Hudson Institute

Transcript: Pushing Back Against Chinese and North Korean Missile Threats: Strengthening the U.S.-Japan Deterrence Strategy and Joint Missile Defense Posture

Japan Chair Fellow
Senior Fellow and Director, Keystone Defense Initiative

View PDF

" class="more read" target="_blank">View PDF in Japanese

Following is the full transcript of the July 23rd, 2020 Hudson event titled Pushing Back Against Chinese and North Korean Missile Threats: Strengthening the U.S.-Japan Deterrence Strategy and Joint Missile Defense Posture

__Note: The moderator posed the following questions to the panelists prior to the discussion. The panelists were asked to address the issues they felt were more important with their initial comments:__

__I. Do the U.S. and Japan have common strategic objectives or “Blue Theory of Victory” to deter and defeat near-term regional adversaries or long-term strategic competitors? If we have it, what does it look like?__

__II. What kinds of expectations should be placed on U.S. and Japanese missile defense capabilities in response to the North Korean missile threat? Is it to defend against the DPRK’s missiles altogether? Or is it to deter cheap-shot blackmail? What and how much do we need to do to make that happen?__

__III. China has not only ballistic missiles, but also cruise missiles and hypersonic glide weapons. What should we expect from U.S. and Japanese missile defense capabilities to counter these threats? It would not be practical to intercept China's missile attacks completely. So is it possible to negate China’s dangerous confidence trying to change the status quo or limit damage from their missile strikes? If so, what and how much do we need to do to make that happen?__

__IV. How do we seek the appropriate mix of offensive and defensive capabilities between the U.S. and Japan?__

__V. How should Japan's conventional offense/defense capabilities and U.S.’s nuclear capabilities be applied in peacetime, as well as for gray-zone deterrence and actual war-fighting? How do both countries upgrade the alliance consultation mechanism to include operational planning, command and control?__

Masashi Murano: Hello everyone. Thank you for watching our online public event today. I am Masashi Murano, Japan Chair Fellow of Hudson Institute. It is my great privilege and pleasure to host this event with the four defense policy professionals from Washington, San Francisco and Tokyo. Today's discussions subject is “Pushing Back Against Chinese and North Korean Missile Threats : Strengthening the U.S.-Japan Deterrent Strategy and Joint Missile Defense Posture”. So you saw the defense cooperation between both countries, Japan and the United States. It is one of the most successful bilateral defense corporation in the world. But last month, June, 2020, the Japanese government suddenly decided to suspend the Aegis Ashore deployment plan. They are planning to review Japan's national security strategy this summer through fall.

In this context, Prime Minister Abe has also mentioned to consider implementing long-range strike capabilities as a component of Japan's defense posture, which Japanese Self Defense Force or SDF has never done before. In general, it is a positive thing that Japan expands its role in national and regional, even global security. However, at the same time, pursuing overly ambitious objectives with limited defense resources may lead to capabilities acquired that are not as effective and do not meet the strategic needs for the U.S.-Japan Alliance.

So to avoid this potential risk, I think the U.S. and Japan needed to consider the appropriate mix of capabilities of a cost-effective defense portfolio by redefining the alliance’s role, missions and the capabilities. We have invited four defense policy professionals we would like to discuss about these issues.

Now I introduce today's panelist. I don’t want to go through the entire bio, but just briefly to say a few words. The first is the Dr. Brad Roberts. Dr. Roberts is the director of the Center for Global Security Research (CGSR) at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. Before to joining the CGSR, Dr. Roberts was the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for nuclear and missile defense policy. In this role, he serves as a policy director of 2010 version Nuclear Posture Review, and Ballistic Missile Defense Review. At the same time, Dr. Roberts led the establishment of the U.S.-Japan extended deterrence dialogue, which is the consultation mechanism on the extended deterrence in the government level.

Next will be Dr. Tom Karako. Dr. Karako is a senior fellow with the International Security Program and the Director of Missile Defense Project at the CSIS. He is a leading policy professional with the extensive research products in the U.S. missile defense policy as well as regional ally’s missile defense policy, including Japan.

The third is the Ms. Rebeccah Heinrichs. Ms. Heinrichs is the senior fellow at Hudson Institute where she is specialized in the nuclear deterrence and the missile defense and she frequently appears on several media dealing with foreign and defense affairs. Prior to joining Hudson Institute, she has served as the advisor in House on Armed Service Committee, which is focused on the matter related on the strategic forces.

At last, we are very lucky to invite Mr. Nobushige Takamizawa from Tokyo. Takamizawa-san has served as Ambassador of Japan to conference on disarmament in Geneva until last January. Takamizawa-san was originally from the Ministry of Defense of Japan and had served several positions, including as Director General of Bureaus of operational policy, and defense policy. After that he also works at the Cabinet Secretary at as Assistant Chief Cabinet Secretary and Deputy Secretary General of National Security Secretariat.

We have a lot to cover today, so we really should get started. And before discussing specific topics, I would like to ask each panelist to give an overview of the current status of the U.S.-Japan deterrent strategy and the challenges we face in 10 minutes or less, includes the latest decision of the cancellation of Aegis Ashore. I think I will start with Brad to tell us about this issue. Brad, would you mind to sharing your opinion first.

Dr. Brad Roberts: I'm happy to do so. Thank you so much for the opportunity to join in the discussion today with all of you. This is timely and important and a credit to you and Hudson Institute for creating this conversation. I wanted to address in my 10 minutes, three of the specific topics you raised with us in framing this discussion.

The first is your question about whether we, the United States and Japan have a common strategic objective and approach. Do we have a common “Theory of Victory” you asked me separately. Well, first of all, this begs the question, what is a Theory of Victory? We know we have a strategy as an Alliance to strengthen deterrents and adapt it to the emerging challenges in the region. But a strategy in formal military parlance is a connection of ends, ways and means, and it's not a Theory of Victory. A Theory of Victory is the idea that binds those things together. It's the how, and the why. It's the why of, if we do this, we'll get that.

Our adversaries have Theories of Victory. They believe that in an extreme circumstance, they can create a military fait accompli, which we would find it very difficult and costly to reverse. But if we were to attempt to do so, they then believe they have the means to coerce and threaten us and to make it worth the price we might pay to reverse their aggression. And they believe that they have the upper hand in an escalating war because their interests are more vital, their stake in the conflict is more vital than ours. And do we have a countering Theory of Victory? Yes, we do. It's that we want to strip away their confidence in that conclusion.

We want to strip away their confidence that they can create a fait accompli quickly, and we want to strip away their confidence that if they escalate, we will back down and that the costs and risks to them will be unbearable. We have set out these ideas as allies re comprehensively and repeatedly over 20 or 30 years, as we've watched the North Korean problem take shape. And as we've watched, China's military modernization, this Theory of Victory requires a deterrence toolkit that has both offense and defense in it. And I think that's a critical first point on your question about, do we have common objectives and a Theory of Victory?

The second question to me was about how, and to the panel, is how much is enough? How much missile defense is enough? We could pursue defense dominance if we wanted to. Meaning to completely rely on defense with no offense or very limited offense. This seems to me to be, well, expensive, technically implausible, and in any case unnecessary because the strategies I've described of North Korea and China are not about fighting large scale conventional or nuclear war. If they choose to fight a large scale, conventional nuclear war against us, they will lose. And that will be terrible.

Their strategy is about blackmail and brinkmanship, and it's about coercion. And if they were to conduct strikes on the Japanese Homeland or the U.S. homeland, they would be doing so with an attempt to make good on their blackmail threat with a warning: if you don't stop now, there's more to come. The role of missile defense is to strip away the credibility of that threat. The role of missile defense is not to protect the American Homeland or the Japanese Homeland from the thousands of missiles that might exist in the arsenals of our adversaries. For that problem the threat of retaliation is very credible. So there's a limited role for missile defense of the American Homeland and of the Japanese Homeland and not the need for defense dominance.

Lastly, you put a question to us about what forms of consultation are necessary to strengthen deterrence at this time. Well, as you kindly noted, the U.S. Japan Alliance took some steps forward in this regard a decade ago with the establishment of the extended deterrence dialogue. And I often say, and it often surprises people that I think the government of Japan is today the most deterrence fluent government of any I interact with, including my own. It seems to me, the Japanese government has made excellent use of the extended deterrence dialogue and associated activities to develop a leadership cadre that understands these issues and is very effectively engaged in them. But it's also the case that in Japan, as in South Korea, as to an extent in Australia, there's a desire for something more.

And there's a desire for NATO like consultations. Now I've been engaged in this discussion for a dozen years. There's a great deal of confusion about what NATO like actually means. One of the most important forms of nuclear consultation at NATO is in the nuclear planning group. But this is just a name for the meeting when the defense ministers come together. Our defense ministers already meet. The U.S. Japanese defense ministers already meet together. So there are parts of the NATO model that we don't need to recreate. The part that does seem to be missing from my perspective in the U.S. Japan, in comparison to the U.S. NATO relationship, is the wartime consultative mechanism for nuclear deterrence. And if there were an escalating crisis in Europe, the United States and its allies have an agreed process to consult over the possible employment of nuclear weapons and the strategic dimension of conflict.

And this is necessary and appropriate because U.S. allies in Europe worry that the president of the United States might not employ nuclear weapons on their behalf when he needs to, or might employ nuclear weapons in a moment or in a way that they would prefer he not. And this consultative process took shape in the 1960s after seven or eight years of debate. And it's natural and appropriate that U.S. Allies in East Asia would want to know where that table is when the president of the United States is making a decision about the employment of nuclear weapons in their defense, in an extreme circumstance when the vital interest of Japan or South Korea are at risk because of aggression by North Korea or China, it's appropriate and necessary that those allies have a seat at the table when the president is deciding. And this, it seems to me, is the piece of the consultative process that's missing so far. So with that, let me hope I've met my 10 minute remark, but also introduced some interesting ideas into discussion. Thank you again, Masashi.

Masashi Murano: Thank you very much, Brad your excellent kickoff. We would like to address later, Brad mentioned Theory of Victory issues and the consultation issues. Tom, you had some very deep insight into deterrent strategy especially on missile defense issues. How would you assess the current state of some challenges of missile defense cooperation between U.S. and Japan?

Tom Karako: Yeah. Thank you, Murano-san, appreciate your setting up the panel. It is, as Brad said, a very timely issue. The proximate cause of course being the accordance suspension and then cancellation of Aegis Ashore. It's a complex issue, a mix of policy politics, some technology and cost issues, if you've been following it. Masashi asked me to talk especially about missile defense and the Aegis Ashore thing in relation to deterrence and defense.

I just want to say at the outset, we have a bunch of Americans on here, and I just want to say the outset. It is important of course, to acknowledge this is of course, a Japanese decision, Japanese sovereign decision about something like this and ultimately it's Japan's choice what's in its own national interest. I just want to also say at the beginning that there's no more important relationship in terms of missile defense cooperation, and frankly, in terms of more than that, than that between the United States and Japan. Yes we've got some very good and important things with NATO and Israel, but in as much as our focus is and needs to remain China, there's no more important relationship than this. And so there was I would say a degree of perhaps disappointment in terms of, in the initial reaction to the Aegis Ashore cancellation, but also just to emphasize Japan and the United States have been doing co-development on the SM-3BlockⅡA, Japan, of course, hosts TPY-2 radars, Japan operates their own Aegis ships as well as Patriot and JADGE (Japan Aerospace Defense Ground Environment : equivalent to U.S.’s C2BMC) network.

And so there's a lot of other activities going on just in terms of the missile defense side. Let me take a look at what I think the decision means, and then talk a little bit about some policy and programmatic options. And again, with that degree of deference, as an American speaking about Japan defense issue, talk about the options, especially in terms of how they would present themselves to the United States as well as to others. Since the announcement by a Defense Minister Kono on, it was the 18th, and then the NSC confirmed the cancellation on the 24th. There's been a little bit of speculation about what exactly is the character of that cancellation? How hard is that? I'm giving them the benefit of the doubt that it does seem that they have indeed canceled the Aegis Ashore sites in the form that they were previously intended.

Having said that, it also sounds like they're going ahead with the purchase of the two radars, which were of course, about half the cost of that system. Maybe they'll go Ashore. Maybe they'll go on Japan's Aegis ships afloat. That's one of many questions that Japan has to look at as they reassess the overall purposes and goals of active missile defense relative to other things, including some of the things Brad was talking to counter-attack and perhaps anti-ship capability. I also want to suggest that this, although it may have seemed like a disappointment early on, that it really ought to be seen as an opportunity to reassess together the goals of what is admittedly a limited or finite missile defense program. To reassess that, but also the structure of the program on the programmatic side.

And so, whereas the Aegis Ashore sites in Japan were like the sites in Europe, principally focused on the ballistic missile defense mission. That decision in 2017, it dated back I think it was to at least 2013. Brad can correct me on the dates of when those discussions started. But the world was in some respects rosier in 2013 than it is today. And so I think it represents an opportunity to step back and see whether the whole approach to missile defense with Japan, but also frankly, to places like Guam and other U.S. assets in the Pacific might not be pursued in a little bit different manner than we have been in the past. So Japan had originally made its decision in December, 2017. I think I wrote a paper on this in maybe the summer of 2018, and I laid out four ways in which Japan's, which is to say any countries approach to Aegis Ashore could be tweaked and modified relative to the approach in say Romania and Poland.

And the first of course is missions that doesn't need to be limited to ballistic missile defense, but rather air defense or integrated air and missile defense more broadly. The second is better radars you already saw Japan pursuing a next generation radar relative to the SPY-1. The third being a diversity of interceptors, doesn't just have to be the exo-atmospheric BMD things, but the Aegis combat system, which is after all the foundation of all this, is flexible and has the ability to fire many, many wonderful effectors from the Mk41 tubes that it supported.

But then finally, I think most interestingly is the principle that it doesn't even need to look like the Aegis deck house in a cornfield as it were that you see in Romania, that the principle of element distribution, principle of dividing things up, separating them out. You don't need to have put necessarily your Mk41s in concrete where they're of course more visible to China. There's a lot of different concept of operations abilities that it would be very interesting for Japan, for the United States, for the defense of Guam and other places to think about. Fundamentally when you're talking about China, as opposed to an Iran or North Korea, it's not a limited problem. You may have limited goals in terms of your active defense, but there's a whole lot of goodness in terms of complicating the surveillance and targeting job of the other side to impose costs on them through deception and other means so that they don't know necessarily where to target. And in so doing, you complicate their Theory of Victory that Brad was talking about earlier.

The prospect of element distribution, of something like the Aegis combat system, that I think presents a great deal of interest and possibility. And I was very pleased to see Mr. Gen Nakatani talk about that, I think it was in the Japan Times the other day. There's no reason it has to look like what was pursued in the past. So again, this is not just about Japan, it's about how to think through the problem set of adapting active air and missile defenses to the spectrum of threats that exists in the current situation, both on the strategic side, in terms of major power competitors, but the increased sophistication and diversity of all these different aerial and missile threats.

I think I'll pause there, happy to engage in exchange a little bit, but thank you again, Masashi for the opportunity.

Masashi Murano: Thank you, Tom. And now Tom and Brad gave us concise summary and comment on the Japan -U.S. deterrence strategy and missile defense policy. Rebecca, how do you assess the current status on the U.S.-Japan deterrence strategy in particular now that the process on the National Defense Authorization Act in Congress has been began? And what perspective does the U.S. side place on the future deterrence and force design issues?

Rebeccah Heinrichs: Thank you so much, Masashi and just want to echo the thanks that have already been given from my colleagues, not only for you putting on this panel, but for the work that you have done, wonderful work at Hudson Institute, you've been a wonderful colleague. And if I can just I want to comment, every once in a while there's an essay that is written that I think is particularly instructive and very helpful for the debate for policy makers and in the think tank community. And Masashi authored a piece that was published on December 18th, 2019, that is on the Hudson Institute website, entitled “ The Japan-US Alliance in a Post-INF World: Building an Effective Deterrent in the Western Pacific ”. And I just want to commend that, to those who have not read that or those who have to continue to turn to it, because I think it really frames the challenges before us. And it was a brave piece, I think, in putting forward some new ideas in very specific ways that are very helpful. So thank you, Masashi again for that piece.

And what I'll just add just a little bit to the conversation that I think have already been very ably put forward both by Brad and Tom, to say that when we talk about how much the United States and how much Japan should commit to this particular effort financially or in terms of resources, because that was the question that I wanted to address. And how much do we spend on, on defense perhaps versus offense, or just to this particular mission. And I think it's useful before you get to real numbers, to kind of step back to think about what it is that we're trying to do. What is the mission set? And that Brad, I think, laid out for us, how does this play in our overall strategy? Just a real brief kind of backing up and taking a look at the timeline to how we got to this particular moment. Just over the last few years, it was in 2013 that this idea kind of was born more officially in the National Defense Program Guidelines in Japan.

But the threat that was being looked at was the threat from North Korea, of course. And if you go to that document, it lays out very nicely the North Korean ballistic missile threat, not just the number of missiles, of course, that North Korea has, but the kind of missiles that North Korea is developing, the tempo of missile tests of course, was very concerning both to the United States and Japan. The range of the missiles could reach the U.S. homeland, but of course they could reach Japan quite easily. And so the tempo of those missile tests combined then with the nuclear tests coming from North Korea and the willingness of the North Korean regime to be provocative, to make very provocative, aggressive threats was really driving this desire to look very seriously at bolstering missile defense for Japan.

And it was really because of that, you have this relationship between the United States, even under the previous administration that has continued on to the Trump administration from the Obama administration. But the kinds of weapons systems has different weapon systems have been looked at by Japan originally, of course, you had Aegis at sea, you had this, what I have called the gold standard of U.S. ally cooperation in developing the SM-3BlockⅡA missile with Aegis cooperation between the United States and Japan. And then the threat began to, I would say that the Chinese threat has long been there for many, many years. It's just that we've gotten into a new chapter I think in history, in which countries, the United States, along with Australia, of course Japan, have been seeking out more loudly. The UK, more loudly about some of the different things that the Chinese regime, the CCP has been willing to do to threaten our shared interests.

And so then we're looking at what China is doing militarily. China of course, has the most diverse missile force. And it's Masashi quoted in his article, I think it's been quoted many times in the context of this conversation about how we develop a more credible, robust deterrent architecture in the region, but that China has been developing I think it's something like, I don't remember the exact quote Masashi made but that more than 90% of China's missile force would have been in violation of the INF treaty had it been party to the treaty. And so you're looking at the particular range of weapon systems and how they're being delivered, which present, it's the combination of the capabilities and the will of the CCP to be more brazen with making kind of threats and coercive threats against sovereign nations in that region.

And so it's the combination of those two things that have made the United States of course, turn to this new era of major power competition in earnest. That though we are still very much concerned about the rogue state threat, North Korea, Iran have very serious capabilities that can pose a very grave threat to the United States and our interests. And that remains obviously true to our allies, Japan as well. But now the major threat that the United States is trying to deter and focus on is China. And then secondly, Russia as well. Of course, those are the two major powers, but China being the primary with the Indo-Pacific theater being the theater of primary importance to the United States. And so for Japan, I think Tom very eloquently emphasized that when it comes to what Japan is actually going to do for the defensive its homeland, that's obviously a sovereign decision for the Japanese people to make that choice.

I would just say from an American perspective though, the U.S.-Japan alliance is critically important to American interests, American security. And so the greater we can knit that Alliance together politically and also militarily, I think that that's going to be a cornerstone of preserving peace. And I think that Brad made the point when you look at Theories of Victory and there is this idea that what China believes is its own interest is of greater interest to China than what America's stake is in the region. And I think part of before we start thinking about resources and how much we're going to commit to this particular mission, that we need to have a moral clarity about the fact that it's Japan, the United States, Australia, that we're not ones acting aggressively. China is the one acting aggressively and the United States and Japan have the right and I think responsibility to defend our people.

And the whole mission here is to deter an active aggression against the Chinese, against sovereign peoples against sovereign territory and to threaten our shared interests, which is a free and open Indo-Pacific. Obviously China would love to splinter that close knit alliance between the United States and Japan as well. And so I think that it's incumbent on policy makers to make it very clear what is America's interest in that region? And that it is a primary national security interest to the United States, especially America has territory, obviously Guam has out there and we have other territory that Admiral Davidson Indo-Pacific commander has repeatedly made the point that it should be considered U.S. homeland in so far as it is American soil. And so we want to be able to defend, obviously what is ours, but also what is critically important to us, and that's the safety and security of our critical allies in the region, Japan first among them I think.

With that, the threat that has broadened, and so now we're not just looking at the North Korean threat in the context of missile defense, we do want to provide a strong, defensive, active defense against our primary interests in the region. I liked Brad making the point that we're not looking at trying at this point to intercept every single missile that the Chinese or the North Koreans for that matter could to launch at the United States or pardon me, to launch at Japan, or to launch at our interests in the region. But we do want to provide a credible defense that can provide us and Japan with the ability to have on offensive strike capabilities as well. And having a defensive capability increases the credibility of our deterrent.

We're trying to create deterrence by denial. Trying to frustrate and make it very, very difficult for China to continue to escalate a situation, or to try to get the United States and Japan, our allies, to back down in trying to propel and trying to push back China. All of this I think should be understood as our effort to dissuade an initial act of aggression and to demonstrate a will on the part of the United States and our allies to defend what is ours and that we're not going to make it easy on China. We're trying to frustrate and confuse and further complicate China's calculations as they consider a variety of things that we would find obviously unacceptable. And so that brings us to the problem or the challenge we have today, which is, then what do we do? What does Japan do?

Again, Tom says, this is a decision that's ultimately going to be made by Japan. But of course, the United States, as I just said, has a great stake in this decision because it is the United States has interest in the region and wants to have a robust defense as well. I was a little bit concerned when I initially saw the announcement of the putting a pause on the Aegis to shore sites, because I think that those were a very strong signal that Japan was very serious about homeland defense and was moving to the next level and beyond Aegis at sea and having the Patriot systems, having a permanent missile defense architecture there, what would be a good move.

But I'm happy to say that whenever I began asking around in the U.S. government and a variety of other stakeholders in the region, that nobody seemed to be rattled and it really it didn't seem to be any indication of a lack of commitment on the part of the Japanese government to have a robust missile defense system, or to be continuing to knit our efforts together to build a kind of deterrent initiative in the region. And that it was a pause or an opportunity to reassess and to make sure that the initiative meet the threat of today, protects the Japanese people and alleviates some of the current concerns that they might have.

And that there's an opportunity here to get it right. The Aegis weapons system has some inherent qualities that remain as critical now as they were a couple of years ago when this was first under consideration. That it's modular and it's a software driven radar with a SPY-7 radar, as Tom said that you can disperse launchers, so you don't have to have everything seated together. And so you can configure this system for the particular context that we're talking with now with major power competition with China. It's not just North Korea that we're speaking openly about anymore. And I would say so given the importance of it, I think that there is this it's a temptation, I think possibly in Japan, definitely with the U.S. Pentagon to think that missile defense is quite expensive relative to an offensive capability.

However, this idea, I think it can sometimes default into this idea that just having a sufficient overwhelming offensive capabilities that offense can be defense. That offense is defense. I would politely disagree and dissent with that. Defense is defense, offense is offense and we certainly need both. But I do think that now that there is a technical capability in terms of as the technology has developed and matured to the point where Japan can provide a much greater, robust homeland defense capability, technically speaking. That there is a moral responsibility and I think to provide that defense of the Japanese people and it's just a matter of, yes, we should not be naive, that cost is real, but relative to what you're getting out of that defensive capability, I certainly think that it is worth it, the investment. And that's something that the United States has continues to grapple with for our own homeland defense perspective, but because it is homeland defense for Japan, I think that's how I would recommend it to being approached as something that's so significant that it certainly deserves significant investment.

And the great thing about the Aegis weapon system of course is because it is you can expand the purpose and the mission of the system as Japan comes to political conclusions, policy conclusions that it wants to do so. It's not going to be a weapons system that is going to be outdated if the policy and the politics move such that Japan decides it wants homeland defense, integrated air and missile defense to have greater capability and to continue to stay ahead and meet the threat posed by China in particular.

I think I'll leave it there. I've got more that I want to say that I think that we should fully anticipate that obviously we're going to get some significant, we as an alliance will continue to get some significant pushback from the major powers as we evolve this system. But we've got a long history, the United States in dealing with Russia on this particular issue with Eastern and Central Europe, that I think that we've learned a lot about how these major powers are going to protest and how we shouldn't let their disagreements or their protests prevent the United States or weaken our will to do, I think what I think is right, which is to provide a sufficient credible defense against our people. But I'll leave it at that. And then I'll turn it over to you, Masashi.

Masashi Murano: Thank you, Rebecca, your comprehensive comment. And so Takamizawa-san, thank you for your patience. Having been involved in defense cooperation being between the U.S. and Japan for many years, what are the key points to consider the current Japan and the U.S.’s deterrence issues?

Nobushige Takamizawa: Okay, thank you. I think we are running out of time. And so to start with, I'd like to highlight the importance of the change of the Chinese security concept. I think China is expanding its own security concept in a broader sense. In order to deal effectively with this kind of a change of concept, Japan and U.S. and Australia and other countries have to have a much broader strategy concept. I think that's the most important point when we think of the missile defense. And second point is that the alliance needs to be strengthened or transformed, but it's really important to think of how. How is increasingly important. We know what to do, but how to implement what we know, what we should be doing, but we are not really good at implementing the measures to be taken. And third point is that as already discussed in transparency and cost effectiveness is really important. And extended the alliance dialogue has given us a great opportunity to exchange our opinion freely and understand each strategic background.

And I think it has played a greater role in strengthening the alliance, but current challenges, particularly with the development of the social media, we have to be transparent and we have to explain why and so post. And the impact with social media is so great not limited to the President Trump. We have to keep pace with these changes. And current framework might not be good enough to respond to these types of kinds of scrutiny or suspicion and the similar, I think, changes. And one of the points that I have been very impressed with the UK's strategic global trends which focuses on the four types of wars, which includes multilateralism, network of actors, fragmentation and multipolarity. Probably we are heading for the network of actors.

We have to respect the opinions of the NGOs, public opinion and other organizations, including the major companies and GAFA, and so forth. We have to keep pace with these changes and which is very important to think of the missile defense. And I think with regard to the age, allowing us that we have a very good document to focus in. A 2015 guidelines for Japan with defense cooperation said that defense cooperation will emphasize seamless, robust, flexible and effective bilateral responses, synergy across the two governments' national security policies, a whole of government alliance approach, cooperation with regional and other partners, as well as international organizations and the global nature of the Japan-U.S. alliance. I think it's really well written, but the question is to what extent we have been as successful in implementing these measures. If this kind of mechanism has worked very well, the kind of all of a sudden decision, or all of a sudden announcement shouldn't have happened.

And so this is an I think area we focus in. But real challenge comes the speed and flexibility and balance among the different priorities and different settings. And the U.S. has a huge us now, and the U.S. has a lot of systems, but Japan has rather limited systems with regard to missile defense, for example. The decision needs to be very careful and given the speed of changes in the world, one system cannot be effective for many years to come, or if new development comes from outside of Japan or kind of adversary side and the U.S. side that we have to coordinate, and it's really challenging decision to take. And I hope that current cycle will give us a lot of opportunities to work more broadly and to work more closely with regard to the real challenges and we need to have a really in a common assessment, joint assessment of the situations. What system would be very effective? What kind of additional measures need to be sold? This is a current thinking I have.

And particularly within the Japanese media and public opinion, I have talked about the six points that we need to focus on. First is speed, severity, scrutiny, suspicion, separation, and kind of self-esteem. And not the kind of nationalism, but the missile defense system should be a kind of integrated. More interdependently, not just dependent on the U.S. system. We have to avoid the impression that Japan is just supporting the U.S. missile defense system for both, but we need to have something different from just the interdependent or just depending on the U.S. system. And also we have to think of the changes of the role of the nuclear weapons, role of deterrence and the conventional weapons and so forth. I think Theory of Victory is one of them, and we have to work out something new based on the existing frameworks.

And with regard to the Japanese national strategy making, I think 2013 National Security Strategy I think is predicted for the coming 10 years. At least by 2023, Japan has to make a new National Security Strategy. And in 2013, I think Japan had a pretty strong opinion about China and much more straightforward than the U.S.. But the U.S., I think, made a National Security Strategy 2017 and Nuclear Posture Review 2018. This is a kind of change and Japan has been quite active in this front, but I think there are some elements that we have seen as a new developments or accelerated, visible and also quasi. Coronavirus has been impacting acceleration and the visibility. Which is not so bad for us, because it could give us a broader ground for cooperation.

And finally, with regard to how to build a missile defense system, I think we have learned a lot of system ideas and spiral process and failures of the development for success of the development. We have to integrate the best of these technologies. And so we have to be flexible and we have to listen to each other and compare notes and to move forward. But what is really important is that we are facing missile defense challenges. And so we have to conduct daily operations and we have to deal with the threats. And this is not just limited to the actual attack peace time and a gray zone type of warfare has been conducted and information warfare in the influence operation is underway. We have to be quick enough, I think to deal with this. We cannot just focus on the systems, but rather how to integrate the existing framework.

And we need to mobilize a broader front to deal with this kind of phenomena. But missile defense is really an important point. And missile defense has been quite effective in giving the Japanese people, some confidence and Japanese political leaders to be active and to deal with the challenges. This is very, very expensive, but it has been quite worth. But for the future, we have to be very very effective. And so I think that's the final point and 2013 National Security Strategy says that Japan take appropriate measures and appropriate measures is really broad, and what is necessary is to define and to elaborate these appropriate measures, not thinking of something very new, but rather we have been already tasked to think of taking appropriate measures. So, that's where we are now. That's what I would like to say in this time. Thank you Murano-san, get back to you.

Masashi Murano: Thank you very much Takamizawa-san, very comprehensive comment from the perspective of the challenges we face. Through the four excellent kickoff comments that I would like to address more specific, deeper discussion for each questions. We has already shared our strategic challenges, which means that we have to address the two different potential adversaries or concern. One is the North Korea as near-term clear and the present danger, but at the same time we need to deal with China as a mid or long-term strategic competitor. The problem is, as Takamizawa-san pointed out, after the COVID-19 shock, that I personally, Japan should spend more bigger defense budget, but at the same time, when we look at the reality from both countries, not only Japan, but also United States, I cannot expect both countries to increase their defense budgets rapidly.

So in that sense that we need to consider a more cost effective approach. We need to create two different Theories of Victory against North Korea and China. But at the same time, it is hard to design two different defense posture. This is one of the major challenges and dilemma we face. So, how do deal with the, our force design or when we face the different type of our potential adversaries. Brad, it maybe related on the issue, how do we design of our Theories of Victory, and how do we design our appropriate forced structures. Do you have some specific comment about this issue?

Dr. Brad Roberts: I do. Thank you. It seems to me at the conceptual level, which you asked about, the Theory of Victory level, there are some important distinctions between the way North Korea and China think about coercing and defeating the U.S.-Japan alliance but fundamentally they have the same Theories of Victory. Fundamentally, they conceive of conflict with our alliances being unwinnable in the long-term because of our strengths as allies, but potentially winnable in the short term, if they can coerce us effectively. And, in my view, our co-responding Theory of Victory is conceptually speaking the same for North Korea or China or any country that will try to challenge the credibility of the U.S. commitment to the defense of Japan. The posture is a different question. We've pursued a posture as allies that's been tailored for the North Korean problem, but essentially hedging against the China problem.

And now we're trying to design a posture that does a little more of both, meaning that it's effective for the determinants and defeat of North Korea if conflict happens. It's also effective for deterrence and defeat of China, that conflict happens. And the really central question for the United States is not about the Japanese missile defense architecture. It's about the U.S. homeland defense architecture. We have said historically, that homeland missile defense is aimed at countries like North Korea and Iran who may believe that, with very limited strikes, we, the United States, would back down from defending an ally who's under attack. That's different from the case we've made for missile defense, vis-a-vis China and Russia. We've said that China and Russia both have large-scale forces whose employment against us can be deterred by our threat of a large-scale response. So we have not seen a role for missile defense against China in our homeland defense posture.

Now we, the United States are having a rising discussion of whether that's still so, but it seems to me that from the perspective of Japan's self-defense capacity, there needs to be more, even as Japan pursues, the development of strike capabilities of some kind offensive strike capabilities, the capacity for defense needs to become more substantial. That's because China is capable of so much more than North Korea in the way of missile attacks on Japan. But, I want to underscore my earlier point. I don't think Japan needs to pursue defense dominance, meaning full protection against all missiles, because that's both not within our reach financially or technologically, but it's also not necessary because for deterring large-scale strikes, the American threat of retaliation is credible. Thank you.

Masashi Murano: Thank you Brad. Do you have any additional comment? Please freely jump in this conversation.

Tom Karako: Well, besides I might jump in, and since you mentioned the cost effectiveness, I would kind of reiterate the offense defense mix needs or need suggest there needs to be both defenses and offenses between us. But I would also underscore the fact that Japan has been doing things like getting F-35s, getting JASSM and there's the prospect for a lot more. And so I think that as Japan does this reassessment of its overall strategy to deterrence and defense strategy that hopefully the conversation will include a hard look at some other column counter attack capabilities. And of course the Aegis combat system is able to support some of that as well. Zeus had his Aegis shield, but he also had his thunderbolts and that's called Tomahawks for the U.S. Navy.

So there's a lot of possibilities there. Anti-ship missiles are certainly part of the conversation and you can have put a lot of that stuff on land. And I'll just say something else just to be a little bit provocative. In the past couple years, there've been a couple arms control arrangements that have gone away for good reason, the INF treaty most conspicuously, but I think that, and again, for good reason. But there may be some others that we need to think about. We want to make sure that there's nothing getting in the way of prosecuting the deterrence and defense goals with our Japanese allies, to the fullest extent. I don't think it's necessary but I would certainly hope that something like the missile technology control regime wouldn't preclude us from helping our allies in the region get whatever it is that they need to have. Vis-a-vis China for that, for that stable situation. And the philosopher of tidying up Marie Kondo likes to say that, if something no longer brings you joy, thank you for its service and send it on its way. And we need to take a good look at everything out there that been around for a long time that may have roots in the Cold War and make sure that it's still suited to our current situation.

Rebeccah Heinrichs: Masashi, if I can just jump in there to. I think that though the United States is primary reason for withdrawing from the INF treaty was because Russia was in violation of that treaty for many years, and NATO came out with a strong statement agreeing with that assessment and agreeing with the United States' decision to withdraw from the INF treaty. And that is the primary official reason that the United States did withdraw from that treaty was because of Russia's violations in the United States during the Obama administration and the Trump administration tried to convince the Russians to come into accordance with that treaty, they did not. Having said that, the Trump administration's decision to withdraw from that treaty, I think might be one of the most significant decisions of this administration as it relates to great power competition, major power composition, and deterring China, because that does free us up to look at what we need to do to Tom mentioned the Tomahawk missile and getting that potentially based on the territory of our allies.

Again, with the primary objective being to deter, this is to bolster deterrence. The United States and Japan are obviously not the ones that are in the position of creating trouble. You have some in the arms control community here in the United States concerned that some of these efforts on the part of the United States to begin these conversations, or just start talking about it in some way that this is creating an arms race so-called, but as was already mentioned, China has been very, very busy building, not just a massive missile arsenal, but a very sophisticated one, a very capable, able one. And with the intent to have the strategic advantage over the United States in a variety of military domains. And so it's incumbent upon, I think the United States and our allies to get back in the game of now competing with this major power, that's clearly posing a threat to our interests.

And then I would also just say on the North Korea issue, it does concern me, as the Trump administration has continued to try diplomacy and negotiations with the North Korean regime to have complete and verifiable dismantlement of the nuclear missile program that has not happened. Every single component of the nuclear missile program is there today as was before and open source. Reporting has indicated that that program has in fact advanced stints, these diplomatic summits between the two countries and even though North Korea has not presumed ICBM testing, of course it has resumed some shorter range missile testing, and that's a clear, unacceptable problem for Japan. And so there is still great pressure, even as we focus our eyes on the China threat. The alligator closest to the boat, obviously for Japan, is still the North Korean missile threat.

And so there is a strong sense of urgency to configure a missile defense architecture that provides a greater defense. And again, even though you're in the United States, as a matter of policy is focusing on China because the alliance between the United States and Japan is so critical to how we are building a Pacific Deterrence Initiative, hopefully is how we're approaching this problem in the end of Pacific theater, that what happens to Japan, vis-a-vis North Korea, is critically part of that. As much as we might want to say, this is a rogue state threat, and it doesn't deserve our attention. Reality is we can't totally get away from that because it does have to do with the major power competition in which we are now engaged.

Masashi Murano: Thank you Rebeccah.

Nobushige Takamizawa: I think with regard to the points made, the many speakers, it first, I really would like to emphasize that the spirit is real. So Japan has to take a comprehensive approach to deal with this, but the question of system is another. So Japan should table all options on the table and to think objectively what part is most effective. I think that that's a basic point and that should have been done through the existing mechanisms already. But if that hadn't happened yet, I think that this should be, it should be a continued for further evaluation of the various options. And I'm not really talking about effectiveness as a kind of escape from the current system, but rather to think of the effectiveness in real terms is that Japan needs to kind of follow the various ideas within the U.S. missile defense community, and which is not really easy to follow.

So given the actual common understanding of the situation, then Japan can understand; what part is the most important point that Japan can do? So this is a kind of ideal relationship between the U.S. and Japan, and which cannot be just done between the defense authorities or the policy experts. So I think that that should be a broadened in a timely manner and also exchange of people, I think, should be important to promote for that such a direction; including the industries, institutions and the military and also academia. And so I think that in that area, we need to make further efforts on this and to have a good result and this issue, and also the policy review should include a much comprehensive one. So there should be two different separate circles. Firstly, the focusing on missile defense, but at the same time, Japan is to focus on much broader element just to include the many element for future strategy making. So Murano-san I'm not sure if I am answering to your points yet.

Masashi Murano: Thank you very much. So next I'd like to address China specific topic. As Tom mentioned in his initial comments. China has not only the ballistic missiles, but also cruise missiles and now developing hypersonic glide weapons. What should we expect it from the U.S./Japanese missile defense capabilities to counter these threats. As Brad mentioned, one of the typical example of the U.S. homeland missile defense such as GBIs would not be the practical intercept Chinese missiles attack completely. In otherwise, is it possible to negate the China's dangerous confidence trying to change the status quo, or if some, the actual contingencies or the warfighting situation happens, is it possible to limiting damage from their missile strike? So if so, what, or how much do we need to do to make that happen? It can be paraphrased that the what factors should guide these further development or deployment of the U.S, and Japanese missile defense. To answer this questions, it maybe have to address to issue of regional and global integration of the missile defense posture. I would like to pass this question to Tom.

Tom Karako: Sure. Well, I think the principle criteria here is to honor the threat and to give your adversary the benefit of the doubt that they're not necessarily looking only to attack you with the thing that you would like them to attack you with, but are capable of imaginative concepts, mixing and matching. In other words, complex and integrated attack using the diversity of air and missile attack and other things, cyber EW, et cetera, et cetera. And so, I think we've had some discussion and I think some agreement here that the principal goal is not to be a defense dominant posture, but rather to support an offense defense mix that gives either a particular country or an alliance it buys you enough time and spaces at work to respond in kind and bring to bear all of the other assets that you have and so active defense against various air missile threats contributes to that.

It's still limited, but you don't want to just pursue a ballistic missile defense and then leave yourself wide open to cruise missiles and UAVs. I mean Abqaiq attack in September of last year, if you hadn't figured that out, that's the wake up call to remind you that it's not just about ballistic missiles anymore. So it has to be a comprehensive, I would say, comprehensive air defense, think of ballistic missile defense as a subset of comprehensive air defense projectiles arriving in or through the atmosphere. And so thinking about it in those terms, I think is fundamental. So it's come down to what is, what is the quantity of active or passive events that gives you enough time to bring to bear your other assets to contribute to your overall deterrence?

Masashi Murano: Thank you. Brad, do you have any additional comment to Tom.

Dr. Brad Roberts: I do. Thank you. I think it's useful to distinguish in terms of the implications of developments and China's missile capabilities to distinguish between the regional response and the U.S. homeland response. And Tom has put his finger, I think, exactly on the regional piece that what we conceived as allies 15 years ago, 20 years ago, was a defense against ballistic missiles. It needs to be an integrated air and missile defense against all airborne threats. And that's the same in Europe, NATO, vis-a-vis Russia. And we have many of the tools to do that. From the homeland of the American homeland defense perspective, the hard new question is what to do about Chinese hypersonic missiles. And it's the same question about Russia. And on the one hand, they already have hypersonic missiles, they're called ballistic missiles. Ballistic missiles are hypersonic missiles. And if they develop a new capability at a lower altitude to deploy hypersonic weapons against the United States, that's the problem for which deterrence is constructed.

The problem comes, they imagine different uses of hypersonic capabilities that they could be destabilizing and not just as substitutes for Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles, but as a compliment somehow. And the particular concern is that as modern war integrates new technologies. And as we compete in cyberspace and outer space and kinetic strike, and non-kinetic strike, we're moving towards a form of war in which you have to use it or lose it all, you have to use it very quickly in a conflict to gain a decisive advantage, because what you have in cyberspace or outer space may be gone the next day. Thus there's a potential value to China and Russia of having hypersonic strike capabilities that would be the very first way of a major war with the aim of eliminating our command and control systems and the ability of our leadership to decide how to prosecute a war.

That's a very dangerous development. That's something different from just hypersonics is a compliment to existing hypersonics. Now the operational missile defense question is so can missile defense help against that problem? We'd like to think so. It's a very hard problem. These are so-called depressed trajectory flight patterns, the vehicles move very quickly, obviously. And our ability to sense, compute, decide and act in response with a defensive mechanism that would be sufficiently quick and precise. These are all very hard technical challenges, and I'm all for working them, but I'm not optimistic that we will come to a solution soon. And thus, I think we will have to accept vulnerability to hypersonic threats of a kind that makes us uncomfortable.

Rebeccah Heinrichs: Masashi if I can jump in here real quick on that. I maybe am a little bit more optimistic than Brad, although I appreciate the challenge before us in this regard. But I think that what Brad is hitting on and he's now kind of come back to this a couple of times in this conversation, which is back to how American homeland missile defense is part of the issue here that we have to consider and grapple with, and it does affect obviously the alliance as well and our ability to provide credible assurances to Japan and to the alliances.

And so I would just say that I've been an active participant in many discussions in how the United States should be thinking about American homeland defense. The Trump Missile Defense Review, did pay quite a bit of time talking about bringing in China and Russia, these major powers, in the context of missile defense. But it spilled the most ink in talking about the regional context, but it's sort of one of those things where if you read what it said on the homeland defense piece, it depends on what you want it to say. You can kind of read into what it did say and what it didn't stay on the homeland defense part.

The United States is still primarily relying on our nuclear deterrence, obviously to deter those major powers, simply because of the reality of where we are technologically. But as a matter of policy, it did not rule out that if the United States did continue to develop these technologies, that as a matter of policy, that it wouldn't be a fruitful thing, a prudent thing, for the United States to have a missile defense capability. Again, not a 100% missile defense capability. I think that's a strong man that critics of going down this route tend to throw up pretty quickly. I don't know anybody who's making that argument, not an impenetrable missile defense system, but definitely a missile defense system that can provide a credible defense of the United States homeland against the hypersonic threat, these more sophisticated challenging missile threats that the Chinese and the Russians have been developing.

And especially if you start thinking of things like directed energy and investing in that technology, that has some interesting applications possibly for the missile threat coming from China. But I would just say, too, the administration's priority, or the Department of Defense's priority, at least by word if not by deed in terms of the money that is put in the budget, has been in this HBTSS(Hypersonic and Ballistic Tracking Space Sensors), in the space sensor layer, that would have the ability to track some of these maneuvering with non-traditional ballistics trajectories, the hypersonic threats as well, being able to track these missiles from their birth to death. Which would give the United States, even if we had the ability to see, that would be an enormous improvement over the current situation, which is we can't possibly even see and keep a track on these offensive capabilities. Certainly it's worth investing in that even before we have an interceptor capability that can go with the sensor to be able to shoot and potentially intersect these serious threats that continue to grow.

And then the other thing I would say, too, is again, the kinds of weapon systems that North Korea has... The divide between their capabilities and peer threat, the Chinese threat, it is increasingly blurred. And so when the United States thinks about even our own protection, even if we maintain that we're just primarily looking at the rogue state after-threat protection of the homeland, that we should not assume that because North Korea doesn't have certain kinds of capabilities that they will not have those certain kinds of capabilities even the next five and 10 years. And so we need to be investing in weapons systems that are not going to be outdated and outmoded by the growing threats from a variety of different kinds of adversaries.

But I absolutely believe that American homeland defense needs to evolve to make sure that we don't throw in the towel and accept defeat, that these things were too hard, too technologically difficult, or too expensive. I certainly think that they are worth the investment. And it's just a matter of... It's going to take a lot of political will and a pretty serious policy effort to make sure that we are investing in these kinds of capabilities and not just paying lip service and saying that we are and then not putting the money in the budget. Congress thankfully has had great bipartisan support for the HBTSS, I think, and deserves a lot of credit for that when the Pentagon hasn't been putting in the money requests in the budget.

Tom Karako: I think there is a, back to what Brad was talking about, a middle set that is increasing in importance. We sometimes think about regional missile defense and homeland missile defense and I think the logic that Brad described in terms of big strategic nuclear attack on the U.S. homeland versus stuff that is local, it's a good logic. But there is a middle set that I think has begun to emerge and that is the prospect of non-nuclear strategic attack. I like to say North America is a region too, and whether it is some silver bullet hypersonic thingy, or whether it's an old fashioned subsonic or supersonic cruise missile, the prospect, I think, back to Brad's Theory of Victory, what I worry about is an adversary that calculates they can get the U.S. to back down, forget the ballistic nuclear attack, but frankly through a robust non-nuclear strategic attack.

The Nuclear Posture Review rightly flagged that. But I do worry that we don't have enough attention either on the passive defense side or on the active side. The question of whether the U.S. nuclear deterrent would be brought to bear for a non-nuclear strategic attack on the homeland, that's a question that I hope the answer is right in the circumstances, but that's something that I think has begun to complicate the homeland regional discussion from the past.

Masashi Murano: Thank you. Takamizawa-san, do you have some additional comments?

Nobushige Takamizawa: Yeah, I think one of the important points that we have to focus on is that the emphasis on sensors. I think regarding the ballistic missile, or cruise missile or hypersonic and I think that sensors very well coordinated and strengthened sensor network, I think will be the basis of many things. So do we have a really good, good comprehensive system to know the situation what is happening? And so that is the most important, I think, area and which can be applied to many other issues, many other cases. So the basis of the trust and cooperation among the network of the Alliance. So that's the first point.

Second point is what has been done to know in advance of what Russia, China and others are doing in enhancing their research and development? And probably we are not really sure of what they were planning and what they did actually.

In case of South China sea, China introduced the territorial waters rule in 1992. At that time we were concerned about, but we really didn't know, what they planning and so forth. So I think a kind of joint assessment, or very capable coordination among the like-minded countries to which area will be the real advantage or focus of their development and so forth. And we haven't been quite successful in predicting understanding what they are doing. So sensors and the joint assessment. And so these are very important and very cost effective area that we can focus on jointly.

Masashi Murano: Thank you very much. Yes, I want to ask these topics now Takamizawa-san and Rebeccah mentioned about how we upgrade our sensor cooperation. At now, not already the territorial based sensors, but also that Japan is trying to participate in the U.S. small satellite constellation and network program. This is related on how do we track our advance threats. Brad and Tom pointed out on adversary's offensive capabilities, but at the same time. we need to develop to our advanced defense technology. Before to move on closing comments, I would like to ask about this point, how do you expect to our advanced defense technology such as space based sensors, or non-kinetic measures like left of launch or that directed energy and boost phase interception. I would like to pass to Rebeccah and Tom.

Rebeccah Heinrichs: Sure. Thank you. Well, I would just say that, unfortunately, I think I've been a little bit disappointed in the percentage of the missile defense budget that our Pentagon has invested recently in those advanced capabilities to handle the more advanced threats. So we've made great strides in starting to think a little bit more clever. We're being a little bit more clever in how we're thinking about operational changes that we might make, and some different things that we're doing regionally. And we're making some very interesting statements rhetorically about what the United States wants to do, but really it comes down to where are we investing our money? Because that shows a very serious commitment. And so these cuts began in the Obama administration, and unfortunately there hasn't been a huge improvement in terms of committing resources to the kinds of advanced technologies that you mentioned in directed energy.

And especially I think is one of the most interesting things... And, also, I can't overstate I think the disappointment in the lack of investment in some of these big ticket items. They're expensive and going to take some time. And so you have to move now in order to develop them and that's in the area of the space domain. Because once you have a space sensor architecture in place, you can start looking at different sportier things; having a space enabled intercepts capability, moving to the point where we are thinking very seriously about having a space based interest after where the interceptors are based in space. I think we've gotten to a point now where if we're very serious about taking missile defense to the next level and making sure that we are meeting the needs of our nations because of the growing threat that we really do have to unshackle ourselves intellectually to start thinking about these things out of the cold war paradigm that we have thought for so long and then, and then really mean it.

And you can tell that we mean it whenever you start seeing resources put to these programs. And so it's my hope. I know that there's been pretty serious interest on the part... President Trump's remarks that he made at the rollout of the missile defense review. He said all of the things I would love for a president of the United States to say. Unfortunately, I think it was beyond even his own missile defense review. And then the missile defense review has essentially become outdated already because we've already canceled a lot of the programs that were even mentioned in the missile defense review. And we've made some pretty serious programmatic changes from them. So it's not a particularly useful document I think anymore, in terms of looking at what the United States is practically doing. But the point is very well taken. And I think that there needs to be a better percentage of our own money being put towards these advanced capabilities beyond even the current systems that we're developing, working on.

Tom Karako: Thank you for the question, Masashi. I think this is a pretty important one, because it really goes down to what the legacy of the Trump administration is going to be on missile defense. And the president said a lot of nice things in that rollout of the Missile Defense Review in January 29, 2019, but they bore no resemblance to either the policy document or to budgetary reality, a little bit of a Don Quixote tilting of windmills, if you'll pardon the comparison. So what's the legacy going to be? 127 days after the missile defense review came out, we had the undersecretary for R&E cancel the Redesigned Kill Vehicle. And so what you're kind of seeing is first of all, the Missile Defense Review itself was a bit like Santa's wishlist. Lots of things listed there that would be nice to have, but not the hard decisions about what programs to pursue, what programs to adapt. There weren't a lot of hard decisions there.

I wrote something a couple months after the Missile Defense Review came out saying exactly why I thought it fell short and principally because it did not adapt to the National Defense Strategy, to the reality of great power competition. And what we've seen is four years of kind of flailing about here, trying to pursue, talking about doing things, canceling them later. So there's been a lot of chaos on this. Here we are, the proximate cause for this was Japan's cancellation of Aegis Ashore when the United States and its missile defense efforts for the past several years have cancelled a lot more and shown even greater inconstancy.

So fundamentally it's a lack of leadership and clarity of vision from the undersecretary level on up about what it is exactly we want out of active missile defenses, what's the relationship between active missile defense and missile defeat, and how all that fits together with our deterrent goals. These are things that have not been solidified and clarified over the past several years, and there's a lot of homework to do here to put the pieces together.

Masashi Murano: Thank you very much. I'm afraid we have only three minutes left. So let's move on to the closing of this workshop. Takamizawa-san, Rebeccah, Tom, and Brad, could you give us some closing comments, very briefly?

Nobushige Takamizawa: Thank you, Murano-san. And I am now quite confident that Japanese, I think in relation of the alternative, it would be very, very important. So I think we need to be transparent and particularly in Alliance relations in our thinking. And also we have to come up with a very concrete plan and which can be understood and supported by the U.S. and national public opinion and the operators I think. So thank you for giving me an opportunity to participate in the very interesting discussion. Thank you.

Rebeccah Heinrichs: Thank you, Masashi, again, for this hosting this event. Thank you to my colleagues for participating in it as well. I always learn so much from all of you and in closing, I would just want to reiterate the point that the threats are going to continue to grow, and in particular, the missile threats and the variety and the kinds and the challenges coming from missile threats. The point was raised that we still... A lot of the assumptions that we're basing a lot of our policies and our strategies off on are assumptions with not all of the complete information that we would like to have about China's intent and China's missile arsenal, China's nuclear arsenal as well. We didn't spend any time talking about this, but it is why the Trump administration is making a very strong push to try to bring China into an arms control conversation because China's lack of transparency is breeding distrust.

A lot of the actions that China is taking more provocative, I think exploiting the coronavirus pandemic and becoming more provocative in a variety of areas combined with what we do know. The DIA director, Lieutenant Colonel Ashley, came to Hudson Institute and talked about the concern that the United States has about the direction of the Chinese nuclear program. And so it's in all of our interests to have an open conversation much better than we have now, and for the Chinese to... The onus is on them to not breed greater concern and skepticism among those of us, obviously those of us who were near to the China problem, but for the United States as well. And so I would just applaud and affirm the effort of Trump administration to try to get at that problem.

And a lot of what we talked about today would make the environment more conducive for the CCP to actually have an interest in talking about their program. If they start seeing the United States with our allies being very, very serious and closing these gaps that exists and making up for the missile disparity in the region and coming up with... And just taking the threat that we perceive very, very seriously. It would be in their interest to start having a conversation, being more open about their intent and the kind of capabilities that they have. And so once again, I just want to thank you for the opportunity to participate in this. And I look forward to continuing the conversation.

Tom Karako: Murano-san, great panel you've put together. Thank you. I would just underline one thing. And that is, as we go forward, we need to think deeply about that offense defense mix and more to the point, the relationship between active defenses and missile defeat. That I predict will be a central conversation in the coming years, because what you're able to do on the missile defeat side is going to drive and inform the metrics of what it is you expect from a missile defense. And that applies to homeland as well as regional. But again, thanks for the opportunity to join.

Masashi Murano: Brad, could you give us a last comment?

Dr. Brad Roberts: Yes, indeed. Thank you. Let me add my thanks to those of everyone else on the panel for a very interesting and timely discussion and excellent questions. Let me pick up on a couple of themes. Tom Karako emphasized the need for thinking that still lies in front of us and Takamizawa-san emphasized the need for transparency in our thinking. I think what many people outside of the missile defense community might not appreciate is the extent to which the U.S. And Japan have been engaged together in thinking about these questions for 10, 15, 20 years. We have a very mature relationship as allies and partners. And yes, we have some difficult questions still in front of us, but I'm very confident in our ability to join together to do the needed thinking.

This isn't something that the U.S. does the thinking and just hands to an ally. This is an area of defense cooperation, where we have broken a lot of new ground as allies because of our close collaboration, including at the intellectual substandard level. So as challenging as the problems might be in front of us, I'm confident in our ability as allies to meet the challenge. Thank you.

Masashi Murano: Again, I want to thank you all the excellent discussion and for taking time out of your busy schedule to visit here today. I hope today's discussion will help to further development defense cooperation of the U.S.-Japan alliance. Thank you for watching our event.

View PDF

" class="more read" target="_blank">View PDF in Japanese