May 6, 2014
Senate Republicans are pushing for the U.S. military to speed up deployment of advanced interceptors in Poland to send a deterrent message to Russia.
A bill introduced last week by Senator Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) and 22 other GOP members of his chamber would require the Obama administration to provide a plan for how to achieve deployment of Phase 3 of the “Phased Adaptive Approach” for European missile defense by the end of 2016.
Antimissile assets under the third phase currently are not planned for fielding in Poland until late 2018, at the earliest.
The Russian Aggression Prevention Act also gives the U.S. government the option of developing a different plan for providing “alternative [antimissile] capabilities to protect NATO allies in Europe and Eurasia.”
Though the Corker legislation has considerable support from senior Senate Republicans, the lack of a single co-sponsor across the aisle does not bode well for its chances of passage this year in the Democrat-led upper legislative chamber.
An additional bill provision that would ban the reduction of long-range nuclear-delivery vehicles under the New START accord with Russia also is likely to be unpalatable to the White House.
“The bill is littered with veto bait,” said Kingston Reif, an analyst with the Center for Arms Control and Nonproliferation.
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