. MDA critics say the office is now simply an empty box on an organizational chart.
    "I don't believe MDA is serious about new technologies for missile defense," said Dwight Duston, who worked in the upper echelons of the program for 15 years, leaving in 1998.
    Duston and other critics point first to budgets. The Advanced Systems Office received approximately $265 million in 2003, including $65 million for the Hercules program, which focuses on target discrimination. In 2002, the Advanced Systems Office got $138 million, a slight improvement over the 2001 budget of $132 million.
    While the curve is upward, the money is a pittance compared to the technology development budgets of the late 1980s and early 1990s, which reached nearly $2 billion per year.
    Another former missile defense program manager, who preferred not to be identified, said the current budget is sufficient for component research, but not flight tests. "You have to control your appetite," he said.
    Gary Payton, deputy of MDA's Advanced Systems Office, dismissed the criticisms: "We're doing what needs to be done," he said in an interview. Payton's office, staffed by 50 Pentagon and contractor employees, oversees development of advanced sensors, battle management systems, command and control systems, lasers, radars, target software and mechanical engineering, among other areas.
    Payton points out that the original Strategic Defense Initiative technology budgets included flight tests. That function is no longer part of the Advanced Systems Office. Add 2003 flight test dollars and the office's budget would jump to about $565 million.
    But former senior missile defense officials said the budget betrays a deeper cultural problem at the MDA that is left over from the previous administration.  "It's a reflection of how the program survived the [Former President Bill] Clinton administration," said Greg Canavan, a ballistic missile defense pioneer and senior fellow at the Los Alamos National Laboratory, N.M. "They tried to starve it to death."
    The Clinton administration slashed the advanced technology budget to $50 million annually and "ran off the technologists," said Hank Cooper, who ran the Strategic Defense Initiative Organization in the early 1990s.
    Cooper believes there is a lingering anti-technology bias at MDA and that contractors are struggling to deal with it. For acquisition managers like Little, who need systems quickly, there is a tendency to shun technology development. New ideas take time, testing and refining, and they don't always work the first time out.
    "It was always a battle," said Dustin, now the chief technology officer for a business incubator company called the Egg Factory in Roanoke, Va. "The technology was always way out in front of the program."
    Rocket scientists and policy experts agree that Little's demand for zero technology development in the Kinetic Energy Boost program probably isn't realistic. "To bring a missile twice as fast through the atmosphere is not a trivial problem," said Canavan.
    "There has to be new technology," added Philip Coyle, a senior analyst with the Center for Defense Information in Washington. "Nobody has that now."
    Payton, who just a few years ago was responsible for developing new rocket technology at NASA, disagrees: "We can do the KE Boost job with current rocket science. The rocket engine technology we have today is adequate."
    Payton is not concerned that Little doesn't want new technology in his program. "He's on a tight schedule pace and he can't be in the game of investing in new component technologies," Payton said.
    Payton said his own office is focusing on programs with longer development spans, like the Airborne Laser. Next year, he plans a major effort in light detection and ranging, or lidar, for better target tracking. Payton also expects to push development of electro-optical sensors.
    In February 2002, the MDA put out an announcement calling for any and all ideas to improve missile defense capabilities. In response, more than 200 submissions poured in from industry, academia and private citizens.
    Payton said his shop is carefully reviewing each suggestion, some of which show promise. Others are not ready for prime time. For example, one respondent suggested a kill vehicle that can pull up beside a flying ballistic missile, sample the air for biological toxins in the payload, and steer the projectile back to its sender.  
    "Even if the concept is zany, there may be a golden nugget we can use," Payton said.
    But some missile defense experts say the MDA is ignoring technology gems sitting on the shelf from the original Brilliant Pebbles program.     Brilliant Pebbles was the name for an ambitious project, now abandoned, involving a large constellation of satellites designed to collide with enemy warheads in space.
    Cooper said there are many useful items left over from Brilliant Pebbles, including sensor suites with 13 spectral bands, lightweight lidar instruments and lightweight kill vehicle technology.  Canavan said today's kill vehicles are design cousins of the missile-busting weapons developed under an early missile defense program called Global Protection Against Limited Strikes. As a result, kill vehicles remain relatively heavy.
    "If you have a lighter kill vehicle you can trade weight for additional fuel [and make the rocket faster]. It would make a much more capable interceptor," said Canavan, who is working with MDA in an advisory capacity.
    Canavan said he is heartened that the MDA is beginning to listen to his ideas. "They're in the process of figuring out how to use [Strategic Defense Initiative] technologies but they don't turn on a dime," he said.
    Payton confirmed that his office is seriously looking at Brilliant Pebbles-era systems, including a lighter kill vehicle. The MDA also is looking at using focal plane arrays and transmit-and-receive modules for X-band radar that were developed during the 1980s. "We are using technology of [that] vintage," Payton says.
    In late January, the MDA confirmed plans to fund a test bed for space-based interceptors in 2004, a major about face for the organization. Cooper and others have argued for years that the only effective way to counter a ballistic missile threat is from space.
    But as the agency moves back into space-based interceptor development, Cooper argues there is no one left in the organization who really understands its intricacies. "I don't think they have a technologist from [the Strategic Defense Initiative] in the program anymore," he said.
Payton, who did a stint with the Strategic Defense Initiative Organization, said there is plenty of talent left and insists the Advanced Systems Office is as relevant as ever. "We're doing things that are part of first generation ballistic missile defense," he said.
    Canavan hopes MDA can find a middle course between program expediency and new technology: "There are other approaches that don't require off-the-shelf technologies and still don't need longer time scales for development."
    Still, he would feel better if the MDA had more of a link to its past to inform it of the challenges ahead. "There's nobody left in that organization that remembers development at the billion-dollar level," Canavan says. "That was barely enough to bring the technology forward."

Issue Brief 81, January 9, 2003
The Year Ahead For Defending America

    We live in a dangerous world – in many ways more dangerous and unpredictable than was the U.S.-Soviet stand-off of the Cold War – and 2003 is likely to be a year of considerable unease, if not additional attacks on America. 
    The new year begins with additional U.S. troops heading to the Middle East to back up President Bush’s promise to disarm Iraq and remove Saddam Hussein from power if Iraq does not accommodate U.S. demands.  And North Korea recently acknowledged its illegal program to produce enriched uranium for nuclear weapons; reneged on the 1994 Agreed Framework under which it promised to stop making plutonium for nuclear weapons; and kicked out the U.N. inspectors that were monitoring, however ineffectively, North Korea’s compliance with the Non-Proliferation Treaty. 
    And these are only two – although among the most important – of a growing list of problems complicating the extended war on terrorism promised by President Bush in the wake of September 11, 2001.  In fact, they are tightly related to the war on terrorism – which promises to be an exceedingly untidy, uncertain, and lengthy business.
    We learned from the unprecedented intrusive inspections after the 1991 Gulf War that Iraq was on the verge of testing a nuclear device before the allied forces stopped that effort – which had involved 20,000 scientists and engineers working so clandestinely that they were not detected by U.N. inspectors who for years “verified” Iraqi compliance with the Non-Proliferation Treaty, not by the U.S. intelligence community – and perhaps most impressively not by the Israeli Mossad.  
    The known history of the clandestine Iraqi biological weapons program is also very troublesome.  U.S. officials and former U.N. inspectors say that Iraq worked under the noses of U.N. inspection teams from 1991 through 1998 to improve the biological weapons they had during the 1991 Gulf War. Iraq’s clandestine development capability was illustrated by revelations after the 1995 defection of Saddam Hussein’s son-in-law, who had directed Iraq’s germ warfare programs.  Iraq admitted then that it was brewing thousands of gallons of deadly germs and toxins – including anthrax, which in an attack by a still undetermined terrorist (or terrorist cell) killed seven people in last year’s U.S. mail attack; botulinum toxin, nature’s most deadly poison; Clostridium perfringens, a flesh eating bacterium that causes gas gangrene; and aflatoxin, a fungal poison that causes liver cancer – and loading some of them into bombs and missile warheads.
    Recently, U.N. inspectors returned to Iraq for the first time since they were expelled in 1998 – but this effort is likely to be too little, too late.   Secretary of State Colin Powell said recently, “Before the inspectors were forced to leave Iraq [in 1998], they concluded that Iraq could have produced 26,000 liters of anthrax.  That is three times the amount Iraq had declared.  Yet the Iraqi declaration [in response to recent U.N. demands] is silent on this stockpile, which alone would be enough to kill several million people.”  Iraq’s claims to have ended its biological weapons programs are probably false. 
    U.S. troops are being vaccinated against anthrax and smallpox and outfitted with protective gear in preparation for a possible conflict with Iraq.  But these are not the only possible bioagents that Iraq might use, and such precautions have not been taken to protect all U.S. and allied personnel who will be key to success in a war against Iraq. 
    The Israelis are preparing for the possibility that such weapons might rain down on their territory – delivered again by the Scuds used the 1991 Gulf War.  This time, they will employ their “Arrow” missile defense (built largely with U.S. funds) in addition to U.S. Patriots now improved to be more effective than they were in the 1991 Gulf War.  
    The Iraqis could also deliver these weapons to substantially greater distances by various means, including ballistic and cruise missiles on-board ships.  For example, millions of U.S. citizens could be threatened by such missiles launched from container ships a few hundred miles off our coasts – and we remain defenseless against this threat.
    That such is not an idle threat was recently demonstrated by a shipment of 15 Scuds from North Korea to Yemen, a well-known Middle Eastern haven for terrorists and now America’s alleged ally in its war on terrorism.  What would stop the Yemenis from transferring Scuds to al Qaeda operatives – say to be then transported via one of their 15 cargo freighters or more numerous smaller vessels, which, as the December 31, 2002, Washington Post reported, compose a matter of serious concern to the U.S. government?
    And North Korea is itself a serious and growing problem – as recently illustrated when North Korea directed that U.N. inspectors withdraw, a move denounced by the White House as an attempt to “advance North Korea’s nuclear weapons program.”  North Korea, which the CIA years ago judged may have already built one or two nuclear weapons, in October admitted its secret effort to enrich uranium for nuclear weapons.  Then, toward the end of last year, North Korean technicians removed the U.N. seals and cameras from a 5-megawatt research reactor at Yongbyon and from canisters holding some 8000 spent fuel rods estimated to contain enough plutonium for at least two additional nuclear bombs.  They then began installing fresh fuel rods in the reactor.
    North Korea also has long been developing and selling to anyone with money ballistic missiles that could be used to carry nuclear weapons, as well as other weapons of mass destruction – which North Korea is also producing.  On August 31, 1998, North Korea surprised the U.S. intelligence community by launching a three-stage Taepo Dong rocket over Japan and almost to Hawaii.  This direct threat – which North Korea may export to others – can only grow in 2003.
    Meanwhile, the initial efforts to improve America’s survivability in the face of these and other growing threats are slow in getting started.  After the November elections gave the Republicans leadership of the Senate and the House, Congress finally agreed to establish the Homeland Security Department, bringing together some 22 disparate agencies with major responsibilities for protecting America. Hopefully, this new Cabinet-level department will provide coherent programs to accomplish this objective – but major organizational and planning obstacles must be overcome. 
    Sound programs and funding are urgently needed to enable the “first responders” at the state and local levels to train and assure an effective response to terrorist attacks, especially those involving weapons of mass destruction.  Vital equipment is missing.  Hopefully, there will be a bipartisan effort in Congress to work with the Bush administration to provide the necessary improvements on an urgent time frame, especially to fix clearly high priority shortcomings.
    For example, much is being written about the difficult problem of protecting America from threats from the sea – delivered by numerous ships that enter U.S. ports every day carrying cargo that is mostly unknown.  A key problem in discovering weapons of mass destruction is that they can be carried in quite small packages and hidden in or among about 20,000 containers delivered to U.S. ports each day.
    The good news is that U.S. intelligence seems to be improving – and sometimes at least can give sufficient warning to intercept such ships before they reach U.S. ports.  For example, in the case of the North Korean shipment of Scuds to Yemen mentioned above, warning was sufficient to intercept the ship some 600 miles off the coast of Yemen.  The bad news, at least in that instance, is that the ship could not be detained under international law; and so it and its Scud cargo continued merrily on its way to Yemen – whatever the ultimate destination of those 15 Scuds may be.
    The currently existing threat of ballistic missiles that could be launched from ships off our coasts is particularly troublesome, since today we have no defense against it.  Furthermore, the Pentagon’s announced programs to build missile defenses seem not to be particularly concerned about this troublesome threat.
    To be sure, 2002 was a banner year for moving President Bush’s missile defense agenda forward.  On December 13, 2001, President Bush fulfilled his campaign pledge by formally announcing his intention to exercise the U.S. right to withdraw in six months from the ABM Treaty – which for 30 years precluded America’s engineers from even testing the most effective ways to defend against ballistic missiles.  And last June 13th, the President was true to his word in spite of the naysayers who claimed all sorts of disastrous consequences would follow – he discarded the Treaty and instructed the Pentagon to build effective defenses possible as quickly as possible.  (The naysayers were wrong, by the way.)
    During the subsequent six months, the Pentagon’s Missile Defense Agency began to discover just how debilitating the Treaty constraints had been and initiated efforts to take advantage of the new-found freedom to exploit fully the best technology and to build the most effective defenses.  Still, there remains great bureaucratic impedance to significant improvements, because 30 years of ABM Treaty constraints has so molded a dominant mode of thinking.  And there is surprising collective amnesia regarding the improvements made possible by technology developed during the Reagan and first Bush administrations, no doubt resulting from a decade of technological stagnation since the Clinton administration “took the stars out of Star Wars” – as President Reagan’s Strategic Defense Initiative was derisively labeled.
    But there is a new wind blowing!  On December 17, 2002, President Bush’s made a most welcome announcement – that the Pentagon would begin fielding an initial set of missile defense capabilities by 2004-5, including 16 ground-based interceptors in Alaska, 4 ground-based interceptors in California, and 20 sea-based interceptors on three ships to intercept short and medium range missiles.  And a few days later, Pentagon missile defense officials announced plans to field a “space-based test bed” to prove out the technology for space-based interceptors.
    The ground-based interceptors are to have the “reach” needed to intercept long-range ballistic missiles launched at U.S. cities from North Korea (and other states), but they will not be able to intercept short- and medium-range missiles launched at U.S. coastal cities from nearby ships.  Sea-based interceptors can have this capability if based in the right places – and if the Navy’s development program goes well, the resulting interceptors can be carried by any of a large number of U.S. warships deployed around the world to provide a “global defense” against missiles of all ranges that might be launched at U.S. cities and our overseas troops, friends, and allies.  And the Pentagon’s plan to begin testing space-based defenses should eventually lead to the most effective global defenses – as was learned over a decade ago.
    Progress in fielding the most effective defenses can be accelerated if the technology discarded by the Clinton administration is revived and fully exploited.  Furthermore, that more effective technology can be exploited to defend the American homeland within the President’s indicated 2004-5 timeframe, if sound programs are initiated soon and fully funded.  Indeed, the needed programs could be set in place by the 20th anniversary of Ronald Reagan’s visionary March 23, 1983, speech that called on America’s best and brightest to end America’s vulnerability to even a single ballistic missile.  Winning this one for the Gipper is a worthy objective!