U.S. says collaboration necessary in missile defense

The collaboration of allies and partners on ballistic missile defense is more important than ever before, the U.S. State Department said on Thursday.

Rose Gottemoeller, the State Department's acting undersecretary for arms control and international security, made the remarks on Thursday at the 2013 Multinational BMD Conference and Exhibition in Warsaw, Poland. Gottemoeller discussed how missile defenses fit into the larger U.S. strategy to respond to the threat of ballistic missiles.

Gottemoeller said the U.S. participates in the Missile Technology Control Regime, the Proliferation Security initiative and other programs to prevent the threat of ballistic missiles from growing. She said that at the same time, the U.S. must be realistic that such programs cannot completely stop missile proliferation.

"That is why missile defense is an important part of our efforts to strengthen regional security," Gottemoeller said. "The missile defense systems that we deploy are critical to reassuring our allies. They signal that, in the face of threats from countries like Iran and North Korea, we will meet our defense commitments."

Gottemoeller said the U.S. seeks, where possible, the integration of its missile defense systems into a broader system of defenses deployed by allies and friends. This allows for a more flexible and capable cost-effective system. She discussed missile defense cooperation in Europe, the Middle East and the Asia-Pacific region.

Gottemoeller said that challenges exist, such as tensions with Russia and China, but she said forums like the Warsaw conference could reduce the amount of danger from ballistic missiles going forward.

"Looking ahead, the United States knows that we have a lot more work to do on creating opportunities for missile defense cooperation and on defending against ballistic missile proliferation, but that is why forums like these are so important," Gottemoeller said. "The discussions, debates and ideas that develop here can help us move to a safer, more secure world."