Home > Uncategorized > New Federal Study Claims US is Vulnerable to Missile Attack

New Federal Study Claims US is Vulnerable to Missile Attack

September 12, 2012 Leave a comment Go to comments

A number of critical gaps in America’s network of early warning systems and missile interceptors could put the continental United States at risk of a potential missile attack, according to a new report by the National Research Council.

The council, a division of the National Academy of Sciences, recommended the White House adopt a more aggressive missile defense strategy, similar to the one proposed by former President George W. Bush.

“For too long, the U.S. has been committed to expensive missile defense strategies without sufficient consideration of the costs and real utility,” L. David Montague, the panel’s co-chairman, told The New York Times on Tuesday. 


Key elements of the plan include establishing new detection systems and missile interceptors, focused specifically on the eastern seaboard of the United States, according to the report.

The program, according to council members, would carry a price tag of $10 billion a year, for as long as it takes to develop and deploy the new missile defense systems.

The bulk of America’s missile defense systems are concentrated on the West Coast and the country’s northern border with Canada. Those sites are controlled by elements within Strategic Command and North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD).

The council’s recommendations run contrary to White House’s missile defense plans, which have lambasted the notion of an East Coast missile shield, rather focusing on establishing a new missile shield in Eastern Europe.

In May, NATO approved U.S. plans to station a U.S. Navy ship armed with the Aegis anti-missile system in the Mediterranean, along with a radar station located in Turkey under the alliance’s command.

That ship will coordinate with the Turkey radar station to defend against the long-range missile threat posed by Iran.

The deployment is the first phase of a massive combined land and sea-based missile shield system that the Obama administration wants in place by 2020.

But Tuesday’s report lends credence to GOP advocates on Capitol Hill, who have been relentlessly pushing the White House to pursue a missile defense system in the eastern United States.

Led by Republicans on the House Armed Services Committee, including Reps. Mike Turner (R-Ohio) and Trent Franks (R-Ariz.), backers of an East Coast missile shield argue the system is necessary to address potential threats from rogue states such as Iran and North Korea.

House Republicans forced the measure into the chamber’s version of the fiscal 2013 defense bill, calling for the creation of the missile shield by the end of 2015.

But House Democrats have slammed the notion of a new East Coast missile shield as a “Star Wars fantasy base,” claiming the Department of Defense does not have the means or resources to fund the program.

Pentagon officials have also been adamant that such a system would not be a worthwhile investment, given the nature of the proposed threat and the tough financial times DOD is facing.

However, Strategic Command chief Gen. Bob Kehler said in May that his staff is evaluating the East Coast option as part of an overarching effort to redraft the department’s so-called missile defense “hedge strategy” for the continental United States.


Carlo Munoz

September 11, 2012

Related link – http://tinyurl.com/9m8wx5d



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