- Advocacy & Policy
- Research Center
AIA joined the George C. Marshall Institute and the Space Transportation Association April 28 to brief industry, the research community and congressional staff on global missile threats and the need for robust missile defense capabilities.
Alex Vatanka, a senior analyst for Jane’s Middle East, gave an overview of the political situation in Iran and the role that Iran’s nuclear and missile programs play in their politics. Nicholas Eberstadt of the American Enterprise Institute gave a compelling overview of the situation in North Korea and the regime’s interest in ramping up its nuclear and missile program. Finally, Mark Stokes, executive director of the Project 2049 Institute, provided valuable remarks on Chinese space and missile technology development as well as the country’s progress on anti-ship ballistic missiles.
The discussion centered on the countries’ political environment and their motivations for pursuing a robust missile program, supporting the argument that the United States should maintain its missile defense program.
Earlier this year, the Defense Department released the Ballistic Missile Defense Review, which had as a priority developing an architecture that would increase the ability of the United States to defend against growing regional threats. According to the review, China continues a buildup of its missile forces, and North Korea and Iran continue to pursue ballistic missiles with extended ranges capable of targeting U.S. forces and allies.
In response to growing regional threats, the administration also announced an initiative known as the “Phased Adaptive Approach.” This new approach, aimed at deploying increasingly capable sea and land based interceptors in Europe, seeks to defend against evolving threats from Iran.
AIA was pleased that the fiscal 2011 budget request for the Missile Defense Agency increases top-level funding to $9.9 billion, nearly a billion dollar increase over last year’s request.
The event was one in a series presented as part of an ongoing campaign to bolster congressional support for the Missile Defense Agency. For more information on AIA’s work on this issue and previous events, please see AIA’s 2009 missile defense advocacy event with MDA Director, LTG Patrick O’Reilly.
For copies of the full Ballistic Missile Defense Review and the White House Fact Sheet on the Phased Adaptive Approach, please visit the following websites:
AIA Source: mike.conschafter[at]aia-aerospace.org