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Congressmen on Missile Defense Caucus Blast President Obama's Abandonment of European Missile Defense
September 17, 2009 – Members of the House Missile Defense Caucus today gave the following statements upon hearing that President Barack Obama has officially chosen to abandon plans for the European Missile Defense site, including the deployment of 10 missile interceptors in Poland and a radar in the Czech Republic.
Congressman Trent Franks, founder and co-chair of the House Missile Defense Caucus:
"The President has disgraced this nation by breaking his word to loyal and courageous allies in the Czech Republic and Poland. We have become the greatest nation in history because our word has meant something. Today has fundamentally altered that paradigm. President Obama promised on the campaign trail that he would support missile defense that is 'pragmatic and cost-effective.' Unfortunately, this is not just another one of his many broken campaign promises. According to the Congressional Budget Office and the Institute for Defense Analysis the Administration's alternative missile defense systems for defense of Europe are far more costly and would not provide close to the effectiveness of Ground Based Midcourse Defense (GMD) at protecting the U.S. homeland and our European allies. The President has ignored both of those objective measurements-- cost as well as effectiveness-- which seems to be the pattern for this Administration. He has also endangered this and coming generations from a possible missile attack from Iran or other rogue States in the Middle East who may soon attain ballistic missile capability. Certainly it encourages Iran to happily proceed with their nuclear weapons ambitions, and I am stunned as to why the President does not understand the incredible danger Iran represents to the free world.
Congressman Pete Sessions (TX-32):
“At a time of rapidly-advancing ballistic missile threats from Iran, President Obama has chosen the pathway of least resistance and consequently compromised an effective missile defense strategy that is critical to the safety of Europe and the United State’s other allies. Now more than ever, the United States should demonstrate leadership in missile defense development and courage in the face of rogue regimes.”
Congressman Mike Rogers (AL-03):
“News that the Obama Administration is restructuring the missile defense shield in Europe is unsettling and this development presents a serious blow to our counterparts in the Czech Republic and Poland. The Administration should come to brief Congress with details of its new plan for a new Ballistic Missile Defense system that will adequately protect the United States and our allies from the Iranian threat.”
Congressman Robert Aderholt (AL-04):
"I am disappointed that the President is abandoning plans to deploy technology that works right now, in favor of a theoretical new version of the Aegis system, which would not be ready until 2015 at the earliest. That is a big risk to take, and sends the wrong signal to the unpredictable regimes currently in power in Iran and North Korea."
Congressman Bill Shuster (PA-09):
"The Obama Administration is taking a very risky gamble with missile defense. By appeasing Moscow, we have increased the danger of Russian imperialism for millions of innocent Poles, Czechs, Georgians, Ukrainians and Azerbaijanis and we have shown our hand to the Iranians, who continue to defy international pressure on their nuclear program."
Congressman Tom Price (GA-06):
"Recent intelligence reports make clear that Iranian missile programs are a serious threat to our allies. Iran already has enough nuclear fuel to build a nuclear weapon, and the development of missile technology is being aided by other rogue nations. A commander-in-chief’s first priority is national security, yet it has taken a backseat to international appeasement. This is a sad, dangerous day for America and our allies."
Congressman Steve King (IA-05):
"This announcement by the Obama Administration is another move straight out of the Neville Chamberlain foreign policy playbook. The Obama Administration appears intent on appeasing rogue dictators and threatening regimes, even at the expense of our allies. This move, combined with cuts to our missile defense budget, indicates the Obama Administration’s strategy is to appease Iran and Russia rather than stand up to tyranny and totalitarianism."
Congressman Todd Tiahrt (KS-04):
"The decision by the Obama administration to shelve the missile-defense system in Poland and the Czech Republic to placate the Kremlin and ignore the looming threat of nuclear missile power developing in Iran is naïve and dangerous. The Obama administration’s desire to appease the Russians has clearly trumped the safety of the American people. Iran has made it clear they have no intention of slowing down in their development of nuclear weapons and long-range missiles, and neither should we waste any time in developing a system to counter this threat. I strongly urge President Obama to rethink this misguided decision and move swiftly to prepare today for tomorrow’s challenges."
Congressman Doug Lamborn (CO-05):
"President Obama’s decision to drastically scale back missile defense in Europe is deeply troubling. It undermines relations with key allies in Eastern Europe. It downplays the emerging Iranian long-range threat, and takes away a strategic disincentive against their plans. It sets up a false dichotomy between theater missile defense, which we could have stood up at a moment’s notice all along, with long range missile defense, when both are vital. President Obama’s lack of strategic vision goes beyond weakness into appeasement."
Congressman Todd Akin (MO-02):
"The President’s decision to back away from our plans to put missile defense sites in Poland and the Czech Republic effectively abandons two of our allies who had worked hard and taken political risks for the sake of European and American security. The Administration has sent a clear signal to our central and eastern European allies that the United States, under this President, cannot be counted on to stand by our commitments."
Congressman Roscoe Bartlett (MD-06):
"The announcement that the United States will abandon construction of two ballistic missile defense sites in Poland and the Czech Republic is regrettable because there isn’t a definitive alternative plan in place to address the widely acknowledged growing threat to Europe and Russia from ballistic missiles."
Congressman Adam Putnam (FL-12):
"This plan completely ignores Iran’s disregard of the international community in its ongoing pursuit of long-range ballistic missiles and nuclear warheads which would have the capability of reaching Europe. In addition, by making this decision on the 70th anniversary of the Soviet Union’s invasion of Poland this sends the wrong message to our European allies about America’s determination to stand with its partners in the face of intimidation."
Congressman Mike Conaway (TX-11):
"It is disconcerting that the Obama Administration continues to move U.S. foreign policy in the wrong direction by appeasing bad actors rather than strengthening the protection of the United States of America and our allies. Decisions affecting the security of our nation should be made with facts and realities in mind, not the wishful thinking of how the Obama Administration hopes antagonists abroad will behave in the future."
Congressman Gregg Harper (MS-03):
"President Obama’s announcement to abandon the missile defense system in Poland and the Czech Republic is an unreasoned decision that will strengthen our enemies at the expense of our European allies. The Obama Administration’s poor judgment has already cost America $1.2 billion for missile defense research and development, weakening our national security. Our European allies deserve more from this administration than broken promises, political rhetoric and little to no action."
Congressman Phil Gingrey (GA-11):
"The President’s announcement today that the United States is scrapping plans for a comprehensive missile defense program in Europe is deeply troubling, yet unfortunately part of what has become an all too predictable pattern for the Obama Administration. This decision, made in order to appease Russia, undermines our own national security as well as the security of some of our NATO allies in Eastern Europe, and is extremely short-sighted and disappointing. It is irresponsible to rely on the good faith of an unpredictable former adversary that continues to build alliances with nations such as Venezuela and Iran while rekindling a Soviet-era foreign policy. This decision ignores the very real threat posed by Iran, which has given absolutely no indication that they intend to halt their nuclear or ballistic missile programs. Furthermore, this is the latest foreign policy capitulation made by this administration and another example of a critical defense program being cut. I believe this decision is a grave mistake and would urge the President to reconsider."
Congressman Rob Wittman (VA-01):