Dear Members and Friends,
Budget driven policy derived from across the board mandatory cuts is thought through in offices inside the Pentagon and inside the White House; experts in economic theory, academic thought, and political science have been appointed by President Obama to ease the deficit and to help recover our economy.
Like most classroom, think tank, and academic ideas, economic theories and equal burden sharing look ideal inside a room, on power point presentations and speeches, for short and long term solutions. But outside the room and in the reality of the world, U.S. defense cuts and burden sharing are not equal; protection and perception is vital for our armed forces assets deployed forward, our alliances and allied partnerships, and the defense of our nation to protect against current and growing threats and to prevent conflict and stabilize national strategic regions and status quo.
Cuts to U.S. missile defense capability and slowing down production and procurement of current interceptor missiles, systems, and radars that are developed, tested in production, and needed and required by our war fighters at the highest U.S. military level of Combatant Commanders throughout the world is not the right strategy for protection against a known, growing threat. Nor is it the right perception to give to our allies and friends who depend on our defense for their security. Moreover, this budget driven defense policy provides incentives to our enemies to build, deploy, develop and rely on more ballistic offensive missile capability to project their influence and power outside of their country's borders because we are choosing not to fully counter their growing forces and curb their influence and power projection.
These are critical times: The Secretary of Defense recently told our nation that Iran could get a nuclear weapon within a year and delivery means within another two years; Israel has aggressively threatened preemptive military action against Iran; Iran continues to threaten Israel and U.S. forces in the Persian Gulf region with closing the Strait of Hormuz; and the new North Korean leadership transition occurs with a few nuclear weapons and large numbers of missiles that threaten our force structures nearby as well as South Korea and Japan. We as a nation should ensure that we are doing the very best with what we have and providing capacity to what we have spent billions on developing, testing and deploying.
The risks of not providing our war fighters in those forward operating areas in Korea and the Persian Gulf and our homeland defense enough missiles and radars to defend their armed force structure, their Allies and their follow Americans from a known and significant threat are too great to bear. Our nation, our armed forces and our allies need robustness and layers in missile defense.
Are these same policy, administration, and economic experts going to assume the tremendous responsibility of placing millions of lives at stake, when they make budget decisions to delay, reduce and take away existing systems, missile interceptors, radars and support from our allies like Israel?
As our nation draws down from its current war of engagement in Afghanistan and reduces our overall force, the clear fact remains that we must be devoutly strong in the assets that we have in place, such as missile defense, in assuring deterrence of conflict, building alliances to share costs, and the extended deterrence of our allies.
True to our forefathers in creating our democracy and the United States Constitution, the United States Congress provides a check and balance of the Executive branch for its budget and spending. We look forward to this year's Congress checking and addressing these real concerns for our national security, our armed forces, and our allies through our democratic process to re-balance our spending on missile defense.
President Obama and his Administration released the FY 2013 Department of Defense budget this week of $525 billion; $9.7 billion is requested for missile defense, with 7.75 billion requested for the Missile Defense Agency and an additional $2 billion for missile defense systems across the Services. Overall, there is a $700 million cut in missile defense funding compared to FY12 (down 6.7%), attributable to the mandatory across the board DoD spending cuts called for in last year's Budget Control Act.
Major cuts (President's FY13 Budget Request compared to FY12 actual funding) include the following:
-$250 million reduction in THAAD system procurement; 36 interceptors instead of 42
-6 THAAD Fire Units instead of 9
-$175 million reduction in Aegis BMD procurement; 29 SM-3 Block 1B interceptors instead of 46
-$160 million reduction in BMDS AN/TPY-2 Radars procurement; 1 radar instead of 2
-$255 million reduction in Ballistic Missile Defense Midcourse Defense Segment research and development (GMD)
-$165 million reduction in Sea-Based X-Band radar (SBX) research and development; will be put in limited test support status.
-$135 million reduction in Israeli Cooperative Programs research and development
Follow the links below for the President's FY13 Budget Request for the Missile Defense Agency, which provides additional information on the cuts:
MDA Request: Procurement
MDA Request: Research, Development, Test and Evaluation