Ballistic Missile Defense and Northeast Asian Security: Views from Washington, Beijing, and Tokyo

Phase I: November 16-17, 2000, Washington, DC
Phase II: November 30-December 5, 2000,
Monterey, California

Conference Description

This project is designed to identify and analyze the potential consequences of various modes of Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) deployments on the Northeast Asian (NEA) security environment. Current National Missile Defense (NMD) debates are heavily Russia-centric, invariably stressing the consequences of deployment for the Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) Treaty. The major focus is usually on potential US diplomatic strategies for overcoming Russian opposition to deployment, or on the (in)validity of the ABM Treaty framework in the post-Cold War world. The almost exclusive focus on the ABM Treaty naturally skews the debate toward Russia, since China is not a party to the Treaty. Recent advocacy of alternative NMD deployment modes (Boost/Post-Boost systems) by nongovernmental experts and former US officials have shown the same Russia-centric bias. Similarly, arguments about US Theater Missile Defense (TMD) systems do not always accurately reflect the strategic motives of Japan, which views TMD as both a defensive military capability and a broader political-military issue affecting overall US-Japan bilateral relations and the alliance with the United States.

The goal of this project is to investigate understandings of the regional security situation on the part of US security planners and congressional policymakers, and to encourage greater dialogue between: (1) security and regional specialists within different agencies of the US Executive Branch, (2) senior Congressional staff, (3) regional experts in the independent expert community, and (4) Japanese and Chinese counterparts to US officials and experts. The investigation will yield critical NEA perspectives to inform the US policy debate, thereby providing US security planners and congressional staff with vital information and concepts as they consider decisions on this issue.