Repubs Stopping Missile Defense Critics

Rebeccah Heinrich, a House staffer for Rep. Trent "nuclear terrorism scares me" Franks (R-AZ), has an article in Politico attacking Philip Coyle's n

Phil coyle pic

Rebeccah Heinrich, a House staffer for Rep. Trent "nuclear terrorism scares me" Franks (R-AZ), has an article in Politico attacking Philip Coyle's nomination for the White House Science and Technology Policy office. Philip has made the error of pointing out the flaws of the national missile defense program, and while his potential future position doesn't involve the program, Rebeccah doesn't want to take the chance that he'll infect people in the White House by, you know, talking to people.

In his appearances before House panels, Coyle’s basic argument has been that Iran or North Korea would not launch a missile attack on the United States. If they do, he argues, they would use multiple missiles, or countermeasures to overwhelm our GMD system.

Coyle’s confidence in these two countries’ rationality is startling. His lack of confidence in our own military leaders and engineers is disconcerting.

America can develop a more robust defense, capable of defending against sophisticated threats — if we make up our minds to achieve it. Just because the system isn’t now capable of handling all future threats doesn’t mean it isn’t worth building or making operational while U.S. engineers improve it.
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Coyle’s nomination is a mistake. So are his ideas. Missile defense is a national security necessity. It’s one that, as a poll shows, 88 percent of Americans support.

The Americans that she cites probably don't know that the US government spends between $8-10 billion a year on the national missile defense research and development, not to mention the $4 billion planned for building Europe's long-range missile defense. Americans probably don't know what the cost of building a large system would be - one required to protect the entire United States - not to mention the annual sustainment costs. Rebeccah would rather hide that from the people, waving her flag of patriotism and idealism instead.

America can develop a more robust defense, capable of defending against sophisticated threats — if we make up our minds to achieve it. Just because the system isn’t now capable of handling all future threats doesn’t mean it isn’t worth building or making operational while U.S. engineers improve it.

Yes, thank you Rebeccah, for providing us with the brilliant rationale for building about every badly run and over-budget defense program, including the F22 and F35 aircraft, the Airborne Laser, the DIVAD program, the Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle, and so many others. So what if it doesn't really work? There's always time to improve it later. Overall cost-benefit analyses and low probabilities that the system will ever be used doesn't really matter as much as good intentions, do they?

Rebeccah fronts for a "missile defense caucus" in the House, so she's hardly an unbiased source here. The Politico doesn't want to tell you that, however. It might spoil the surprise. Her attack is unwarranted and illogical, as is the unnamed Republican senator's hold on his nomination. She shouldn't be so upset about a war of words between one influential guy against the missile defense advocates at the Heritage Foundation. But today's political conservatives never seemed to care much about logic and allowing a fair and open debate on defense issues.

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