Congress continues to appropriate funding for missile defense-related activities despite lack of information about efficacy and cost effectiveness
Washington (August 22, 2018) – Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) is calling on the Defense Department to release its long-overdue Missile Defense Review (MDR), a comprehensive review of U.S. missile defense policy and strategy. The MDR was due in January 2018. Senator Markey sent his request to Secretary of Defense James Mattis as the United States faces increasingly complex and varied ballistic and cruise missile threats from nations such as North Korea and China. In his letter, Senator Markey expresses concern about repeated and recently-renewed reports about space-based missile interceptors and the move toward an overt weaponization of space at a time when the United States should be trying to prevent that by strategic competitors like Russia and China.
“We do not need to perpetuate an arms race here on Earth with a new arms race in outer space,” said Senator Markey. “We must recognize that offense is cheaper than defense, and while some missile defense is necessary – especially given the ongoing threat from North Korea – we should spend smart, not crazy. We need to make strategic investments, which is impossible without first seeing the administration’s plan.”
A copy of Senator Markey’s letter can be found HERE.
In the letter, Senator Markey details how in recent years, Congress has provided record appropriations to further support missile defense-related activities, including approval of $11.5 billion for the Missile Defense Agency, an increase of $3.6 billion, or 46 percent, from the Trump administration’s May 2017 initial budget request. The appropriation is the largest Congress has ever provided for the agency after adjusting for inflation.