America must protect against missiles

Published 6:31 pm Wednesday, September 24, 2008

On Aug. 20th, the United States and Poland signed an agreement in Warsaw that will allow the U.S. to construct, maintain and operate a facility encompassing ten ground based ballistic missile defense (BMD) interceptors on Polish territory.

The agreement must still be ratified by the Polish Parliament.

This decision supplements the agreement made between the United States and the Czech Republic in July to base a BMD radar site in the that country, also subject to ratification.

These two agreements mark a significant step forward in the effort to make certain a European missile defense site is established to protect both the U.S. and her allies in NATO from the growing threat of missile proliferation.

Ensuring that our nation and its allies are protected from existing and future ballistic missile threats is crucial.

While our nation has focused attention on rogue threats from Iran and North Korea, Russia’s recent military aggression towards Georgia shows that we must be certain that no threat is ignored.

As support for the European site grows overseas, it is critical that Congress provides adequate funding to advance the system.

Too often, some members of Congress seek to curtail efforts to supply adequate funding, arguing our current system is unproven and that more tests need to occur before deployment.

However, MDA has developed and continues to research advanced defensive systems to meet and defeat any potential ballistic missile attacks in the future.

Remember, the idea behind this effort is not just to protect our European allies, but to ensure our nation is protected as well.

We should never be in a position where our national defense is unprepared for any type of missile attack

These sites in Europe is a bold step toward that goal.

As our nation faces a multitude of challenges to our national security, we must keep our eye on the ballistic missile defense effort and not lose sight of what we have accomplished, and what we can still accomplish.

Pending ratification by their respective governments, the basing of interceptors and radars in Poland and the Czech Republic, respectively, is a significant advancement.

As we look to the future of national missile defense, it is my hope that the nation will continue to recognize the importance of our efforts.