In Defense of Missile Defense

Ricky Trotman /

Iran's improved Sejil 2 medium-range missile

James Woolsey, former director of Central Intelligence, and Rebaccah Heinrichs, a former manager of the House Bipartisan Missile Defense Caucus published an op-ed in The Wall Street Journal vividly illustrating the threat posed by Iran’s weapons program and the need for a robust U.S. missile defense system. The authors note that Iran is capable of deploying an Inter-Continental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) by 2015, which is a scary fact for a country whose leader likes to proclaim “death to Israel.”

What is so discouraging about this news is that it really isn’t news at all. Back in 2007, John C. Rood, Assistant Secretary of State for International Security and Nonproliferation testified that it was likely that Iran could have an ICBM as early as 2015. Nevertheless, the current Administration has sought to cut back the missile defense program, providing nearly $1 billion less in the FY 2011 budget than President Bush provided in his last year in office. Moreover, they have reduced the number of ground-based interceptors in Alaska and California from the original plan of 44 down to 30. (more…)