Friday, April 30, 2010

The Boeing X-37

This originally appeared on the American Thinker website:

April 30, 2010

Space Wars: Circa 1959 to 2010

Bryan Demko

I noted with interest President Obama's April 16 visit to Cape Kennedy to rally the "workers". Certain reports have it that there were few in any "workers" invited to hear the speech. There did seem to be a lot of applause from people who were about to lose their jobs. Then on April 22 I noted the launch of an Atlas/X-37 "space plane" combination on a "secret" mission.

Had I seen this before? The Atlas/X-37 stirred my memory. In June of 1959 the Eisenhower administration awarded a contract to Boeing for a project called Dyna-Soar. This also was an Atlas/Space Plane combination very closely resembling the current configuration. The intended offensive purpose of the 1959 system sounds remarkably similar to the theories put forth for the X37. Also remarkable is the involvement of the same contractor & booster.

But is there a more over-riding theme in both of these events?

In 1959 the Eisenhower administration was furiously defending against the charge of there being a "missile gap" leveled by the opposition leading in to the election of 1960. The USSR had launched Sputnik in 1957 while the US effort at an earth satellite had fizzled. Were the Soviets ahead in missile development? A nervous public was easily swayed by the charge that the country was under a direct unmatched threat by the Soviets. The fear was palpable. Backyard bomb shelters were for sale on street corners. Was the real purpose of the Dyna-Soar project to help alleviate these doubts & fears? Eisenhower spoke directly to the American public assuring them that the nation was adequately prepared, and that we had solved the critical problem of atmospheric re-entry.

The charge has been leveled that the Obama administration is gutting the nation's defenses (antimissile systems), and unilaterally granting our enemies an advantage in offensive systems by curtailing our own. The launch of the X-37 has more than a hint of there being an offensive mission roll. Nothing is being acknowledged or denied.

Is this Obama's attempt at countering a political opposition charge of negligence of national defense, and with a system nearly identical in function some 50 years later?

Is this a smoke-screen of "doing something offensive"?

Do the Chinese or the Russians have a real advantage in space based offensive weapons? China has already demonstrated the intercept of a satellite. What about Iran's ambitions?

J.F. Kennedy found it very useful to level the charge and sway public opinion. After assuming office in 1961 he had defense Sec. Robert McNamara produce a "white paper" proclaiming that the triad of aircraft, missiles, and sea power was more than adequate to deter any enemy. Bomb shelters gave way to wine cellars, and the nation was at ease once again.

Is the X-37 designed to produce the same ease?

Bryan Demko

Secretary Gates Ponders Cost of New Subs

This article appeared on the Politico website and the Heritage foundation website:

Defense secretary Gates confronts cost of new subs

Tags:Congress,Pentagon,Robert Gates,Defense,Navy ListenPrintCommentEmail Subscribe.By JEN DIMASCIO
4/29/10 5:43 PM EDT Text Size-+reset.

Secretary of Defense Robert Gates plans to will raise questions at the Navy League’s Sea-Air-Space Expo about how changes in geopolitics, global naval resourcing, the global economy may impact what programs the Navy builds in the future.


Digg/Buzz It UpDigg this Story!Buzz it up!Add to LinkedIn.POLITICO 44Defense Secretary Robert Gates is planning to take aim next week at the Navy’s new multibillion-dollar ballistic missile submarine, a move some view as an implicit threat: Cut the sub, or I’ll do it myself.

Gates’s warning will come in a speech at the Navy League’s Sea-Air-Space Expo, and while he won’t announce any specific budget decisions, Pentagon spokesman Geoff Morrell says Gates will raise questions about changes in geopolitics, global naval resourcing, the global economy and how those changes may impact what programs the Navy builds in the future.

Any threat to cut the subs — which cost $7 billion apiece and would create plenty of jobs with defense contractors — is bound to stoke parochial tensions in Congress, especially with members who represent districts that build submarines. The new subs are planned to join the fleet starting in 2027, replacing existing Ohio-class missile subs.

Such strong words coming from Gates, who has cut Air Force fighter jets and helicopters, an Army combat system, missile defense programs and has fired two service secretaries and an Air Force chief of staff, are viewed in the defense community with great caution. This particular future submarine program is valued by Navy leadership and closely watched by members of Congress who rally to defend the shipbuilding industrial base.

Based on Gates’ track record, this seems to be a signal to the Navy to cut the program before he has to, said Mackenzie Eaglen, a defense analyst for the Heritage Foundation. And this will be hard for the “small and exclusive club” of submariners, who are seeing their beloved undersea ships closed to smoking and opened to women. “It’s a community at a crossroads,” she said.

Gates has warned in the past about the projected cost of the future submarine, a program that will start in fiscal year 2011.

“When that program really begins to ramp up, in the latter part of this decade, it will suck all the air out of the Navy's shipbuilding program,” Gates told the House Appropriations Defense Subcommittee in March. “And so some tough choices are going to have to be made, either in terms of more investment or choices between the size of surface fleets you want and the submarine fleets.”

Navy Secretary Ray Mabus acknowledged recently that "it takes a pretty big chunk out of the rest of the fleet, including other submarines.”

But the Navy’s 30-year shipbuilding plan has attempted to be realistic about the cost of the new sub and the size of future budgets for ships, something the Navy has avoided in the past, he said.

“I think we’ve got to take a look at how we do this — what the cost is, what the type of ship is,” Mabus told the Defense Writers Group. “One of the reasons we put it in was to start that discussion start the debate.”

Congress has already been debating the issue, but answers have proved elusive.

Rep. Gene Taylor (D-Miss.), the chairman of the House Armed Services Seapower Subcommittee, has said the new submarine is being designed just to fit the Trident missile. He’s asking whether a new, smaller missile could be designed for use on other submarines.

But that raises a host of strategic questions, given the Trident’s nuclear capabilities — especially because the Nuclear Posture Review endorsed a sea-based deterrent, Rep. Joe Courtney (D-Conn.) told POLITICO.

“It would be illogical to say that the program should be eliminated or scaled back,” said Courtney, in whose district Virginia-class submarines are built. “The solution obviously is to figure out a way to increase the shipbuilding budget or put funding for that program in its own national security account.”

Read more:

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Okinawans Protest U.S. Bases

The Okinawans have a lot of nerve to be protesting our presene on Okinawa.  They are lucky we allowed them to live there after we captured the island in World War II.  Here is an article that appeared in the Washington Post:

April 28, 2010 by Editor

JUCON/NO Ad in the Washington Post, 4/28/10


April 28, 2010

CONTACT: John Feffer, Institute for Policy Studies, 202-234-9382, cell: 510-282-8983

New U.S.-Japan coalition posts full-page ad in *The Washington Post*

Washington – April 28 – A full-page ad calling for the closure of the Futenma Marine Corps base and no base relocation within Okinawa prefecture has appeared in The Washington Post on April 28. This ad appears in the wake of the April 25 demonstration of nearly 100,000 Okinawans protesting the planned base relocation.

“Would You Want 30 Military Bases in Your Backyard?” reads the headline of the ad. “The new base would damage the health and safety of people and threaten a unique ecosystem that contains many rare species. This includes the Okinawan dugong, an endangered cousin of the manatee.”

The sponsors of the ad, the Network for Okinawa and the Japan-U.S. Citizens for Okinawa network, want to send a message to the Obama administration that a significant number of Americans support Okinawan concerns about the environmental and social consequences of U.S. military bases on the island. The ad challenges the prevailing consensus in Washington that the Futenma base is essential to U.S. national security.

The full-page ad coincides with a letter sent to President Obama and Prime Minister Hatoyama, signed by more than 500 organizations, that demands the immediate closure of Futenma and the cancellation of plans to relocate it to Henoko Bay. The letter can read at:

The full-page ad is the work of concerned U.S. and Japanese citizens who formed the Network for Okinawa (NO) and the Japan-U.S. Citizens for Okinawa Network (JUCON) earlier this year. JUCON ( is a coalition of Okinawa and Japan-based NGOs, citizens groups, journalists and prominent individuals. The Network for Okinawa ( the US-based NGOs, draws together representatives from peace groups, environmental organizations, faith-based organizations, academia, and think tanks. It is sponsored by the Institute for Policy Studies in Washington. Members include: American Conservative Defense Alliance, American Friends Service Committee, Center for Biological Diversity, Fellowship of Reconciliation, Greenpeace, Institute for Policy Studies, Just Foreign Policy,Pax Christi USA, the United Methodist Chuch, Veterans for Peace, and Women for Genuine Security.

Members of the Network for Okinawa available for interviews:

• Peter Galvin, Center for Biological Diversity.; 520-907-1533.

• Kyle Kajihiro, Program Director, American Friends Service Committee

- Hawai’i Area Office.; O: 808-988-6266; C:


• John Lindsay-Poland, Director, Fellowship of Reconciliation Latin

America program, Oakland, California, is active in the global No Bases

network and author of Emperors in the Jungle: The Hidden History of

the US in Panama (Duke).; C: 510-282-8983.

• Doug Bandow, Robert A. Taft Fellow, American Conservative Defense

Alliance and former Special Assistant to President Ronald Reagan.; 703-451-9169.

• Ann Wright, Retired Army Colonel, former US. Diplomat.; C: 808-741-1141.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Motivational Posters #1

This is a building in Pyongyang.

Sorry, I know it's disgusting, but funny, nonetheless.

28 April in History

1192--Assassination of Conrad I Montferrat, King of Jerusalem, two days after being elected to the throne, by hashshashin (assassins).

1788--Maryland ratifies the Constitution

1945--Benito Mussolini executed by Italian partisans

1952--Japanese Occupation ends.  Dwight D. Eisenhowr resigns as SACEUR.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Obama Administration Stifles Investigation into Fort Hood Terrorist Attack

Nothing has outraged me quite so much as Nadan Hasal's terrorist attack at Fort Hood.  I hope that he gets the death penalty, and then rots in Hell.

This article appeared in The American Thinker blog:

April 26, 2010

Subpoena for Ft.Hood terrorist attack

Ann Kane

The April 26 deadline has arrived for the request for information by Sen. Joe Lieberman and Sen. Susan Collins on the Ft. Hood massacre. In several letters during the past five months to the FBI and the DOD, the senators asked for details on Maj. Hasan's career leading up to the killings to investigate whether his motivation was premeditated due to his Muslim roots. As expected, the CYA organizations have stonewalled the request because opening up the truth to the light of day may cast an undesirable pall over this entire leftist administration.

From the Washington Post:

Lieberman and Collins said they sought witnesses and documents about what the government previously knew about the alleged gunman, Army psychiatrist Nidal M. Hasan, and whether it had adequately investigated his pre-shooting communications with Yemeni cleric and suspected terrorist Anwar al-Aulaqi.

Lawmakers gave the administration until April 26 to respond or face a committee vote to take the administration to court.


"Unfortunately, it is impossible for us to avoid reaching the conclusion that the departments simply do not want to cooperate with our investigation," they wrote in the letter, which they said followed four other formal letters to the Pentagon and two to the Justice Department.

Of course, the administration will continue to be uncooperative toward any attempt at uncovering its victimization of Muslim extremism. The White House, DOD, DOJ, FBI, and Homeland Security are acting just like the creators of South Park who fell victim to politically correct Muslim bullying. The answer is simple: stand against and resist the bully or you will be a slave to him.

In addition to the Lieberman-Collins subpoena, there are signs that others are pushing back against a tyrannical administration.

Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer just signed into law legislation that tightens restrictions against abuse of the law by illegal aliens and enforces existing law. Obama lashed out publicly against the state's action.

Lt. Col. Terry Lakin has been officially charged by the Army with dereliction of duty and three counts of disobeying an order for his refusal to deploy to Afghanistan because he has not seen a legitimate birth certificate for his Commander-in-Chief. Lakin welcomes going to a court-martial because he and his lawyers hope to expose the origin of birth fraud by a discovery process.

Showing resistance to an offensive regime by a majority of U.S. citizens will be the only way out of a doomsday scenario for our country's future.

Posted at 07:34 AM

A Real Hero

This appeared in The American Thinker Blog

April 26, 2010

A Hero's Repose

Michael Geer

This is what a hero is. Not sports figures, not people who are doing their jobs under tough conditions. A hero is: spending the last measure of your own life in service to others you swore to preserve and protect.

Bonus: an off-the boat Ukrainian immigrant who chose to serve his adopted nation. Jim Woods writes in the Columbus Dispatch:

The plane had blown an engine over the northern Arabian Sea, and the lead pilot, Lt. Miroslav "Steven" Zilberman, had to make lightning-quick decisions.

The E-2C Hawkeye, returning from a mission in Afghanistan, was a few miles out from the Dwight D. Eisenhower aircraft carrier. Zilberman, 31, was a veteran U.S. Navy pilot who had flown many times in the Middle East with the Hawkeye, a turbo-prop aircraft loaded with radar equipment.

The starboard propeller shut down, causing the plane to become unstable and plunge. Zilberman ordered his three crew mates, including the co-pilot, to bail. He manually held the plane as steady as possible so they could jump.

"He held the plane level for them to do so, despite nearly uncontrollable forces. His three crewmen are alive today because of his actions," Navy Rear Adm. Philip S. Davidson wrote to Zilberman's parents.

Zilberman went down with the aircraft on March 31. The 1997 graduate of Bexley High School was declared dead three days later, his body lost at sea.

This is a Heritage Foundation article on Ballistic Missile Defense

The Obama Administration's Ballistic Missile Defense Program: Treading Water in Shark-Infested SeasPublished on April 8, 2010 by Baker Spring Abstract: The Obama Administration's plan for ballistic missile defense and its proposed FY 2011 budget for the missile defense program would leave the program treading water. At the same time, the threat of ballistic missile attack on the U.S. and its allies will continue to increase as more state and non-state actors gain and improve the missile capabilities. Congress should begin to correct the Administration's mistakes by adding $1.358 billion to the FY 2011 missile defense budget, preventing the Administration's arms control initiatives from interfering with missile defense development and deployment, restoring the program to destroy ballistic missiles in boost phase, and resuming development of space-based interceptors.

The Department of Defense released its Ballistic Missile Defense Review Report (BMDRR) on February 1, 2010, laying out America's long-term policy on ballistic missile defense.[1] At the same time, the Obama Administration released its fiscal year (FY) 2011 budget request, which includes recommended funding levels for the overall ballistic missile defense program and for the portion of the program that falls under the Missile Defense Agency (MDA). The Defense Department is requesting $9.9 billion for the overall program in FY 2011,[2] including $8.4 billion for the MDA.[3] The remaining $1.5 billion would mainly go to the Army's ballistic missile defense programs, including the Patriot interceptor and the Medium Extended Air Defense System (MEADS) program.

Taken together, the BMDRR and the budget clearly indicate that the ballistic missile defense program will tread water in FY 2011. The BMDRR proposes significant steps forward for some programs, such as the sea-based Aegis system and its land-based variant, particularly when compared to the programmatic retreats that the Administration has imposed on other programs in FY 2010. On the other hand, these steps forward may be temporary because they are reversible. Further, the BMDRR proposes continuing retreats in other programs, such as the Airborne Laser system. On the budget side, the Obama Administration's $8.4 billion request for the MDA is more than $500 million above projected spending for the current fiscal year. On the other hand, it is almost $1 billion less than the Bush Administration's budget request for the MDA for FY 2009.[4]

A missile defense program that is simply treading water should be unacceptable to Congress because ballistic missile proliferation trends, including those described in the BMDRR, point to other countries, particularly the rogue states Iran and North Korea, developing missiles of increasing sophistication and range. Further, a program that is treading water will deprive the U.S. of the opportunity to establish improved relations with China and Russia based on more defensive strategic postures.[5] Accordingly, Congress needs to demonstrate its commitment to both invigorating and accelerating the ballistic missile defense effort. After all, this program is about defending the U.S. and its allies against strategic attack, and the federal government has no more important responsibility under the Constitution.

The BMDRR: An Uncertain Vision

The BMDRR presents the Obama Administration's long-term vision for ballistic missile defense. The report contains a number of worthy observations and recommendations, but also commits several errors of commission and omission that will weaken the overall ballistic missile defense effort. The BMDRR is divided into six topic areas, each of which is worthy of examination by Congress.

Emerging Ballistic Missile Threats. The BMDRR description of the current and projected expansion of ballistic missile capabilities around the world arrives at a number of reasonable conclusions. For example, it states that both the quality and the quantity of missiles are increasing around the world. The trends point to missiles of increasing accuracy and range, use of countermeasures, and access to biological, chemical, and nuclear warheads. The BMDRR acknowledges that many states are increasing their inventories.

However, the BMDRR's assessment of the projected expansion of ballistic missile capabilities suffers from a central contradiction and several errors of omission. The report's central contradiction is that, while pointing to the increasing range of missile inventories around the world, it downplays the capabilities to attack the U.S. homeland.

In fact, justifying the distinction between capabilities to attack the U.S. homeland and regional threats is difficult on two grounds. First, missile development programs do not pursue shorter-range and long-range missile technology independently of each of other. For example, Iran has already fielded a number of different shorter-range missiles and has launched a satellite, which demonstrates an inherent capability to field longer-range missiles capable of carrying light warheads. Second, states with shorter-range missiles could pursue alternative deployment options to give them the ability to attack the U.S. homeland. The most obvious option is to place short-range missiles and launchers on cargo vessels off the U.S. coast.

Two omissions in the report are particularly important. First, the BMDRR alludes to the expansion of countermeasures to confuse or overwhelm defensive systems, but does not describe these programs in any detail. This omission makes it impossible to determine whether the ballistic missile defense policy and program outlined later in the report is responsive to countermeasure developments. Second, the BMDRR does not discuss the capability of countries to target the U.S. and its allies with electromagnetic pulse (EMP) weapons and how ballistic missiles could deliver EMP warheads. The unclassified reports of the Commission to Assess the Threat to the United States from Electromagnetic Pulse Attack clearly stated that the U.S. is quite vulnerable to this form of attack.[6]

However, the BMDRR's most glaring omission is the lack of even a summary examination of the immediate or future indications of hostile intent toward the U.S. and its allies. A threat is the combination of capabilities and intentions. While the U.S. should urgently pursue its missile defense program because of the current and projected trends in capabilities, understanding intentions remains critically important because intentions can change with no notice.

The hostile intentions of other international actors should strongly influence how the military will operate and employ ballistic missile defense systems. However, in describing the threat, the report fails to provide even a sample of the stated hostile intentions of the leaders of several key states and non-state actors. This is not to say that these statements necessarily will result in strategic attacks on the U.S. and its allies, but they would help to prepare U.S. political leaders and the leaders of U.S. allies for the possibility of such attacks.

For example, the report does not point out that Aleksandr Prokhanov, a Russian writer close to the Russian General Staff, has written, "We [Russia] were not defeated by the West in the Cold War, because the Cold War continues. We lost gigantic territories, but we held Moscow. From here we launched our counterattack."[7]

Chinese Senior Colonel Liu Mingfu reportedly stated in his book The China Dream that the U.S. and China are in a "competition to be the leading country, a conflict over who rises and falls to dominate the world."[8]

In 2009, around the time of Iran's satellite launch and the 30th anniversary of the Islamic revolution, Iranian religious leader Ayatollah Ahmad Jannati stated:

The noble and prosperous Iranian nation hit another severe punch against the head of the Americans and the Israelis with that move, starting a soft enemy breaking plan against those who are planning for overthrowing the system softly….

They [the U.S. and Israel] have to get the message and decide whether they wish to confront a 70 million strong nation and urge them to surrender, since the message of the [anniversary] rallies was that this nation will not surrender, and is faithful to Islam, the late Imam [Khomeini], and the revolution, and is still an enemy of the United States.[9]

General Mohammed Ali Jaafari, commander of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, has stated, "Our missile capability puts all of the Zionist regime [Israel] within Iran's reach to attack."[10]

After Hezbollah launched thousands of rockets and missiles into Israel in 2006, Hezbollah spokesman Anwar Raja stated in January 2009, "Don't be surprised to see more rockets launched into northern Israel."[11]

Regarding U.S. ally South Korea, North Korea has stated in the context of U.S.–South Korean contingency planning: "We will start a pan-national holy war of retaliation to blow away the den of South Korean authorities, including the presidential Blue House, who have led and supported the drawing up of this plan,"[12]

The North Korean state-run newspaper Minju Joson said in a commentary carried by the official Korean Central News Agency, "Our nuclear deterrent will be a strong defensive well as a merciless offensive means to deal a just retaliatory strike to those who touch the country's dignity and sovereignty even a bit."[13]

The BMDRR's failure to examine these hostile intentions permits it to downplay threats, particularly from China and Russia. The reality is that future hostility by Russia and/or China toward the U.S. and its allies is a distinct possibility, and ballistic missile defense policies and programs should address this possibility accordingly. While hostile intentions of Hezbollah, Iran, and North Korea are obvious, the BMDRR could have served a useful purpose by reminding both Congress and the American people how extreme these hostile intentions have become.

Ballistic Missile Defense Strategy and Policy. The BMDRR then proceeds to describe the Obama Administration's policy for defending against the threats described in the first part of the report. This policy statement has six essential provisions:

A commitment to defend the U.S. homeland against limited long-range missile attacks;

A commitment to defend deployed U.S. forces and U.S. allies against regional missile threats;

The adoption of a robust testing regime;

The pursuit of an affordable missile defense program, which emphasizes more mature technologies over less advanced ones;

A hedging strategy for addressing future missile threats; and

Expanded international cooperation in ballistic missile defense.

As may be expected, the policy prescriptions when taken together have both good and bad aspects. On the positive side of the ledger, the Administration may be starting to recognize that adopting a multilateral version of the strategic policy of mutual vulnerability that the U.S. pursued with the Soviet Union during the Cold War is problematic. Exercises conducted by The Heritage Foundation in 2005 demonstrated that the absence of defenses in a setting of proliferation of both nuclear weapons and ballistic missile delivery systems is highly destabilizing and carries a relatively high risk of the use of nuclear weapons.[14]

Second, the BMDRR acknowledges that ballistic missile defense's essential roles are bolstering deterrence, maintaining the policy of extending deterrence to U.S. allies, and reassuring U.S. allies about the threats that they face. This is a welcome departure from the Cold War assertion that missile defenses are destabilizing and incompatible with deterrence. Finally, the report indicates that the Administration accepts in principle the wisdom of pursuing options with both China and Russia to establish more defensive strategic postures by helping both to "better understand the stabilizing benefits of missile defense."[15]

On the negative side of the ledger, the BMDRR's policy prescriptions include steps that contradict or undermine the positive elements. First, it states that missile defenses to protect the U.S. homeland are being limited, at least relative to regional defenses. This is to preserve, at least for the near term, the policy of mutual vulnerability toward both China and Russia. Continuing this policy of vulnerability toward China and Russia undermines to a considerable degree the recognition that missile defenses play positive roles in extended deterrence and reassurance to U.S. allies. The report apparently assumes that the defense of U.S. allies against regional missile threats is sufficient and that direct threats against the U.S. will not weaken the security links to U.S. allies. However, direct threats to the U.S. will weaken these links.

Second, the missile defense policy recommended in the BMDRR displays a bias in development policy toward near-term capabilities at the expense of forward-looking technological developments. For example, no statement in the policy shows that the Administration understands that the most effective defense against ballistic missiles for both the U.S. and its allies is a network of space-based interceptors.

Finally, there is one glaring omission in the BMDRR's policy provisions: arms control. Arms control is clearly the Obama Administration's most important foreign policy priority; the report does not discuss how missile defense fits into the Administration's overall arms control agenda. This may indicate that the Obama Administration has something to hide. During the campaign, President Obama made an unequivocal and unqualified commitment not to "weaponize " space, despite the fact that space is already weaponized.[16]

In 2009, the Administration entered into negotiations at the Conference on Disarmament on the subject of preventing an arms race in outer space.[17] An international agreement on this subject will almost certainly require the Administration to dismantle the vast majority of the missile defense programs that it claims to support in the BMDRR. For example, all of the versions of the Standard Missile-3 (SM-3) that the Administration says that it wants to pursue under its missile defense program will have an inherent anti-satellite capability. They will need to be severely curtailed, if not banned outright, under a space weapons agreement. President Obama's nomination of Philip Coyle to the position of Associate Director for National Security and International Affairs in the Office of Science and Technology Policy is currently on hold because the nominee failed to answer a question about the possible defense systems and programs that could be defined as having a direct or contributory capability as anti-satellite weapons.

Defending the Homeland. The BMDRR makes it clear that the Obama Administration intends to stand by its 2009 decision to retreat on the fielding of the ground-based midcourse defense (GMD) system to defend the U.S. and Europe against long-range missiles. The Bush Administration planned to field 54 interceptors: 44 in Alaska and California and 10 in Poland. The Obama Administration is planning to field just 30 interceptors, with none in Poland.

The BMDRR asserts that the Obama Administration is "hedging" against uncertainties about future ballistic missile threats to the U.S. homeland. If the Administration had a serious program for hedging against these uncertainties, the report would include additional steps, including:

Fielding the total number of GMD interceptors proposed by the Bush Administration;

Accelerated fielding of the SM-3 Block II-B, which will have a capability to counter long-range missiles;

Continuing the momentum behind the Airborne Laser program, not relegating it to a technology demonstration program;

Maintaining missile defense options to counter the threat from short-range missiles launched off the U.S. coast; and

Most importantly, developing and fielding a constellation of space-based interceptors based on the Brilliant Pebbles technology developed during the Reagan and George H. W. Bush Administrations.

Defending Against Regional Threats. In contrast to the Obama Administration's retreats in other areas of ballistic missile defense, the BMDRR indicates that the Administration plans to continue to advance the Bush Administration programs for countering short-range, medium-range, and intermediate-range missiles. This "phased adaptive approach" is focused on advancing the currently sea-based Aegis missile defense system and its SM-3 interceptors.

The overall approach envisions a four-step program:

Between now and FY 2011, procure more of the existing system.

Around 2015, develop more advanced versions of the SM-3 (the SM-3 Block IB) to provide broader coverage and deploy them on land. The initial emphasis will be to deploy these interceptors in southern Europe.

Around 2018, field SM-3 Block IIA interceptors, which are already under development, primarily to counter medium-range and intermediate-range missiles. This would include fielding interceptors in Northern Europe to protect U.S. NATO allies in Europe.

Around 2020, deploy SM-3 Block IIB interceptors to counter long-range ballistic missiles that could threaten the U.S. homeland as well as regional allies.

The phased adaptive approach for improving the Aegis system and the SM-3 interceptors can succeed, but success depends on the Obama Administration providing sustained funding to the program. It also requires that neither the Administration nor Congress impede progress by placing policy-related or programmatic barriers in the way. The most likely policy-related barriers would stem from arms control, including buckling to Russian demands to curtail the missile defense program in negotiations on the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) follow-on treaty or in pursuing agreements on space arms. The most likely programmatic barriers are attempts to impose traditional acquisition rules on the systems and allowing the MDA, which traditionally has opposed the Aegis-based missile defense system, to weaken it. In short, the Obama Administration has laid out a program for advancing Aegis and SM-3 technology, but the program remains reversible.

International Cooperation. The BMDRR states that the Obama Administration is fully committed to a program of international cooperation in ballistic missile defense. This is essential because of the global scope of existing and projected ballistic missile capabilities and because ballistic missile threats will otherwise undermine the relationships between the U.S. and its allies.

The Administration's policy of missile defense cooperation would be more credible if it had not abandoned the Bush Administration's plan to field a missile defense radar in the Czech Republic and interceptors in Poland.[18] The Obama Administration abandoned two important allies to "reset" relations with Russia and to advance its agenda for reducing strategic nuclear arms. Subordinating missile defense to the arms control process and Russian demands bodes ill for the long-term success of the missile defense program.

Regarding Russia and the arms control process, it is unclear whether the Obama Administration will ultimately reverse course and use the arms control process to advance missile defense. Despite its announced intention to seek missile defense cooperation with Russia, the Administration also talks about preserving the "strategic balance" with Russia. Clearly, the Administration is referring to preserving the nuclear balance of terror and vulnerability to nuclear attack.

Ultimately, the Obama Administration cannot have it both ways. Either it will work to convince Russia that more defensive strategic postures are in the interests of both countries and U.S. allies or it will fall back to the Cold War position that vulnerability to nuclear attack is a better alternative. If it chooses the latter, the missile defense program as outlined in the BMDRR will be abandoned.

Program Management. The BMDRR's recommendations on management of missile defense development and deployment are a mixed bag. The report states that the Defense Department will preserve the structure led by the Missile Defense Executive Board, which was established by the Bush Administration in 2007. Further, the report states that the Department of Defense is committed to transitioning missile defense systems from the MDA to the military departments. Finally, it recommends against bringing the missile defense program into the Joint Capabilities Integration and Development System (JCIDS) process to identify, develop, and field new technologies and capabilities for the military. It also recommends against applying standard Department of Defense acquisition rules to the missile defense program. These are all wise decisions.

However, these wise decisions need to be applied in a clear and consistent manner. For example, there needs to be a determined effort to transition funding and management authority for the Aegis and Standard Missile programs from the MDA to the Navy. By comparison, this transition is far more advanced for the Army's missile defense programs, such as the Patriot and the MEADS program. The Navy is in a better position to integrate Aegis and SM-2 and SM-3 missile defense capabilities into the fleet than the MDA.

Further, the decision to continue to exempt the missile defense program from standard acquisition procedures seems to contradict statements more in keeping with the standard approach. David M. Altwegg, MDA Executive Director, stated in a press conference on February 1, 2010, that the MDA would pursue the standard "fly before you buy" model of operational testing before acquisition.[19] While the fly-before-you-buy approach for operational testing is appropriate for most defense programs, it is not workable for missile defense. The global missile defense architecture will necessarily become a single integrated system of systems. In fact, major elements of the system must be built in order to be tested. For example, conducting system-wide operational tests of the global command and control architecture for missile defense would be impossible, not to mention unwise and wasteful, without first buying and building significant elements of that architecture.

Regarding the specific testing program for missile defense, the BMDRR touts the Department of Defense's Integrated Master Plan. However, a risk-averse mentality may have pervaded the plan. A risk-averse approach places a higher value on obtaining an ever longer list of test "successes" than on advancing technology. From this perspective, developmental tests start to take on the characteristics of reliability tests. It is driven by a mindset that states, "Go out and get a successful test before Congress cancels the program."

The Department of Defense should be telling skeptics in Congress and elsewhere that any development program for advancing defense technology in significant ways will experience test "failures" from time to time, and missile defense is no exception. In many cases, more can be learned from test failures than from successes. In fact, Congress should be more skeptical about a development program that has an unbroken record of successes, than about one that has the occasional failure.

The Budget for Ballistic Missile Defense

As indicated, the President has proposed increasing the MDA's FY 2011 budget by more than $500 million above its FY 2010 budget. On the other hand, it is almost $1 billion less than what the Bush Administration proposed in its FY 2009 budget request. Clearly, funding should be added to the MDA's FY 2011 budget and to the missile defense programs outside the MDA. Further, the increased funding levels need to be sustained beyond FY 2011. Determining the size of the needed increase requires an examination of the internal components of the request. However, detailed recommendations for sustained MDA funding after FY 2011 are impossible because detailed descriptions of the five-year defense budget are not publicly available.

The MDA's FY 2011 budget request[20] contains the following highlights:

$1.346 billion for the midcourse defense systems. This is $319 million more than the FY 2010 budget, but $127 million less than was allocated in FY 2009. It would keep the overall number of fielded GMD interceptors for countering long-range missiles at 30, compared to 54 under the Bush Administration plan.

$2.161 billion for the Aegis system and related elements. This funding level is derived from several separate accounts. In FY 2010, these accounts are designated to receive $1.943 billion. The proposed FY 2011 budget would be an 11 percent increase. The missile defense budget description provides general information about the five-year funding profile for most elements of the Aegis program. The Aegis system is projected to receive more than $11 billion during the five-year period.

No funding for the European missile defense sites in the "third site" proposal. Consistent with the Obama Administration's September 2009 decision to cancel the third site, the associated accounts in the missile defense budget have been zeroed out for FY 2011.

No funding for boost-phase missile defenses. The President's budget provides no funding for major boost-phase missile defense programs in FY 2011. In 2009, the Airborne Laser was scaled back, and the Kinetic Energy Interceptor was terminated. In FY 2009, the account for boost-phase missile defenses received $384 million.

No funding for the Multiple Kill Vehicle program. The Multiple Kill Vehicle program was designed to create smaller and lighter kill vehicles so that an interceptor booster could carry more than one kill vehicle. Defense Secretary Robert Gates announced in 2009 that the Department of Defense was terminating this program. Accordingly, the FY 2011 missile defense budget would provide no funding for the program.

Minimal funding for space activities and no funding for space-based interceptors. The FY 2011 budget allocates just $11 million to space activities for missile defense, compared with $12 million in FY 2010 and $23 million in FY 2009. The funds will primarily support space-based sensor and data collection activities of the Missile Defense Space Experimentation Center (MDSEC). Additionally, the FY 2011 budget will provide $67 million for the Precision Tracking Space System (PTSS), a new satellite system to track ballistic missiles. The PTSS will build on lessons learned from the two Space Tracking and Surveillance System (STSS) demonstration satellites. The STSS program will receive $113 million in FY 2011, but its funding is winding down. It received $210 million in FY 2009 and $162 million in FY 2010. The five-year STSS program includes a demonstration project for feeding satellite data to the Aegis fire control system via the missile defense command and control system to permit remote engagement by the Aegis system. This is critically important to the future success of the Aegis system. However, failure to allocate any money to develop space-based interceptors is nothing short of self-defeating.

Increased funding for command and control, battle management, and communications (C2BMC) activities. The budget allocates $343 million to C2BMC development activities in FY 2011, compared with $275 million in FY 2009 and $335 million in FY 2010. To be effective, any future global missile defense architecture must be integrated so that it can respond to specific ballistic missile threats by providing seamless connections among the best combinations of sensors and interceptors. Thus, C2BMC is the backbone of such an architecture, and that architecture will evolve over time. The Obama Administration is wise to increase funding for these activities. Additionally, the budget overview indicates that the Administration is committing more than $1.6 billion to these activities over the five-year period.

Reduced funding for missile defense cooperation with Israel. Israel is the U.S. ally that is most threatened by ballistic missile attack. Nevertheless, funding for the missile defense cooperation program with Israel is slated to fall to $122 million from $201 million in FY 2010. Development of the Upper Tier component of the Israeli Arrow system accounts for $51 million, while another $24 million will go toward continued co-production of the Arrow system. The remaining $47 million is for the David's Sling development program, which is designed to field a defense against the short-range missiles, such as those launched by Hezbollah against Israel in 2006.

Continued MEADS development with Germany and Italy. The current missile defense budget request for the Army includes $467.1 million for MEADS in FY 2011, compared with the $569 million request for FY 2010. MEADS is being designed to provide battlefield protection for expeditionary forces against missile threats. It has unique capabilities to support multinational expeditionary missions and serves to strengthen the alliance ties among U.S., Germany, and Italy. Its capabilities include 360 degree coverage, complementary capabilities for both air and missile defense, and compatibility with an "open architecture" support structure.[21] However, according to press reports, the Army wants to cancel this program.[22]

What Congress Should Do

Congress needs to ensure that the missile defense program does more than tread water. It needs to advance the program aggressively in FY 2011 and throughout the entire five-year budget period. Congress should start by increasing the missile defense budget by $1.358 billion in FY 2011. The budget increase should be accompanied by a number of substantive policy and programmatic improvements in the overall missile defense program, while not detracting from the components of the Obama Administration's requests that are already in good shape. Specifically, Congress should:

Hold hearings on the foreign policy and military intentions of the states that currently are or are projected to be capable of attacking the U.S. or its friends and allies with ballistic missiles.

The BMDRR clearly shows that the Obama Administration is not paying enough attention to the intentions of current and projected missile powers. Some of these countries are aggressively hostile, and Congress and the American people should be reminded of this. These countries include China, Iran, North Korea, and Russia. Such hearings could be held by the House Armed Services, Foreign Affairs, and Intelligence Committees and by the Senate Armed Services, Foreign Relations, and Intelligence Committees.

Not permit arms control efforts to interfere with the missile defense program.

During the Cold War, missile defense was a casualty of a misplaced arms control policy. Congress should not allow this to happen again. Three arms control initiatives could limit U.S. missile defense options or otherwise interfere with progress on the program.

The first initiative is concluding the START follow-on treaty between the U.S. and Russia to reduce strategic nuclear arms, which was signed on April 8, 2010. In response to Russian objections, the Obama Administration has already taken steps to limit missile defense options by canceling the plan to field 10 interceptors in Poland and an engagement radar in the Czech Republic. This linkage between missile defense and the START follow-on treaty put the negotiations on the wrong track.[23] While the Obama Administration asserts that the treaty will not constrain U.S. missile defense options, the Russian government thinks that it does. As long as this linkage continues, the Administration's arms control and missile defense strategies will not serve U.S. interests.

The second initiative is to negotiate a space arms control agreement at the U.N. Conference on Disarmament. On June 4, 2009, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Rose Gottemoeller announced that the Obama Administration accepted the "program of work" for the conference.[24] A space arms control agreement or a similar agreement that establishes a "code of conduct" for military space activities could severely curtail, if not outright terminate, all missile defense systems that operate outside the earth's atmosphere and any support systems. Further, any space arms control agreement or code of conduct agreement reached by the Obama Administration, whether negotiated at the Conference on Disarmament or elsewhere, should be drafted as a treaty, which would be subject to the Senate's advice and consent.

The final initiative is the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR). The MTCR is a voluntary arrangement among countries, including the U.S., to control the export of ballistic missiles capable of delivering weapons of mass destruction and their components. However, the only specific restriction in the MTCR is a prohibition on transferring missile production facilities. Stemming the proliferation of ballistic missiles is a worthy initiative, but the MTCR was not designed to curtail U.S. cooperation with its friends and allies in missile defense. Nevertheless, it could have that effect on some systems. Accordingly, Congress should clarify that the MTCR should not be interpreted to limit missile defense cooperation with U.S. friends and allies.

Add funds to the MDA budget to field the original number (44) of GMD interceptors in Alaska and California.

In 2009, Secretary of Defense Gates announced that the Administration planned to field only 30 interceptors in Alaska and California, a reduction from the 44 planned by the Bush Administration. The projected expansion of ballistic missile defense capabilities around the world indicates that the U.S. needs the higher number.[25] Congress should add $200 million to the missile defense budget to begin restoring the plan to field 44 GMD interceptors in Alaska and California.

Accelerate the development of the Aegis system under the Obama Administration's phased adaptive approach to ballistic missile defense.

While the Obama Administration's commitment to the Aegis system is commendable and the FY 2011 funding for this system is fairly robust, there remains room for improvement. Specifically, Congress should allocate $350 million to the Navy to expand development and procurement of the Standard Missile-3 family of interceptors. This additional funding should be used to accelerate the development of the interceptors and the associated fire control software, develop smaller and lighter kill vehicles, initiate establishment of an East Coast missile defense test bed, and increase the procurement of Standard Missiles.

Smaller and lighter kill vehicles will eventually permit interceptors to achieve velocities of 6-7 kilometers per second, enabling them to destroy longer-range ballistic missiles and to destroy attacking missiles in the ascent phase of flight. Destroying missiles in ascent phase will permit future interceptors launched from ships off the U.S. coast to destroy a missile delivering a EMP warhead before it is detonated.

Restore the boost-phase element in the broader missile defense program.

The Department of Defense should be pursuing a layered missile defense architecture with elements that can destroy ballistic missiles in the boost, ascent, midcourse, and terminal phases. However, the Administration's FY 2011 proposal would zero out the boost-phase element. It would relegate the Airborne Laser program to a technology demonstrator status and move the Network Centric Airborne Defense Element (NCADE) program to a different account. The Airborne Laser, which was demonstrated in a successful test on February 11, 2010, uses a laser beam to destroy attacking missiles in the boost-phase. The NCADE is a modified air-to-air missile that will destroy the attacking ballistic missile by the force of collision.

The successful test of the Airborne Laser represents a dramatic technological breakthrough in military applications of directed energy systems. The Department of Defense needs to advance this technology on a more robust basis than would be permitted by the proposed technology demonstration program. More importantly, despite still being in development, this system is already advanced enough to become operational if circumstances necessitate. This would require adding $300 million to the missile defense budget in FY 2011. A robust development program for the NCADE system would require an additional $8 million.

Permit the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to construct a space test bed for missile defense, including space-based interceptors.

There is no good reason to omit space-based interceptor development from MDSEC programs. Ballistic missiles fly toward and through space. Therefore, space is an ideal location to deploy missile defense interceptors. Nevertheless, the MDA is clearly not committed to this technology. Accordingly, this mission should go to DARPA, unless the MDA demonstrates that a willingness to reverse course and pursue a robust program for developing and fielding space-based interceptors. An appropriate initial funding level for space-based interceptor development and the broader space test bed is $500 million in FY 2011.

Give the Navy greater management authority over the Aegis program within the phased adaptive approach toward missile defense.

The Navy's vision for the Aegis missile defense system is to integrate that system into its multi-mission fleet with multi-mission ships. It does not plan to pursue missile defense ships as a stand-alone capability. This is a wise approach that takes advantage of the sunk costs in the Aegis ships already in the fleet. Further, this will help to ensure that the Navy assumes the missile defense mission in a way that preserves the health of the entire fleet. Given this wise approach, the Navy is clearly better positioned to identify the best and most efficient way to apply the Administration's phased adaptive approach for missile defense to the Aegis program and to incorporate the new technologies that will emerge under this approach into the individual ships and across the fleet. As management authority shifts from the MDA to the Navy, the funds should also shift.

Continue to expand missile defense cooperation with Israel.

Given the direct threats to Israel posed by ballistic missiles of its unquestioned enemies, including Hezbollah and Iran, U.S. missile defense cooperation with Israel needs to continue. The Obama Administration is right to continue cooperative efforts with Israel, including financial contributions, for the Arrow and David's Sling systems. What is missing is an extra layer of protection for Israel against all but the shortest-range missiles. This layer of space-based interceptors would provide a robust defense to the U.S. and its allies. The first step is for the U.S. and Israel to conduct a joint study on the advantages of deploying a layer of space-based interceptors to complement their surface-based interceptors. Congress should work with the Administration to ensure that these studies are conducted. Similar studies should be initiated with Canada under NORAD, U.S. allies in Europe, Japan, South Korea, and Australia.

Continue the MEADS program with Germany and Italy.

The Army is wrong to oppose this program because of the need to fulfill U.S.-allied expeditionary force protection requirements against missiles and aircraft. The program should be sustained, but it may need to be transferred from the Army to the MDA. Such a transfer would be regrettable because the better approach is to continue shifting programs from the research-focused MDA to the more operations-focused services. If needed, Congress should accept the proposed transfer of authority, but the better approach is to encourage the Army to drop its opposition and to continue the program under its auspices.


In 2009, the Obama Administration set back the missile defense program by cutting the funding for the program and by terminating or curtailing certain elements of it. It has repeated that approach in its proposal for FY 2011 and beyond. The question for Congress is whether the Obama Administration's BMDRR and proposed FY 2011 missile defense budget signal a permanent course change on missile defense or only a momentary pause before the Administration resumes its effort to weaken the missile defense program.

There may be no direct answer to this question because the Obama Administration may be divided internally on this matter. This makes it even more important for Congress to state unequivocally that it supports a robust missile defense program to protect the American people, U.S. forces in the field, and U.S. friends and allies. The United States needs to address the unique security challenges posed by the post–Cold War world, and a robust missile defense program is essential to meeting these challenges effectively. Congress can make sure the Obama Administration makes the right decision on missile defense.

Baker Spring is F. M. Kirby Research Fellow in National Security Policy in the Douglas and Sarah Allison Center for Foreign Policy Studies, a division of the Kathryn and Shelby Cullom Davis Institute for International Studies, at The Heritage Foundation.

Heritage Foundation article on Sea-Based Missile Defense

Strengthen the Pentagon's Programs for Sea-Based Missile DefensePublished on April 21, 2010 by Baker Spring and Mackenzie Eaglen Abstract: The Administration's new "phased adaptive approach" for missile defense in Europe and the Pentagon's wider sea-based Aegis BMD program have the potential to provide robust missile defense coverage and to operate from advantageous locations at sea. In support of these efforts, Congress needs to ensure that the Aegis BMD program is adequately funded, including funding for increased procurement of interceptors and accelerated development of critical Aegis components to expand its capabilities. Congress also needs to exercise proper oversight to prevent the Administration's arms control agenda from limiting U.S. missile defense options or cooperation with friends and allies.

On February 1, 2010, the Obama Administration released the Ballistic Missile Defense Review (BMDR) Report, an assessment of U.S. ballistic missile defense (BMD) policy and strategy. The report states that investment in BMD technologies has created new technical opportunities,[1] particularly promising developments in the sea-based Aegis BMD system and its associated Standard Missile-3 (SM-3) family of interceptors. The Aegis BMD system is the Pentagon's primary sea-based BMD program and has been placed at the core of the Administration's new "phased adaptive approach" for installing missile defense systems in Europe and other regions since September 17, 2009, when President Barack Obama abandoned the Bush Administration's commitment to place ground-based BMD systems in the Czech Republic and Poland.

Although reducing missile defense funding and canceling the "third site" ground-based BMD systems in Europe were shortsighted decisions, the Administration is wise to continue pursuing the sea-based Aegis BMD system and its land-based variants. Sea-based systems are an essential component of a comprehensive, multilayered global BMD architecture also using air-, land-, and space-based programs.

Congress should aggressively support the ongoing development of the sea-based Aegis BMD program, recognizing its strategic strengths, which include flexibility, mobility, and the potential for interoperability with space-based systems. As Congress evaluates the Administration's missile defense strategy and its budget request for fiscal year (FY) 2011, Members of Congress should consider accelerating the sea-based missile defense program and take concrete steps to ensure that it succeeds.

The President's Phased Adaptive Approach

The Obama Administration's proposed architecture for BMD in Europe involves four phases:

Procuring more of the existing systems through 2011. These include the SM-3 Block IA interceptor and the AN/TPY-2 sensor system.

Developing and fielding the SM-3 Block IB around 2015 on sea and land to provide broader coverage. It is a more advanced version of the SM-3 and will initially be deployed in southern Europe.

Deploying the more advanced SM-3 Block IIA around 2018. It is already under development and will be deployed in Northern Europe to protect NATO allies in Europe against medium-range and intermediate-range missiles.

Deploying the SM-3 Block IIB around 2020. This is the most important step because the SM-3 Block IIB will have the potential to counter long-range intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) that could threaten the U.S. homeland and regional allies and extend the system's capabilities beyond strictly regional defense.

The Administration's BMD program for Europe has great potential for success, but its success is fragile and could be reversible without adequate and sustained funding, appropriate management, and political commitment. The future of sea-based BMD will also require that neither the Administration nor Congress places policy or programmatic barriers in its way. The most likely policy-related obstacle could inadvertently result from the Administration's arms control agenda, particularly negotiations at the United Nations Conference on Disarmament over a treaty to prevent the "weaponization" of outer space. Programmatic barriers could also emerge if these systems are made subject to traditional acquisition rules or if their development is managed inappropriately. One potential question for Congress is whether the Missile Defense Agency (MDA) or the U.S. Navy would provide the best management framework for this program over the long term.

History of Sea-Based Missile Defense

Although sea-based BMD developments date back to the early 1990s,[2] the Aegis BMD midcourse program was created in 2002 by the Bush Administration under the auspices of the MDA's predecessor. The program was designed to track missiles of all ranges and to intercept short-range and medium-range ballistic missiles during their midcourse phase of flight. The program required adapting the Aegis computer program to use SPY-1 radar to track missiles and arming Aegis ships with BMD-capable versions of the Standard Missile, such as the existing SM-2 Block 4A (as a terminal-phase interceptor), the SM-3 Block 1A, or the SM-3 Block 1B. The Block 1B is a more advanced version that can intercept intermediate-range missiles, but Block 1A and 1B missiles in their current configurations are not fast enough to intercept ICBMs.

The Navy's Aegis combat system was originally developed to defend ships against air and surface threats, but Aegis weapons systems have since been successfully updated with the ability to track and intercept ballistic missiles. Aegis BMD systems have already demonstrated significant benefits, such as the ability to operate from advantageous locations at sea, including forward deployments in international waters, and the flexibility to move in response to threats or to evade detection. With further research and development, the Pentagon should be able to increase the interceptors' speed and capabilities by reducing the size and weight of their kill vehicles. The Pentagon should also be able to develop launch-on-remote capabilities that could further enhance the SM-3 missile's capability to intercept longer-range missiles during the ascent or boost phases.

Major Surface Combatant Requirements

Congress should carefully examine the Administration's classified breakdown of defense spending to determine whether it will adequately fund the Aegis BMD programs over the five-year budget plan. The Navy has 84 ships that are equipped with the Aegis system, including 22 Ticonderoga-class cruisers (CG-47) and 62 Arleigh Burke-class destroyers (DDG-51).[3] The Navy plans to modify 38 of these ships for BMD operations by 2015. Over the longer term, it plans to equip most of them (five CG-47s and all 62 DDG-51s) with BMD capabilities.[4] At present, however, only 20 ships (four cruisers and 16 destroyers) have been modified for BMD operations. The FY 2010 defense budget funds equipping six additional Aegis ships with BMD capabilities,[5] but the Navy will require significant additional funding to reach its goal of 67 BMD-capable Aegis ships.

The President's FY 2011 defense budget request includes $2.2 billion for the Aegis BMD system and supporting elements, which are funded through several separate accounts.[6] This represents an 11 percent increase over the $1.9 billion in FY 2010 funding. The description of the missile defense budget provides general information about the five-year funding profile for most, but not all, elements of the Aegis program. Overall, the Aegis system is projected to receive more than $11 billion between FY 2011 and FY 2015.

Congress should carefully consider what has been omitted from the Navy's BMD plans. Presently, the Navy does not intend to develop a class of ships exclusively for the BMD mission. Rather, Navy leaders plan to incorporate BMD capabilities into multi-mission cruisers and destroyers and to operate the BMD-capable ships as part of a broader surface fleet, which has other missions around the globe. While budgetary and practical constraints of building a single-mission ship are largely driving this decision, Congress needs to weigh the demands already placed on an overtaxed surface fleet by combatant commanders around the world.

According to Pentagon officials, two or three Aegis BMD ships will be constantly maintained on station near Europe, and a surge of additional ships will be provided when necessary.[7] However, maintaining each forward deployment could require committing several Aegis ships.[8] The number of ships required for BMD operations in Europe will surely increase the required number of cruisers and destroyers in the Navy's planned 313-ship fleet. If the demands of sea-based BMD operations exceed the assumptions that the Navy used in calculating its requirement for 88 major surface combatants, Congress should direct the Navy to revise its requirements upward and to procure more destroyers to ensure the health and mission-capability of the fleet. Congress also needs to press the Navy to answer what will replace the cancelled CG(X), the next-generation cruiser.

In the FY 2011 defense authorization bill, Congress should request a detailed study of the Navy's major surface combatant requirements. The study should investigate whether the new BMD architecture in Europe will require increasing the number of Aegis BMD-capable ships. If so, the Navy should answer whether the increase can be accommodated by upgrading additional existing Aegis ships or by procuring additional surface combatants. The study should also explain how BMD operations could affect the Navy's ability to meet surface fleet demands in other geographic areas and mission sets.

Overall, the study should evaluate how the Aegis BMD program can succeed as part of a balanced fleet of adequate size and strength to meet the nation's security needs. A thorough study would both highlight current shortfalls and account for the positive impact of expected technological advancements in the sea-based missile defense program. Faster interceptor speeds and more capable command and control systems that provide off-board sensor data to the Aegis system may enable fewer ships to provide equivalent levels of coverage.

This type of comprehensive study will inform Congress's decisions during the FY 2012 defense budget process, specifically on whether to fund additional shipbuilding to address potential cruiser and destroyer shortfalls. If a thorough study finds that the planned surface fleet is too small, the Navy will require additional funding for shipbuilding, and Congress will require a thorough explanation of the Navy's plans for developing new surface platforms.

The Congressional Budget Office has estimated that current funding levels are far too low to support the Navy's plans for a 313-ship fleet.[9] With the Administration's cancellation of the Zumwalt-class DDG-1000 destroyer program and the CC(X) next-generation cruiser program, the Navy will have little choice but to fill any surface combatant shortfalls by expanding the restart of DDG-51 procurement or to develop a new platform that will not be ready for deployment for many years.

De-conflicting the Arms Control Agenda from BMD

Current plans for the Aegis BMD program could pave the way for a robust sea-based BMD system that is part of a comprehensive worldwide U.S. BMD architecture. Yet Congress does not have all of the information that it needs to evaluate success and provide oversight. The Administration has not yet determined the eventual role that sea-based systems will play in the greater BMD structure. Specifically, the Administration's arms control agenda needs to include waivers for Aegis BMD, or it will risk jeopardizing the entire system. In this context, Congress should take concrete steps to ensure that the Pentagon's Aegis BMD programs are not slowed, reversed, or abandoned. Further, Members need to ask several key questions to determine whether Navy plans are fully informed or driven primarily by budgetary constraints.

Congress needs to obtain explicit guarantees and appropriate waivers now to ensure that the Administration's larger arms control agenda does not later derail the deployment of sea-based and land-based Aegis systems. During the Cold War, missile defense became a casualty of a misplaced arms control policy, but history does not need to repeat itself. Three arms control initiatives, which could limit U.S. missile defense options, particularly require congressional involvement and oversight as negotiations continue.

On numerous occasions, Administration officials have asserted that New START will place no limits on U.S. missile defense options, but the fact is that language in the treaty's preamble depicts a relationship between strategic offensive and defensive systems in which reductions in the capabilities of offensive strategic nuclear systems must be matched by reductions in defensive capabilities. As a result, many observers are concerned that the Administration had already linked START and missile defense by yielding to Russian pressure to cancel previously planned programs in Poland and the Czech Republic in order to advance the negotiations and is committed to extending this linkage into the future. Not only would any linkage put the START follow-on negotiations on the wrong track,[10] but it could be invoked to force the Administration to cancel elements of the phased adaptive approach. If missile defense and the START agenda remain linked, the START follow-on treaty will not serve U.S. interests. The Senate should carefully evaluate the treaty when the President submits it for the Senate's advice and consent.

Congress also needs to assert its authority over ongoing negotiations to draft a space arms control agreement at the U.N. Conference on Disarmament. U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Rose Gottemoeller announced that the Obama Administration had accepted the "program of work" for the conference on June 4, 2009.[11] A space arms control agreement--or a similar agreement that would establish a "code of conduct" for military space activities--could severely curtail, if not terminate, all missile defense systems that operate outside the earth's atmosphere and capabilities that support such systems. Foremost among these would be Aegis and the SM-3 missiles, which were used to destroy a junk U.S. satellite two years ago. Currently, the hold on the nomination of Philip Coyle to be the Associate Director for National Security and International Affairs in the Office of Science and Technology Policy stems in part from Dr. Coyle's failure to answer a question during his confirmation hearing about the potential scope of a space arms control agreement. Congress needs to demand that the Administration clearly outline which military systems will be affected. Further, Congress should make it clear that both a space arms control agreement and a code of conduct agreement for space--whether negotiated at the Conference on Disarmament or elsewhere--must be drafted as treaties and therefore be subject to the Senate's advice and consent.

The Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) is a voluntary arrangement among countries, including the U.S., to control the export of ballistic missiles capable of delivering weapons of mass destruction and their components. The only specific restriction in the MTCR is a prohibition on the transfer of missile production facilities. The agreement permits cooperation among member countries, which include many U.S. allies. It still permits transfers as long as the recipient country pledges not to modify any transferred systems to deliver weapons of mass destruction. While this is a worthy initiative to stem the proliferation of ballistic missiles, the MTCR should not curtail U.S. missile defense cooperation with friends and allies. Congress should make it clear to the White House that the MTCR should not be interpreted in ways that limit missile defense cooperation with friends and allies, particularly for those cooperating to develop or field the Aegis system.

Aegis BMD Funding and Management

Congress should consider providing the Navy with an additional $350 million for Aegis ballistic missile defense in FY 2011 to accelerate and expand both the development and procurement of the Aegis weapons system and the SM-3 family of interceptors. While the Administration's commitment to the Aegis system is commendable and the FY 2011 funding is fairly robust, there remains room for improvement.

Specifically, Congress should:

Accelerate the development of the interceptors and the associated fire control software. Upgraded fire control software should then be reinforced by a broader command and control system optimized to support the Aegis system's access to off-board sensor data. The current five-year budget plan provides funding for the Space Tracking and Surveillance System (STSS) satellite program, a demonstration project for feeding the satellite data to the Aegis BMD fire control system via the command and control system to permit remote engagement. The study should investigate the potential effects of this program and other research and development initiatives that could enhance the Aegis BMD system's capabilities.

Expand procurement of Standard Missiles in FY 2011. The Navy plans to have roughly 300 SM-3s by 2015. For an additional $170 million, the Navy could accelerate production of these interceptors and build a larger inventory.

Fund development of smaller and lighter kill vehicles for the SM-3 interceptors. Increasing the speed of the SM-3 interceptors will expand their capabilities, enabling them to protect larger areas, engage long-range missiles, and intercept missiles in the ascent phase. Higher interceptor speeds of 6 to 7 kilometers per second can best be achieved by using smaller and lighter kill vehicles. This should permit the U.S. to use the more advanced SM-3s to destroy ballistic missiles launched from ships off the U.S. coast, such as missiles armed with electromagnetic pulse warheads.

Explore whether to expand management authority over the program. The Navy's vision for the Aegis missile defense system is to integrate it into today's multi-mission fleet with multi-mission ships rather than building stand-alone missile defense ships. This wiser approach takes advantage of the sunk costs in the Aegis ships already in the fleet. It could help to prepare the Navy to assume a missile defense mission in a way that preserves the health of the entire fleet. Clearly, the Navy is far better positioned than the MDA to choose the best and most efficient way to apply the Administration's new phased adaptive approach for missile defense to the Aegis program and to incorporate the emerging technologies into individual ships and across the fleet. As additional funds are provided to the Navy for missile defense, its authority to manage those funds and the programs they support should be expanded.

Preventing Backsliding in Sea-Based Missile Defense

The Administration's new phased adaptive approach for missile defense in Europe and the Pentagon's wider sea-based Aegis BMD program have the potential to provide robust missile defense coverage and to operate from advantageous locations at sea. The program's success will depend on adequate and sustained funding, appropriate management, and the sincerity of the Administration's political commitment to the programs. Congress needs to be a full partner with the executive branch and obtain additional information to conduct an informed assessment of the program's requirements.

Congress is ultimately responsible for providing adequate funding for shipbuilding to enable the Navy to meet the demands of its many varied missions around the globe. Additional steps to allow sea-based missile defense programs to succeed will involve transitioning management authority to the Navy, purchasing additional SM-3 interceptors, and funding research and development to increase the speed and capability of the interceptors. Most importantly, Congress needs to ensure that additional forward deployments of BMD-capable Aegis ships to European waters will not negatively affect the Navy's health and ability to meet mission demands in other areas. Congress also needs to prevent the Administration's arms control agenda from derailing the entire enterprise.

Baker Spring is F. M. Kirby Research Fellow in National Security Policy in the Douglas and Sarah Allison Center for Foreign Policy Studies, a division of the Kathryn and Shelby Cullom Davis Institute for International Studies, at The Heritage Foundation and a contributor to ConUNdrum: The Limits of the United Nations and the Search for Alternatives (Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2009). Mackenzie Eaglen is Research Fellow for National Security in the Allison Center for Foreign Policy Studies at The Heritage Foundation.

Hooray for Arizona!

This article was found in The Patriot Update:

Updated April 26, 2010

Lawmakers Urged to Secure Border Before Seeking Immigration Overhaul

With lawmakers on Capitol Hill reviving debate over a comprehensive immigration overhaul bill, Republicans and border-state residents are urging congressional leaders not to lift a legislative finger until they've dealt with border security.

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FILE: In this March 26, 2010. photo, a crossing guard holds up a stop sign as a parent and child cross the street to get to school at Fort Hancock, Texas, located about 50 miles southeast of Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, epicenter of a bloody drug war that has sent Mexican families fleeing. (AP)

Violence on both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border is raging. On Friday, gunmen killed seven police officers in Ciudad Juarez across the border from El Paso, Texas. The Juarez drug cartel claimed responsibility for the brazen attack.

Gunmen attacked another government convoy on Saturday in the western state of Michoacan -- in a sign that the cartels have shifted tactics and are starting to target law enforcement and government officials, as opposed to rival gangs.

U.S. authorities suspect an illegal immigrant murdered Arizona rancher Robert Krentz on March 27.

The violence has heightened concerns about border security, leading some to warn Washington that an election-year push for immigration legislation is premature.

Stephen Brophy, president of the Arizona Cattle Growers Association and a friend of Krentz, said any move to push for federal legislation without improving security could entice hordes of immigrants to cross into the U.S. illegally in hopes of hitting the jackpot -- a law that puts them in the clear.

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"You can't have immigration reform until you have secure borders," Brophy said Monday. "If the border is not secure, there will be a flood of them (coming) north thinking that immigration reform will legitimatize their presence here, the likes of which we've never seen."

Republican lawmakers, while not uniformly against the idea of taking another stab at immigration legislation, held to that position in interviews on the Sunday talk shows.

"I just don't think this is the right time to take up this issue with the border security problems, the drug wars going on across the border," Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell told "Fox News Sunday," adding that high unemployment also needs to be addressed first.

Sen. Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga., told CNN's "State of the Union" that passing an immigration package "is not practical because we still haven't sealed the border."

Calls for better border security have mounted from members of both parties since Krentz's murder. Some have called for more Border Patrol agents. Some have called for a stronger National Guard presence.

Some have called for the border fence to be drastically improved -- not only does the fence cover only 650 miles of the 2,000-mile southern border, but half of that structure is composed of vehicle barriers. Those are relatively low barriers meant to keep out cars and trucks, but not people crossing on foot.

Arizona Sens. John McCain and Jon Kyl, both Republicans, put forward a 10-point border security plan last week that includes sending thousands more National Guard, providing millions of dollars to local law enforcement and completing the border fence, among other presumably costly proposals.

The jump-starting of debate over a new immigration package in Washington coincided with the signing of a law in Arizona that makes it a state crime to be an illegal immigrant. Some Democratic lawmakers say that in light of the state law, Congress needs to act on immigration to make sure other states don't follow Arizona's lead.

"The idea that state by state would start developing its own immigration laws in the country -- imagine what a patchwork that might look like," Sen. Chris Dodd, D-Conn., told NBC's "Meet the Press." "It's demanding a national answer to immigration policy, so before this even gets further out of hand, we've got to step up and do the job."

Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Ala., speaking alongside Dodd, suggested he was keeping an open mind but that the timing might not be right.

"First thing we better do is enforce our borders and know who is here and who comes and who leaves," he said. "That's number one, and then go into the rest."

Sunday, April 25, 2010

25 April #3

Another site indicated that the 25th is the date of Hitler's death, but this is not so; he died (as far as we know for sure) on 30 April 1945.  May he rot in Hell.

April 25th #2

Today is also the day that the Empire of the United States declared war on the Empire of Spain in 1898.

ANZAC Day (25 April)

ANZAC Day is a Day of Remembrance in Australia and New Zealand.  It honors those who fought in the Gallipoli Campaign.

Rest in Peace.