Reports: NATO Missile Defense Overpriced, Underpowered

Pentagon Adviser Warns of Big Problems, Offers No Solutions

In 2009, after years of reports about dramatic cost overruns, long delays and technological failures, President Obama announced he was essentially scrapping the Bush-era missile defense plan for Europe, replacing it with a new, more mobile version that was supposed to be cheaper and easier to get off the ground.

Fast forward to today, and a pair of new reports from the GAO and the Pentagon’s advisory body are casting yet more doubts on the new system, noting it is plagued by many of the same problems of the abandoned system.

The Defense Science Board’s report points out a number of major problems, and offers no solutions. Experts say that the problems could be enormously expensive, if they can be fixed at all. The GAO report, as so many in the past, points out that the scheme is already costing way more than it was supposed to, and probably isn’t going to work at any rate.

In many ways, the biggest problems with the plan are political, however. Despite claiming the schemes target Iran, the Bush and Obama Administration both insisted on putting the missile defense systems along the Russian frontier, angering Russian officials.

But with the Presidential election coming up, keeping the system in place to show they are being “tough” with Russia is likely to be an issue for both major candidates, and cancelling a system just because it doesn’t work and is an enormous waste of money is unlikely to even be considered.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of