President Trump and the Iran Agreement

By Riki Ellison, Missile Defense Advocacy Alliance, Chairman and Founder

On May 8, 2018, President Donald Trump announced he will terminate the United States’ participation in the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) with Iran and will begin re-imposing U.S. sanctions on Iran that were lifted by the deal.

The impending consequences from Iran to the United States and Europe, may duplicate the proven North Korean strategy of accelerating testing and demonstrations of Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles (ICBMs) with the capability to strike the United States and open up nuclear testing to bring the United States to terms on a future deal.

This potential Iranian movement will put tremendous pressure and cost to the United States to acquire, deploy, and operate multiple layered ICBM discrimination sensors and ICBM Interceptors on multiple sites facing East, in the Eastern United States and possibly forward deployed in Europe.

It will also stress the current Aegis Ashore sites in Poland and Romania to perform what they are required to do in the ballistic missile defense of Europe, add demand for more operational U.S. Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) ships to Europe, with the advancement of Standard Missile-3 (SM-3) Block IIA, and forward base a Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) Battery in Europe.

Adding to this will be the emergence a much more complex Command and Control system that will strategically be able to employ and fuse data from any and all sensors to the best interceptor across the global spectrum for the best firing solutions.

The longer strategic consequence from both Iran and North Korea, and to some extent the near peers of China and Russia, is force functioning development and deployment of Boost Phase Intercept (BPI) with both Direct Energy and faster kinetic interceptors, space-based global constellation of discrimination sensors, and integration of multi-domain offense-defense doctrine and operations.

U.S. missile defense will be leveraged to stabilize the Iranian fallout as it is doing today on the Korean Peninsula, to enable deals to be made and insurance if deals are broken.