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Missile defense: Our dangerous lag

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Sunday, Aug. 18, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

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.

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