The Missile Threat and Plans for Ballistic Missiles Defense

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The Missile Threat and Plans for Ballistic Missiles Defense
Forum on
The Missile Threat and Plans for Ballistic Missiles
Technology, Strategic Stability and Impact on Global
Parliament, Library Room Il Refettorio
Società Italiana per la Organizzazione Internazionale - SIOI
Rome, Italy, 18-19 January 2001
organized by
Landau Network Centro Volta - LNCV
Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs
supported by
General Direction for Cultural Promotion and Cooperation of the Italian Ministry of Foreign
with the cooperation of
Italian Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs
Comitato di Parlamentari per l'Innovazione Tecnologica - COPIT
Società Italiana per la Organizzazione Internazionale - SIOI
Unione Scienziati per il Disarmo - USPID
Concern is growing about the spread of ballistic missiles in several areas of the
world. Medium and long range ballistic missiles can be used as delivery vehicles
for various types of weapons of mass destruction (nuclear, chemical, biological).
The threat is changing in time, new problems arise even though, due to the USRussia disarmament process, the global ballistic missile threat is smaller than in
the mid-1980s.
Now 33 countries possess ballistic missiles, besides the five recognized nuclearweapon states. Some of these countries (27) have only missiles with range under
1,000 kilometers; 6 nations have medium-range missiles over 1000-km range:
Israel, Saudi Arabia, India, Pakistan, North Korea and Iran; the last four of these
countries also have active programs for the development of missile with range of
the order of 2500-3000: India, Pakistan, North Korea and Iran. Efforts to contain
the spread of ballistic missiles are now limited to voluntary agreements such as
the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR), which, so far, has a limited
number of members.
In the US large programs have been proposed to build Ballistic Missile Defense
(BMD) on a nation-wide level (NMD, National Missile Defense) as well as on a
tactical level (TMD, Theater Missile Defense). At the moment very serious doubts
exist about the effectiveness, the technical feasibility and the actual costs of these
projects. But altogether the basic question is whether these BMD plans are in any
way the right answer to the problem. Furthermore, to build a NMD system, the US
must either get Russian agreement to modify the Anti Ballistic Missile (ABM)
Treaty, a cornerstone of strategic stability, or withdraw from it.
Irrespectively of the actual verifiable effectiveness of the BMD systems, the US
plans have so far succeeded in antagonizing China, which feels that the deterrent
power of its limited intercontinental ballistic missile fleet may be diminished by a
US NMD. Moreover China sees a possible deployment of tactical missiles
defenses in North East Asia (as in Japan or Taiwan) as something that will alter
the regional equilibrium to her detriment. If China decides to increase the number
of ballistic missiles as a response to BMD plans, Japan may be upset, India may
feel the need to take action to face an increased Chinese strength of nuclear
forces and Pakistan may in turn react to India's decisions. In short a new arms
race may arise out of BMD deployments.
Russia has been reassured by the US that the new NMD plans are not bound to
protect the US against a large missile attack, but the chain of perceptions (and
misperceptions) may very well in the future slow down sensibly Russian (and US)
efforts towards nuclear disarmament.
Europe too will have to take some decisions. To cooperate actively with the US in
the BMD efforts will be costly, may antagonize other countries and may be
technically ineffective. The countries that have or may have in the future ballistic
missiles able to reach the European soil are, in particular, all the countries in the
Middle East and it is against these countries that any hypothetical European BMD
system should work. If on the contrary the European countries decide not to
cooperate with the US in the development of defensive systems, then some of the
old doubts of "decoupling" may be resurrected, not to mention the problems that
may result in the transatlantic alliance.
Hence the new proposed BMD systems present the same old dilemmas: risks for
strategic stability, risks of new arms races, new antagonisms and political tensions
in the international arena. So the question of technical feasibility is more important
than ever. It will not be wise to spend large amount of money to propose systems
that will not be able to perform as hoped for, but that may nevertheless increase
the political tension.
Goals of the Forum
The main aim of the Rome Forum will be to provide an opportunity for an informal
discussion and a critical analysis among international experts on geopolitical,
security, scientific and technological aspects.
In particular, the Forum will have to discuss the following issues: if the answer to
the spread of ballistic missiles is not given by the new BMD-NMD plans, then what
will be the right answer? A search for new defensive technologies? A stricter form
of international control of the spread of ballistic missiles? A different type of
cooperation and accommodation with the countries which actively export ballistic
missiles or which aim at building longer range ballistic missiles? Or a combination
of all of the above answers?
We have some examples of countries possessing nuclear weapons and other
weapons of mass destruction and planning to develop ballistic missiles who
abandoned these plans. One example is South Africa. What can we learn from
these experiences?
These and related questions will be discussed in the Rome meeting of January
2001 and a particular emphasis will be given to the impact that US NMD might
have on the stability of the international strategic environment, particularly at the
European level, and on NATO cohesion.
Wednesday, January 17th 2001
Arrival of participants
Dinner at Restaurant L'Orso '80, Via dell'Orso, 33, Rome
Thursday, January 18 th 2001
Morning: Società Italiana per la Organizzazione
Internazionale, Piazza di San Marco, 51 - 00186 Roma
9:30 - 10:00
Opening and Welcoming addresses
10:00 - 11:15
G. Migone, Chairman, Italian Senate Committee on
Foreign Affairs
G. Facco-Bonetti, Director, Cultural Promotion and
Cooperation, Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs
M. Pensa, General Direction for Political Affairs, Italian
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
U. La Rocca, President SIOI
M. Martellini, Secretary General, LNCV, USPID and
Università dell'Insubria
Session I - The Ballistic Missile Threat
The 1999 US National Intelligence estimate of the Ballistic
Missile Threat.
Accidental, unauthorized or erroneous launch.
The threat from emerging missile powers.
Weapons of Mass destruction available to emerging
missile powers.
Speakers include:
J. Cirincione, Carnegie Endowment for International
Peace, Washington, USA
D. Wright, Massachusetts Institute of Tecnology (MIT) and
Union of Concerned Scientists, Cambridge, USA
11:15 - 11:30
Coffee Break
11:30 - 13:00
Session II - Technology of BMD Systems. The US NMD
BMD systems: National Missile Defense (NMD) and
Tactical Missile Defense (TMD)
The NMD program: architecture, future evolution and
Counter-measures to NMD systems
Speakers include:
V. Camporini, Italian Airforce
S. Miller, Harvard University, Cambridge, USA
G. Lewis, Massachusetts Institute of Tecnology (MIT),
Cambridge, USA
G. Neuneck, Senior Fellow, IFSH, Hamburg
T. Rauf, Monterey Institute of International Studies,
Monterey, USA
R. Zadra, NATO Bruxelles
13:00 - 14:00
Transfer to the Parliament (walking distance)
Afternoon: Parliament, Library Room Il Refettorio, Via del
Seminario 76 (Simultaneous translation English-Italian will be
15:00 - 16:30
General Discussion. The Structure and the Consequences of
the Proposed Systems for the Defense Against Ballistic Missiles:
The Ballistic Missile Threat
BMD Systems and the US NMD Program
Effects of NMD on Arms Control and Strategic Stability
Alternatives to NMD Systems
A. Occhetto, Chairman, Italian Chamber of Deputies
Committee on Foreign Affairs
V. Spini, Chairman, Italian Chamber of Deputies Defense
Welcoming Addresses:
M. Tassone, Italian Chamber of Deputies
S. Cacciaguerra, General Direction for Cultural Promotion
and Cooperation, Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs
A. D'Alessio, COPIT
Speakers include:
Y.-T. Chun, The National Defense Committee, The
National Assembly, Seoul, Republic of Korea
P. Cotta-Ramusino, USPID, LNCV and Università degli
Studi di Milano
T. Delpech, CEA, Paris, France
L. Fischer, U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of State,
Washington DC, USA
Fu Cong, Counselor, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Beijing, P.
R. China
Y. Kapralov, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian
Federation, Moscow, Russia,
M. K. Savidge, House of Commons, London, U.K.
S. Silvestri, Istituto Affari Internazionali, Roma
U. Zapf, Deutscher Bundestag, Berlin, Germany
16:30 - 17:00
17:00 - 19:00
Dinner at Restaurant Primoli, Via dei Soldati 22-23, Rome
Friday, January 19 th 2001
Società Italiana per la Organizzazione Internazionale, Piazza
di San Marco, 51 - 00186 Roma
9:30 - 11:00
Session III - Effects of NMD on Arms Control and Strategic
Stability</FONT< TD>
NMD and the ABM Treaty
The strategic impact of NMD
The effect of NMD on proliferation
NATO Allies and NMD
Europe and BMD
Speakers include:
R. A. Cossa, Pacific Forum CSIS, Honolulu, Hawaii
C. Grand, Ministère de la Dèfense, Délégation aux
Affaires Stratégiques, France
G. Harigel, CERN, Geneva, Switzerland
H. Horsten, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Berlin, Germany
K. Kikuyama, Japan Atomic Industrial Forum
K. Koster, PENN Project on European Non-Proliferation,
A. Saveliev, Institute for World Economics and
International Relations, Russian Academy of Sciences,
Moscow, Russia
P. Schulte, Ministry of Defence, London, U.K.
D. Shen, Fudan University, Shanghai , P.R. China
S. Silvestri, Istituto Affari Internazionali, Roma
J. P. Stroot, CERN, Geneva, Switzerland
A. Varshavsky, Central Economics and Mathematics
Institute, Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow, Russia
11:00 - 11:15
Coffee Break
11:15 - 13:15
Session III - Continuation. </TD< TR>
13:15 - 14:30
14:30 - 15:30
Session IV - Alternatives to NMD Systems</FONT< TD>
Arms control and export controls
Cooperative programs
Speakers include:
I. Kenyon, Mountbatten Centre for International Studies,
University of Southampton
V. I. Rybachenkov, Department for Security Affairs and
Disarmament, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian
Federation, Moscow
T. Suzuki, Central Research Institute of Electric Power
Industry, Tokyo, Japan
15:30 - 16:00
Coffee Break
16:00 - 18:30
Session V - Conclusions
General discussion
Possible future actions
Dinner at Restaurant Primoli, Via dei Soldati 22-23, Rome
List of participants
Participants will contribute on their personal capacity. The official language is
English. Simultaneous translation English/Italian will be provided for Thursday
Participants will be scientists, technical experts, experts of international relations
and policy makers. Each presentation should not exceed 10 minutes (exceptions
could be made for selected technical presentations.)
All participants are invited to bring a written contribution. An electronic version
should also be sent in advance to make copies for distribution. Proceedings will be
collected, published in a volume and made available on the Web site
The proceedings and the documents of the Forum will be distributed to the
participants and to various Governmental and Non-Governmental Institutions.
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