And some more...
Reacting to Pentagon’s budget recommendations for FY 2010, retired lieutenant general and Chief of the National Guard Bureau under President Clinton, Edward Baca issued the following statement:
“I was encouraged that Defense Secretary Robert Gates recognized the importance of the missile shield that protects the U.S. from long-range ballistic missiles fired by states such as North Korea. I also applaud cice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Cartwright for expressing his confidence in our defenses against intercontinental ballistic missiles.
“However, I am concerned that Pentagon’s decision to halt the build-out of the Ground-based Midcourse Defense system (GMD) will leave us vulnerable to missile attacks from countries like North Korea in the near future.
“North Korea’s recent test of a three-stage intercontinental ballistic missile, coupled with its troubling nuclear program, demonstrates that it is determined to develop the capabilities needed to strike the U.S. with a nuclear ballistic missile. GMD is the only system capable of defending the U.S. against such a threat.
“By halting production of the additional interceptors needed to complete the GMD shield, we are encouraging countries like North Korea to develop their nuclear ballistic missile capabilities at an even faster rate, in the hopes of catching the U.S. with its defenses down. Such an outcome could encourage regional arms races that would boost nuclear and ballistic missile proliferation, endanger U.S. national security and seriously set back diplomatic efforts in the region.
“Congress and the Pentagon should take special care that the 2010 budget does not cause today’s credible homeland missile defense to atrophy, encouraging aggressive countries and making the U.S. and its allies less safe.”