US President Donald Trump promised to take the country's missile system "to a new era" in the growing threats from "potential adversaries," such as North Korea and Iran, who have substantially expanded their capabilities.
"Our goal is simple: to ensure that we can detect and destroy any missile launched against the US from anywhere, at any time, and as you know, the best way to keep America safe is to make it strong, and that is what we are doing, "the president said in a speech at the Pentagon, in Arlington (Virginia), outside of Washington.
While he spoke about the importance of strengthening offensive capacity, not just the defensive one, he offered few specific details regarding projects or volume of money, apart from 20 new missile interception systems in Alaska.
In this respect, he stressed that the country has "the best weapons in the world" so it will ensure that its defense systems remain "unrivaled." He repeated his intention to create space forces that complement the defense systems: "My next budget will invest in a missile defense system located in space (...) It will be a large, large part of our defense, and obviously offensive."
In his speech, the president just cited Iran as a global threat, however, the Pentagon report, released along with Trump's speech, does refer broadly to other countries, with special emphasis on North Korea, China, and Russia.
The document also details that "the current security context is more complex and volatile than what has been experienced in recent memory" and "potential adversaries are substantially investing in their missile capability."
For this reason, it considers as "imperative" the modernization of the American defense "to face the adversaries ongoing progress in their regional offensive missile systems." This missile system revision is the first in almost a decade.
Trump took the opportunity to criticize the international allies, to whom he criticized their low defense investment and the need for a border wall with Mexico. "We are 100% with NATO," adding that partners must take "one step forward."
On the requirement of 5.700 million dollars in budgetary funds for the border barrier, the cause of a political crisis before the Democrats' opposition and the partial closure of the federal administration, insisted on the need for "strong barriers and walls" as the only way to protect the country. "Nothing else is going to work," Trump stressed.
In his opinion, the blame for the federal closure, which is now in its fourth week, "is that the Democratic Party has been kidnapped by the radical left wing and open borders."
The missile strategy presentation comes a day after the government confirmed that it plans to suspend on February 2 the treaty signed in 1987 with Russia for the elimination of medium- and short-range nuclear missiles (INF), an announcement that has increased the tension with Moscow.
Both countries, which own 90% of the planet's nuclear weapons, accuse each other of violating the aforementioned agreement, which prohibits the two signatory countries from manufacturing, deploying, or testing short-range missiles (500-1,000 kilometers) and from medium range (1,000-5,500 kilometers).