ME unrest 'demands more US missile defence'
Washington, February 23, 2011
The momentum of recent events in the Mena region has raised the need for self defence, and the US has the missile capability to play an effective role in stabilizing a volatile region and preventing an escalation, said an expert.
“It is vital that our allies in the region and our forward operating bases are protected and defended,” said Riki Ellison, chairman and founder of US-based Missile Defense Advocacy Alliance (MDAA).
“Missile defense makes our world safer,” he said, adding that it was possible that some entities in the region may look to take advantage of the instability.
“The ability of the US to project power through its presence of military force in the region is paramount to its allies' stability, security and deterrence of potential escalation. The proliferation of ballistic missiles, cruise missiles and rockets in the region is widespread,” he added.
“Having a mixture of US offensive and defense capability deployed in the region solidifies stability and de-escalates potential major conflicts within this volatile region. US missile defense forces that can defend, protect and deter are an important capability that should not be withheld from our armed forces and allies operating in Mena.”
“One of the best offensive and defensive military mobile capabilities for the US is the Navy Aegis ballistic missile defense (BMD) destroyer and cruiser. The Aegis BMD ships located in the Persian Gulf can independently sense, track and destroy any regional missile threat,” he continued.
The US Navy plays a vital role in the stability of the Middle East region through the constant presence of its Aegis BMD ships in the Persian Gulf, according to Ellison.
“It is critical to provide these ships with upgrades to their Aegis processors so they can increase their mission capability and to have considerable numbers of the new standard missile-3 (SM-3) block IB missiles in their arsenal,” he concluded. – TradeArabia News Service
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