Dear Members and Friends,
As international agreements to host U.S. missile defense sites and systems concluded between Turkey, Romania, Poland, and the United States, the Senate Appropriations Committee zeroed out funding for the projected U.S. missile defense capability in Europe to defend itself and the United States from the threat of Iranian long-range ballistic missiles. The SM-3 Block 2B missile, the foundation of phase four of President Obama’s European Phased Adaptive Approach (EPAA) and the strategic underpinning of the U.S. investment for the PAA, will not be funded by the Senate Appropriations Committee in 2012.
The United States House of Representatives, aligning itself with the President, funded the Phased Adaptive Approach (PAA), including full funding of the SM-3 Block 2B missile.
Because of the imminent threat from Iran to both Europe and the United States, which our nation’s intelligence agencies testified to as early as 2015, it is crucial that an appropriate defense of Europe and the United States from Iranian long-range ballistic missiles be put in place, as promised by the President and supported by the House of Representatives.
If this medium- to long-range ballistic missile defense, which is to be deployed by 2020 in U.S. Navy Aegis Ashore sites in Poland and Romania, is not to be funded, there must be a legitimate defensive missile that has the velocity to defend ICBM capable missiles from Iran, which threatens the United States and Europe. Otherwise both entities will risk being held hostage by Iran in its foreign policy objectives and potential aggression towards Israel.
It is also concerning that this movement by the United States Senate to eliminate funding to the SM3 Block 2B missile parallels the State Department’s promise to Russia that the United States’ defensive missiles deployed in Europe could not shoot down Russian ICBM missiles. The new START Treaty with Russia prevents any limitations on the development and deployment of U.S. missile defense as ratified by the U.S. Senate and testified by the Administration. Providing concessions to Russia while accepting much greater risk to our nation’s national security and that of our allied partners in NATO is dangerous and not in our near or long term best interest.
The United States Senate and House of Representatives will conference their differences before approving FY12 defense appropriations, including missile defense, and the funding of the SM-3 Block 2B missile will be challenged.
“2B or not 2B: That is the question.”