Pentagon budget trims missile defense

Pentagon budget trims missile defense

The U.S. Defense Department this week proposed cutting more than a half-billion dollars from missile defense next year even amid heightened concern over North Korea and new intelligence suggesting Pyongyang may be able to arm a ballistic missile with a nuclear warhead.

The Pentagon plans to spend $9.16 billion on ballistic missile defense in fiscal 2014, which begins Oct. 1, according to budget documents. That’s $558 million, or 5.7 percent, less than the $9.72 billion it requested for this year. The figures don’t take into account automatic budget cuts, known as sequestration, which took effect March 1.

Concerned about the proposed reduction, Rep. Doug Lamborn, R-Colo., during an April 11 hearing of the House Armed Services Committee cited what he said was a releasable portion of a classified intelligence report that concluded North Korea “has nuclear weapons capable of delivery by ballistic missiles; however, the reliability will be low.”

Afterward, the Pentagon downplayed the assessment.

“While I cannot speak to all the details of a report that is classified in its entirety, it would be inaccurate to suggest that the North Korean regime has fully tested, developed, or demonstrated the kinds of nuclear capabilities referenced in the passage,” Press Secretary George Little said in an e-mailed statement. “The United States continues to closely monitor the North Korean nuclear program and calls upon North Korea to honor its international obligations.”

The U.S. missile-defense system includes sea, ground, air and space components designed to intercept ballistic missiles during any phase of flight. Major contractors include Boeing Co., Lockheed Martin Corp., Northrop Grumman Corp. and Raytheon Co.

The budget would cut the Army’s Patriot Advanced Capability-3, or PAC-3, missile made by Lockheed, by about two-thirds to $337 million. The missile is designed to counter short-range threats.

However, the spending plan would drastically boost funding for PAC-3 upgrades. The so-called Missile Segment Enhancement program, designed to make the missile more lethal, would receive $609 million, an increase of more than sevenfold. Other big-ticket programs would benefit, too:

The Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense System, the sea-based leg of the program that includes Navy cruisers and destroyers equipped with the Aegis radar system and Standard Missile-3, or SM-3, interceptors, would get $1.52 billion, a 10-percent increase. Lockheed is the main contractor for the Aegis system; Raytheon makes the SM-3.

The Ground-based Midcourse Defense system, the land-based component that includes missiles stored in silos at Fort Greely in Alaska and Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, would receive $1.03 billion, a 14-percent gain. The money would fund improvements to the system as part of a goal to increase the fleet of interceptors to 44 from 30. Boeing is the main contractor for the system.

The Terminal High Altitude Area Defense program, known as THAAD, a truck-mounted launcher, would receive $850 million, an increase of 9.3 percent. The Pentagon last week announced it would deploy one of the Lockheed-made systems to Guam in response to North Korea’s threat of a missile attack against the South and U.S. targets in the region.

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I’m confused; DIA states NK has at least a IRBM armed implosion device capability with a CEP of X, Then SECSTATE Kerry says no they don’t, and finally POTUS Obama “warns” (not anonther red line) Kim Li Dung no procative actions in N.E. Asia? Someone help me WTF is going on?

Speaking of missile defense, whatever happened to that hare-brained plan to homeport 4 Aegis ships in Spain to provide missile defense to euroland? Granted, the europeans don’t want it, and aren’t paying for it, but we decided to do it anyway. Even our “friend”, former Spain PM Zapatero, anti-US socialist, loved the idea. And why not–we’re paying the bill!

Setting politics aside momentarily, have the budget realities forced DOD to confront reality or is this dumb idea still on the table?

Navy still plans to deploy 4 BMD ships to Spain. And, yes, we’re still paying the bill.

I love the comment from Kerry that we won’t accept a nuclear armed North Korea. Errmmmm, am I missing something? The bottom line is they don’t have a clue what to do. They sat around dithering for the first years of his admin doing nothing and now seem surprised things got worse. Same thing going on with Iran, Obama and his national security team are a 300 car train wreck.

“The U.S. Defense Department this week proposed cutting more than a half-billion dollars from missile defense next year even amid heightened concern over North Korea and new intelligence suggesting Pyongyang may be able to arm a ballistic missile with a nuclear warhead.”

You couldn’t make this stuff up.

No wonder Pyongyang and Tehran contemptuously disregard every word that comes out of Washington, D.C.

Ballistic missile defense is one of the few bright spots in the steadily dimming picture of U.S. military capabilities, and the geniuses of the Obama administration want to cut it back.

“Doublethink means the power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one’s mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them.”

― George Orwell, 1984

What can they do?

Obviously a well thought out decision.

For starters not sit around with their thumbs in their @$$e$ while problems spin up like they did the first four years of this admin. Shuttling around to engage China now is a bit late in the game. I doubt very much the recent reports of the norks abilities in regards to nukes was something we just learned in the last few weeks.

Stop outsourcing our national security to the UNSC. In regards to the norks, publicly state the norks are China’s fault and problem to deal with, they have subsidized this mess and it is theirs to clean up. Quit with the ambiguous talk about ‘all options’. Stop apologizing for conducting maneuvers with out allies. Tell the Chinese and Russians we didn’t contribute to anything, they fund this nut, we are simply going to end him if need be. Put a clear time line/red line on the norks like, if they marry a nuclear weapon to a delivery system we will strike preemptively. It’s the only way to light a real fire under China’s @$$.

Same goes for Iran, it is time for a timeline. We have played this diplomacy option for 10 years and it has resulted only in both situations getting worse, it is time to put a finite clock in motion. The bottom line is if both of these situations only get exponentially worse if we don’t bring them to an end, and doing that sooner rather than later, even if it requires a military option, is preferable.

Allowing the likes of Iran and North Korea to have nukes and ballistic missiles means we are accepting their will be a nuclear war with many of our allies. The gulf nations would go nuclear, Japan will go nuclear, South Korea will go nuclear and then quite frankly you can kiss the NPT goodbye.

I like how you think

Of all the project allotment this should be the no 1 priority.

I think you are putting words into SecState Kerry’s mouth. That hopefully will help in simplifying your confusion.

I think you are understating and oversimplifying the interest certain members within NATO might actually have with potential for POOLING and integrating SM-6/SM-3 capability into their respective Naval portfolios.

The Dutch for one, might be interested to deploy the capability, as well as Turkiye. Other Euro states have their own introductory level naval-based ATBM capabilities which they are funding and fielding too.

Also, the US arguably has an equal or even greater strategic interest in deploying such naval based ABM capabilities in the Euro-NATO theater, for 1) to defend remaining US military assets within Europe as long as they are jointly stationed there… and 2) perhaps for the simple strategic reason of a show of resolve and commitment to allies and strategic interests, etc, even in times of austere budget environments and financial crises.

So no, it’s probably not a unilaterally ‘dumb idea’ still on the table as is, but will most likely see various shifts in the actual policy being implemented, year over year.

Moreover… remember the adage: you’re damned if you do, damned if you don’t.

If the current Admin cancelled a motion to station ABM capabilities within the Euro area, rest assured there would be opposition political forces within the US clamoring about why the US has ditched all Missile defensive commitments to our NATO allies.

Don’t blow the truly nominal Aegis class defensive capabilities stationed in NATO as part of the overall pre-deployed defensive force contribution out of proportion. Let’s be honest.

At the very least however… if there’s any consolation in this it’s that the individual budgets for SM-3, THAAD, Ground Based Interceptor and PAC-3 MSE will all receive ‘Increased’ funding.

Well Here We go again.cutting things that shouldn’t be “Cut:.The “Master Puppeteer“must want to reduce our “Defense” so That all the countries who “Hate Us” can pounce on us and destroy Us.You know that before World War 2 We had “The Arned Citizen” and Distance to protect us from “Foreign Invasion”.The Japanese saw to it that distance didn’t matter anymore by sending balloon bombs via the Jet stream here​.It wouldn’t supprise me any if some of those “Balloon Bomb’s” are still exploding and causing some of those Forest Fires in the western States.Biw The covernment is trying to take away our Privately owned weapons .That would away with the “Armed Citizen.They want to reduce our Armed Forces to using bags of Flour to defend ourselves.

“might be interested”? Why don’t our “allies” come out and give it a simple “yes” or “no”. Ifs “yes”, cough up funding to help pay for it; if “no”, adios.

Why are we pouring billions into an overseas homeporting plan given the ambivilance in euroland? Asking questions is hardly “oversimplifying”.

Or just buy OTS options like Arrow 1 and 2…?

We’re not paying for all of it.

“NATO is paying for the development of the command and control system. Since 2006, NATO has spent 150 million euros for theatre missile defence. The additional cost, to be spread over the rest of the decade, is estimated at 650 million euros for the theatre missile defence system, plus less than 200 million euros to expand the theatre missile defence system to cover NATO’s European populations, territory and forces. All such costs are divided between the 28 Allies.”

This is kinda like the situation we go through with our VLS cells. Ships are leaving port with half the their cells empty to save money.

Fucking REMF accountants.

well sheet, keep cool, i watched him on a live broadcast say using the words “Let me emphatically state that etc.…..“Now I’m a science guy, not good at symantics, trust me I’m not confused, I’m well aware & technically competant of these type of devices, the delivery systems & telemetry required for a 2 sigma of prob. of a CEP of X. I’m not a politican, I respect the National Command Authority, of which the SECSTATE is 5th in line (?).….….or maybe i just perceive a lack of communication between, DEPT’s of STATE, DOD & POTUS. Don’t patronize me, give me the solution to the equation.

Dumb Idea Aurora, just ask the poles & hungarians if they still want to have land based irbm interceptor capabilities based on their soverign soil or “ported there”, this play to PTUS Obama’a off mike moment w/menevdev (sp?) of the russian fed., ‘I’ll have more flexibility in my 2nd term?) wtf over? what do we & NATO get in exchange for that deal? No more syrian weapon shipments, a smiling Putin at those german protestors?

If the Poles have to choose between interceptors on their soil and the possibility of the Russians moving Iskander-M’s to Kaliningrad to target those interceptors…the Russians have made it quite clear that hosting a missile defense will put you on the target list. To be fair, MAD doesn’t work with effective missile defense. Of course, the Europeans are now the last group on earth willing to take the Russians on.

I suppose what would really piss the Russians off is moving DDG’s with TMD capability into the Baltic or the North Sea. But the more important installation is not the interceptors, but also the tracking radars.

That’s kind of silly. A missile in a VLS tube is worth two in some storage bunker that is bought and paid for but isn’t going anywhere.

‘TMD’ (SM-3 IA/B) does not affect the balance of MAD though.

TMD, per definition, is to counter ‘Tactical’ and possibly upgraded to counter Intermediate threat capabilities, just as one would wish to deploy a next-gen long-range IADS capability to counter a potential foe’s Tactical air strike capacity.

That said, with respect to all the wasted energy and effort and talk and spent political capital, etc, etc, in pursuing an eventual US Intermediate-range Missile defense base in Poland…flat out, it was a highly miscalculated and blown move from the start. There were endless other ‘Strategic’ oriented ways the US/NATO could have demonstrated a show of resolve and long-term commitment to member-state Poland, without basing actual hardware so close to the border. For example, the US could have perhaps jointly funded with development AID a Nuclear power plant with Lithuania, and in exchange, had maybe something like 10% of electricity allocated for powering NATO bases in Europe. (Just off the top of my mind). Set up a NATO logistics/electric power grid management center in Poland too, for another. The investment would have paid off in multiple higher dividends compared to any few missiles the US would have funded and based in Poland (only creating headaches and self-inflicted gun shots in foot).

But I would totally concur with you that more important and strategic installations to invest in and prioritize (whether they be ground based, sea-based, or future air-ship based) are the Early Warning type surveillance radars (non-fire control targeting radars and not the actual missile interceptors). Yet they need to be properly geographically placed too, and facing in a generic direction such as covering the South Eastern flank warning against any potential future surprise strikes.

Perhaps one such future Surveillance station could be in Italy or Greece? Or one in say Bulgaria/Romania? Turkey? Perhaps Russian observers could also be permanently posted?

Another idea could be to propose a joint NATO/NATO partnership for Peace-Russian operation at Russia’s former ‘Gabala’ Early Warning Radar station in Azerbaijan?!

NATO could jointly upgrade the system along with Russia and share electric and services bill? Either that, or propose that NATO jointly-fund/operate an Early Warning site in Armenia which is apparently currently being negotiated between Kremlin and Armenia? So yes, Early Warning Surveillance systems are definitely more important and strategic in interest — as well as less provocative — as Russian Fed Govt/military seeking these capabilities too, would probably agree.

How about not giving the NORKs money to feed thier people while they flood the market with counterfeit US dollars, and build weapons with money we are giving them. Shutting down their commerce would be the best option, although I would step up defenses all over the area first to counter any thoughts of them attacking in retaliation. No planes or ships leaving NK (even planes flying toward China’s border) would be a start. Striking roads, bridges and rail facilities with China would be a last resort.


Looks like the Russians are out. It’s a pity.

It’s actually a perfect place to surveil Iran, let alone put some interceptor batteries.

I think we outta just do like back in the old days and fly over North Korea and drop a fat bomb right on top of them and then see how they handle thier situation.

Right now we are at the same place that we were at when Pearl Harbor occurred! We should be able to reach the stage that we were in during the depression; when during maneuvers’ we had to put a sign on a truck that said tank. And use a broom stick and call it a machine gun. But don’t worry in the next four years we should be able to reach that stage with time too spare!

Someone please explain …

How did Obama — this America hating Left-Wing sack of crap ever get elected?

He and his Left-Wing minions are seeking to destroy this country.


Interesting article. Starts off with the headline about the big cut to missile defense, talks about the programs that are actually being increased, and never mentions that the big chunk of money being cut comes from the MEADS program, which the Pentagon says they don’t want.

They want you to worry about North Korea nuking the US, but then cut funding for missile defense. I’m sure they’d never lie to us about the North Korean threat, but funny how when the lie is starting to effect where the money flows then all of the sudden the facade is not worth propping up.

Back to civics class loser.

If the huge amount of money the American taxpayer has invested in the military isn’t enough then we certainly shouldn’t be wasting more money.

The idea was to sacrifice short range interceptors in Patriot PAC-3 to build long range interceptors in THAAD and Aegis. The Midcourse interceptor mix would be what was originally planned under President George Bush. The idea of 4 Aegis Destroyers in Spain is to give protection to US forces in the European theater of operation, including the US Navy itself. Basing the 4 destroyers in Spain saves time to getting assets in theater, not money on the basing itself. The US Navy pays for the Rota, Spain base no matter what and the cost of adding 4 destroyers in minimal.

thanks. This is the first non-mouth frothing response, yet.



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