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Protecting America in the New Missile Age


Obama Nominates Missile Defense Critic to Advise

Philip CoyleLast week, President Barack Obama announced the nomination of missile defense critic Philip Coyle to become the administration’s Associate Director for National Security and International Affairs at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. (Source)

A former assistant secretary of defense and director of operational test and evaluation at the Pentagon, Coyle will advise the president on various scientific and national security issues. He called Bush-era testing on ballistic missiles “shoddy” and “thin” and disparaged the former president’s plan to deploy missile defense shields to Poland and the Czech Republic.

“In my view, Iran is not so suicidal as to attack Europe or the United States with missiles,” Coyle said. “But if you believe that Iran is bound and determined to attack Europe or America, no matter what, then I think you also have to assume that Iran would do whatever it takes to overwhelm our missile defenses, including using decoys to fool the defenses, launching stealthy warheads, and launching many missiles, not just one or two.”

Given these statements, Coyle obviously doesn’t believe Iran might have an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) by 2015. The U.S. is developing land-based SM-3 missiles to counteract this threat, but the target date for completion is 2020, five years after Iran’s possible ICBM capabilities.

Despite these projections, Coyle believes our country’s spending on missile defense isn’t justified.

As a vocal critic of Bush’s missile defense and supporter of Obama’s way of thinking, Coyle likely will breeze through the vetting process and take his place among the president’s team of appeasement-minded advisors.

Read more at the Foundry blog.

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