June 30, 2022

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Ground-Based Intermediate-Range Missiles in the Indo-Pacific: Assessing the Positions of U.S. Allies

Ground-Based Intermediate-Range Missiles in the Indo-Pacific: Assessing the Positions of U.S. Allies


When the United States withdrew from the Intermediate-Selection Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty in 2019, it opened for itself the opportunity to acquire and deploy ground-primarily based missiles with ranges amongst 500 and 5,500 km — what this report phone calls ground-primarily based intermediate-range missiles (GBIRMs). But the U.S. withdrawal also sparked a debate with regards to exactly where the United States could deploy these kinds of missiles. This became a essential subject matter in the Indo-Pacific due to the fact China was under no circumstances a signatory to the INF Treaty, enabling it to develop a huge array of abilities that the United States was prohibited from fielding.

Contemplating this menace, the United States has been hoping to build and deploy a new conventionally armed GBIRM to the Indo-Pacific, but how U.S. allies will answer to Washington’s overtures to host GBIRMs is not clear.

The author analyzes the probability of U.S. treaty allies in the Indo-Pacific region—Australia, Japan, the Philippines, the Republic of Korea (ROK), and Thailand—hosting U.S. GBIRMs. Due to the fact these countries are not likely to agree, the author also examines alternatives to permanently basing these missiles on allies’ territories: (1) U.S. co-development of GBIRMs with and/or profits of GBIRMs to an ally for it to command and handle, (2) U.S. deployment of GBIRMs to an allied territory in a disaster, (3) peacetime rotational deployment, and (4) deployment on Guam or 1 of the Compact of Cost-free Affiliation states. Due to the fact of negatives with each option, the author recommends a variation of the initially: helping Japan establish an arsenal of floor-dependent anti-ship standoff missile capabilities.

The exploration reported listed here was commissioned by Pacific Air Forces and carried out in just the System and Doctrine Plan of RAND Undertaking AIR Drive.

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