Nukewatch Quarterly Summer 2021
Over 60 advocates, former military officers, lawmakers, and government officials have asked the Biden White House to delay or cancel parts of the scandal-ridden missile defense program. In a June 3 letter they slam the Ground-based Midcourse Defense (GMD) program, a $926 million item in this year’s $8.9 billion Missile Defense Agency’s budget. The program has been “rushed, chaotic and ultimately counter-productive …, has resulted in a failed test record [and] wasted billions of dollars,” the group wrote.
The signatories include former Defense Secretary William Perry, former Deputy National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes, former Assistant Secretary of State Thomas Countryman, and former Senators Tom Harkin and Tom Daschle. They argue the Navy’s missile test interception last year “threatened Russia’s and China’s confidence in their strategic deterrent,” and they urged Biden to delay the Aegis missile program by limiting production of ships and missiles. The White House’s budget proposal included $1 billion for Lockheed Martin’s Aegis system, and $647 million for the interceptors.
The World Policy Institute reported in 2004 that the four top missile-defense contractors back then — Lockheed Martin, Boeing, TRW and Raytheon — spent $34 million on lobbying and $6.9 million on campaign contributions in fiscal year 1997-‘98. The legal bribery pays off, as GMD outlays were estimated in 2013 to total $40.9 billion through fiscal year 2017, according to the House Committee on Oversight and the US Government Accountability Office.
— Defense News, June 3, 2021; Hudson Institute 2019 annual report; “Missile Defense Fraud Goes Ballistic,” Nukewatch Special Report, 2005.