The outgoing United States Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK) who serves on the Homeland Security Committee and the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, and therefore privy to the threats to our nation, has put forward his legacy report to identify wasteful government spending as he exits his public service to the nation.
Using distorted, misrepresented information, the Mr. Coburn’s report titled “wastebook” attempts to cast our homeland missile defense system as wasteful government spending. Laden with numbers out of context, percentages not applicable and cherry picked talking points from notorious missile defense critics, the report uses false numbers and false facts to create the perception that the United States has wasted 41 billion dollars on defending the United States Homeland from long range nuclear ballistic missiles threats that the United States Senate Select Intelligence Committee validates.
The opening statement is inaccurate, misleading and wrong as are many follow on statements in this report:
“By the time it is completed, the Department of Defense will have spent more than $41 Billion on a missile defense system that with a 30% success rate at stopping missiles.”
“And even at a lower velocity, the test results don’t inspire confidence.”
“Even if the issues with the EKV can be resolved, the GMD system is designed to repel only a limited ICBM attack and would be easily overwhelmed by the simple countermeasures that would be deployed in a real attack, such as decoys…”
“Despite obvious flaws, the MDA and Congress are moving forward with a 1 billion decision based on a 30% success rate in tests that fail to replicate a real world scenario.“
Our nation’s missile defense system has overall 65 intercepts over 81 attempts of a total of 80 percent across all systems. Our nation’s homeland missile defense system has 9 intercepts over 17 attempts for a 53 percentage over 15 years.
The last two GBI tests have validated the path forward and assured reliability with our warfighters and leaders in the confidence of the system. The first few intercepts of the GMD system were done against ICBM target speed representative missiles. Intercept speeds vary on targeting ICBM missiles on the angles of which you choose to intercept and the loft angles of the ICBMs have slower speeds the longer their range the higher and slower their loft. All intercepts have been modeled and successfully projected on simulations that have proven validity and reliability in testing. As to discriminating targets and decoys, the last two tests and the test this past week has shown successfully that the sensors both on land, sea and in the EKV can distinguish and target the warhead out of complex decoys and countermeasures from the target missile.
Furthermore, our missile defense system is not meant nor designed to defend against a large salvo of missiles, it is a limited system and it couples with our offensive power weapon systems to provide the full deterrence of consequences of striking the United States. Our nation’s limited missile defense system purposely raises the number of missiles a threatening country must fire in order to overwhelm it. Raising the threshold in this way makes it much harder for an adversary to make the decision to attack.
We have and continue to leverage the value of our investment in our deployed missile defense system in our deterrence and diplomacy with North Korea and Iran. Our missile defense system assures our allies in the East Asia and the Middle East that we will not be threatened by ballistic missiles and our partnerships will not be broken. Most importantly, we can assure our American public that we can defend ourselves against North Korea and their threats to strike our nation. Our country, our President, our military and our Congress would not deploy a system or spend over $40 billion on this system if the threat was not real. Nor would they continually request additional funding for a system they did not have confidence in.
There are thousands of American citizens, both civilian and military, that are working on our nation’s missile defense systems that protect the 300 million citizens that live here. Our nation has invested in them and they continue to do so, for there is no more important mission than to defend our nation and protect our population against a nuclear ballistic missile. Not to have a system in place, or a system which our warfighter, President and Congress does not have confidence in, is not acceptable in today’s world.
What the United States needs are solutions to the strategic threats facing our nation, not political stunts crafted to get headlines.