MISSILE CANCELLATION MAKES AMERICA VULNERABLE FOR FIVE YEARS

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Following today’s Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on the cancelled missile defense site in Eastern Europe, U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), a senior member of the committee stated, “Obama’s plan makes us more vulnerable.” 

“Everyone agrees that Iran poses a threat to our nation’s security by developing nuclear weapons and the means to deliver them,” Inhofe continued.  “Everyone also agrees that we need to have the necessary defenses in place to defeat this threat before Iran reaches its goal.  The Ground Based Interceptors (GBI) that were supposed to be located in Eastern Europe would have provided such a defense by 2013.  Even now, despite the setbacks the administration handed the program, the European-based Third Site could be fielded the same year that intelligence estimates have said Iran would have a long-range ballistic missile capability – 2015.”  

“The Obama administration’s alternative, the SM-3 2B, is only a concept and will not provide the same type of protection that the Third Site would have provided until 2020, leaving us more exposed for five years.  This is unacceptable.  While abandoning our commitment at the last minute is dangerous for our allies in Europe, we must be even more concerned about the safety and security of America.  The new plan the administration wants to pursue leaves us more vulnerable to a missile attack for five years, from 2015 to 2020.  It is not too late to scrap the Obama plan, and reestablish the multi-layered Eastern European missile defense shield that includes GBI which could intercept and destroy long range Iranian missiles capable of striking Europe and the United States between 2015 and 2020.”