White House Opposes House Missile-Defense Moves

A Patriot Advanced Capability 3 interceptor is launched from Omelek Island during a test in October 2012. The White House this week rejected several missile-defense initiatives proposed by the Republican-controlled House.
National Journal
Sebastian Sprenger
Add to Briefcase
Sebastian Sprenger
May 21, 2014, 10:03 a.m.

Sev­er­al de­fens­ive and of­fens­ive mis­sile-themed pro­vi­sions that ori­gin­ated in the Re­pub­lic­an-con­trolled House have drawn op­pos­i­tion from the White House.

The Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion de­cried as too risky and too ex­pens­ive a push by law­makers to ac­cel­er­ate the de­ploy­ment to Po­land of a land-based ver­sion of the Ae­gis mis­sile de­fense sys­tem by some­time in 2016, and short-range an­ti­mis­sile cap­ab­il­it­ies by late 2014.

House mis­sile-de­fense ad­voc­ates had in­ser­ted lan­guage to that ef­fect in­to the fisc­al 2015 de­fense au­thor­iz­a­tion bill. The le­gis­la­tion is ex­pec­ted to be con­sidered on the House floor this week.

Meant by its sup­port­ers as a coun­ter­weight to Mo­scow’s re­cent moves, the speedi­er field­ing of de­fens­ive sys­tems would “not change Rus­sia’s se­cur­ity cal­cu­la­tion in Europe,” the White House ar­gued in a Monday state­ment of ad­min­is­tra­tion policy.

U.S. of­fi­cials also fear that short-range an­ti­mis­sile weaponry de­ployed to Po­land would “lim­it the abil­ity of the United States to meet its world­wide op­er­a­tion­al mis­sile de­fense re­quire­ments.”

The White House also op­posed bill lan­guage that would force the Pentagon to keep ex­ist­ing in­ter­con­tin­ent­al bal­list­ic mis­sile silos avail­able for pos­sible use. The pro­vi­sion in ques­tion was spear­headed by law­makers from states host­ing these fa­cil­it­ies.

“While it is the pres­id­ent’s de­term­in­a­tion that 50 of the cur­rent 450 Minute­man 3 silos will re­main in a non-de­ployed — warm — status, this pro­vi­sion would tie the hands of all pres­id­ents with re­spect to force struc­ture through [Feb­ru­ary] 2021,” the state­ment of ad­min­is­tra­tion policy reads.

Of­fi­cials lamen­ted as “pre­ma­ture and po­ten­tially waste­ful” lan­guage to set aside $20 mil­lion for the plan­ning and design of an East Coast mis­sile field of long-range in­ter­cept­ors. Law­makers had in­ser­ted to pro­vi­sion with an eye to­ward boost­ing the de­fens­ive cap­ab­il­ity against a po­ten­tial at­tack from North Korea and else­where.

The Pentagon did not re­quest money for an East Coast site in its fisc­al 2015 budget pro­pos­al. De­fense of­fi­cials have said they re­main un­sure if such a site is ne­ces­sary.

What We're Following See More »
RSC OPPOSITION
House Conservatives Balk on Obamacare Replacement
4 hours ago
THE LATEST

"The chairman of the influential Republican Study Committee said Monday he would vote against a draft ObamaCare replacement bill that leaked last week. Rep. Mark Walker (R-NC), head of the 172-member committee, said Monday his opposition stems from the draft bill's use of refundable tax credits." He said the current plan simply "kicks the can down the road" rather than attempt any real reform.

Source:
ENLISTS THEIR HELP IN REPEAL/REPLACE
Trump Meets with Health Execs
4 hours ago
THE LATEST
ALSO VICTIMS OF VIOLENCE BY ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS
Scalia’s Widow to Be Trump’s Guest at Speech
4 hours ago
THE DETAILS

The White House revealed its guest list for President Trump's address to Congress on Tuesday night. The marquee name: Maureen Scalia, the wife of the late Justice Antonin Scalia. Also seated with the first lady will be three family members of people killed by illegal immigrants.

ZINKE NEXT IN LINE
Wilbur Ross Confirmed as Commerce Secretary
5 hours ago
THE LATEST
FORMER GOVERNOR, AMBASSADOR TO CHINA
Jon Huntsman in Line to be #2 at State
13 hours ago
THE DETAILS
×
×

Welcome to National Journal!

You are currently accessing National Journal from IP access. Please login to access this feature. If you have any questions, please contact your Dedicated Advisor.

Login