Thursday, September 17, 2009

A New Day For Sea-Based Ballistic Missile Defense

The press reports today of the Obama Administration decision to scrap the land-based European missile defense architecture heralds a new era in sea-based missile defense, and here's why.

1. The higher you go in the national security apparatus of each party, the more closely aligned they are. I was pleasantly surprised in the Maritime Strategy effort to find consensus among the Brahmin of each party as we surveyed them on their views of what the Navy's role should be in the 21st century. Differences tend to be in implementation, rather than goals.

2. It is simply a misreading of the situation to think that the Obama team has made a decision that in any appreciable way leaves either us or our close allies less well-protected than they were before the "shield". There is political damage here for them to clean up, not necessarily actual security damage.

3. The Obama team made this decision because it has an ace in the hole--sea based ballistic missile defense. This decision represents a HUGE vote of confidence in both the performance and promise of sea-based ballistic missile defense--because it is simply irrational to think that this Administration would purposely and purposefully weaken our security posture in any demonstrable way.

4. I am extremely hopeful that this policy and its ramifications are well-understood in the context of the QDR, because the Navy could very well come out of this process looking and operating differently than it does today, i.e., moving toward a "lead service" concept in missile defense, something I've argued for here on this blog. Sea-based ballistic missile defense is a success story that should be fostered and expanded.

Bryan McGrath

blog comments powered by Disqus

site stats