I’ve been doing some reading on missile defense over the past few days and came across this quote from Sen. Sessions at an April 13 Senate Strategic Forces Subcommittee hearing on the FY 2012 missile defense budget:
“The Phased Adaptive Approach to missile defense establishes a global framework for regional uncertainties. If executed correctly and on time, it will represent a good approach that is both relocatable and scalable. According to the BMD review, the fourth phase of the Phased Adaptive Approach and SM–3 Block IIB will improve the defense of the homeland. As we are all aware, this layered protection could have come earlier with the prior plan that we had from the prior administration. However, I agree that defending both Europe and the U.S. from Iran with only ten interceptors was not sufficient—was not going to provide the inventory necessary to deter Iranian aggression.”
This struck me as surprising, since I recall Sen. Sessions being a little more hostile to the administration’s plans for European missile defense when the Phased Adaptive Approach was first announced in September 2009. Sure enough, here’s what Sen. Sessions had to say at the time:
“Today, on the 70th anniversary of Russia’s invasion of Poland, President Obama has signaled to our European allies that the United States will suddenly and inexplicably walk away from our commitment, turning our back on our allies in an apparent effort to appease Russia. This callous and cavalier decision leaves our friends out on a limb, high and dry.”
I think this demonstrates two things: 1) Sen. Sessions clearly didn’t have the facts back in September 2009 and 2) the bipartisan support for the Phased Adaptive Approach is rather strong.