House Lawmaker Backs Permanent Missile-Defense Fielding in Guam

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Global Security Newswire Staff
Jan. 23, 2014, 6:52 a.m.

A seni­or House de­fense law­maker has giv­en his back­ing to the in­def­in­ite field­ing of an an­ti­mis­sile sys­tem in Guam, the Pa­cific Daily News re­ports.

Last April, the U.S. mil­it­ary de­ployed a Ter­min­al High Alti­tude Area De­fense sys­tem to Guam, which houses a ma­jor U.S. navy base, amid con­cerns that North Korea could be ser­i­ous about its threats to carry out nuc­le­ar-mis­sile at­tacks on the United States. THAAD bat­ter­ies are de­signed to des­troy short- and me­di­um-range bal­list­ic mis­siles in their last stage of flight. At the time of its de­ploy­ment, the De­fense De­part­ment said the sys­tem would be fielded for just three months but has yet to re­move it.

“We wanna make sure that, stra­tegic­ally, we have all the right as­sets here on Guam to pro­tect Guam from whatever bal­list­ic mis­sile threats that are out there,” U.S. Rep­res­ent­at­ive Robert Wittman (R-Va.), chair­man of the House Armed Ser­vices Read­i­ness Sub­com­mit­tee said on Tues­day dur­ing a vis­it to the U.S. ter­rit­ory.

Guam’s non-vot­ing del­eg­ate in the U.S. House, Rep­res­ent­at­ive Madeleine Bor­dallo (D) is push­ing to have the THAAD sys­tem per­man­ently fielded on the is­land.

Guam could be with­in range of North Korea’s in­ter­me­di­ate-range Musudan mis­sile as well as any in­ter­con­tin­ent­al bal­list­ic mis­siles that the isol­ated coun­try may be work­ing on.