Amy Butler, who always does a great job at Aviation Week, gives an interesting and useful overview of the state of the nation, missile defense wise. Much of the article compares and contrasts the Bush and Obama’s different missile defense programs.
The money lines:
A former senior defense official says that while the [Obama administration’s Phased Adaptive Approach] PAA does protect the Eastern U.S., it comes at a higher risk than the strategy to place 10 two-stage GBIs in Poland. Those interceptors were planned for deployment as early as 2015; and this official notes that, at the earliest, PAA will provide ICBM coverage in 2020.
… [the] official says that the decision by the White House to favor PAA over the GBI plan was a political gesture to placate Russia, which argued that the GBIs in Poland represented a threat. “They made a political decision and then they gave it to the agency and said, ‘You have to justify this technically.’”
Of course the PAA decision was made as a part of the run-up for New START and was a part of the overall Russian reset.
Although SecDef in waiting Leon Panetta has acknowledged the importance of missile defense, how will it fare in the President’s FY13 budget which will be delivered to Congress around the time of the State of the Union address?