A Clear Marker

The US is working with its allies on a number of initiatives to build defenses and countermeasures against anti-access tools and strategies utilized by Iran’s military and associated forces, a senior Defense Department official told the House Armed Services Committee Tuesday. Vice Adm. Frank Pandolfe, head of strategic plans and policy on the Joint Staff, said the US is working with Arabian Gulf allies and Israel to improve ballistic missile defense technology and early warning capabilities. In particular, the US is working with members of the Gulf Cooperation Council to build a “comprehensive air and missile defense architecture” in the region, Pandolfe said. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel also discussed the concept during his visit to the Manama Dialogue conference in Bahrain this past December. Pandolfe said DOD is stepping up its cooperation with countries to focus on counter terrorism activities. The US is putting down a “clear marker” to show it is in agreement with its allies in the Gulf region about their concerns regarding Iranian intimidation, said Pandolfe.