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  • Pledge to Fully Fund Missile Defense

    The legislative agenda of the House Republicans for the next Congress has been unveiled this week. “Pledge to America” is a policy statement encompassing a wide range of issues from economy to health care to the plan to keep the nation secure at home and abroad. The pledge highlights the importance of a strong national defense and the need to fully fund a robust ballistic missile defense program to protect the U.S. homeland against strategic attack.

    The document rightfully acknowledges that today’s world of existing and emerging new independent nuclear weapons states requires steps to protect the U.S. homeland. To fully fund missile defense is not just a political imperative but a constitutional duty. The policy statement notes that “while the threat from Iranian intercontinental ballistic missiles could materialize as early as 2015, the government’s missile defense policy is not projected to cover the U.S. homeland until 2020.” Thus, “critical” funding must be restored to protect the U.S. homeland and U.S. allies from emerging missile threats from Iran and North Korea, or a potential future coalition of aggressors.

    Leaving the U.S. strategically vulnerable not only projects weakness but creates opportunities for rogues to blackmail America and threaten its allies. Despite this risk and being a nation at war, U.S. defense spending is near historical lows and is less than one-fifth of the federal budget. Moreover, defense spending and key defense priorities are being crowded out by growing domestic entitlements.

    Worse still, and a little-known fact, ballistic missile defense spending is less than 2 percent of the defense budget. In its first year, the Obama Administration cut the Missile Defense Agency’s budget by over $1 billion. In addition, the Administration stopped the plan to expand the only boost-phase missile defense program left—the airborne laser, an aircraft capable of shooting down ballistic missiles with a high-energy laser. This platform is suitable for protection of the U.S. coastlines against ballistic missiles launched from ships or a “Scud in a bucket” scenario.

    In addition, New START—a nuclear arms control agreement signed in April earlier this year between the Russian Federation and the U.S.—limits missile defense options for future U.S. Presidents. The limitations on U.S. ballistic missile defenses are clear from the Russian unilateral statement, the treaty’s preambular language linking strategic offensive arms with ballistic missile defenses, and Article V. Additional limitations on test-target missiles can be found in provisions of the treaty, protocol, and annexes.

    New START represents an effective return for the U.S. to a Cold War policy based on nuclear retaliation and vulnerability that is completely unsuitable for the new strategic environment. In this new situation, prudence dictates that the U.S. move toward a policy that emphasizes defenses to protect its people, territory, infrastructure, institutions, and—to the best extent possible—its allies. The pledge represents a welcome return to the fundamental requirement that U.S. national security policy should be first and foremost about defending the American people. At the same time, it is forward-looking because it adapts U.S. national security policy to the threats that are arising.

    Owen Graham and Michaela Bendikova from the Davis Institute at The Heritage Foundation contributed to this post.

    Posted in Security [slideshow_deploy]

    12 Responses to Pledge to Fully Fund Missile Defense

    1. mypitts2, Fayettevil says:

      Some conservatives have not realized that the United States is broke. We cannot afford this expensive program that we don't need in the first place.

      • Doydoy8 says:

        I believe that for the overall protection of the United States, the BMD program is necessary. Under the United States Constitution, the United States government is obliged to defend itself and its allies. Therefore, to obey the Constitution, you must have this program to defend against the most powerful modern weapons, the ballistic missile defense threat. So, are you saying that we should let rouge nations such as North Korea attack us?

    2. George Colgrove, VA says:

      Yes, fully fund Missile Defense. But cut elsewhere in the DoD. There is a lot of waste in the DoD that needs to be brought under control in order to fund these initiatives. If it is going to cost $X billion, that amount needs to be cut from somewhere else in the DoD budget. They spend an enormous $600B plus. They have been asked to cut $100B, which I support. If funding Missile defense is going to mean adding back, I do not support that. I feel our national debt is far worse to our national security then what benefit we could get from missile defense. I support our soldiers in the field and want them to have the best we can give them, but the cost of government is massive. We will not be able to give them anything if we go broke.

      Simple fact: with the average pay and benefits a single federal employee gets ($123K), every day each fed goes to work, the nation goes into debt by an additional $475. There are over 3 million feds. Do the math. Just to pay the feds we are going into debt by more than $1.5B every day. This is not considering the enormous federal retirement burden forced on the taxpayer. Moreover, this is not taking into account the interest we will be paying for that day of pay for an eternity.

      Before we pay for any additional initiatives, I think we need to shrink the DoD Pentagon staff significantly by reducing overlap, redundancy and waste. We should replace expensive DoD Feds with lower cost – yet more reasonably paid military staff. We need to have the DoD pay system contracted out to a private firm. There are numerous companies in the DC area that can compete for this task. Pay stubs should be electronic and not sent out by mail. That information is already available to the DoD military and civilian staff online anyway. Finally, a serious look at the benefits package has to be looked at. An average benefits package of $41K the feds receive is offensive to the taxpayers who only get an average of $9K. This package costs the taxpayer more than the pay a family of four at the poverty level gets. There is a lot of places that the DoD can cut – and has to – before paying for missile defense or any other initiatives.

      One last gripe; the DoD Pentagon staff recently got an average $4K raise. Why? Because GS13, 14 and 15's who were responsible for doing evaluations of their employees were not doing them. These evaluations were used to adjust the pay of the DoD federal staff upwards based on job performance. Because these upper level managers were not doing their work, they and their staffs got rewarded with a significant raise. How? They were converted from the performance based pay band to the grid based GS system. With no oversight, they had their committee meetings and as a result, the DoD feds placed themselves on the pay charts. We now have multiple layers of GS15's and GS14's. The DoD became even more top heavy. This ineptitude cost the DoD and the taxpayer roughly $1.2B each year from here on out. This kind of waste and taxpayer abuse needs to be raked in and fast. $1.2B over ten years could have put a major dent in Missile defense.

    3. Tom Degan says:

      How many times do I have to say this? The GOP is no longer the party of Abraham Lincoln. They haven't been for nearly a century – 1912 to be exact. That was the year that Theodore Roosevelt arrived at the Republican Convention in Chicago expecting to be nominated as the candidate to face Woodrow Wilson in the general election in the fall. It wasn't a pipe dream on TR's part. After all, he had easily defeated the incumbent president William Howard Taft in the primaries. He had every reason to believe that he would be the GOP's standard bearer that year. Unfortunately, the people who controlled that party had other ideas. They knew damned well that Teddy's progressive policies were a direct threat to the stranglehold that the plutocracy had on the American economy. The nomination went to Taft. That was the end. The progressive wing of the grand old party died right then and there. Twenty years later when Roosevelt's distant cousin Franklin picked up the tarnished progressive banner, he would do so as a Democrat.

      You know what they can do with their "pledge".

      Tom Degan

    4. Leon Lundquist, Dura says:

      Carafano really cleared the air for me. As Amadimijot spewed to confirm it, "Oh! You poor stupid Americans don't know what War is!" I caught a picture of his Scud In A Bucket plan in his remarks, how badass Iran will be. You'd think he had friends 'inside' the Obama Administration, taking down our Anti Missile Defenses.

      Translation from the NewSpeak, the START Treaty is actually the "Equal Rights To Bombs Treaty" and of course, the invitation to exploit Americans through their new vulnerability. Surely this Act In The Foreign Interests qualifies for Obama's Ninth Article Of Impeachment.

    5. Pingback: Must Know Headlines 9.24.2010 — ExposeTheMedia.com

    6. Larry Welch, Idaho says:

      With comments from "mypitts2" and Tom Degan, above, the American people have all the reason they need to back the Republican "Pledge to America" with our voices, money,and a dedicated determination to remove from office every "progressive" in sight. Our nation can not survive with fools in control of our country's defense.

    7. Drew Page, IL says:

      Tom Degnan, you know what you can do with your analysis.

    8. Bobbie says:

      If democrats would quit spending money on peoples responsibilities, there'd be plenty to fund the missile defense. It's too bad democrats spend money on special interests and not on the equal protection and safety of the people, as a whole.

    9. Magnum Serpentine says:

      We need to cut defense spending to 200 billion a year Max (This includes black box budgets also). China, our nearest rival only spends 96 billion a year on defense.

      We do not need this unwanted useless and over budgeted Missile system. We need money for children, the Disabled and to build schools and hospitals.

      and thats my Opinion.

    10. Bobbie says:

      China's cost of living is communism! I'm surprised they spend that much!

      The duty of the American government is suppose to protect America(ns) from the enemies of America. For the protection of America, the misslle defense must be fully funded, less the waste.

      The other costs Magnum Serpentine reefers to, rightfully expense to the people involved and responsible parties and those of these interests, Americans, free people who live independently, seek help where it's offered by the goodwill of people and charitable organizations not ruled by government authority. Once you depend on government, you give up your freedom and put the freedom of others who depend on their own individual abilities, in jeopardy.

    11. Ronin says:

      So you people are for big government when it comes to the military? I will be dames if I am going to let my tax dollars go to war mongers! I will pick entitlement everytime.

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