• The Heritage Network
    • Resize:
    • A
    • A
    • A
  • Donate
  • U.S. Missile Defense Plans Don’t Add Up

    Iran's improved Sejil 2 medium-range missile

    The Department of Defense has submitted a report to Congress that warns Iran may be able to reach the United States with an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) by 2015.

    If Iran also successfully develops a nuclear weapon within that time, the consequences would be devastating for the U.S. and its allies in range of an Iranian missile. However, the Obama Administration’s missile defense plans to counter this looming threat will not sufficiently protect the U.S. from an Iranian ICBM.

    According to a White House Fact Sheet released last September, the “phased adaptive approach” to missile defense will expand defenses against short- and medium-range missile by 2015; short-, medium, and intermediate-range threats by 2018; and “the potential future ICBM threat” in the 2020 time frame.

    Just recently, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense Nuclear and Missile Defense Policy

    Bradley Roberts told a House Armed Services Subcommittee that 100 percent of Europe would be covered by the U.S. missile defense system by 2018. Even that claim is questionable because of the President has rejected the faster “spiral development” program and nominated leading missile defense critic Philip Coyle to an advisory position within the Administration.

    Obama’s phased adaptive approach replaced the Bush Administration’s commitment to deploy a European missile defense system in Poland and the Czech Republic, which originally planned to deploy land-based interceptors by 2013. Canceling the “third site” delayed the deployment of longer-range missile defense systems.

    “Under the new plan, the U.S. will have no long-range, intercontinental, defense capabilities until 2020,” Heritage Foundation Research Fellow Baker Spring argued following the President’s decision. “If projections that Iran will produce a long-range missile by 2015 are correct, 2020 is too late.”

    The DoD’s confirmation that Iran could reach the U.S. with an ICBM by 2015 demands that the Administration change course on missile defense to ensure America and it’s allies will be protected from emerging threats.

    Jeffrey Chatterton is currently a member of the Young Leaders Program at the Heritage Foundation. His views do not necessarily reflect the views of the Foundation. For more information on interning at Heritage, please visit: http://www.heritage.org/About/Internships-Young-Leaders/The-Heritage-Foundation-Internship-Program.

    Posted in Security [slideshow_deploy]

    9 Responses to U.S. Missile Defense Plans Don’t Add Up

    1. Pingback: Must Know Headlines 4.25.2010 — ExposeTheMedia.com

    2. J.C. Hughes, Texas says:

      I say heavily fund the U.S. Navy's R&D and fleet requirements for development and deployment of air, surface and/or sub launched anti-missile defense coverage. Logistically speaking, a single package that’s able to engage short to long range threats is a legitimate “one size fits all” approach. Sort of like having your favorite combat sidearm as your primary self-defense weapon. Of course there will be times you’ll have to choose a more effective tool to do the job. But at least this would offer a base line missile defense. As for Obama, all I’ve got to say to him is the nuclear threat does exist. Playing patty cake with potential adversaries only makes America far more vulnerable. And that’s not the role of being President of the United States.

    3. Blake, Florida says:

      Nothing new under the sun when it comes to Dems with the " let's destroy America " agenda…Shades of 'JIMMMMY CARTER" but ten times the evil " JIMMMMY" created…what a bunch of " ignorant " people we must have in this once Great Country. 2010 must be the year we take our Country back from those dangerous children…the " silent majority " are no longer " silent ". If we fail, then it shall be a short matter of time before we fold like a lawn chair. Don't understand why ANYBODY would want to destroy the Country we all have fought so hard for…has The Evil One taken over??? Please Pray & then Vote for our Country! It's the only one we have!

    4. Lloyd Scallan - New says:

      Wihtin the past few days information has come to light that Iran will have a missile capable of delivering a nuclear warhead to United States soil much sooner that 2015. Obama is well aware of this fact. It is no longer a matter of

      naivete or inexperience on Obama part. It is more than apparent this is deliberate action by Obama to weaking this country's defences. The important question we all must ask is why is Obama taking this position? I think we all know but are afraid to admit.

    5. Lt Col Scott D. LOFM says:

      Could the sea-based ABM ships to be deployed in the Med or Persian Gulf shoot down Iranian ICBMs headed toward the U.S. East coast? Could our ABMs based in California and Alaska defend our East coast (as the DOD claims)? Thanks.

      Scott

    6. jl says:

      User – J.C.Hughes, you have a very good understanding of what you are talking about and probably have some personal experience in defense. I agree with you on the fact that the nuclear threat does exist, but to what extent? I don't think you could get experts in the field to agree how bad or good it is. Like anything, there are always other motives involved. Reports to congress are often negative to motivate action. However, I am not saying that I don't believe this report. But, I am positive, that there are Generals who would disagree with this and suggest that money go to "their" pet projects.

      Here's my point:

      The modern Conservative movement doesn't want the Deficit to grow any further and they want taxes reduced. Research and Development is extremely expensive. If we cut taxes, as the Conservatives demand we must cut programs as well to reduce the deficit. As American's we can't have it all. See the Bill Maher's "New Rules" about the Tea Party this week. He says it all. I realize that his views are left leaning, and probably will not be funny to you; but there is a strong element of truth. What he does not touch on is how the government spending was out of control before Obama came to office. I don't recall any criticism from the Conservatives at that point. However, I too believe that our country has gone wild with it's checkbook. Every time you turn around people are suggesting on how to spend more money.

      User – Blake, you are a partisan who is what I now call a "True Conservative" – there is no discourse that could convince you that a majority of the USA is not EVIL and out to get you. Democrats love their country, they spill their blood for it as much as any Conservative. You use generalizations to defame your American brothers. Also, your words leak a contempt for your fellow American who have the misfortune to disagree with you. I also believe you have a fear that is leading to hate. In the fictional words of Yoda – "Fear is the path to the dark side: fear leads to anger, anger leads to hate, hate leads to suffering." While it is geeky of me to quote Star Wars, there is a good amount of truth there. Your fear has already gone to hate of your fellow Americans. Please do some retrospective thought into what has brought you to this point. I however, expect that you will blast me for criticizing you instead. Honestly, I hope you really don't live in this emotional/fear based state.

      User – Lloyd, You appear to have a distrust of the President. You use over simplifications and mis-information to justify your contempt for the President. Many Americans felt the same way about President George W. Bush; I disliked him as President personally. I guess, I might have made baseless innuendoes about Bush's love of America. I will have to think about it before I suggest that I didn't. I remember when my political views were not fully formed and were much more Conservative – I never questioned the opposing motives as unpatriotic. I feel that all Americans love their country (for the most part). There are good and bad people, but I always feel I should give everyone the benefit of the doubt. Many of the Generals who worked for Bush and Obama have made important comments on the differences between briefing the two Presidents. I would suggest you read some of them. You will be surprised at how informed Obama is. I also would disagree with you notion that the President is intentionally leading the USA to harm.

    7. Billie says:

      Obama shows more appeasement, safety and protection to those of whom are enemies of America then he does toward America and her allies. What happens if the chief gives out a(n) (unknown) catastrophic command detrimental of America(ns)?

    8. Notlaw99 says:

      The history of Missile Defence seems to be cut during Democratic administrations. or by Democrats in Congress. Ted Kennedy help kill the Safeguard Program after in became operational in North Dakota in the early 1970s. Obama is reducing funding for Missile defence and has shut down the air born laser program on the 747 this system was good because it took out the delivery system in the boost phase as opposed to after RVs are released from the RV Bus this actually give you twice the chance of a successful intercept.

      In the new Strategic Defence Treaty the us does not come out too badly as we had already deactivated the 400 MS and the 564 MS but dot imploded the launchers. Allof the Minuteman Gs will be reduced to a single RVs. We only loose two Trident Submarines to keep in future compliance. But Obama's rhetoric of saying we will not use them any way does not do much for projecting "Credible Deterrence" to potential advisories.

      The other problem is that the nature of threats against the US has changed since the cold war. US land based ICBMs [LGM-30-G] though the have a 360 degree sector of fire are really only usable against China & Russia as the use on any other target areas results in political problems with Over Flight. SLBM can be move to any ocean area as launch platforms and provide the best dexterity to the strategic planner. The nature of the new treaty eliminates both the B-52 and the B-1B from the SIOP delivery vehicles and totally eliminates Air Launch Cruse Missiles from strategic targeting. So the SIOP planner will only have 900 assets to work with effectively precluding cross targeting and defence suppression targeting. When you start running the number you don't have the weapon assets by treaty restriction to allocate enough weapons to your SLBM force even at one weapon per Trident II D-5 missile. My recommendations are to fully allocate the the Trident force with 576 weapons, allocate 24 weapons to the B2, deactivate two missile squadrons at FE Warren [100 weapons] then you have 900 weapons associated to delivery vehicles and you are in compliance with the new Strategic Treaty and you still have a Triad delivery force.

      My background was with Strategic Air Command, Missile Combat Crew Commander & Deputy Commander, Minuteman Modernized LGM-30–F KGFA Sq 3 and System Supervisor, Strategic Automated Command Control System [Managing Online US SIOP]

    9. Pingback: Iranian Missiles Could Soon Reach U.S. Shores, Obama Scrapped Bush’s Missile Defense System For His Phased Adaptive Approach Which Won’t Be Fully Functional Until 2020 — ExposeTheMedia.com

    Comments are subject to approval and moderation. We remind everyone that The Heritage Foundation promotes a civil society where ideas and debate flourish. Please be respectful of each other and the subjects of any criticism. While we may not always agree on policy, we should all agree that being appropriately informed is everyone's intention visiting this site. Profanity, lewdness, personal attacks, and other forms of incivility will not be tolerated. Please keep your thoughts brief and avoid ALL CAPS. While we respect your first amendment rights, we are obligated to our readers to maintain these standards. Thanks for joining the conversation.

    Big Government Is NOT the Answer

    Your tax dollars are being spent on programs that we really don't need.

    I Agree I Disagree ×

    Get Heritage In Your Inbox — FREE!

    Heritage Foundation e-mails keep you updated on the ongoing policy battles in Washington and around the country.

    ×