With North Korea raising its rhetoric and threat levels, Senator Lisa Murkowski today welcomed the news from Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel that the Pentagon was "dusting off" its national missile defense considerations and adding to America's Pacific Coast capabilities at both Alaska's Fort Greely complex -- including resurrecting the previously-mothballed Missile Field One -- and Vandenburg Air Force Base in California.
According to Secretary Hagel, Greely's missile arsenal will increase by more than 50%, from 26 to 40. Upon hearing the news, Murkowski indicated that Greely's reconstituted, muscular response levels would already have been reached had the Obama Administration in 2009 not cut short previous plans to boost America's missile fleet -- a move she criticized and called "very regrettable" at the time. In 2010, Senator Murkowski convinced the Administration to not permanently decommission Missile Field One, believing it would be needed in the years ahead. (Letter responding to Senator Murkowski attached
"I am glad to hear the news that Alaska and America are finally being tapped to deliver a better blanket of protection for our nation, but we should not wait until voices get too loud to be ignored. We cannot afford a defense strategy that is reactionary in a new world of emerging and threats possessing swift nuclear weapons," said Murkowski. "I realize that the Pentagon needs to undergo a thorough accounting, weighing what expenses are worthwhile against what is less necessary, but "providing for the common defense' is a pretty basic threshold we need to meet for our people."