August 23, 2012 by Water Wisdom
August 23, 2012
US to expand missile defense in Asia
[E]xperts say that the US missile defense system is already capable of directly damaging China’s nuclear deterrent…China’s having no early-warning systems makes the Chinese nuclear forces rather vulnerable to the US’ pre-emptive strike.
Washington is currently able to launch a first-strike disarming attack against China with the help of about 130 ballistic missiles, installed on submarines and equipped with more than 500 nuclear warheads.
The United States is taking another step aimed at creating a global missile defense system. Earlier this week, Washington signaled readiness to deploy elements of the US missile shield in Asia and the Far East.
The Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday that the US plans to deploy its two early-warning radars on one of the eastern islands in Japan and in one of the South-East Asian countries. Additionally, the US intends to increase its fleet of warships equipped with missile interceptors to 36 vessels by 2018, with most of them due to be on missions in the Asia-Pacific region.
The US pointed to North Korea’s missile program as a reason to beef up its military potential. Moscow-based defense expert Alexander Perendzhiyev, however, believes that Washington first of all wants to contain China.
“The US cannot openly express its intent to create a missile shield targeting China because this would show Washington’s clear-cut intentions and lead to a conflict. In contrast, touting the shield as a protective measure against North Korea enables them to avoid a conflict given that the North currently faces international isolation,” Perendzhiyev says.
Meanwhile, experts say that the US missile defense system is already capable of directly damaging China’s nuclear deterrent. Right now, China possesses about 200 nuclear warheads, with only 50 of them capable of reaching US territory. At the same time, China’s having no early-warning systems makes the Chinese nuclear forces rather vulnerable to the US’ pre-emptive strike.
According to the Moscow-based Institute for US and Canadian Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Washington is currently able to launch a first-strike disarming attack against China with the help of about 130 ballistic missiles, installed on submarines and equipped with more than 500 nuclear warheads. As for China’s short- and medium-range missiles, they can be intercepted by the Patriot surface-to-air missile systems that the US is now supplying to Japan, South Korea and Taiwan. Also adding to the purpose are the Aegis ballistic missile defense systems, deployed on US destroyers.
Ivetta Frolova of the Moscow-based Institute of Strategic Studies’ Asia and Middle East department mentions the absence of China’s evident military threats toward the US.
“Such threats are unlikely to be issued in the immediate future,” Frolocva says. “Washington’s intention to create a missile defense system in Asia, namely, Taiwan, Japan and the Philippines is first of all the continuation of the US’ policy to contain China, something that focuses on economic rather than military goals.”
China and Russia have repeatedly criticized Washington’s plans pertaining to the expansion of the missile defense system. This year, Moscow and Beijing were supported by an array of Asian countries. In June 2012, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization adopted a declaration where it slammed Washington’s missile defense push. “A unilateral and unrestricted build-up of a missile defense by one state or a group of states can damage the global security and strategic stability”, the declaration, in particular, said.