maintain the ability to counter space systems and services that could be used for hostile purposes against our ground, air and naval forces, our command and control system, or other capabilities critical to our national security. We are carefully regulating U.S. commercial space-based remote sensing to ensure that space imagery is not used to the detriment of U.S. security interests. At the same time, we will continue efforts to prevent the spread of weapons of mass destruction to space, and continue to form global partnerships with other space-faring nations across the spectrum of economic, political, environmental and security issues. These efforts require a balanced approach across all types of U.S. space assets—national security, military, and commercial. We will remain vigilant to ensure that we do not compromise our technological superiority while promoting partnerships in space.
We have robust missile defense development and deployment programs focused on systems to protect deployed U.S. forces and our friends and allies against theater ballistic missiles armed with conventional weapons or WMD. These systems will complement and strengthen our deterrence and nonproliferation efforts by reducing incentives to develop or use WMD. Significantly, Presidents Clinton and Yeltsin agreed at the Helsinki Summit to maintain the ABM Treaty as a cornerstone of strategic stability, yet adapt it to meet the threat posed by shorter-range missiles—a threat we seek to counter with U.S. theater missile defense (TMD) systems. The ABM-TMD demarcation agreement signed in New York on September 26, 1997 helps clarify the distinction between ABM systems, which the ABM Treaty limits, and TMD systems, which the ABM Treaty does not limit. The demarcation agreement does not limit any current U.S. core TMD programs, all of which have been certified by the United States as compliant with the ABM Treaty.
Although it remains the view of the intelligence community that it is unlikely that countries other than Russia, China and perhaps North Korea will deploy an ICBM capable of reaching any part of the U.S. before 2010, we are developing, consistent with our obligations under the ABM Treaty, a limited national missile defense capability that would position the U.S. to make a decision as early as the year 2000 to deploy within three years a credible national missile defense system.
National Security Emergency Preparedness
We will do all we can to deter and prevent destructive and threatening forces such as terrorism, WMD use, disruption of our critical infrastructures, natural disasters and regional or state-centered threats from endangering our citizens. But if an emergency occurs, we must also be prepared to respond effectively at home and abroad to protect lives and property, mobilize the personnel, resources and capabilities necessary to effectively handle the emergency, and ensure the survival of our institutions and national infrastructures. National security emergency preparedness is imperative, and comprehensive, all-hazard emergency planning by Federal departments, agencies and the military continues to be a crucial national security requirement.
Overseas Presence and Power Projection
Due to our alliance commitments and other vital interests overseas, we must have a force structure and deployment posture that enable us to successfully conduct military operations across the spectrum of conflict, often in theaters distant from the United States. Maintaining a substantial overseas presence promotes regional stability by giving form and substance to our bilateral and multilateral security commitments and helps prevent the development of power vacuums and instability. It contributes to deterrence by demonstrating our determination to defend U.S., allied, and friendly interests in critical regions and better positions the United States to respond rapidly to crises. Equally essential is effective and efficient global power projection, which is the key to the flexibility demanded or our forces and ultimately provides our national leaders with more options in responding to potential crises and conflicts. Being able to project power allows us to shape, deter, and respond even when we have no permanent presence or a limited infrastructure in the region.
Extensive transportation, logistics and command, control, communications and intelligence (C3I) capabilities are unique U.S. strengths that enhance our conventional deterrent and helps to shape the international environment. Strategic mobility allows the United States to be first on the scene with assistance in many national or international crises and is a key to successful American leadership and engagement. The deployment of US and multinational forces requires maintaining and ensuring access to sufficient fleets of aircraft, ships, vehicles and trains, as well as bases, ports, prepositioned equipment and other infrastructure. The United States must have a robust Defense Transportation System, including both military assets and U.S. flag commercial sealift and airlift, to remain actively engaged in world affairs.
Our need for strategic mobility to deploy our forces overseas is one of the primary reasons we are committed to gaining Senate advice and consent to ratification of the Law of the Sea Convention. Need for this treaty arose from the breakdown of customary international law as more and more nations unilaterally declared ever larger territorial seas and other claims over the oceans that threatened the global access and freedom of navigation that the United States must have to protect its vital national interests. In addition to lending the certainty of the rule of law to an area critical to our national security, the treaty protects our economic interests and preserves our leadership in global ocean policy. The Law of the Sea Convention thus buttresses the strategic advantages that the United States gains from being a global power.
The second core objective of our national security strategy is to promote America’s prosperity through efforts at home and abroad. Our economic and security interests are inextricably linked. Prosperity at home depends on stability in key regions with which we trade or from which we import critical commodities, such as oil and natural gas. Prosperity also demands our leadership in international development, financial and trade institutions. In turn, the strength of our diplomacy, our ability to maintain an unrivaled military and the attractiveness of our values abroad depend in large part on the strength of our economy.
Strengthening Macroeconomic Coordination
As national economies become more integrated internationally, the United States cannot thrive in isolation from developments abroad. Our economic health is vulnerable to disturbances that originate outside our borders. As such, cooperation with other states and international organizations is vital to protecting the health of the global economic system and responding to financial crises.
The recent financial troubles in Asia have demonstrated that global financial markets dominated by private capital flows provide both immense opportunities and great challenges. Developing ways to strengthen the international financial architecture is an urgent and compelling challenge.