The recent action by the House Armed Service Committee’s Strategic Forces Subcommittee last week would result in cutting the missile defense for the FY 2008 budget by more than 8.9 percent by eliminating more than $764 million from the overall budget request of $8.9 billion.
This is a significant amount in the context of its focus on future missile defense systems, specifically delaying a long-range interceptor missile site in Europe and eliminating our country’s most advanced technology development to shoot down ballistic missiles in their first few minutes after they launch. Not having a boost phase capability for our future takes away our countrys potentially most efficient and effective defensive layer. Adding a boost phase defense with the already deployed mid-course and terminal missile defenses provides the ultimate missile defense protection, which we as a country must strive to do to make our world safe from ballistic missiles and those that will threaten with them.
It is evident through the harsh reality of history, as well as the threats we have today coming from Iran and North Korea that we must continually put forward investments and solutions to stay ahead of future threats. We cannot afford to rely solely on current missile defense capabilities to counter existing threats with no regard for the future. Ballistic missile proliferation will continue at an accelerated pace, along with continued development of nuclear weapons and other weapon of mass destruction, and these threats will become even more advanced in the future. Cuts in funding for future solutions and capabilities put our nation and our people at great risk. MDAA disagrees with the significant amount of reduction in future missile defense by the Strategic Forces Subcommittee.
However, a worthy and important note, the same subcommittee led by Chairwoman Ellen Tauscher (D-CA) who unanimously voted to cut significant funding for future systems has authorized and added an additional $94 million to the Missile Defense Agency’s budget, as well as sustaining full funding for all the current development, testing and deployment for near-term missile defense systems for a total $8.236 billion. In addition, this same subcommittee also recommended fully funding the $1.4 billion separate missile defense request by the U.S. Army to address the current missile threats through terminal missile defense systems. MDAA endorses and applauds these particular actions taken by Chairwoman Tauscher and the members of the Strategic Forces Subcommittee which brings close to $10 billion of investment in Missile Defense for fiscal year 2008.
It is very clear that this is a suggested authorization action by the House’s Strategic Forces Subcommittee, and is the first of eight congressional committees that will review missile defense and it is not a final funding action. MDAA respectfully requests the House Armed Services Committee to reconsider and reinstate funding for future missile defense systems.
We ask that your voices be known to Chairwoman Ellen Tauscher and the Committee Members.