Like many of you, I am extremely concerned by the Obama Administration's decision to terminate the European missile defense system. This retreat weakens our own defenses and drives a deep wedge between our nation and our allies in Poland and the Czech Republic.
This flawed decision is an unwise concession to Russia that will ultimately weaken our hand with regard to Iran, North Korea, and other regimes hostile to the United States. In addition, it undercuts our allies in Poland, the Czech Republic, and across the world.
President Obama has clearly broken his previous pledge made in Prague that he would move forward with European missile defense as long as the threat from Iran exists. Intelligence reports and the posturing of the Iranian regime itself clearly point to a very real, persistent, and growing nuclear and long range missile threat from Tehran, even though the administration has attempted to "downgrade" the severity of the threat. This termination of the European missile defense program leaves our nation and our allies in Europe vulnerable to aggression from rogue nations like Iran and North Korea.
At a time when out of control government spending is unfortunately the norm in Washington, D.C., it is troubling that this efficient proposal to protect our nation is being terminated for budgetary reasons. A 2008 independent study required by Democrats found that the Czech and Polish missile defense plans are extremely cost-effective. This administration has already slashed $1.2 billion for missile defense, and it seems as though national defense is the one area of government to be targeted for significant cuts.
"Those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it." Never have those words meant so much than at this time in our nation's history. America is not that far removed from the Cold War to forget the lesson that strength must be met with strength. And our nation is still healing the wounds from a national security system that failed us leading up to the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
I do not believe that making concessions to Russia, downgrading the serious threat of Iran, cutting the defense budget, and terminating an important missile defense program will make our country safer. On the contrary, it will only serve to embolden our adversaries. These are troubling times, and I will remain a vigilant voice in Congress on behalf of our national security and those who risk their lives every day to protect our nation.