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President Donald Trump Unveils 2019 Missile Defense Review

17 January 2019

Donald Trump participates in the Missile Defense Review announcement at Pentagon in Virginia.

Trump is expected to make a roughly 30-minute speech in the Pentagon auditorium in which he will outline that the United States is postured primarily to defend the homeland against potential missile attacks from rogue nations, primarily North Korea and Iran, which have ballistic missile capabilities, the officials from the White House said on the condition of anonymity. "We are committed to establishing a missile defense program that can shield every city in the United States, and we will never negotiate away our right to do this".

The president announced during a speech at the Pentagon that missile defenses, now limited to countering North Korean long-range missiles and future Iranian missiles, will no longer be constrained to rogue states. The threat is not only coming from traditional cruise and ballistic missiles, but also from hypersonic weapons. "We have some very bad players out there. But we can be far worse than anybody, if need be".

US President Donald Trump is due to unveil a revamped US missile defense strategy on Thursday that looks at ways to boost America's security, including by possibly deploying a new layer of space-based sensors to detect and track enemy missiles.

A senior administration official said Wednesday that the planned improvements in missile defense technology and operational concepts doesn't envision preemptive strikes to prevent an enemy missile launch.

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Starr said that as commander in chief Trump "can pick up the phone and say to the Air Force, 'don't give them an airplane, '" but questioned his motivations.

"While a possible new avenue to peace now exists with North Korea, it continues to pose an extraordinary threat and the USA must remain vigilant", the review said.

New technologies for missile defenses were not specified in the report.

The review also rejects the possibility of limiting American missile defenses in the future.

The Republican leader introduced in his fourth point the "space-based missile defense layer". There is no near-term intention to spend money on research, development, or production on potential interceptors, however.

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Trump joined a number of his top generals Thursday at the Pentagon to deliver an address in support of his initiative, which sought to install detection systems in outer space as a means to counter new weapons being developed by top military rivals Russian Federation and China, as well as burgeoning missile powers Iran and North Korea.

The U.S. boosted missile defense spending in the current fiscal year about 25 percent to $9.9 billion, spurred by Trump and lawmakers amid concerns over North Korea's ballistic missile and nuclear programs. No testing is mandated, and no final decisions have been made.

Placing weapons in space has always been considered a controversial line for any nation to cross.

Expanding and improving the USA missile defense shield will require significant time and resources, as well. The idea was largely abandoned following the breakup of the Soviet Union. The U.S. military could also put high-powered lasers on drones flying off the Korean coasts that could shoot that nation's rockets. The sky is teeming with spy satellites and other platforms that support government surveillance, communications, weather forecasting and other activities.

Last year, US intelligence services warned that both Russian Federation and China could soon possess destructive space weapons.

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Trump also said it's unfair how USA troops defend other countries, many of which are extremely wealthy, without receiving anything in return.

President Donald Trump Unveils 2019 Missile Defense Review