You Get What You Pay For

February 17, 2011

Dear Members and Friends,


The President of the United States and the Secretary of Defense released the 2012 Department of Defense Budget Monday. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates stated in testimony to the House Armed Services Committee on Tuesday that “the overall budget for missile defense is going from $10.2 billion to $10.7 billion…we are putting another $500 million into it.”


Secretary Gates further stated that:


“Part of the half billion dollar increase is to implement the phased adaptive array missile defense that we have agreed to in Europe, but also, frankly, to increase our ability to defend our ships and our troops against theater level threats, missile threats. Hezbollah alone has 40,000 rockets and missiles at this point including anti-ship cruise missiles that have a range of 65 miles. So we are putting more money into Aegis capable ships. We will have 41 of these by the end of 2016, 28 by the end of 2012. They defend our ships. They defend- have the potential to defend our ground troops.”


The aggregate missile defense budget is a balance consisting of procurement funds to deploy capability to our nation’s combat commanders along with research and development money to ensure the continuing viability and technological advancement of missile defense. Both areas of the budget are equally important as the threat continues to proliferate in numbers, accuracy and sophistication.


The 2012 budget rightfully addresses missile defense procurement, adhering to the combat commanders’ immediate needs of defending their operating areas in the Pacific, the Middle East and European theaters. These needs will be met with the procurement of regional interceptor and sensor systems including Patriot, Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD), AN/TPY-2 radars, Standard Missile-3 (SM-3) Block IA/IB and Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) systems.


The Administration’s 2012 missile defense budget addresses these war fighter procurement demands by cutting funds from the research and development of critical missile defense systems, rather than adding additional funding. The three critical systems of development that funding has been reduced compared to last year and from the (FYDP) research and development are Aegis BMD, $507 million in 2012 and $677 million over five years, Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) Sensors, $232 million in 2012 and $1.289 billion over five years and the Ground-based Midcourse Defense (GMD) system for the United States, $185 million in 2012 and $1.022 billion over five years.


The most problematic of these cuts are the GMD system and the BMD Sensors that currently defend and will continue to defend the U.S. until 2032. The importance of their mission to defend from North Korea and Iran requires a full-fused operating architecture.  That architecture has to have continual dual X-band sensor capability off both coasts as well as forward based and an improved, modernized Exoatmospheric Kill Vehicle (EKV) with a sustaining number of Ground-Based Interceptors (GBI) that can be effective and modernized until 2032. This architecture is not being adequately addressed in the 2012 budget or with the five year budget projections of the FYDP.


Settling with the current system assumes the acceptance of higher risk to our nation’s security against a growing future threat to our population. This will only propel spending billions more in tax dollars to develop and deploy additional missile defense systems to supplement and make up for deficiencies in the current system. Two of those prospective enabling systems would be the forward-based ICBM interceptors and directed energy systems for boost phase missile defense.

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