WASHINGTON, DC – Today, after the Trump Administration unveiled a new missile defense doctrine that calls for new investments in advanced technology, U.S. Senator Jack Reed (D-RI), the Ranking Member of the Armed Services Committee, issued the following statement:
“This NDAA-mandated report, while long-overdue, reinforces the need to focus on realistic threats now while further studying the feasibility of advanced technologies, including those in space. Integrated, space-based capabilities are certainly worth exploring, but we don’t have unlimited resources, so we must weigh investments among competing national security priorities.
“Missile defense is part of our multi-layered defense strategy to protect Americans and our allies. An effective missile defense system can serve as a deterrent to conflict, protect our forward-deployed forces and the homeland, and create an opening for diplomacy. But it’s not a magic bulletproof shield and it comes with a considerable price tag.
“We need to make smart, forward-looking investments to ensure we have an effective, reliable missile defense system with the right capabilities. And at the same time, we must continue modernizing our nuclear triad.
“Listening to national security experts, and the President’s own remarks, it seems clear that an effective high-tech missile defense system is a higher national security priority than building a wall across the southern border. As the Trump shutdown drags on it wastes over $1.2 billion per week -- money that could be better spent investing in real, pressing national security priorities like troops’ readiness and technological advances.
“Congress needs to carefully study these recommendations and get more answers about success rates, costs, and a host of issues. I will work with Chairman Inhofe and our colleagues on the Armed Services Committee to schedule a briefing or hearing so we can make an informed decision on the appropriate path forward.”
Senator Reed helped pass the Fiscal Year 2017 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which included a provision requiring the Department of Defense to conduct a comprehensive review on the missile defeat capability, policy, and strategy of the United States with respect to:
1. Left- and right-of-launch ballistic missile defense for both regional and homeland purposes and the full range of active, passive, kinetic, and non-kinetic defense measures;
2. the integration of offensive and defensive forces for the defeat of ballistic missiles, to include hypersonic glide vehicles; and
3. cruise missile defense of the homeland.