Donald Trump has announced ambitious plans to expand and update US missile defence systems, in a bid to stay ahead of countries whose militaries the administration considers a threat.
The initiative comes as the US worries about Iran and North Korea’s ballistic missile capabilities, as well as technological advances made by the militaries of China and Russia.
Speaking at the Pentagon on Thursday, Mr Trump said “competitor regimes” were getting “bigger and stronger”, and that a new missile defence strategy would deter attacks from hostile states, including Iran.
“Our goal is simple: to ensure we can detect and destroy any missile launched against us, anywhere, any time, any place,” Mr Trump said.
“We have some very bad players out there, and we’re a good player, but we can be far worse than anybody if need be,” he added.
The Pentagon has said it wants to put sensors in space to track missile launches and has recommended new research into weapons that can shoot down missiles from space. High-energy lasers would also be a way to allow the US to destroy missiles, the report said.
Patrick Shanahan, acting secretary of defence, said an ambitious new expansion would protect against threats from “frustrated” competitors who were adding new and sophisticated missiles to their arsenal, as well as developing threats that were “harder to track, to see, to defeat”.
Mr Trump’s plan echoes the “Star Wars” defence system touted by former US president Ronald Reagan, who sought to protect the US from intercontinental ballistic missiles during the cold war.
特朗普提出的计划呼应美国前总统罗纳德•里根(Ronald Reagan)当年吹嘘的“星球大战”(Star Wars)防御系统，后者试图在冷战期间保护美国免受洲际弹道导弹袭击。
Washington is engaged in a stand-off with Moscow over the critical cold war-era Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces treaty, which the Trump administration has threatened to tear up.
围绕冷战时期签署的至关重要的《中程导弹条约》(Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty)，华盛顿方面目前与莫斯科陷入一场对峙。特朗普政府已威胁要撕毁该条约。
On Wednesday, the US met Russian representatives in Geneva and again demanded Russia destroy a disputed missile system that the US claims breaches the terms of the treaty.
European governments have expressed fears that the dissolution of the INF treaty would lead to the continuation of the east-west missile arms race ended by the pact.
The Pentagon said the US would seek to work with allies — including European Nato countries, along with Israel, Japan, South Korea and Canada — to ensure that different national missile defence systems were “interoperable”.
US allies and partners would be “encouraged” to invest in their own air and missile defence systems, the report said, while the process for allies and partners to buy military technology from the US had already been made easier.