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Riki Ellison joined by Patty-Jane Geller of the Heritage Foundation , United States Senator Tommy Tuberville of Alabama ,and Mr. John Rood, "Missile Defense and the Fy-22 NDAA”, Alexandria, VA December 16, 2021

The budget is increased by 25 billion, but more importantly for missile defense we’ve seen a 5% increase on their MDA budget, which is really positive. And as we look at where our nation is going, with missile defense, beyond being in front of North Korea and Iran, but going into a strategic competition with China and with Russia, and looking at how missile defense plays into that, we’re seeing some great initiatives from increasing, probably the biggest initiative that we see is the movement in Guam, to get the architecture up, get the resources, and the urgency of that matter. But there are other great things. There’s directed energy. And there’s some positiveness with this. So, we want to really look at it in a very clear way. We’ve got some experts from the committees, and we feel that we can shed some really good light on that.

Riki Ellison, “Missile Defense and the Fy-22 NDAA.” December 16, 2021 

China is often called a near-peer competitor. They aren’t near-peer. They are a peer competitor now. We all, I think, would agree with that. I think that they’re given a little bit too much credit sometimes, but again, we’ve got to consider that every day we’ve got to fight to keep one step ahead or two or three steps ahead and not be trailing. China’s number one threat, which makes the INDOPACOM our number one concern, and the commander is our number one combat commander. So, when we went around, we asked everything we possibly could to find out as much about the system, why we needed a land-based system instead of one on a ship, there was a lot of great answers. And so at the end of the day, we did a lot of research on both to make sure that we actually needed to spend all this money in Guam itself. I didn’t win a lot of friends on the NDAA we passed yesterday, but we added a half a billion dollars to the Missile Defense Agency directly. We added 195 million to the DOD’s request for the defense of Guam, which also mandated a 10-year defense of Guam roadmap to be completed hopefully in the next few months. We fully funded the next generation interceptor, the NGI.

Senator Tommy Tuberville, “Missile Defense and the Fy-22 NDAA.” December 16, 2021

I think one of the major policy provisions was a requirement that the defense department retain an independent organization for an independent study of the roles and responsibilities for missile defense. This is a subject we’ve looked at here at the Missile Defense Advocacy Alliance. We produced a report on it and the NDAA directs the DOD to enter into that agreement with the National Academy of Public Administration, to look at the roles and responsibilities for missile defense. And I would just say, as we’ve looked at this question at MDAA, and in our report on the roles and responsibilities, there’s a significant opportunity for us as a nation to do better, and to focus more of MDA’s resources on the development of new technologies and for the military services to play a bigger role in maintaining, sustaining, and operating systems once they’re fielded. When the MDA was founded in 2002, it was given special authorities to develop and deploy missile defenses rapidly. MDA was exempted from the lengthy requirements process, the joint requirements, oversight committee, and other similar bodies, and also exempted from the DOD 5,000 series of acquisition regulations.

John Rood, “Missile Defense and the Fy-22 NDAA.” December 16, 2021

So, I was glad that this year’s budget finally included funding for missile defense of Guam, but we only saw about $118 million requested, which is less than half of the 3$50 million that INDOPACOM had identified in it’s 1251 report for Guam submitted earlier this year. In the NDAA, Congress added $100 million to Guam defense, which is great. We know that Congress has been an advocate of missile defense of Guam and has been pushing the Missile Defense Agency to figure out the architecture it wants to deploy, but that plus up still leaves us over a $100 million short of what INDOPACOM wanted. It’s also surprisingly less than what the HASC and SASC had initially plussed up in their original NDAA bills.

Patty-Jane Geller, “Missile Defense and the Fy-22 NDAA.” December 16, 2021

 PDI is about Pacific specific procurement, things that are done specifically to help the INDOPACOM commander fight and win and things that she or he isn’t getting from the services inherently and the EDI is a good reflection on this, the European Deterrence Initiative, which has spent about 25 billion over six years. They buy things like preposition army equipment, Abrams tanks, thousands of tractored wheeled vehicles. They’re all stored in Europe. The army would’ve never bought that on their own and like, “Hey, where do we want to store these? We’ll store them in Germany, the Netherlands and Poland.” That is not an intrinsic army responsibility. So, properly DOD paid for it out of a centralized fund Overseas Contingency Operations, OCO. And in fact, up till last year, in fact even this year I would say, we spend more on things in EDI, true things in EDI than we do on PDI. So, despite all the lip service over the last seven years or nine years of the Pacific pivot, that whole time we’ve spent a lot more under all three administrations on very specific things the EUCOM commander needs to defeat Russia, which is important, but I’d say focusing two or 3% of the defense budget or actually in this case, really, we’re asking to focus 1%, seven billion focused on things the services wouldn’t have bought for the Pacific. I don’t think that’s that hard an ask, but it turns out it is because it takes leadership. So, what I expect to see next year is I hope INDOPACOM gives us an honest assessment, their tasks of doing it, doing about 60 days of what they need to fight and win to deter China and if we can’t deter them, fight, and win the Indo-Pacific.

RADM (Ret) Mark Montgomery, “Missile Defense and the Fy-22 NDAA.” December 16, 2021

So I believe in all my heart, that capitalism freedom will always be the end. Our nation and innovators, like the patriots working for the Missile Defense Agency will be instrumental in getting there. I want to thank all of you for working for the American people. Thank you for allowing me to be here today to talk about this, because again, it’s been fun knowing that the game’s over at this point, but really this is kind of like the first quarter. We won the first quarter. Now we got to be ahead at halftime and we got to keep rolling.

Senator Tommy Tuberville, “Missile Defense and the Fy-22 NDAA.” December 16, 2021

But the signal that the SecDef and the president writes on that line item, on Guam defense, that, right now, sends a deterrent issue right now to China. And that’s where we got to start. And it’s great to hear Congress, the people, stand up and say, we want our homeland defended. We see the threat and it needs to be defended and deterred. So thank you for a great conversation. I appreciate it. It was an honor to be with all of you. Thank you and have a great day. And Merry Christmas, happy holidays to all.

Riki Ellison, “Missile Defense and the Fy-22 NDAA.” December 16, 2021

On December 16th, 2021, the Missile Defense Advocacy Alliance hosted a virtual discussion on “Missile Defense and the FY-22 NDAA.”
Click here to watch the complete roundtable

Click here for a printable version of the transcript


Senator Tommy Tuberville, Member Strategic Forces Senate Armed Services Committee
Mr. John Rood, Board Member, Missile Defense Advocacy Alliance
RADM (Ret) Mark Montgomery, Board Member, Missile Defense Advocacy Alliance
Ms. Patty-Jane Geller Policy Analyst, Nuclear Deterrence & Missile Defense, The Heritage Foundation
Riki Ellison Chairman and Founder Missile Defense Advocacy Alliance

Mission Statement

MDAA’s mission is to make the world safer by advocating for the development and deployment of missile defense systems to defend the United States, its armed forces and its allies against missile threats.

MDAA is the only organization in existence whose primary mission is to educate the American public about missile defense issues and to recruit, organize, and mobilize proponents to advocate for the critical need of missile defense. We are a non-partisan membership-based and membership-funded organization that does not advocate on behalf of any specific system, technology, architecture or entity.