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house Bill H.R. 2912

Does the U.S. Need to Improve and Expand its Missile Defense System?

Argument in favor

The regime in North Korea has rapidly increased its nuclear capabilities, and will soon be capable of striking anywhere in the U.S. with a nuclear missile. Prudence dictates that the U.S. build up its missile defense system to protect the homeland against a nuclear strike.

08/09/2017
The United States must be able to protect both itself and its allies from ballistic missile threats of all ranges and capabilities. First, the U.S. ought to continue to develop a comprehensive layered ballistic missile defense system, including interceptors in space. Second, it should improve its sensor network to maximize the capability of the current interceptors. And lastly, it must continue to invest in advanced ballistic missile defense concepts and technologies to ensure it is able to keep up with the ballistic missile threat.
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JGB's Opinion
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08/08/2017
Figure it out. The threats of the new world (North Korea) come from "Missles". The US should dominate any technology related to missles.
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Ticktock's Opinion
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08/09/2017
So long as our adversaries were dependable, predictable and stable we could afford to agree not to develop a layered antimissile defense. Both the USSR and the US were able to rely on MAD (Mutual Assured Destruction) simply because neither expected the other to strike first if there were no hope of surviving the nuclear exchange. In today's world that assurance does not exist. The instability of the leadership of countries, not only N. Korea and others but the US as well, renders MAD unreliable. Layered antimissile defense is a must so long as everyone realizes that it can be overwhelmed, that many more countries today can have nuclear weapons and nuclear weapons may not only be the preview of nation states but terrorist may someday have access.
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Argument opposed

Missile defense systems can’t guarantee the safety of the American public, especially in the face of a strike involving numerous nuclear warheads. These resources would be better spent a way that ensures the missile defense system is never needed.

Cleve 's Opinion
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08/08/2017
Diplomacy. Try it sometime. We can not afford the billions of dollars that this will cost. It will also upset the balance of power that will make both Russia and China nervous. Spend those dollars on cyber security which is much more pressing.
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Frankie's Opinion
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08/08/2017
Trump step down now. We need intelligent leaders who have knowledge on the issues so badly right now. Not a man child media personality totally winging his way through his 'leader of the free world' tv show. His inflammatory and deeply ignorant language, will only make things worse
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Adam's Opinion
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08/09/2017
Is this a joke? The US capability is at a point to where instigating North Korea simply shows the utter incompetence and delusion of this President.
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bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The senate has not voted
  • The house has not voted
      house Committees
      Committee on Armed Services
      Strategic Forces
    IntroducedJune 15th, 2017

What is House Bill H.R. 2912?

This bill would look to enhance the integrated missile defense system that protects the U.S. homeland through the development and deployment of additional interceptors, a space-based sensor layer, and authorizing additional missile defense testing. It would direct the Missile Defense Agency (MDA) to accelerate the development, testing, and fielding of several technologies including the redesigned and multi-object kill vehicles, rocket boosters, an airborne laser on unmanned aerial vehicles, and an additional missile defense site in the East Coast or Midwest regions of the U.S.

The bill would authorize 28 ground-based interceptors in addition to the 44 that will be operational by the end of 2017, which will be based at Fort Greely, Alaska and Vandenberg Air Force Base, California. The MDA would also be required to report to Congress on increasing the missile defense system by an additional 100 interceptors, including the identification of new or existing sites to house them and the advantages and challenges posed by each.

The MDA would collaborate with the Air Force on a report on the status of the integrated layers of missile defense radars, including possible adjustments, integration into the missile defense system architecture, and modernization plans. It would also be tasked with developing a highly reliable space-based missile defense sensor architecture using sound acquisition practices and rigorous testing as soon as technically feasible. The space-based sensors would have the ability to detect, track, identify, discriminate warheads from other objects, assist in debris mitigation, and effectively assess the results of the engagement.

This bill would also call on the Dept. of Defense to allocate more funding to homeland missile defense testing to ensure that defenses continue to evolve faster than the threats they’re defending against.

Impact

The U.S. homeland; the MDA; the DOD; and Congress.

Cost of House Bill H.R. 2912

A CBO cost estimate is unavailable.

More Information

In-Depth: Sponsoring Rep. Don Young (R-AK) introduced this bill advance America’s missile defense system:

“With the increasing threats around the world, specifically from North Korea and Iran, the United States must be steadfast in its commitment to protect the homeland — which must include further development of our integrated missile defense system. I’m determined to work with my colleagues to ensure the President’s commitment to these critical programs is not just campaign rhetoric, but truly a priority for his administration and the nation.”

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI), a lead cosponsor of this bill added:

“The United States must defend against the rapidly advancing North Korean nuclear and intercontinental ballistic missile threat with the development and deployment of an integrated missile defense system capable of defending threats to Hawaii and the nation. We must make the necessary investments to ensure we have the tools and technologies necessary to defend against the threats of today and the future.”

This legislation has the support of 12 cosponsors in the House, including eight Republicans and four Democrats.


Of Note: Following a series of recent ballistic missile tests, it has been reported that U.S. intelligence agencies believe that North Korea now has the ability to strike much of the continental U.S., and that the rogue state has the ability to miniaturize a nuclear warhead to fit on such missiles. 

The United Nations Security Council also unanimously voted to increase sanctions on North Korea, and following President Donald Trump’s warning of “fire and fury” in response to continued threats against the U.S., the North Korean military announced it was considering a strike against Guam, a U.S. territory in the Central Pacific.


Media:

Summary by Eric Revell

(Photo Credit: U.S. Missile Defense Agency / Public Domain)

AKA

Advancing America's Missile Defense Act of 2017

Official Title

To expand the capacity and capability of the ballistic missile defense system of the United States, and for other purposes.

    The United States must be able to protect both itself and its allies from ballistic missile threats of all ranges and capabilities. First, the U.S. ought to continue to develop a comprehensive layered ballistic missile defense system, including interceptors in space. Second, it should improve its sensor network to maximize the capability of the current interceptors. And lastly, it must continue to invest in advanced ballistic missile defense concepts and technologies to ensure it is able to keep up with the ballistic missile threat.
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    Diplomacy. Try it sometime. We can not afford the billions of dollars that this will cost. It will also upset the balance of power that will make both Russia and China nervous. Spend those dollars on cyber security which is much more pressing.
    Like (147)
    Follow
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    Trump step down now. We need intelligent leaders who have knowledge on the issues so badly right now. Not a man child media personality totally winging his way through his 'leader of the free world' tv show. His inflammatory and deeply ignorant language, will only make things worse
    Like (113)
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    Is this a joke? The US capability is at a point to where instigating North Korea simply shows the utter incompetence and delusion of this President.
    Like (78)
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    War is not the answer.
    Like (50)
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    Concentrate on DIPLOMACY! We, the constituents, do not have a death wish. It's time for the little boys to put aside their braggadocio and threats and to put their big boy pants on and NEGOTIATE!
    Like (49)
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    It is not that I don't think this is not useful, but you have cut funding to the state department which is even more important. We need to give funding to diplomats as well as protection for them. The relationships that diplomats form can deescalate situations. It is also imperative that someone stops the president from making bad situations worse by his bully tactics. Someone tell him about Teddy Roosevelt's motto, "Speak softly and carry a big stick."
    Like (41)
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    We spend more on the military than Russia, China, UK, and N Korea combined! Don't let the fear mongering allow you to add to the already grossly inflated military budget.
    Like (35)
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    Figure it out. The threats of the new world (North Korea) come from "Missles". The US should dominate any technology related to missles.
    Like (26)
    Follow
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    So long as our adversaries were dependable, predictable and stable we could afford to agree not to develop a layered antimissile defense. Both the USSR and the US were able to rely on MAD (Mutual Assured Destruction) simply because neither expected the other to strike first if there were no hope of surviving the nuclear exchange. In today's world that assurance does not exist. The instability of the leadership of countries, not only N. Korea and others but the US as well, renders MAD unreliable. Layered antimissile defense is a must so long as everyone realizes that it can be overwhelmed, that many more countries today can have nuclear weapons and nuclear weapons may not only be the preview of nation states but terrorist may someday have access.
    Like (24)
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    1. Trump is itching for a war. He desperately needs one to correct his ever sinking approval ratings and in order to live out his narcissistic fantasy of what a badass he is. 2. This sounds a lot like just another excuse to divert much needed resources to the glutinous military industrial complex. 3. Spending finite limited resources on something that might happen while completely ignoring the devastating realities that are absolutely happening right now is a ridiculous way to prioritize. 4. "We can bomb the world to pieces but we can't bomb it into peace." Bombs don't solve problems or create peace, people do. Diplomacy first. 5a. Kim Jong Un is undeniably bats**t crazy and a threat to national security and world peace. 5b. So is Donald J. Trump. Just look at his shortsighted, antagonistic response. It's like he's begging Pyongyang to target us. (See #1.) 6. A war with North Korea would be disastrous under the very best possible scenario. With our current incompetent, irrational, thin skinned, reactionary Crybaby-In-Chief at the helm it could be the destruction of life as we know it. For the love all that is sacred to each and every one of us, someone please stop this madness. (45 can't and won't.)
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    The answer requires top secret info, so this is an irrelevant question for this audience.
    Like (22)
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    Better safe than sorry. Even if we never have to use this better defense system we will still have it to make us safer and you can't go wrong with that. Diplomacy will not work with NK. The only think Kim understands is military power. If anything I think we should strike them before they strike us. The only way to put a stop to this madness is to cut the head off the snake and we should do that by showing them how a nuke really works by displaying the power of a good old US nuke right in their capital.
    Like (20)
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    With tension rising between North Korea and Russia, it would be prudent to build a better defense system now.
    Like (17)
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    Instead of adding billions to our trillions dollar debt why don't we try diplomacy first before jumping to war.
    Like (16)
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    NO. We have enough weaponry to obliterate the earth eight times over. How about we elect some intelligent adults that know how to negotiate and de-escalate a situation.
    Like (16)
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    As much as I'd like to say yes here, I don't think this is the correct avenue to throw all that money into. I think that engagement of a wide variety of ways is the way to go.
    Like (11)
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    We always need to keep our country protected from [attacks] foreign and domestic.
    Like (10)
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    The Star Wars Defense System was axed years ago and it is vital that it is ramped up full speed. Pres. Reagan initiated it with high hopes for our security. It needs to be made a priority in our defense budget once again!
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    Ballistic nuclear weapons are over 60 years old. We should already be capable of mounting some form of defense.
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