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Report: Congress Should Provide Necessary Funding to Build Up Homeland Missile Defense

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Missile Launch
Missile Launch

A report by The Heritage Foundation recommends that Congress support the Missile Defense Agency (MDA) by providing the needed funding to demonstrate that homeland defense serves as top priority of the Missile Defense Review and the National Defense Strategy.

The country’s missile defense faces uncertainty due to program cancelations and delays, misguided policy and other program management issues, Patty-Jane Geller, policy analyst for nuclear deterrence and missile defense at Heritage, wrote in the report published Friday.

Geller noted that a capable missile defense plays a critical role in the U.S. nuclear deterrent strategy and the country’s efforts to protect its people from nuclear attacks.

“To move forward with developing a missile defense system that can respond to the growing missile threat and contribute to U.S. deterrence, the Department of Defense needs to answer many questions, stabilize programs such as the space sensor layer, and be held accountable for the weakening ground-based interceptor fleet,” Geller wrote.

The report calls on Congress and the current administration to provide sufficient funding for the space sensor layer program; invest to maintain the current fleet of GBIs; pursue an underlay using SM-3 Block IIA interceptors; and provide funding for the Homeland Defense Radar-H program in fiscal year 2021.

Congress should also ask MDA to continue research efforts on the boost-phase intercept as a long-term capability for homeland defense and decline to accept restrictions to homeland missile defense in negotiations over arms control.