Disappointed and Frustrated

December 16, 2004

Dear Friends, Members, and Supporters,

We at MDAA, representing our members and the American public, are deeply disappointed and frustrated about yesterday’s missile test failure – Integrated Flight Test number 13 (IFT-13). A test in which a Ground Based Interceptor, similar to the ones deployed now in Alaska and in California, was to be launched from Kwajalein Island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean that would seek and destroy a target ballistic missile fired from Kodiak Island, Alaska. Yesterday’s test failed due to an “anomaly” of an unknown origin which caused the ground based interceptor to automatically shut down in its silo and not launch as planned.

We implore the Department of Defense and all agencies and organizations charged with responsibility of testing these critical systems to redouble their efforts so that these unacceptable failures are not repeated in the future. The inability to do so will certainly and dramatically lessen the support of those Americans who trust in the work of missile defense and have long supported the missile defense and MDAA.

While we are all disappointed, it is important to remember that the Department of Defense has pursued a course of testing and developing the nation’s missile defense systems in parallel as the system advances. Test, learn, develop, test learn develop etc– this strategy is called Spiral Development and in the long run it is the most effective in making progress to an efficient and sound missile defense system.

The American Public continues to demand that the United States provide protection for their public safety, in addition President Bush and Congress are resolute that the United States must be protected from ballistic missile attacks.

Yesterday’s failed test leaves us disappointed and frustrated, yet we are determined to stay the course and bring forward protection against ballistic missiles carrying weapons of mass destruction for ourselves and allies; to deter those that are proliferating and acquiring these weapons from ever using them against us.

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