The Republican National Convention kicked off yesterday to officially nominate Mitt Romney as the Republican Presidential Candidate who will run against President Barack Obama during the Presidential Election on November 6th. The Grand Old Party (GOP) will put forward a platform that will distinguish itself from the Democratic platform of President Barack Obama from which the GOP will campaign on from now and until the election.
The draft GOP Foreign Policy Platform that goes before this convention to be ratified has listed missile defense as a topic under the headline, “Nuclear Forces and Missile Defense Imperiled.” The statement from this draft foreign policy platform titled, “American Exceptionalism” regarding missile defense is as follows:
Nuclear Forces and Missile Defense Imperiled
We recognize that the gravest terror threat we face – a nuclear attack made possible by nuclear proliferation – requires a comprehensive strategy for reducing the world’s nuclear stockpiles and preventing the spread of those armaments. But the U.S. can lead that effort only if it maintains an effective strategic arsenal at a level sufficient to fulfill its deterrent purposes, a notable failure of the current Administration.
The United States is the only nuclear power not modernizing its nuclear stockpile. It took the current Administration just one year to renege on the President’s commitment to modernize the neglected infrastructure of the nuclear weapons complex – a commitment made in exchange for approval of the New START treaty. In tandem with this, the current Administration has systematically undermined America’s missile defense, abandoning the missile defense bases in Poland and the Czech Republic, reducing the number of planned interceptors in Alaska, and cutting the budget for missile defense. In an embarrassing open microphone discussion with former Russian President Medvedev, the current President made clear that, if he wins a second term, he intends to exercise “more flexibility” to appease Russia, which means further undermining our missile defense capabilities. A Republican President will be honest and forthright with the American people about his policies and plans and not whisper promises to authoritarian leaders.
A strong and effective strategic arsenal is still necessary as a deterrent against competitors like Russia or China. But the danger in this age of asymmetric or non-traditional warfare comes from other quarters as well. With unstable regimes in Iran and North Korea determined to develop nuclear-tipped missiles capable of reaching the United States, with the possibility that a terrorist group could gain control of a nuclear weapon, it is folly to abandon a missile shield for the country.
Though there are no specific plans or promises, this platform position would imply an increase in funding, capability, and focus on strengthening U.S. Homeland missile defense as well as the re-shifting of current missile defense funding towards protecting the U.S. Homeland.