Aegis Ashore

By USNI News

According to an article by John Grady published by USNI News on October 31, 2018, Aegis ashore could have a new role in a post INF world.

Converting Aegis Ashore facilities in Poland and Romania into land stations for cruise missile coupled with already available sea-based and air-launched missiles would complicate Kremlin planning on how to defend itself from attack or strike targets in Europe, a former U.S. defense official on Wednesday.

In a telephone conference call with reporters, Abraham Denmark, director of the Asia program at the Wilson Center and a former Pentagon official, said the two facilities “could fairly readily be turned” from defensive posture against Iranian ballistic missiles threatening Europe to an offensive capability targeting Russia.

This would be a “direct threat” contention the Kremlin has said violated the existing treaty and was the American goal from that start in deploying the missiles, radars and fire control systems so close to its borders…..

Looking to the Pacific, where China has an operational nuclear triad coupled with an intermediate range missile inventory, Denmark said Japan is very concerned about the American willingness to defend Tokyo in any showdown over its territorial disputes with Beijing and possibly from North Korea.

Noting Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s most recent visit to Beijing and the pomp, circumstance and military show surrounding it, he added, “Japan has been hedging” in light of Trump’s “criticism of alliances generally and Japan particularly,” he said.

While Europe is about land power the geography of Asia puts the emphasis on naval assets, Denmark said. China has made “significant investments that would violate the INF treaty” if it were a signatory and likely would keep it from joining any new agreement, he said.

Beijing’s development of its intermediate range missiles could reach not only American bases in Japan, but also Guam. Other potential targets could include Taiwan and India. “They’re all in on intermediate-range missiles” as a deterrent and a show of military strength.

But if converting Aegis Ashore would complicate Kremlin military planning so would deployment of U.S. mobile intermediate-range missiles to Alaska and Guam muddle Beijing’s, but here again there is no existing American system ready to deploy.

He conceded mobile land-based systems like those in China and Russia are “more efficient and can move about” more freely than an Arleigh Burke-class destroyer that costs almost $2 billion and carrying a limited number of Tomahawk cruise missiles.

“U.S. allies [Japan, the Philippines, Australia] are not terribly excited” about the U.S. decision to leave the treaty or the prospect of hosting American missiles aimed at China.

For the complete article, see the following:

Aegis Ashore Could Have New Role Post INF Treaty Says Former Pentagon Official