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Arms Control Expert: Trump Administration Missile Defense Review Doubles Down on Bad Bet
Washington, DC—John Tierney, Executive Director at the Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation, and former nine-term Member of Congress, released the following statement after the Trump Administration released its Missile Defense Review:
“The Trump Administration’s Missile Defense Review lays the groundwork for massively expanding national missile defenses, before actually proving that the existing program is effective. Such a move would come at an astronomical cost and threaten strategic stability with Russia and China, with little chance of creating successful programs to boot.
The Administration put a rosy spin on it, but Ground-based Midcourse Defense has a failing testing record. The bottom line is, if there is an incoming nuclear missile attack, the program cannot be relied upon to protect the United States. Taxpayers should not have to pay any more than the nearly $70 billion projected cost of this failing program. Attempting to place national missile defense interceptors in space, as the review lays the groundwork for, would make the failings of the existing program look like child’s play.
When conducting hearings over this issue in Congress, one testimony stuck out that continues to resonate with me: ‘National missile defense is clearly more theology than technology.’ Lawmakers must reject funding for massively expanding national missile defenses, particularly when the existing system is verifiably ineffective. Congress should instead prioritize diplomatic and military programs that have been proven to keep this country safe.”
Tierney’s 18-year stint in Congress included two terms as chair of a subcommittee that oversees missile defense, under two different presidents.