Critic Challenges White House Pick for Missile Defense Oversight
Philip Coyle, President Barack Obama’s nominee to serve as associate director for the National Security and International Affairs in the White House’s Office of Science and Technology Policy, is a missile defense skeptic and critic. He believes U.S. missile defense is unnecessary and doubts that rogue nations like Iran seek to attack the U.S. and its allies.
“In my view, Iran is not so suicidal as to attack Europe or the United States with missiles,” Coyle said last year.
Rebeccah Heinrichs, an adjunct fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, wrote about Coyle in The Politico. She quickly gets to the point.
“President Barack Obama has nominated an anti-missile defense adviser who may soon receive congressional approval — and put Americans in danger…Russia and China, two countries with nuclear weapons and effective long range ballistic missiles, have helped Iran develop its missile program. Other countries that range from the hostile to the unreliable — for example, North Korea, Syria and Pakistan — also have ballistic missile programs.”
Even in this climate, the Obama administration is scaling back missile defense instead of committing to a strong and comprehensive missile defense. Heinrichs notes that Obama effectively hampered our missile defense in exchange for renewing START with Russia.
“Enter Philip Coyle,” Heinrichs writes. “If confirmed, Coyle has indicated he would advise the administration to divest of BMDS.”
Heinrichs quotes Coyle’s 2008 congressional hearing testimony, in which he claimed the GMD wasn’t effective enough to defend Europe and the U.S., but Heinrichs says “a more complex version of GMD had completed a successful intercept test just months before. It is now the only system capable of defending the United States from long-range missiles.”
Heinrichs asks why Coyle would oppose GMD, a system necessary to protect the U.S. The answer lies in Coyle’s doubts that Iran or North Korea would launch a missile attack against us and whether GMD could deal with the onslaught if either country launched such an attack.
“Coyle’s confidence in these two countries’ rationality is startling,” Heinrichs writes. “His lack of confidence in our own military leaders and engineers is disconcerting.”
Read the full article at The Politico.