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Page 215 APPENDIX J Controlling Instabilities Caused by Rogue Governments Glenn A. Kent, Rand THE EMERGING THREAT We are now faced with the emerging threat of rogue nations capable of employing weapons of mass destruction (biological, chemical, or even nuclear). The more likely delivery systems include cruise missiles, ballistic missiles, and containers delivered by persons or land vehicles. IMPLICATIONS OF THIS THREAT The capability of a rogue nation to attack (or even threaten to attack) nearby neighbors with weapons equipped with nuclear, biological, or chemical warheads will surely create serious instabilities. A rogue government may come to believe that it can deter the United States from responding to its aggression by threatening retaliation against nearby neighbors or U.S. forces with weapons of mass destruction. And, thus, the rogue government may not be deterred from embarking upon the aggression in the first place. Even a rogue nation, in going through the complex dynamics described above, must take into account that if the scenario plays out, it, as well, may be deterred from actually carrying out the threat of retaliating. If the leaders of a rogue nation indeed engaged in a retaliatory attack(s), they would face the threat that the United States might destroy their countryand could do so even with the use of conventional weapons. Also, the rogue leader will always have in mind that the United States possesses the capability to employ nuclear weapons anywhere and anytime. However, the United States must take seriously that the scenario plays out and the rogue nation is not deterred from carrying out its threat and retaliates because the United States has responded to its aggression. Thus, the United States should (must) have the capability to limit damage if deterrence fails. Also, the capability of the United States to actually defeat or neutralize an enemy retaliatory attack will weigh heavily on the decision of whether the United States can build a coalition and respond in the first place. A DEFENSE IN DEPTH Surely the United States will make every effort to prevent the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. Also, if preventing proliferation fails, as is likely to some degree, then the United States can take actions to deny an enemy
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Page 216 continued possession by counterforce operations against both the weapons themselves and the means of delivery. Note that these counterforce operations, although preemptive to launch of the enemy missiles, are not necessarily preemptive in a more strategic sense. The rogue may already be in violation of some treaty or sanction simply by the possession of such weapons. If counterforce operations against possession fail (as surely they will to some degree), then the next barrier is to deter their use. The next barrier is to attack the missiles (cruise or ballistic) if, and after, they have been launched. The last barrier is in ''passive defense." So, we see that active defenses play an important role in the complex dynamics of who is deterring whom: • They play a role in limiting damage if the rogue nation employs weapons of mass destruction in retaliation because the United States responded by large-scale military actions. • Active defenses also play a role in the decision process by the rogue government as to whether or not to launch a retaliatory attack in retaliation to the U.S. response. • Thus, they play a role in the decision as to whether or not the United States is deterred from responding. • Thus, they play a role in whether the rogue nation is deterred from aggression in the first place. The remainder of this paper focuses on one aspect of active defenses: namely, intercepting ballistic missiles after launch. AN APPROACH TO INTERCEPTING BALLISTIC MISSILES AFTER LAUNCH One of the likely threats is a ballistic missile equipped with small canisters loaded with biological or chemical agents. There is also the possibility of missiles equipped with nuclear warheads and midcourse decoys. Further, these canisters and decoys can be dispensed once the enemy missile gains the right velocity toward the target. It is clearly not feasible to provide enough interceptors at each target we intend to defend to engage all the canisters and decoys in the inventory of the rogue nation. This argues for operational concepts that enable the United States to engage the enemy missile itself prior to the event of dispensing the submunitions or decoys. In effect, putting a "cap" over the territory of the rogue nation means no ballistic missiles can exit the territory. The "cap" ensures that the agents will fall on enemy territory and not on the territory we seek to defend.
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Page 217 Intercepting missiles before "fractionation" means that time is critical. And since time is compressed, we need a very short time loop from sensor to assessor/controller to shooter. We need a short time between the time a sensor observes the launch and the time a "bullet" arrives at the booster or the postboost vehicle. For one thing, this means we need fast interceptors. For defenses that use "hit-to-kill" vehicles (and other types of warheads), the "footprint"1 of the defense battery depends critically on the rated velocity of the interceptor, the interceptor being the vehicle that gets the "terminal engagement vehicle" in the basket of the target. The footprint of an interceptor rated at 6 km/s is about twice that of an interceptor rated at 3 km/s. If the engagement time (time begins when sensors provide enough information for a controller to order the launch of an interceptor and ends just before the submunitions are dispensed) is 100 s, a 3 km/s interceptor is said to have a footprint of 300 km; similarly, a 6 km/s interceptor has a footprint of twice that, or 600 km. On the other hand, if the engagement time is only 50 s, then a 12 km/s interceptor is required to maintain a footprint of 600 km. The interceptors could be deployed on an unmanned aerial vehicle. In this case, a footprint of 300 km would be effective, assuming, of course, that the vehicle can operate (dwell) over the areas where we are invoking a "cap." The "interceptor" could be a laser beam deployed on some aircraft at high altitude. In this case, the speed of the bullets is quite impressive. However, the "footprint" may be constrained because the lethality decreases with range. The interceptors could be deployed on ships. Employing interceptors on ships has the following attributes: • Ships are high on access. Since "footprints" are constrained, having access to the right areas will be critical, and combat naval ships provide an effective means of gaining this access. • For example, take the case of covering Iraq and Iran. Interceptors could be based on ships in the upper reaches of the Persian Gulf and the eastern reaches of the Mediterranean Sea. A simple survey on a globe reveals that a footprint of something like 1,000 km is required to cover Iran and Iraq from these sites. If sites for interceptors were also available in either the Caspian Sea or Pakistan, then a "footprint" of around 750 km would suffice. Also, the more remote areas of Iran could be covered by one (or both) of the other means discussed earlier-for example, interceptors with "hit-to-kill" vehicles on stealthy unmanned aerial vehicles deployed at high altitudes over designated areas. 1 The metric of "footprint" is range (kilometers). The launch point of an enemy missile is said to be within the "footprint" of our interceptor if the interceptor can reach the missile before the missile dispenses the submunitions.
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Page 218 • For the case of covering North Korea, access to the right areas is straightforward with ship-based defense units. • Ships can remain on station. Ships provide a platform that lends itself to being on station. So do land-based batteries (but such batteries depend on gaining rights from some foreign government). • Ships can employ large interceptors. Ships allow for employing large interceptors, and large interceptors may be required to gain the velocities needed to gain the footprints required. The footprints "required," in turn, depend on which nation is being "capped" and on where our interceptors can be deployed. • Ships are mobile. The defense battery can be positioned according to the direction of the national leaders. • The one drawback is that interceptors off ships must traverse Earth's atmosphere and this poses a constraint on how fast the interceptor can go initially, until free of the atmosphere. SUGGESTED ACTIONS All of the above suggests that the U.S. Navy should undertake a serious effort toward formulating and defining operational concepts to place a "cap" over designated areasa cap in the sense that no ballistic missiles can exit the area. Problems in defining a viable overall concept exist at four levels: • At the system levelThe concept of a superfast interceptor will be front and center. Trajectory shaping to arrive at the target in the shortest time possible will be critical. In fact, the overall concept for providing an effective "cap" over Iran and Iraq may indeed fail because of the limits on how fast interceptors can go. • At the tactical levelThe operational concept must define how to accomplish "dynamic engagement control." This involves the interaction of sensors, assessors, controllers, and shooters to make the time loops for engaging the target as short as possible, so that we have "iron" on target prior to dispensing. • At the operational levelAt this level, some "joint integrator" must address how these defense batteries on ships operate in concert with other types of defense batteries to achieve the overall operational objectiveno enemy ballistic missiles can exit a designated area. For example, for certain countries, like Iraq and Iran, the footprints of the
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Page 219 ship-based batteries may be much less than desired, and we must employ other concepts to cover the more remote areas of that country. • At the strategic levelAt this level, we must address how to go about getting the needed political mandate for placing a "cap" over some designated areathe mandate coming from international organizations like NATO or the United Nations. Also, we must address the question of maintaining the intent of the Antiballistic Missile (ABM) Treaty of 1972 in the presence of these theater missile defenses; the intent of the treaty, stated broadly, is to provide effective measures to limit the capability to defend the territory of each countrythe United States and now Russia. Reconciling these two objectives will be tractable if we keep in mind that we are striving to maintain the intent of the ABM Treaty of 1972-this being quite distinct from maintaining the language and approach inherent in the present treaty. Specifically, we limit the capability of defense units to defend the territory of the United States by where the ships (defense units) are deployed-not by how fast the interceptors can travel.
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