WASHINGTON, Nov. 8, 2010 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Riki Ellison, Chairman and Founder of the Missile Defense Advocacy Alliance (MDAA), has analyzed the recent mid term elections last week in terms of what
it will mean for the missile defense program going forward. Ellison is
one of the top lay experts in the field of missile defense in the world.
His comments are outlined below:
past Tuesday, the American public changed the makeup of the House of
Representatives. One of the seven pledges of the new Republican majority
is to increase missile defense protection for the United States homeland.
This Administration, along with Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, cut close to $1.3 billion
from missile defense when they first came into power. Most of the cuts
were directed towards the U.S. homeland missile defense system and its
modernization. Earlier this year, Secretary Gates stated in the
Ballistic Missile Defense Review (BMDR) that homeland defense from
ballistic missiles was this Administration's number one priority with
respect to missile defense.
the past two years the focus and attention of the Administration and
Congress has been on the BMDR's lower listed missile defense priority,
the Phased Adaptive Approach (PAA). The PAA focuses on protecting our
European allies and American forces based in Europe from the future Iranian long- and intermediate-range ballistic missile threat.
Administration has been particularly protective of the PAA in
congressional testimony with regards to its strategic importance, true
cost to the taxpayers, and what its deployed configuration will be. The
new House of Representatives will demand accurate, timely and thorough
answers that have not yet been delivered by the Administration in order
for authorization of the PAA to move forward.
the most pressing questions from the new Congress will be if the PAA
will have the ability to protect the U.S. homeland with a developed and
tested missile interceptor before an Iranian ballistic threat matures.
The ballistic missile threat to the U.S. homeland, in both intent and future capability, comes from North Korea's
potentially mobile land-based inter-continental ballistic missiles and
the development of Iranian intermediate- and long-range ballistic
missiles. High ranking Department of Defense officials have repeatedly
testified in congressional hearings this year that the U.S. homeland
could be threatened by an Iranian ballistic missile as soon as 2015.
testing and engineering issues in the production of U.S. homeland
missile defense systems need to be addressed in order to make the
systems more effective and efficient. There needs to be sustained
confidence across all missile defense architecture to face the threat
from North Korea and Iran
equally. This should provide common ground for the Administration,
Senate and House of Representatives, regardless of political party or
clear from the BMDR and the current Administration's emphasis on missile
defense that sustained funding and support for missile defense will
continue; despite the cuts the defense budget will face with the new
congressional focus on fiscal restraint.
with these challenges, missile defense still provides one of the best
opportunities for co-operation between the President, Senate and House
of Representatives; as nine out of ten Americans support missile defense
to protect their homeland."