While campaigning for president, Barack Obama promised to support missile defense that was “pragmatic and cost effective” and “does not divert resources from other national security priorities until we are positive the technology will protect the American public.”….
The intended message: A President Obama would not be negligent on national
security. Once in the White House, he would protect Americans.
That was the promise. Americans believed it. And it helped carry him into the Oval Office with a comfortable majority.
Now that Congress is home for the summer holidays, we have time to reflect on the defense authorization bill they left behind. Unfortunately, the bill indicates that the president’s missile defense promise will not be kept. And Obama has no one but himself to blame.
The Pentagon budget the president sent to Capitol Hill would have slashed production and deployment of U.S.-based missile interceptors by about one-third. The cuts would have come from missile defenses that are already tested, proven and, for the most part, paid for. So
much for the promise of “pragmatic and cost-effective” defenses.
Case in point: The Obama budget included absolutely zero funds to replace “Missile Field One.” This Alaskan missile field, now part of the missile defense shield, includes the first silos built to test the long-range interceptors.
The silos were not built for long-term use. They now need to be replaced. But the Obama budget request zeroed out that funding, even though the budget still retained an already paid for fleet of interceptors.
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