By John E. Carey
The proposed missiles defense system for Europe, much debated and vigorously opposed by Russian President Vladimir Putin, may face another hurdle as the House Appropriations Committee recommended cutting $139 million from the funding on Wednesday.
The president’s budget request being considered by the congress asks for a total of $310 million to start preparation for installing 10 missile interceptors in Poland and a radar site in the Czech Republic.
If the proposes Appropriation Committee reduction is approved, the missile defense effort in Europe would certainly be delayed.
The committee approved $8.5 billion for the Pentagon’s Missile Defense Agency.
Several members of the House have said that the technology is not yet ready for the proposed system in Europe to be built and achieve performance goals on the current schedule. Other members are long-time opponents of missile defense and seemingly can never see the importance and value of the system.
There are still options and alternatives to the proposed land-based Poland-Czech Republic system which have not yet been fully developed. Some experts believe the U.S. Navy’s AEGIS Ballistic Missile Defense has a larger potential role in the future of Europe’s missile defense architecture.