Policy analyst James McKeon was quoted in the Columbus Dispatch.
James McKeon, with the Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation, said an East Coast site would primarily protect the U.S. from missiles coming from Iran, not North Korea. Missiles aren’t typically shot east to west; instead, they head north before coming south, he said.
But the technology is far from fail-safe, said McKeon. Tests of the technology are typically highly scripted and carried out in the middle of the day, so they’re not considered operationally realistic, “and they still have (only) a 50 percent success rate,” he said.
He cites a 2013 letter from Vice Adm. James Syring, at the time the head of the Missile Defense Agency, to Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., arguing that “there is no validated military requirement to deploy an East Coast missile-defense site.”
Defense officials have repeatedly expressed concern about the plan, saying they’d rather devote resources to testing and improving what exists than add to a system that is not fully proven. They argue that batteries on the West Coast already could cover the continental United States.
“The problem is there is no evidence thus far that this system is very effective,” McKeon said. “In fact, all the evidence suggests it cannot be relied upon to protect the United States homeland.” Read more