Today Leon Panetta will take the oath to become our nation’s 23rd secretary of defense. After he walks through the Pentagon’s river entrance and up the oak-paneled stairwell to his office, the weight of managing a three million-person department during wartime will sink in. And Mr. Panetta’s tenure begins just as President Obama and bipartisan majorities in Congress are insisting on deep cuts to defense spending. It will be tempting to accede to the White House’s proposal to carve out $400 billion, if not more, from the national security budget by 2023. It would also be a grievous mistake.
Russia’s NATO envoy says that Moscow and the alliance have until 2018 to find agreement on a prospective U.S.-led missile defense plan in Europe.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu praised the United States as a champion of freedom and a great ally of Israel in his address to the annual Fourth of July celebration at the U.S. ambassador’s residence in Tel Aviv Thursday night.
Russia will not give the Western alliance access to its command posts even if the two sides start to work together on a missile defense system, Moscow’s envoy to NATO has warned.
“Giving anyone access to this virtual red button… is something that can never happen,” Dmitry Rogozin told Interfax on Friday. “It is impossible.” Moscow will never put its system of strategic nuclear forces or aerospace defense under anyone else’s control,” the ambassador said. This system will always remain “under Russian sovereign national control.”
The reluctance of taking into account Russian interests in the issue of the European missile defense system can cause serious damage to ties between Russia and NATO, Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich said in an interview with RIA Novosti on Friday.
U.S. Navy researchers are asking industry for ideas on ways to manage Navy radar systems aboard many different surface warships collaboratively to create new kind of integrated air and missile defense technology that can defend against a broad variety of missile attacks — including mixed raids that involve a combination of high-performance air-breathing missiles and ballistic missiles.