• The Heritage Network
    • Resize:
    • A
    • A
    • A
  • Donate
  • Missile Defense Budget on the Chopping Block Already

    The missile defense budget has been on the chopping block ever since the Obama Administration took office. In 2009, President Obama proposed $1.6 billion in cuts compared to the prior year’s budget estimate. In 2010, the Administration proposed a modest increase in the missile defense budget for FY 2011 but only in comparison to the reduced level for FY 2010.

    This year’s missile defense budget request is still almost 2 percent in real dollars below what the Bush Administration requested for FY 2009. In short, the U.S. missile defense program has been treading water.

    President Obama cut the number of ground-based interceptors (GBIs) in Alaska and California from 44 to 30. In addition, the Administration pulled out of the “third site,” a Bush Administration’s ballistic missile defense plan that would result in 10 two-stage GBIs in Poland and an X-Band Radar in the Czech Republic. This deployment configuration would further protect the U.S. homeland and the European territory.

    Instead, the Obama Administration has proposed the European Phased Adaptive Approach (EPAA), which would not provide an additional defense to the U.S. homeland until around 2020 with an advancement of the Standard Missile-3 on an Aegis platform. In the meantime, North Korea already has a ballistic missile capability to target Hawaii and parts of Alaska. Iran is well on its way to construct its first intercontinental-range ballistic missile.

    Faster implementation of the EPAA is essential. As Admiral J. D. Williams points out, however, Aegis can be given the capability of countering long-range missiles at a much earlier date than the 2020 so long as proper command-and-control arrangements are put in place and the interceptor in the Aegis weapon system is tied to a properly positioned surface radar.

    Recently, the Senate Appropriations Committee to cut $123 million from the Aegis Standard Missile Block II-B development effort. If Congress proceeds with the cut, it is essential that it directs the Navy to use a portion of the funds to conduct a test of one of the earlier versions of the Standard Missile-3 against a long-range target missile as soon as possible.

    The homeland missile defense system should be protected from budget cuts. It offers the United States freedom from the fear of a ballistic missile attack and constitutes only about 1.52 percent of the defense budget, according to the Administration’s FY 2012 budget requests. This is only a minor investment considering how much damage a successful ballistic missile attack would cause.

    Posted in Security [slideshow_deploy]

    2 Responses to Missile Defense Budget on the Chopping Block Already

    1. Roberts says:

      It is a little interesting that the military budget is continuously being cut. The growing dependency on cheaper versions of intel gathering and military projection in the form of drones, although effective in small surgical strikes but have an Achilles heel in software and transmissions. One report has China developing both program attacks and EMP weapons as well as naval buildup. Iran has also been on a naval program and earlier in the year had sent 2 naval vessels thru the Suez canal to Syria and now is supposedly sending an unknown number of ships off the U.S. coast. Also it needs to be noted that also have a small sub fleet. Normally, this would not be a problem, but I wonder with our naval assets spread to Korean area, covering Iraq thru the Persian gulf and protecting supply lines to Afghanistan now extended to cover Libya besides those committed to the piracy problem as well as regular areas. Bringing the question to a critical point is the uncovered plot to assassinate the Saudi ambassador. It would seem that there might be some timing and coordination with their naval assets to at least thwart a "show of force" response.

    2. Steve says:

      "It offers the United States freedom from the fear of a ballistic missile attack …" As insane as imagining that the TSA offers us freedom from the fear of terrorist attacks. The only answer is not to fear these improbable events.

    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.

    ×