Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Obama's Shortchanging of Our Missile Defense

Within days of President Obama releasing his fiscal 2016 defense budget this month, Pakistan tested a nuclear-capable Ra’ad short-range missile, Russia announced plans to test a new RS-26 intercontinental ballistic missile, Iran launched a satellite into space and North Korea blasted five antiship missiles into the Sea of Japan. Each volley underscored the bad news that Mr. Obama’s budget again shortchanges U.S. missile defenses.
Of $4 trillion for the federal government overall and $612 billion for defense, Mr. Obama wants $8.1 billion for the Pentagon’s Missile Defense Agency. That’s up from $7.5 billion last year—the first real-dollar increase since 2011—but the overall trend remains downward. Funding is set to drop again after fiscal 2016, leaving missile defense slashed 25% in real dollars over the Obama Presidency.
In 2009 Mr. Obama scrapped U.S. plans to place missile interceptors in Poland and sophisticated X-Band radar in the Czech Republic, a decision announced without warning to Warsaw or Prague. Instead he proposed a new four-phase plan for European missile defense. For the home front, he said he would install only 30 interceptors in Alaska and California, down from the 44 planned by the Bush Administration.
Development of a so-called Multiple Kill Vehicle, intended to overcome decoy missiles by placing many warheads on a single interceptor, was killed in 2009. The Administration then stripped funding from the Airborne Weapon Laser and the Kinetic Energy Interceptor, the two programs aimed at destroying missiles in early-flight “boost” phase, when they are slowest and most vulnerable. Space-based interceptors never got to the drawing board.
Mr. Obama partially changed course in 2013, expanding defenses in Asia and committing to install the 14 additional West Coast interceptors he had scrapped in 2009. Yet he simultaneously cancelled the final phase of the program he had promised for Europe, which would have placed high-speed interceptors in Poland capable of targeting intercontinental ballistic missiles. The Administration began reviewing possible sites for new antimissile systems on the U.S. East Coast, but only after years of Congressional pressure.
Read the rest of the story HERE.

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Sequester and decrease of defense funding is the invention of Republicans. Obama did not proposed it in his budget.