Trump to Boost U.S. Missile Defense to Combat Iranian, N. Korean WMD Threats

New NSS prioritizes U.S. missile defense to combat rogue missiles

Donald Trump
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December 18, 2017

The Trump administration will designate domestic U.S. missile defense as a "priority action" as part of its forthcoming National Security Strategy, or NSS, according to draft language viewed by the Washington Free Beacon that singles out Iranian and North Korean missile threats as a direct danger to the American homeland.

Trump's national security vision, which will be presented later Monday in the NSS, will focus in part on enhanced missile defense in the United States in order to combat possible attacks by North Korea and Iran on the American homeland, according to draft portions of the NSS exclusively viewed by the Free Beacon.

The focus on missile defense comes as Iran and North Korea work independently—and in conjunction—to boost the power and range of their missiles, particularly their intercontinental ballistic missiles, which are capable of carrying a nuclear warhead.

The Trump administration recognizes in its NSS that the threat from these missile programs is growing and that the United States must take proactive measures to bolster its defenses.

"The United States is deploying a layered missile defense system focused on North Korea and Iran to defend our homeland against missile attacks," according to draft language of the NSS viewed by the Free Beacon. "This system will include the ability to defeat missile threats prior to launch. Enhanced missile defense will not undermine strategic stability or disrupt longstanding strategic relationships with Russia or China."

The document also outlines threats from state and non-state actors when it comes to weapons of mass destruction, otherwise known as WMDs.

While rogue nations such as Iran and North Korea are perfecting ballistic missiles, terror groups such as al Qaeda and ISIS are turning to cruder, but just as dangerous, weapons such as chemical and biological WMDs, according to the Trump administration's new national security vision.

"We would face grave danger if terrorists obtained inadequately secured nuclear, radiological, or biological material," the draft portion of the document states.

"As missiles grow in numbers, types, and effectiveness, to include those with greater ranges, they are the most likely means for states like North Korea to use a nuclear weapon against the United States," the document notes. "North Korea is also pursuing chemical and biological weapons which could also be delivered by missile."

China and Russia also are developing advanced weapons that could threaten America's critical infrastructure, according to the Trump administration.

This reality has sparked the Trump administration to put a renewed focus on domestic missile defense systems, such as those used by Israel to protect citizens from rocket attacks.

The Trump administration also is prioritizing missile defense for NATO allies in Europe and elsewhere.

The administration, in its NSS, is seeking for European allies to increase their own defense spending by 2 percent of their gross domestic products by 2024, according to portions of the NSS viewed by the Free Beacon. At least 20 percent of this spending is to be devoted to increasing military capabilities.

The United States intends to help its NATO allies bolster their own missile defense capabilities to ward off threats from Iran, North Korea, and other rogue regimes.

"We will work with NATO to improve its integrated air and missile defense capabilities to counter existing and projected ballistic and cruise missile threats, particularly from Iran. We will increase counterterrorism and cyber security cooperation," according to draft language in the NSS.

Efforts to combat growing Iranian and North Korean threats also will extend to the political sector, according to the draft NSS language.

The United States under Trump will seek to broaden and deepen its collaboration with European allies against rogue forces that challenge security and economic interests.

This includes working with European allies to counter "Russian subversion and aggression, and the threats posed by North Korea and Iran," according to the draft language.

One veteran foreign policy adviser close to the White House who had been briefed on the new NSS said the Trump document seeks to correct the Obama administration's policy, which helped to bolster and incubate Iran's contested missile program.

"The Obama administration couldn't be honest about Iran's ballistic missile threat so they couldn't do all that was necessary to defend the homeland and our allies," the source said. "If they had tried to pour resources into defenses against Iranian missiles it would have highlighted the threat, and then the American public would never have allowed the nuclear deal that lifted the UN's ballistic missile ban. So instead they flooded the zone with talking points about future options after giving Iran billions. The Trump administration isn't constrained by Iran deal lies, and Trump has called for missile defense and called out Tehran since the beginning, and now they're going to build what's necessary."