9 April 2013
Obama to Request $9B For Missile Defense
Global Security Newswire


The Obama administration is anticipated to ask Congress for $9.16 billion for its missile defense efforts in fiscal 2014, Bloomberg reported on Monday.

The Defense Department's antimissile budget proposal would be roughly $550 million short of missile defense spending in the current fiscal year, which ends on Sept. 30. The White House is slated to submit its full defense budget proposal of $526.6 billion on Wednesday, according to informed officials.

The main reason for the falloff is that the Pentagon is not seeking any financing for the controversial Medium Extended Air Defense System. Congress in a continuing budget resolution approved last month allowed a final $400 million for the MEADS program to allow Washington to fulfill its contract obligations to the battlefield antimissile system's developers.

The Defense Department is expected to request slightly more funding for the maritime Aegis ballistic missile defense program than sought for this budget -- $1.5 billion compared to $1.4 billion. The Pentagon is also anticipated to propose that total funding for the Patriot Advanced Capability 3 effort stay roughly stationary at about $945 million.

Congressional appropriators could boost funding given U.S. concerns about the rising missile threats posed by North Korea. Any antimissile allocations, though, might be subject to reductions depending on how the sweeping federal sequester is implemented during the next fiscal year.

House Armed Services Strategic Forces Subcommittee Chairman Mike Rogers (R-Ala.) in e-mailed comments said that "these repeated cuts are even more troubling given the advances in nuclear weapons and missile technology by the unstable regime in North Korea."

He added: "The United States cannot be defended with lip service."

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