Building on their progress on arms control and nonproliferation, President Barack Obama and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev met at the White House June 24 and issued a joint statement saying the two nations would continue their efforts to share early-warning data on missile launches. That effort, first promoted a decade ago as a way to buttress
The Joint Statement on Strategic Stability noted ongoing U.S.-Russian efforts “to establish a mechanism to exchange data on launches of ballistic missiles and space launch vehicles obtained from their national early warning systems.” The ultimate goal of such cooperation would be to create an international launch notification system, the statement said, and “
The Obama administration has been openly promoting
The missile launch notification discussions were first announced at the July 6, 2009,
Efforts to establish a Joint Data Exchange Center (JDEC) date back to September 1998, when President Bill Clinton and Russian President Boris Yeltsin first agreed to it. At that time, the
The aim of the JDEC is to enable the
The launch notification talks are being carried out by the U.S.-Russian Arms Control and International Security Working Group, chaired by Undersecretary of State for Arms Control and International Security Ellen Tauscher and Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov.
According to the Department of State, this working group is also “examining cooperation on missile defense, developing ways to enhance stability and transparency, and jointly assessing 21st century threats and challenges.” The group is part of the U.S.-Russia Presidential Commission, coordinated by Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, established at the July 2009 Moscow summit. It has met 10 times since its creation, most recently June 16 in
Within the group, the
“These recent proposals build on earlier initiatives that involved sharing missile warning data and providing timely launch notifications between our two countries,” Rose said in the speech at the Royal United Services Institute for Defence and Security Studies Missile Defence Conference. He also said that
Shared control of decisions on when and against whom to launch missile defense interceptors, known as a dual-key system, does not appear to be on the table, according to sources.
In May of this year, the
Expectations that missile defense cooperation would be on the June 24 summit agenda led to concerns that “the administration is secretly working with the Russians to conclude an agreement that would limit U.S. missile defenses,” said Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine), citing press reports, at a June 17 Senate Armed Services Committee hearing. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates replied that “whatever talks are going on are simply about trying to elicit [the Russians’] willingness to partner with us along with the Europeans in terms of a regional missile defense, but there is nothing in the approaches that have been made to the Russians that in any way, shape, or form would impose any limits whatsoever on our plans.”