Missile defense: Our dangerous lag
The Obama administration is getting a much-needed wake-up call about its budget cuts leaving missile defense lagging behind ever-rising missile threats.
U.S. Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Ala., chairman of the House Armed Services subcommittee on strategic forces, told the Space and Missile Defense Symposium in Huntsville, Ala., that the administration has continued cutting missile defense funding since its first budget, reducing previously planned spending by 16 percent over four fiscal years, The Washington Free Beacon reports.
Mr. Rogers blamed those cuts for a missile defense interceptor not being tested for five years, then failing in a July 5 test. He called for another test this year; more resources to resume development of space-based and airborne sensors, an airborne laser and next-generation Aegis missiles and interceptor “kill vehicles;” and construction of an East Coast ground-based missile-defense system like those in Alaska and California.
He also warned that without more funding in the next two years, the administration's new European missile defense plan could become the third to be altered.
“(W)e have lost time” while adversaries' missile threats have grown, “and in missile defense, time is defense,” he said.
With missile development advancing in Iran and North Korea while China and Russia build up missile defense, the cost of robust U.S. missile defense is bargain-priced insurance against losses far greater than money can quantify.
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments â either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.