Sept. 17, 2014 SIGN IN | REGISTER
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Turner: Proposed Missile Defense Cuts Reflect Obama’s Naivete

The Strategic Forces Subcommittee, under my chairmanship, will not allow such negligence to stand. Therefore, my chairman’s mark will take certain urgent steps to begin to fix the damage done by Obama’s four budget requests. These steps will include:

— A significant plus-up in the budget authorization for the ground-based mid-course defense system, the nation’s only homeland defense capability. This plus-up will increase the refurbishments of our proven ground-based interceptors in Alaska and California while the evolved GBIs are further tested. The plus-up will also ensure that the Obama administration’s plan to shutter GBI silos in Alaska is rejected. We will also significantly increase testing of the GMD system, a policy that both parties have historically agreed on. Further, the bill will require the Missile Defense Agency to begin work on a modernized kill vehicle for the GMD system, so that we can continue to expand and enhance its capability into the future.

— Numerous studies have recommended the United States undertake the design, development and deployment of an East Coast missile defense site, and I agree. My bill will require the secretary of Defense to begin environmental impact work on such a site and to have it in place by 2015, and authorizes $100 million to begin that work.

— Members on both sides of the political aisle support regional missile defenses such as the European Phased Adaptive Approach. The difficulty, however, comes with the enormous price tag of the EPAA, which the administration offered free of charge to Europe in 2009 without knowing how much the system will cost the United States. Under the Budget Control Act that the president signed into law, the United States can simply no longer afford, if it ever could, to pay for Europe’s missile defense all by itself, especially not if it means neglecting the missile defense of the American people. The mark will direct the administration to seek financial support from our European allies who will be defended by the EPAA.

These steps will not fix all of the problems associated with four Obama budget requests that have shortchanged national missile defense. They are a step in dealing with the rising ballistic missile threats posed by North Korea, Iran, China and others.

Rep. Michael Turner (R-Ohio) is chairman of the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Strategic Forces.

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