May 10, 2013
Senior U.S. defense officials underscored the importance of ballistic missile defense modernization efforts requested in the fiscal 2014 budget proposal citing disturbing trends in Iran, North Korea, Syria and elsewhere around the globe.
“The threat continues to grow as our potential adversaries are acquiring a greater number of ballistic missiles, increasing their range and making them more complex, survivable, reliable and accurate,” Navy Vice Adm. J.D. Syring, Director of the Missile Defense Agency, told the Senate Armed Services Committee during a testimony on Thursday.
“The missile defense mission is becoming more challenging as potential adversaries incorporate [ballistic missile defense] countermeasures,” he reported.
Syring said the Missile Defense Agency “is engaged either bilaterally or multilaterally with nearly two dozen countries and international organizations,” including NATO and the Gulf Cooperation Council. He reported “good progress in our work with our international partners.”
The budget requests $9.2 billion in fiscal 2014 and $45.7 billion over future years to develop and deploy missile defense capabilities.
Madelyn Creedon, Assistant Secretary of Defense for global strategic affairs, told the panel that these capabilities would both protect the U.S. homeland and strengthen regional missile defenses.
The administration remains committed to developing proven and cost-effective missile defense capabilities through the phased advance approach to regional missile defense, Creedon noted in her written statement.
“This approach puts emphasis on a flexible military toolkit with forces that are mobile and scalable. They underwrite deterrence in peacetime, but can be surged in crisis to meet defense requirements,” she said. …