Philip Coyle, a missile defense skeptic and critic, was appointed by the president during a congressional recess to serve as associate director for the National Security and International Affairs in the White House’s Office of Science and Technology Policy.
Among other things, Coyle 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.” He doubts Iran or North Korea would launch a missile attack against us.
Rebeccah Heinrichs, an adjunct fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, wrote about Coyle in March at The Politico.
“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.”
In his 2008 congressional hearing testimony, Coyle claimed that Ground-based Midcourse Defense (GMD) isn’t effective enough to defend Europe and the U.S., but Heinrichs wrote that “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.”
Despite threats from rogue states, the Obama administration has scaled back missile defense. In fact, some missile defense experts believe Obama compromised our nation’s security and our ability to defend ourselves in exchange for Russia signing the new START.
As Heinrichs said in her article, the new associate director for the National Security and International Affairs appears confident when it comes to rogues states acting rationally, but lacks confidence in his own country’s military leaders and engineers.