Via Ben Armbruster at ThinkProgress, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin Dempsey says there is no need for the recent GOP push to build a missile defense system on the East coast of the United States.
Rep. Mike Turner (R-OH,) who supported the East Coast missile defense measure, claims it’s needed “to lessen the threats from both Iran and North Korea.” But the AP reports that Lt. Gen. Patrick J. O’Reilly, the head of the U.S. missile defense program, told Congress recently that North Korea lacks the testing for a capable system and has made little progress in its spaceflight program. And former CIA Mideast analyst Paul Pillar has noted that “the intelligence community does not believe [the Iranians] are anywhere close to having an ICBM [intercontinental ballistic missile].”
Moreover, as Dempsey hinted at in the press conference, Danger Room notes that existing systems already have the eastern sea board covered from ICBM threats.
“This is a political move,” said Rep. John Garamendi (D-CA) referring to the GOP’s missile defense scheme. “Every time the election comes around, the Republicans run out a national security agenda.”
This just shows how fervently nationalistic and militaristic many representatives in Congress are, even compared to military officials.