Congressman Doug Lamborn (CO-05) sent a letter today, signed by 15 other House Members, to President Barack Obama urging him to clarify recent remarks by Secretary of State John Kerry regarding U.S. ballistic missile defenses in East Asia. The letter urges the president to "send a clear message to our allies in Asia that we will not trade away their security for vague and empty promises from an untrustworthy regime."
The text of the letter follow below:
April 18, 2013
President Barack Obama
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Ave NW
Washington, DC 20500
Dear President Obama,
We are deeply disturbed by news reports that Secretary of State John Kerry, while visiting Beijing, has publicly offered to weaken our ballistic missile defenses in East Asia in return for the promise of Chinese cooperation in the crisis with nuclear-armed North Korea. Not only is this offer a preemptive and unnecessary concession to the People's Republic of China--which is demonstrably ramping up nuclear and missile capabilities that risk destabilizing the region--it also sends precisely the wrong message to our allies in the region.
We commend you for deploying additional U.S. missile defense assets into Asia as North Korea's posture has become more and more menacing. As long as any nuclear and ballistic missile threats persist in Asia, we should maintain robust missile defenses in the region to defend our own forces and our allies. Instead of offering to remove our missile defenses, we should be actively persuading China that it is in their own national interest to completely and verifiably denuclearize North Korea and dismantle the rogue regime's evolving ballistic missile program. We should be strengthening our missile defenses in order to make clear to North Korea that its nuclear and missile programs will not succeed in intimidating the region and are therefore more trouble than they are worth.
U.S. efforts to actively defend our troops and our allies against foreign threats should never be used a bargaining chip. We ask you to immediately clarify Secretary Kerry's remarks and send a clear message to our allies in Asia that we will not trade away their security for vague and empty promises from an untrustworthy regime.