Dear Members and Friends,
MDAA has just completed an educational tour of California on the issue of Missile Defense to the leaders of civic organizations, academia, industry and private citizens. MDAA was honored and privileged to have as part of the tour, Lt. General Trey Obering, Director of the Missile Defense Agency, to present the United States government’s current status on its Missile Defense System. The tour involved educational stops in the cities of San Francisco and Los Angeles and concluded with the Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld’s visit to Southern California.
California holds a critical and permanent bond to missile defense in terms of threat, protection and economy.
Threat – North Korea has nuclear weapons and ballistic missile capability, that coupled together, has the ability to strike California. China, who possesses a formidable strategic missile force, has publicly threatened the city of Los Angeles. Asymmetrical terrorist attack scenarios, such as portable scud missiles, coupled with WMD aboard container ships in international waters 12 miles off the coast and in the major ports of California, are a threat.
Protection – Vandenberg Air Force base, located north of Santa Barbara, California, is one of two sites in the Untied States with a deployed missile defense system protecting the entire country. San Diego is home port to several Aegis destroyers that are missile defense equipped and are integral to sea based missile defense as well as complementing the overall missile defense system. Future missile defense systems such as the Airborne Laser, Theater High Altitude Air Defense, Kinetic Energy Interceptor and the Space Tracking and Surveillance System are being developed in the state of California.
Economy – California businesses received $1.9 billion for fiscal year 2005 for work performed on missile defense. Missile defense is a high technology industry that employs thousands of Californians and remains an important investment for the future of California.
There is clear and inextricable value to California from missile defense. However duly noted are the dissenting voices from California’s federal delegation including Senator Boxer, Senator Feinstein, Representative Pelosi, Representative Sanchez, Representative Tauscher that have voted against missile defense.