Senator Daniel Inouye Seeks Aegis Funds
Daniel Inouye, chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, is seeking funds for a missile defense project in Hawaii. He wants $68.5 million from last year’s budget to build an Aegis Ashore test facility, bypassing the defense authorizers. (Source)
One of the defense authorizers, Senator John McCain, tried to block Inouye’s request by introducing an amendment that would require formal approval. We’ve blogged about reports that North Korea possess a long-range missile capable of reaching Hawaii. The U.S. has been testing the Theater High-Altitude Area Defenses in Hawaii in preparation for a Taepodong-2 attack. The Missile Defense Agency (MDA) seeks to use funds that were intended for missile defense shields in Poland and the Czech Republic for the project in Hawaii.
“[MDA Lt. Gen. Patrick] O’Reilly called the establishment of the Aegis Ashore facility in Hawaii a ‘priority.’ The test facility could also provide an operational ballistic missile defense capability when needed, O’Reilly argued. The test launcher could provide continuous protection for the region, he added…Japanese intelligence officials have warned that North Korea could launch a long-range ballistic missile toward the Hawaiian islands, which are roughly 4,500 miles away, but U.S. intelligence analysts do not believe that North Korea has the ability to hit Hawaii.”