Tue, 18 Feb 2020

President Donald Trump has announced that the United States will develop new technologies -- including in space -- to acquire unrivaled missile-defense capabilities and maintain an advantage over adversaries such as Russia, China, Iran, and North Korea.

His comments were part of the results of a U.S. missile-defense review -- the first since 2010 -- that Trump unveiled at the Pentagon on January 17.

Speaking after acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan and U.S. Vice President Mike Pence, Trump said the U.S. goal was simple: 'that we can detect and destroy' any incoming missile launched against the United States 'anywhere, any time, any place.'

Trump mentioned increased threats from hypersonic and cruise missiles with upgraded abilities that Washington needs to counter.

He said his call for an expanded missile-defense system will better protect the United States.

Trump said a new strategy would include a 'space-based defense layer of new technologies, such as sensors that could detect, track, and destroy incoming enemy missiles.

He said the space defense capability would 'ultimately be a very, very big part of our defense -- and our offense.'

Shanahan said before Trump that competitors such as Russia and China were pursuing new missiles that are 'harder to see, harder to track, and harder to defeat.'

He added that Washington is not interested 'in keeping pace with potential threats, but in outpacing them.'

Trump also announced that the United States would deploy 20 new missile interceptors in Alaska as part of a new missile-defense strategy.

A new missile-defense program that could defend 'every city in the United States' would be developed, he said.

With reporting by AP and Reuters RFE/RL

RFE/RL journalists report the news in 23 countries where a free press is banned by the government or not fully established.

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Copyright (c) 2018. RFE/RL, Inc. Republished with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave NW, Ste 400, Washington DC 20036

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