Pentagon Floats Missile Defense Policy in Case of Threats From Russia, China

Pentagon Floats Missile Defense Policy in Case of Threats From Russia, China

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President Donald Trump’s administration is considering a new missile defense policy that would include protection from potential threats from Russia and China, The Washington Post reports.

The Pentagon is currently reviewing a policy that would improve the missile defense system dedicated to countering or intercepting attacks from rogue states like North Korea or Iran. A draft of the policy, which is set for release in March, posits the need to consider threats from Russia and China as well.

“It is foolish to try and pick and choose what aggression we will stand against and which we will let go unanswered,” House Armed Services Committee Chairman Mac Thornberry, R-Texas, said in a statement, according to the Post.

“It is not enough to advocate for a more robust cyber response to Russia’s attempts to meddle in our elections but waiver on our response to their renewed nuclear and territorial ambitions.”

Russian President Vladimir Putin touted his country’s nuclear arsenal on Thursday, in his annual state of the nation address, mentioning a nuclear-powered drone submarine and a hypersonic missile that is much more difficult to detect by defense systems.

“These are all programs that have been in development for a while,” Middlebury Institute’s Jeffrey Lewis told the Post in an email after Putin’s speech. “All of them are about defeating US missile defenses.”