Rep. Tulsi Gabbard Renews Calls for Critical Funding for Missile Defense in FY2015 Budget
Washington, DC – Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard (HI-02) joined her colleagues last night in sending a letter to President Barack Obama highlighting needs for missile defense funding in the Fiscal Year 2015 budget.
“Time and time again, Hawai‘i has been placed in the cross-hairs of a belligerent North Korean regime whose capabilities continue to increase,” said Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard. “It is critical that we invest and fund improvements to our missile defense capabilities, so we can protect the people of Hawai‘i, our interests in the Asia-Pacific region, and the mainland. Now is not the time to be cutting our missile defense budget. Now is the time to invest in the best technology to ensure the safety and security of our people.”
Full text of the letter is below:
March 3, 2014
Dear Mr. President:
We respectfully write to you today to share our concerns regarding the ability of the United States to confront the rapidly changing strategic challenges posed by advanced intermediate and long-range ballistic missile technology. While the United States has made great strides in developing our ballistic missile defense (BMD) capabilities, it is imperative that we strengthen our current and near-future ability to counter immediate threats. Additionally, we must continue cultivating promising technologies with BMD applications which are the key to maintaining vital strategic advantages enjoyed by our Armed Forces, particularly technologies like directed energy, railguns and space-based defenses. In order to meet these challenges we want to voice our support for robust missile defense funding, and request you make it a priority in your Fiscal Year 2015 Budget.
The crucial need to continue and strengthen research and development of BMD has become even more pressing in light of recent tests of missile systems by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) and the deployment of advanced weapon systems by the People’s Republic of China. Also of concern is the purportedly successful test of the WU-14 hypersonic boost-glide weapon platform recently conducted by the Chinese People’s Liberation Army. While the actual fielding of a boost-glide weapon system will likely take years, we must invest adequate resources now in preparation for the impending deployment of such a system.
It is clear that China is increasingly relying on ballistic missile platforms in order to provide effective asymmetric warfare capabilities in theaters where it cannot match U.S. Armed Forces. Additionally, the DPRK often uses ballistic missile tests in order to extract leverage in international negotiations. Further, in the Middle East, Syria and Hezbollah are increasing their ballistic missile technology and stockpiles, aided by the world's leading state-sponsor of terrorism, Iran.
It is for these reasons that we ask that you work with Congress to provide adequate resources for the research, development and deployment of BMD assets. Failure to do so could leave our Armed Forces exposed to potentially crippling attacks, degrade the confidence of our regional allies and economic partners and embolden our enemies. We thank you for taking our thoughts into consideration and look forward to working with you to maintain the United States’ unique role in the world.