Op-ed: Trump’s missile defense plans: More theology on unproven technology

Executive Director John Tierney wrote an op-ed in The Hill urging his former colleagues in Congress not to fund an expensive expansion to missile defense without first proving that it works.

The Trump Administration’s new missile defense plan could require taxpayers to foot the bill for a new nuclear arms race.

It has been the dream of national security hawks for decades: build an elaborate national missile defense architecture to, in theory, intercept nuclear missiles before they reach the United States. In 1983, President Reagan proposed the Strategic Defense Initiative, bringing the fringe idea to the forefront of American politics. The plan was overly ambitious, expensive, and technically infeasible. Ultimately, it was rightly abandoned.

But the Trump Administration is proving that some dreams never die. In its recently released Missile Defense Review (MDR), the Administration contends that missile advancements in Russia and China justify a new era of missile defense investment, inspired by the Reagan-era vision.

Most of the investments they propose, however, will do little to actually protect the United States and will instead compromise our national security. Overwhelming evidence suggests that expanding the national missile defense architecture will ultimately prove unsuccessful and come at enormous financial and strategic costs to taxpayers. Read more