Top Missile Defense Expert Supports START Treaty

Dec 23, 2010, 17:43 ET from Missile Defense Advocacy Alliance

WASHINGTON, Dec. 23, 2010 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Riki Ellison, Chairman and Founder of the Missile Defense Advocacy Alliance (MDAA), www.missiledefenseadvocacy.org, has analyzed the recent START Treaty which received Congressional approval through the vote this week. Ellison is one of the top lay experts in the field of missile defense in the country. His comments are outlined below:

The New START Treaty has been ratified by the United States Senate to equally reduce the strategic nuclear arsenals from the inventories of the United States of America and the Russian Federation. The highest ranking U.S. military officer Admiral Mike Mullen, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, endorses and supports the treaty, along with the President of the United States and the United States Senate.  

Through the healthy democratic process of debate over the New START treaty that provides checks and balances on U.S. Presidential policy, both missile defense and U.S. nuclear modernization have warranted great attention by the President, the Senate and the American Public; attention that would not have happened without this due process.

Reducing strategic nuclear arsenals without weakening national security is welcomed and seen as a positive policy movement for the American public, the Russian public and the global community. Missile defense has not been limited; rather it has been enhanced by President Obama. The President has made unequivocal statements to the United States Congress and the Russian Federation in full support of the development and deployment of missile defense. This is a substantial achievement for the overall growth and the determination for the U.S. to sustain and grow missile defense now and in the future.

President Barack Obama came into office over two years ago with a negative perception of missile defense and intent on reducing missile defense. Halfway through his term and in the midst of the ratification process the he has made the strongest statements by any U.S. President ever in support of missile defense while maintaining close to a $10 billion a year budget for missile defense.

There are three notable movements by President Obama in support of missile defense that have come this past week due to the debate over the New START Treaty:

1.  President Obama's letter and statements on December 18 to the Senate leadership stating that, "As long as I am President, and as long as the Congress provides the necessary funding, the United States will continue to develop and deploy effective missile defenses to protect the United States, our deployed forces, and our allies and partners..."

2.   A letter from James Miller, Principle Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Policy and Lieutenant General Patrick O'Reilly, Director of the Missile Defense Agency representing the Administration on December 21st to Senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaska stating President Obama's strong commitment to the need for effective missile defense protect the U.S. homeland; in which Fort Greely, Alaska plays a indispensable role. Presented in this letter is a focus on a hedging strategy that would reverse a decision to mothball missile field one at Fort Greely and deploy six additional missiles beyond the thirty interceptors now deployed there

3.   A letter from President Obama's to the Russian Federation required by the Senate through unanimous consent to an amendment attached to the ratification of the New START Treaty. Though this amendment does not change the treaty, or require Russian approval for the New START Treaty to go forward, it sends a strong message to Russia and to the world about our nation's determination to improve, develop and deploy our missile defense systems. Below is the full text of the amendment.

Effectiveness and viability of New START Treaty and United States missile defenses.-Prior to the entry into force of the New START Treaty, the President shall certify to the Senate, and at the time of the exchange of instruments of ratification shall communicate to the Russian Federation, that it is the policy of the United States to continue development and deployment of United States missile defense systems to defend against missile threats from nations such as North Korea and Iran, including qualitative and quantitative improvements to such systems. Such systems include all phases of the Phased Adaptive Approach to missile defenses in Europe, the modernization of the Ground-based Midcourse Defense system, and the continued development of the two-stage Ground-Based Interceptor as a technological and strategic hedge. The United States believes that these systems do not and will not threaten the strategic balance with the Russian Federation. Consequently, while the United States cannot circumscribe the sovereign rights of the Russian Federation under paragraph 3 of Article XIV of the Treaty, the United States believes continued improvement and deployment of United States missile defense systems do not constitute a basis for questioning the effectiveness and viability of the Treaty, and therefore would not give rise to circumstances justifying the withdrawal of the Russian Federation from the Treaty.

Increasing missile defense and equally reducing strategic nuclear weapons should be seen for what it really is-making our world and our nation a safer place by decreasing offensive weapons and increasing defensive systems.

Respect is given where respect is due.

SOURCE Missile Defense Advocacy Alliance



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