Monday, November 3, 2008

Dueling Articles on Candidates’ Positions on Missile Defense

James Hackett of the Washington Times and Shelby Spires of the Huntsville Times both put out dueling pieces on the positions of Sens. Barack Obama and John McCain on missile defense today.

Hackett opines:

The effort to defend against Iran's missiles took a new turn in late September when Washington delivered an X-band radar manned by 120 U.S. personnel to the first permanent U.S. military base in Israel.

Iran's missiles are a real and growing threat to U.S. forces and allies in the Middle East. Add the nuclear weapons Tehran is determined to acquire and Iran's longer-range missiles will be a threat to Europe and even the United States. The choice next Tuesday is between a candidate who supports missile defense and one who does not.

[snip]

We do not have the luxury of waiting for Iran to get such weapons before fielding defenses, which take years to get in place. Deploying an X-band radar and other defenses in Israel and around the Middle East is prudent. And installing an X-band radar in the Czech Republic and ground-based interceptors in Poland is equally important, to protect NATO bases and cities in Europe and the United States.

Sen. John McCain has said he supports a strong missile defense, including the planned bases in Poland and the Czech Republic. Sen. Barack Obama has made it crystal clear he will cut missile defense spending. When asked what he will cut in the whole federal budget, he mentions missile defense. The choice is clear.

Shelby, by contrast, reports:

Continued support for missile defense programs seems a lock for either a John McCain or Barack Obama White House given their campaign statements, says a defense expert, but programs still on the drawing board could be slashed.

[snip]

In campaign speeches and online policy statements, McCain and Obama support overall missile defense and continued testing.

Obama's statement says the Democratic nominee's support comes with the reservation that he will "ensure that it is developed in a way that is pragmatic and cost-effective, and, most importantly, does not divert resources from other national security priorities until we are positive the technology will protect the American public."

McCain's statement says the Republican nominee "strongly supports the development and deployment of theater and national missile defenses" to deter attacks on America, allies and military units.

The statement continues, "Effective missile defenses are also necessary to allow American military forces to operate overseas without being deterred by the threat of missile attack from a regional adversary."

Apparently the choice isn’t so clear after all.

1 comment:

Kyle - Atlantic Review said...

Hey Jeff, thanks for this info. I linked to your article here: http://www.atlanticreview.org/archives/1209-Obama-and-Missile-Defense.html