Washington D.C. – Earlier this year, General Jacoby, who commands U.S. Northern Command (NORTHCOM) and North American Aerospace Defense Command, said “Today’s threats do not require an East Coast missile field and we do not have plans to do so.”
Regardless of that blunt advice, and in the current budget environment, Republicans on the Strategic Forces subcommittee added hundreds of millions of dollars to develop a ground based missile defense system for the East Coast.
With the advice of General Jacoby in mind, and an eye towards fiscal responsibility, Strategic Forces Subcommittee Ranking Member Loretta Sanchez offered an amendment at today’s markup to strike the $357 million added to the President’s budget request for homeland missile defense, including the unnecessary development of an East Coast interceptor site. Regrettably, Republicans voted against this amendment.
“I regret that Republicans have rejected this amendment and I’m frustrated that they have directed hundreds of millions of dollars to an un-required missile defense system that our own military leaders have clearly stated they do not want and cannot even capitalize on at this time, even as Republicans claim the need for fiscal restraint,” said Sanchez. “Instead of spending these funds on a new interceptor site on the East Coast, we should fix existing problems with our two interceptor sites that need much improvement in terms of their capability. We must make sure we get that right before moving forward on additional systems.”