New missile defense capabilities for US East Coast?
How vulnerable is our homeland?
- Duration 4:20
- Date May 11, 2012
How vulnerable is our homeland?
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Welcome back everyone right now there's a growing controversy in Washington over whether the United States should add missile defense sites.
Along the East Coast some lawmakers are concerned Iran or North Korea.
Could develop missiles capable of reaching that part of the country and because of that -- house armed services committee this week passed an amendment.
-- the rising 100 million dollars to do first an environmental survey.
And look at potential interceptor sites along the East Coast.
The Pentagon did not request this and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff says this.
In my military judgment the program -- record for ballistic missile defense for the homeland as we've submitted it.
Is that adequate and sufficient to the task and that's in a sweet ground based and sea based interceptors.
So I don't see -- need beyond what we've cemented in the last budget.
The West Coast already has interceptor sites in California and Alaska off Hawaii.
The US military just tested a new more sensitive interceptor missile.
And it was a success.
We're joined by lieutenant general -- -- brain he's a former director of the Missile Defense Agency with the office of the secretary of defense general nice to have you with us today.
As we review -- -- big questionnaire about you know how vulnerable are we will really if there is that missile headed towards New York City would we be able to intercept it.
-- -- let me make it clear that right now we have the ability to protect the entire United States with the interceptors that -- deployed to Alaska.
As well as California and with the radar system that we have activated.
All the way from Alaska to two England in the United Kingdom.
As well as a deployed radar that we have -- Turkey.
I think what the conversation is about though is -- the original plan with respect to the deployment of missile defense elements into Europe.
Under the previous administration.
Had us -- locating ground based in interceptors in Poland.
That we're not only capable of defending Europe -- also helping to provide redundant coverage of the United States.
And with the change in the architecture roll out with the current administration for Europe.
That protection that would be provided predominantly from Europe has now been delayed to be on 20/20 20/20 one.
And there's I think -- growing concern about having this redundant coverage.
To be able to protect the rest from an Iranian missile.
Yeah it definitely -- insisting I was like -- second layer if you well -- email.
And -- near a penny getting back to that that point because we did see the president in discussions with.
Russian officials about.
About again what it will look like in Europe and it's it's seen that.
The president pulling back on those sites in Poland is and not towards the Russians and that's a little controversial so.
Do you think where I necessarily vulnerable we don't have that second layer in Poland and were not quick to to put those sites there.
Well I I first thought believe it.
Again we have the protection that we.
Would that we do have protection today gets a long range missile but I do believe that it would add.
Flexibility and more capability to be able to handle those long range threats and I think.
Having the ability to to reach out sooner than we would normally from an intercept in Alaska I think is something that would be very beneficial in terms of military respect.
Okay so that's in Europe again this money that we're talking about today.
Would go towards the East Coast in the missile defense sites that could potentially be there -- suggest that we really need those sites in the East Coast other suggested this is just a political maneuver.
By mostly the GOP.
In an election year what do you think the motivation truly is for this conversation is it a conversation in a time of austerity that we need to have.
Well as a set I think that the motivation is primarily that.
When we change the game plan for Europe.
We lost the ability to protect that that -- -- -- ability to protect the United States against a long range threat until well beyond 20/20.
And I think the best the motivation is there concern that the long range threat from Iran may emerge part to that between fifteen and and they wanna have some additional protection for that threat before the torn between one time for -- -- -- confident with the first layer protection that we have at this time.
I am okay that's big headlines for us today again a lot of the different dynamics at play general nice to have you thank you so much for joining us thank you.