The Defense Department is preparing to start a new round of examining missile defense policies and capabilities, a department official told a Senate panel Wednesday evening.
“We are planning to start a missile defense review imminently in the next few weeks,” Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Nuclear and Missile Defense Policy Leonor Tomero said during a hearing before the Senate Armed Services Committee’ subcommittee on Strategic Forces June 9.
In her written opening statement, she said DoD plans to review its missile defense policies, strategies, and capabilities “to ensure they align with broader U.S. national security and national defense strategies.”
When asked if this will be a standalone review as done in the past or folded into a larger DoD deterrence assessment Tomero said “that decision has not been made yet.”
However, she said DoD leadership will work across the department with the Missile Defense Agency, U.S. Northern Command, and the acquisition community “so it will be done in a coordinated way across the department and we are planning to start very soon. And we will look at the threat and the changing security environment, how do we improve and have effective and affordable missile defense of the homeland and regional defense,” Tomero said.
She reiterated this will be done as “part of the national defense strategy and it will also feed into our integrated deterrence review”
Tomero said this missile defense review, aligned with the national defense strategy and contributing to the DoD’ approach to integrated deterrence, is expected to be completed by January 2022.
In recent decades each new presidential administration conducts its own ballistic missile defense review, and expanded more generally into an overall missile defense review by the Trump administration. The last administration released its missile defense review in January 2019 after multiple delays from a previously planned release in 2017 (Defense Daily, Jan. 17, 2019).