Currently, all navy destroyers support real world mission and provide ballistic missile defense (BMD) to all fleet commanders under the current deployment cycles. With the growing number of state-sponsored terrorism and rogue states, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and its Allies are at risk of attack. All NATO countries should support BMD program to ensure ballistic missiles technology (BMT) is not gained by adversaries. Thus, NATO countries should acquire BMD ships to support the objectives of BMD program.
This paper shows current countries with BMD capabilities and cost of homeporting four warships in Rota, Spain. The paper also includes the pros and cons of having a forward deployed naval force in Rota, Spain and recommends not to homeport four Aegis ships in Rota, Spain.
Ballistic missile defense (BMD) program is needed to help the United States protect its allies in the NATO. NATO has been at risk of ballistic missile attack for over three decades as more and more countries keep acquiring ballistic missile technology (BMT). Today’s world deals with more nations that are Axis of Evil. Rogue states and state-sponsored terrorism has driven NATO to develop a BMD program to protect all of its allies.
The missile defense agency (MDA) provides guidance as well as Aegis destroyers and cruisers to the U.S. Navy for conducting BMD operations. MDA provided $2,303.0 million dollars for the fiscal year 2013 (O’Rourke 2013), but it doesn’t include the cost of sending four Aegis Destroyers to Rota, Spain.
The United States and Japan are the only two countries with BMD ship capability. Australia is acquiring BMD ships though it may not receive the ships until 2016. Additionally, Japan is not a member of NATO. BMD provides protection to all of its NATO allies against Axis of Evil and rogue states which are trying to acquire BMT. The U.S. economy faces financial crises while it deals with the BMD program.
U.S. National Security has been affected by the current financial crisis which exposed real world weaknesses in western economic and political models such as misgivings about their long-term results such as unsustainable debt, overleveraging, common systems (i.e. banking and healthcare) systemic failure, rising youth unemployment, increasing dysfunction of government governance, growing disparity in income, etc. (Scheherazades, 2013) .
Due to current budget crises and sequester, the deficit commission is trying to reduce military spending through while increasing taxes. The effects of the proposal will see the military reduce tax spending (Steinhauer, & Jennifer 2013). There will be a cost of $470 million over the next three fiscal years to pay for the permanent change of station (PCS) which is paid by the MDA in bring service members and families to Rota, Spain.
U.S. will be able to save on the cost of overall maintenance on four Aegis Warship by $3.42 million, by homeporting them in Rota, Spain. U.S. and NATO will have BMD capabilities in Europe to protect its allies. Financial crises in the U.S. have had a major impact on the funding of the BMD program. Other countries under NATO should take more active role and relieve the U.S. from homeporting ships in Rota, Spain.
The Navy cannot handle homeporting of four Aegis Warship in Rota, Spain due to current budget reduction. This is an extra price tag that comes along with this move and the burden falls on the American taxpayers’. Additionally, it will also lead to job losses among Americans. Other NATO countries should play an active role and acquire BMD ships to support the mission. I recommend that the U.S. keeps its current deployment cycle to support NATO and not homeport any BMD ship in Rota Spain.
This paper addressed the issue homeporting Aegis Warships in Rota, Spain and how the sequester for the Military cannot afford shifting warships overseas. Fiscal planning is paramount in managing military forces. The U.S. is at risk of more financial ruins if other countries from NATO do not play more active role and get BMD ships.
O’Rourke, R. (n.d.). Retrieved from website: http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/weapons/RL33745.pdf
Rehman, S. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.usnews.com/opinion/blogs/world-report/2013/01/28/was-the-financial-crisis-the-end-of-western-democracy
Steinhauer, & Jennifer (2013). “House Approves Spending Bill, Averting Shutdown”. The New York Times.