Despite Promises, Obama Planning to Close ICBM Squadron
The Obama administration has drafted a plan to shutter an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) squadron three years after it assured hesitant lawmakers that the New START U.S.-Russia arms reduction treaty would not lead to deep cuts in the ICBM force.
A new timeline prepared by the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD) and obtained by the Washington Free Beacon maps out a strategy to eliminate an ICBM squadron—and destroy its missile silos—by Dec. 5, 2017. An environmental assessment would begin next month.
The document says the reductions are necessary to “meet the New START Treaty compliance date by closing an ICBM squadron and eliminating the associated Launch Facilities.” >>>
Analysts say they are particularly troubled by the proposed destruction of the missile silos, a likely permanent move that is not required by New START. They say the silos would be difficult to rebuild if the military needs to bolster its ICBM force in the future.
“If you destroy the silos, it would be much harder to rebuild them [...] and very politically difficult,” said Michaela Dodge, a defense analyst at the Heritage Foundation.
Dodge said the New START requirements could be met simply by removing the ICBMs and maintaining the empty silos in reserve status.
The administration’s plan would also shrink the ICBM force below the mandated numbers. The Air Force previously said it planned to reduce its number of ICBMs from 450 to a baseline of 420 under New START.
Shutting down a squadron would eliminate 50 ICBMs, 66 percent more than the prior Air Force proposal. >>>
Defense experts say the proposed eliminations would be detrimental to U.S. national security.
“We see that Russia is modernizing and building up its nuclear weapons program; we don’t have that good of an understanding of how many weapons China has; we had recently a North Korea nuclear weapons test,” Dodge said. “So international trends are against us and we are sending the wrong signal by continuing reduction despite these international developments.”
John Noonan, spokesman for House Armed Services Committee Republicans, said there does not appear to be any strategic justification for the proposed reductions,
Well, he did promise Medvedev he would be more flexible after his Re-election. (He was confident he had the elections rigged) Too bad the herd of RINOs, led by McCain, Boehner, McConnell, Grahamnasty and the like have no credibility on national defense any more than the economy as evidenced by their refusal to do anything about 0bamacare... other than to sit... and 'watch'. Oh... and throw in a little empty rhetoric every now and then to make it 'appear' there was some actual opposition.