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U.S. Conventional Prompt Global Strike: Issues for 2008 and Beyond U.S. Conventional Prompt Global Strike ISSUES FOR 2008 AND BEYOND Committee on Conventional Prompt Global Strike Capability Naval Studies Board Division on Engineering and Physical Sciences NATIONAL RESEARCH COUNCIL OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS Washington, D.C. www.nap.edu
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U.S. Conventional Prompt Global Strike: Issues for 2008 and Beyond THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS 500 Fifth Street, N.W. Washington, DC 20001 NOTICE: The project that is the subject of this report was approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council, whose members are drawn from the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The members of the committee responsible for the report were chosen for their special competences and with regard for appropriate balance. This study was supported by Contract No. N00014-05-G-0288, DO #16 between the National Academy of Sciences and the Department of the Navy. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the organizations or agencies that provided support for the project. Cover: Images courtesy of the U.S. Navy. International Standard Book Number-13: 978-0-309-11459-2 International Standard Book Number-10: 0-309-11459-4 Copies of this report are available from: Naval Studies Board, National Research Council, The Keck Center of the National Academies, 500 Fifth Street, N.W., Room WS904, Washington, DC 20001; and The National Academies Press, 500 Fifth Street, N.W., Lockbox 285, Washington, DC 20055; (800) 624-6242 or (202) 334-3313 (in the Washington metropolitan area); Internet, http://www.nap.edu. Copyright 2008 by the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved. Printed in the United States of America
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U.S. Conventional Prompt Global Strike: Issues for 2008 and Beyond THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES Advisers to the Nation on Science, Engineering, and Medicine The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit, self-perpetuating society of distinguished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and to their use for the general welfare. Upon the authority of the charter granted to it by the Congress in 1863, the Academy has a mandate that requires it to advise the federal government on scientific and technical matters. Dr. Ralph J. Cicerone is president of the National Academy of Sciences. The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964, under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences, as a parallel organization of outstanding engineers. It is autonomous in its administration and in the selection of its members, sharing with the National Academy of Sciences the responsibility for advising the federal government. The National Academy of Engineering also sponsors engineering programs aimed at meeting national needs, encourages education and research, and recognizes the superior achievements of engineers. Dr. Charles M. Vest is president of the National Academy of Engineering. The Institute of Medicine was established in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences to secure the services of eminent members of appropriate professions in the examination of policy matters pertaining to the health of the public. The Institute acts under the responsibility given to the National Academy of Sciences by its congressional charter to be an adviser to the federal government and, upon its own initiative, to identify issues of medical care, research, and education. Dr. Harvey V. Fineberg is president of the Institute of Medicine. The National Research Council was organized by the National Academy of Sciences in 1916 to associate the broad community of science and technology with the Academy’s purposes of furthering knowledge and advising the federal government. Functioning in accordance with general policies determined by the Academy, the Council has become the principal operating agency of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering in providing services to the government, the public, and the scientific and engineering communities. The Council is administered jointly by both Academies and the Institute of Medicine. Dr. Ralph J. Cicerone and Dr. Charles M. Vest are chair and vice chair, respectively, of the National Research Council. www.national-academies.org
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U.S. Conventional Prompt Global Strike: Issues for 2008 and Beyond COMMITTEE ON CONVENTIONAL PROMPT GLOBAL STRIKE CAPABILITY ALBERT CARNESALE, University of California, Los Angeles, Chair PAUL J. BRACKEN, Yale University PAUL K. DAVIS, RAND Corporation STEVE FETTER, University of Maryland, College Park JOHN S. FOSTER, JR., Rancho Palos Verdes, California EUGENE FOX, USA (retired), McLean, Virginia ALEC D. GALLIMORE, University of Michigan RICHARD L. GARWIN, IBM Thomas J. Watson Research Center EUGENE E. HABIGER, USAF (retired), University of Georgia DAVID V. KALBAUGH, Centreville, Maryland L. DAVID MONTAGUE, Menlo Park, California ROBERT B. OAKLEY, National Defense University WALTER B. SLOCOMBE, Caplin & Drysdale WILLIAM D. SMITH, USN (retired), Independent Consultant JOHN P. STENBIT, Oakton, Virginia DAVID M. VAN WIE, Johns Hopkins University, Applied Physics Laboratory ROBERT H. WERTHEIM, USN (retired), San Diego, California ELLEN D. WILLIAMS, University of Maryland, College Park Staff CHARLES F. DRAPER, Study Director and Director, Naval Studies Board RAYMOND S. WIDMAYER, Senior Program Officer (as of July 10, 2007) BILLY M. WILLIAMS, Senior Program Officer (as of August 18, 2007) IAN M. CAMERON, Associate Program Officer (through May 21, 2007) MARTA V. HERNANDEZ, Associate Program Officer (as of March 15, 2008) SUSAN G. CAMPBELL, Administrative Coordinator MARY G. GORDON, Information Officer SEKOU O. JACKSON, Senior Project Assistant SIDNEY G. REED, JR., Consultant
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U.S. Conventional Prompt Global Strike: Issues for 2008 and Beyond NAVAL STUDIES BOARD MIRIAM E. JOHN, Livermore, California, Chair DAVID A. WHELAN, The Boeing Company, Vice Chair LEE M. HAMMARSTROM, Applied Research Laboratory, Pennsylvania State University JAMES L. HERDT, Chelsea, Alabama KERRIE L. HOLLEY, IBM Global Services BARRY M. HOROWITZ, University of Virginia JAMES D. HULL, Annapolis, Maryland JOHN W. HUTCHINSON, Harvard University LEON A. JOHNSON, United Parcel Service EDWARD H. KAPLAN, Yale University CATHERINE M. KELLEHER, University of Maryland and Brown University JERRY A. KRILL, Johns Hopkins University, Applied Physics Laboratory THOMAS V. McNAMARA, Textron Systems L. DAVID MONTAGUE, Menlo Park, California JOHN H. MOXLEY III, Solvang, California HEIDI C. PERRY, Charles Stark Draper Laboratory, Inc. GENE H. PORTER, Nashua, New Hampshire JOHN S. QUILTY, Oakton, Virginia J. PAUL REASON, Washington, D.C. JOHN E. RHODES, Balboa, California JOHN P. STENBIT, Oakton, Virginia JAMES WARD, Lincoln Laboratory, Massachusetts Institute of Technology CINDY WILLIAMS, Massachusetts Institute of Technology ELIHU ZIMET, Gaithersburg, Maryland Navy Liaison Representatives RADM DAN W. DAVENPORT, USN, Office of the Chief of Naval Operations, N81 (through July 25, 2007) RADM WILLIAM R. BURKE, USN, Office of the Chief of Naval Operations, N81 (as of September 26, 2007) RADM(S) BRIAN C. PRINDLE, USN, Office of the Chief of Naval Operations, N81 (as of August 25, 2008) RADM WILLIAM E. LANDAY III, USN, Office of the Chief of Naval Operations, N091 (through August 15, 2008)
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U.S. Conventional Prompt Global Strike: Issues for 2008 and Beyond Marine Corps Liaison Representative LTGEN JAMES F. AMOS, USMC, Commanding General, Marine Corps Combat Development Command (through July 2, 2008) LTGEN GEORGE J. FLYNN, USMC, Commanding General, Marine Corps Combat Development Command (as of July 28, 2008) Staff CHARLES F. DRAPER, Director, Naval Studies Board ARUL MOZHI, Senior Program Officer RAYMOND S. WIDMAYER, Senior Program Officer (as of July 10, 2007) BILLY M. WILLIAMS, Senior Program Officer (as of August 18, 2007) IAN M. CAMERON, Associate Program Officer (through May 21, 2007) MARTA V. HERNANDEZ, Associate Program Officer (as of March 15, 2008) SUSAN G. CAMPBELL, Administrative Coordinator MARY G. GORDON, Information Officer SEKOU O. JACKSON, Senior Program Assistant
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U.S. Conventional Prompt Global Strike: Issues for 2008 and Beyond DIVISION ON ENGINEERING AND PHYSICAL SCIENCES CHERRY MURRAY, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Chair PETER J. BICKEL, Univerity of California, Berkeley DENIS A. CORTESE, Mayo Clinic RUTH A. DAVID, ANSER (Analytic Services Inc.) KATHARINE FRASE, IBM Software Group WILLIAM HAPPER, Princeton University WESLEY HARRIS, Massachusetts Institute of Technology CHARLES KENNEL, University of California, San Diego GEORGE K. MUELLNER, The Boeing Company CORDELL REED, Chicago, Illinois ALTON D. ROMIG, JR, Sandia National Laboratories F. STAN SETTLES, University of Southern California MARGARET WRIGHT, New York University GEORGE BUGLIARELLO, Polytechnic University, Ex Officio PETER D. BLAIR, Executive Director
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U.S. Conventional Prompt Global Strike: Issues for 2008 and Beyond Preface The Department of Defense’s (DOD’s) 2007 budget request included $127 million for the Conventional Trident Modification (CTM) program—specifically, for the conversion of two Trident II (D5) missiles on each of the U.S. Navy’s 12 deployed nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarines (SSBNs) from nuclear-armed to conventionally armed, to provide a conventional prompt global strike (CPGS) capability.1,2 For the purposes of this report, “conventional” is defined as non-nuclear, “prompt” is defined as striking within 1 hour of launch, and “global strike” is defined as the ability to strike anywhere in the world within meters of the target. The United States does not currently have military capabilities consistent with these definitions. The 109th Congress rejected most of the DOD’s 2007 budget request for CTM because of concerns regarding “nuclear ambiguity” associated with CTM (i.e., the risk that an observed launch of a conventionally armed missile might be mistaken for the launch of a nuclear-armed missile), as well as a belief that other CPGS systems might better address some of the military, political, and technical issues surrounding CTM.3 The conference report accompanying Department 1 See Department of Defense, 2007, Department of Defense Appropriations Bill, S. Rept. No. 109-292; and Global Security, 2008, Conventional TRIDENT Modification (CTM), Alexandria, Va., April 17. 2 Acronyms and abbreviations are provided in Appendix A. 3 Furthermore, in a letter dated February 16, 2007, to Dr. Ralph J. Cicerone, President of the National Academy of Sciences, Senators Daniel K. Inouye and Ted Stevens, Chairman and Ranking Member, respectively, of the Senate Committee on Appropriations, Subcommittee on Defense, stated that “there was widespread, but not universal, agreement [in the Senate] that the Congress should not proceed with the conventional Trident program [and that] critical to the opposition was a belief that
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U.S. Conventional Prompt Global Strike: Issues for 2008 and Beyond of Defense Appropriations Act, 2007 (Public Law 109-289), requested that the National Academy of Sciences conduct a study “to analyze the mission requirement and, where appropriate, consider and recommend alternatives that meet the prompt global strike mission in the near term (1-2 years), the mid-term (3-5 years), and the long term. The study should include analyses of the military, political and international issues associated with each alternative. The study should consider technology options for achieving desired objectives as well as mitigating policy concerns.”4 After further discussions with congressional staff and DOD officials regarding the origins, scope, timing, and deliverables associated with this congressionally mandated study, the National Research Council (NRC), under the auspices of the Naval Studies Board, established the Committee on Conventional Prompt Global Strike Capability5 in early 2007 to conduct the study.6 This report constitutes the committee’s final report. After initial data gathering and deliberations, appropriate NRC review, and DOD security review, the committee provided to the Congress in May 2007 its interim letter report, including among its recommendations: In FY 08, fund research, development, testing, and evaluation (RDT&E) efforts associated with CTM at a level sufficient to determine its effectiveness, but in FY 08 withhold funding for full-scale production and deployment (except any that is necessary for testing).7 Subsequently, the committee chair, at the invitation of the House Armed Services Committee, met with congressional representatives in July 2007 to discuss the issues raised in the interim letter report, including the issue of nuclear ambiguity, as well as the letter report’s key findings and recommendations. At the time of the initial drafting of this final report (September 2007), the committee faced uncertainty as to the direction that the Congress would take in 2008 on CPGS, and even more uncertainty as to the levels of funding that the Congress would appropriate to CTM and other specified alternative CPGS systems and to DOD-wide efforts on CPGS in general. As it turned out, the conference report accompanying Department of Defense Appropriations Act, 2008 (Public Law 110-116), provided no funding for testing, fabrication, or deployment of CTM, the Trident option proposed the most difficult challenges of ambiguity.” This letter is reproduced in Appendix B. 4 Making Appropriations for the Department of Defense for the Fiscal Year Ending September 30, 2007, and for Other Purposes: Conference Report to Accompany H.R. 5631, H. Rept. 109-676, pp. 227-228, 109th Cong., 2d sess. (September 25, 2006). 5 Committee members’ biographies are provided in Appendix C. 6 The statement of task for this study and the congressional language requesting the study are provided in Appendix D. 7 The committee’s interim letter report is reprinted in Appendix E.
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U.S. Conventional Prompt Global Strike: Issues for 2008 and Beyond choosing instead to provide $100 million “in a new Prompt Global Strike program element within the Research, Development, Test and Evaluation, Defense-Wide appropriation only for development of promising conventional prompt global strike technologies” to be managed by the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics.8 For reasons elaborated in this report (and in its Summary), the committee disagrees with the congressional decision not to fund testing of CTM in 2008, and recommends instead that Congress fund CTM RDT&E at a level sufficient to achieve early deployment if tests confirm system effectiveness. Putting aside these congressional issues and the timing of this study, the committee believes that it has responded productively to the original congressional tasking by providing in this final report a comprehensive analysis of the military, political, and technical issues surrounding the CTM program as well as a thorough analysis of alternative CPGS systems. The committee thanks the many briefers who presented information essential to the writing of this report.9 In particular, the committee is especially grateful to Gregory Hulcher, Director for Special Projects, Office of the Under Secretary of Defense (Acquisition, Technology and Logistics), and James Colasacco, Division Chief, Global Strike Capability, U.S. Strategic Command—both of whom facilitated the committee’s efforts in gathering DOD information related to the study tasking, such as military and technical information related to CTM and CPGS alternatives. Finally, a supplement to this report, which does not modify any of the report’s findings, conclusions, or recommendations, has been produced; the supplement may contain information that the U.S. government and the National Academy of Sciences have determined is not releasable to the public because it would disclose matters described in 5 U.S.C. Section 552(b). Requests for copies of the supplement, which will be considered on a case-by-case basis, may be addressed to the National Research Council’s Naval Studies Board (http://www.nas.edu/nsb). 8 Making Appropriations for the Department of Defense for the Fiscal Year Ending September 30, 2008, and for Other Purposes: Conference Report to Accompany H.R. 3222, H. Rept. 110-434, p. 240, 110th Cong., 1st sess. (November 6, 2007). 9 During the course of its study, the committee held meetings in which it received (and discussed) materials that are exempt from release under 5 U.S.C. 552(b). A summary of the committee’s meeting agendas is provided in Appendix F.
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U.S. Conventional Prompt Global Strike: Issues for 2008 and Beyond Acknowledgment of Reviewers This report has been reviewed in draft form by individuals chosen for their diverse perspectives and technical expertise, in accordance with procedures approved by the National Research Council’s Report Review Committee. The purpose of this independent review is to provide candid and critical comments that will assist the institution in making its published report as sound as possible and to ensure that the report meets institutional standards for objectivity, evidence, and responsiveness to the study charge. The review comments and draft manuscript remain confidential to protect the integrity of the deliberative process. We wish to thank the following individuals for their review of this report: John F. Ahearne, Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Society, Edward G. Anderson III, LTG, USA (retired), Booz Allen Hamilton, Paul M. Bevilaqua, Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company, Gregory S. Martin, Gen, USAF (retired), Arlington, Virginia, Richard W. Mies, ADM, USN (retired), Fairfax Station, Virginia, Neil G. Siegel, Northrop Grumman Mission Systems, and Larry D. Welch, Gen, USAF (retired), Alexandria, Virginia. Although the reviewers listed above provided many constructive comments and suggestions, they were not asked to endorse the conclusions or recommendations, nor did they see the final draft of the report before its release. The review of this report was overseen by Stephen Berry of the University of Chicago. Appointed by the National Research Council, he was responsible for making
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U.S. Conventional Prompt Global Strike: Issues for 2008 and Beyond certain that an independent examination of this report was carried out in accordance with institutional procedures and that all review comments were carefully considered. Responsibility for the final content of this report rests entirely with the authoring committee and the institution.
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U.S. Conventional Prompt Global Strike: Issues for 2008 and Beyond Contents SUMMARY 1 1 INTRODUCTION 18 The CPGS Capability Gap, 21 Conventional Trident Modification and Some CPGS Alternatives, 22 Organization of the Report, 23 2 MILITARY ISSUES 27 Defining Conventional Prompt Global Strike, 27 Attributes and Test Cases for Comparing Options, 33 A Representative Set of Options for CPGS, 35 Analysis, 37 Enablers of Conventional Prompt Global Strike, 51 Findings and Recommendations, 59 3 POLITICAL, INTERNATIONAL, POLICY, AND DOCTRINAL ISSUES 61 The Need to Consider the Full Range of Issues Presented by CPGS Concepts, 62 Command and Control and the Requirement for Presidential Authorization, 65 Potential for Inappropriate or Mistaken Use, 66 Impact on Nuclear Deterrence and Stability, 68
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U.S. Conventional Prompt Global Strike: Issues for 2008 and Beyond Preventing an Accidental Launch of a Nuclear Weapon When a Conventional Strike Has Been Ordered, 70 Nuclear Ambiguity, 71 Overflight and Debris, 77 Access to Forward Basing, 79 Proliferation, 80 Arms Control and Treaty Issues, 81 Strategic Considerations, 84 4 TECHNOLOGY ISSUES 87 Overview, 87 Requirements, 90 System Concepts, 99 Research and Development Issues, 118 Technology Readiness Levels and Time Frames, 132 Summary, 135 Findings and Recommendations, 135 5 ASSESSMENT OF CONVENTIONAL PROMPT GLOBAL STRIKE OPTIONS—SYNTHESIS 138 Evaluation Factors, 138 Assessment Synthesis, 141 Conclusions, 146 6 KEY QUESTIONS AND MAJOR FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS 147 1. Does the United States Need CPGS Capabilities?, 148 2. What Are the Alternative CPGS Systems, and How Effective Are They Likely to Be If Proposed Capabilities Are Achieved?, 150 3. What Would Be the Implications of Alternative CPGS Systems for Stability, Doctrine, Decision Making, and Operations?, 153 4. What Nuclear Ambiguity Concerns Arise from CPGS, and How Might They Be Mitigated?, 156 5. What Arms Control Issues Arise with CPGS Systems, and How Might They Be Resolved?, 158 6. Should the United States Proceed with Research, Development, Testing, and Evaluation of the CTM Program and, Ultimately, with CTM Production and Deployment?, 159 7. Should the United States Proceed with the Development and Testing of Alternative CPGS Systems Beyond CTM?, 160 Major Recommendations, 161
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U.S. Conventional Prompt Global Strike: Issues for 2008 and Beyond APPENDIXES A Acronyms and Abbreviations 167 B Letter from Senators Inouye and Stevens 171 C Committee and Staff Biographies 175 D Statement of Task and Congressional Language 183 E Interim Letter Report to Congress 185 F Summary of Committee Meeting Agendas 204 G The Why and How of Boost-Glide Systems 206 H Cooperative Reduction of Nuclear Ambiguity 216 I The Minuteman Option 219
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