Refocus Missile Defense Efforts, Says Ohio Congressman

The European Phased Adaptive Approach ballistic missile defense system is not evolving fast enough to counter potential threats from Iran, said Rep. Mike Turner (R-Ohio), chairman of the House Armed Services Committee’s strategic forces panel. Speaking to defense reporters Tuesday, in Washington, D.C., Turner said the United States needs to take threats from Iran seriously and shift its attention away from the regional European approach to one that focuses on protecting the US homeland. “If you listen to hearings, there is a lack of urgency with the Administration on what is developing in North Korea and Iran. They will . . . use words like ‘slow to emerge’ or ‘we have time,'” said Turner. He continued, “I don’t think the United States has ever sat back and hung our national security on ‘we have time.’ If we see an emerging threat, and we know our adversary’s goal and intent [and] we know the path they are seeking, we are not slow to put ourselves in a situation of security.” Turner criticized the President’s Fiscal 2013 defense budget that requests $9.7 billion for missile defense, or nearly $700 million less than Congress appropriated for Fiscal 2012.