Barack ObamaMissile DefenseRobert Gates

Folly of the Day: Obama Cuts Missile Defense

michael ramirez april 2 2009

Political Cartoon by Michael Ramirez

It was bound to happen. President Barack Obama through his Secretary of Defense has begun reducing the defense budget, including national missile defense.

We will restructure the program to focus on the rogue state and theater missile threat.

We will not increase the number of current ground-based interceptors in Alaska as had been planned. But we will continue to robustly fund continued research and development to improve the capability we already have to defend against long-range rogue missile threats – a threat North Korea’s missile launch this past weekend reminds us is real.

We will cancel the second airborne laser (ABL) prototype aircraft. We will keep the existing aircraft and shift the program to an R&D effort. The ABL program has significant affordability and technology problems and the program’s proposed operational role is highly questionable.

We will terminate the Multiple Kill Vehicle (MKV) program because of its significant technical challenges and the need to take a fresh look at the requirement.

Overall, the Missile Defense Agency program will be reduced by $1.4 billion.

In other words, no new ground-based missiles for Alaska where there are already empty silos to base them. The ABL laser program has been almost killed (is on its way out the door) and the MKV program has been killed.

All this after North Korea tests a new ICBM missile which could threaten the Western United States.

Certainly, it could be said that I feel more unsafe today with Obama as my President.


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