Obama administration has weak response to adversaries weapon development

Real Clear Defense:
The Obama administration has responded weakly. As Russia, China, and Iran’s militaries expand, the Obama Administration is cutting the American defense budget—depleting not only the U.S. military’s fleet of ships and planes, but also the precisions weapons and missiles they carry— making it more difficult for the U.S. to provide for the common defense, deter adversaries and honor commitments to allies.

The U.S. Navy is the driver of our defenses in the Asia-Pacific and an integral component to the U.S.’s “phased adaptive approach,” to missile defense. Yet, the current Navy of 272 ships is at its smallest size since before the First World War. Due to Secretary of Defense Carter’s plan to cut ship numbers to free up funds for more advanced technologies, the Navy will fall far short of its 308 ship goal, and will likely shrink even further, to 240 or 260 ships.

In addition to the shipbuilding shortfall, the administration isn’t funding critical American missile defense programs—the firepower necessary to outfit our fleet. The Standard Missile (SM) family of interceptors is our nation’s most effective long-range ABM tool. The SM-3 IA and IB variants are deployed on American Aegis-equipped Arleigh Burke-class Destroyers and Ticonderoga-class Cruisers, with SM-3 IIA in development.

The President’s budget includes a $189 million shortfall for the SM-3 interceptor program, handicapping the SM-3 IB procurement line with a $159 million shortfall, and the SM-3 IIA line with a $30 million decrement. This creates a 19-missile shortfall for FY17, which makes American assets and allies more vulnerable in the short term, and increases future procurement costs to make up the gap. Unit costs for Block IB missiles of $11 million make the program relatively affordable, especially when compared to the $100+ million per unit cost of each F-35 fighter/bomber.
There is much more.

The F-35 has to be considered a disappointment at this stage of its development.  It is still plagued with problems and is running well behind the dates it should be operational.   The missile defense effort looks weak.  A key component appears to be missing.  One of the things missing is launch phase missile defense which could knock out the missiles before they can deploy decoys to spoof the current system.  A cyber attack system could be effective in dealing with launch phase operations.


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