June 14, 2012
In 2002 The United States formally withdrew from the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty. The treaty, created 30 years ago banned the United States and the Soviet Union (later Russia) from developing ballistic missile defenses. The Heritage Foundation hosted a panel discussion on this treaty on Wednesday.
President Ronald Reagan fought against the treaty, inviting the Soviets to the negotiating table to discuss his vision for a Strategic Defensive Initiative. When George W. Bush came into office, he too opposed the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty and decided to abandon the treaty in order to allow the United States to prepare to protect the people of America by creating a comprehensive missile defense program.
Great strides have been made in the U.S. ballistic missle defense, but advancement has stalled during the presidency of Barack Obama. Heritage’s Michaela Bendikova comments:
President Obama has significantly cut the missile defense budget since he took office and indicated his willingness to negotiate away the U.S. missile defense program in the arms control process. The administration ended the Multiple Kill Vehicle program, the Airborne Laser, and the Kinetic Energy Interceptor program—all critical capabilities for the effective protection of U.S. homeland and allies.
The Heritage Foundation is dedicated to preserving a strong national defense. In order to do that, Bendikova gives three recommendations:
- Expand and continually improve the Navy’s proven sea-based Aegis missile defense system
- Pursue and expand advanced integration of the various components of a layered missile defense system, including ground-based interceptors
- Develop and deploy space-based missile defenses, particularly space-based interceptors, to counter ballistic missile attacks.
Heritage’s documentary, 33 minutes chronicles the shortcomings and critical needs of the United States to be prepared for a strong missile defense. You can watch the trailer for the documentary below: