GITMO, Missile Defense, Nuclear Reductions & Message Amendments: Understanding the Implications of the NDAA
Washington DC – June 11, 2013– Press Release – Yesterday afternoon, the Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation hosted a press call with Lt. General Robert Gard, The Honorable Philip Coyle, Executive Director John Isaacs and Director of Nuclear Non-Proliferation Kingston Reif to examine the military, scientific and political elements of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA.)
John Isaacs spoke of the House’s tendencies to pass ‘message amendments in bills’ “Last year, the House added lots of legislation on nuclear weapons issues that were killed or significantly watered down in the final conference version of the bill,” said Isaacs. “I believe the House has ‘overturned’ Obamacare 37 times; the Senate and White House will not let that happen but the House is sending a message. This is what they are doing with some of these nuclear weapons issues.”
Coyle spoke on the proposal to speed up construction of a missile defense site on the East Coast. “It is important to remember that the Department of Defense requires an environmental impact study for each of the proposed sites before anything else happens. Those studies will be underway soon but they won’t happen overnight,” said Coyle. “Besides, we are not ready for an East Coast site; the National Academy of Science report clearly stated that a new and faster interceptor, a larger kill vehicle capable of discrimination, and new radar must be developed before an East Coast site would make sense.”
Lt. General Robert Gard spoke on closing the Guantanamo Bay detention facility and the attempts in the House to prevent its closure. “Closing the facility is a national security imperative; it serves as a recruiting poster for terrorists and alienates our allies,” stated General Gard. “It costs more than $1 million per prisoner, thirty times the average cost of detaining a standard prisoner in the U.S.”
General Gard also suggested that the House’s attempts to prevent its closure could garner a veto threat.
Kingston Reif added that the provisions to prevent further arms reductions could subject the House version of the NDAA a veto threat.
Isaacs stated, “The House and Senate Armed Services Committee pride themselves on passing a bill, which they have done for 51 straight years – they don’t want to be the committee that wrote the bill which was vetoed.”
The Center will continue to produce up-to-date analysis on the NDAA on our website (www.armscontrolcenter.org) and blog (www.nukesofhazardblog.com.)
The Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation is a Washington-based non-profit think tank working to reduce the number of nuclear weapons stockpiled across the globe, increase international nonproliferation programs targeted at preventing the further proliferation of nuclear weapons and nuclear terrorism, redirect U.S. military spending to address 21st century security threats and halt the proliferation of biological and chemical weapons. www.armscontrolcenter.org