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Protecting America in the New Missile Age


Kim Holmes on Missile Defense Cuts

Kim HolmesThe Heritage Foundation’s Kim Holmes wrote an article for the Washington Times in which he asks the question, “Why cut missile defense now?”

About the proposed $1.4 billion cut in the missile defense budget, Holmes writes:

“It’s being done in the name of ‘restructuring’ the missile-defense program. The administration is holding on to defenses against short-range missiles, while scaling back programs against long-range missiles – the kind North Korea and Iran recently tested.

“This makes no sense. Defenses against short-range missiles are all very fine, but they are not the missiles that most threaten the United States. That would be North Korea’s Taepodong-2 missiles tested April 5, which when fully deployed, could reach Alaska and California.

“One target of the cuts is the Airborne Laser (ABL), an energy-directed weapon placed on a modified Boeing 747-400. The ABL is intended to knock down a long-range missile shortly after it leaves the launchpad – the best time for an intercept because its warheads have not yet been deployed in space.”

Holmes also wonders why the Pentagon decided to turn its back on the Multiple Kill Vehicle (MKV), which would destroy missiles in space. Along with the Space Tracking and Surveillance System sensor program, the MKV could effectively neutralize our enemies’ abilities to succeed in causing mass destruction.

Holmes puts the missile defense cut in perspective:

“It would be understandable if we couldn’t afford missile defenses,” he writes. “But that is clearly not the case. The $1.4 billion cut from the missile defense budget is 0.04 percent of the overall proposed federal budget. It’s like a rounding error in an Obama bailout…The roughly $10 billion we spend annually on all of missile defense amounts to only 13 percent of what local, state and federal government agencies pay for ‘first responders.'”

President Barack Obama would do well to know that appeasement and “dialogue” didn’t stop North Korea from launching a rocket, and nothing short of comprehensive missile defense will protect the U.S. and its allies from rogue nations.

The Heritage Foundation blog also comments on Holmes’s op-ed.

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