SECDEF Gates drops the axes... (UPDATED)

Today SECDEF Gates held his conference with General Cartwright on what was going to live and die in the DoDs future.

I am happy that it seems that missile defense is not going to be ignored. But some of the promising future is no more.
To better protect our forces and those of our allies in theater from ballistic missile attack, we will add $700 million to field more of our most capable theater missile defense systems, specifically the terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) System and Standard Missile 3 (SM-3) programs.

We will also add $200 million to fund conversion of six additional Aegis ships to provide ballistic missile defense capabilities.

In the area of missile defense:
• We will restructure the program to focus on the rogue state and theater missile threat.
We will not increase the number of current ground-based interceptors in Alaska as had been planned. But we will continue to robustly fund continued research and development to improve the capability we already have to defend against long-range rogue missile threats – a threat North Korea’s missile launch this past weekend reminds us is real.
Deadly aim: Airborne Laser fires tracking laser, hits target
We will cancel the second airborne laser (ABL) prototype aircraft. We will keep the existing aircraft and shift the program to an R&D effort. The ABL program has significant affordability and technology problems and the program’s proposed operational role is highly questionable.
We will terminate the Multiple Kill Vehicle (MKV) program because of its significant technical challenges and the need to take a fresh look at the requirement.
• Overall, the Missile Defense Agency program will be reduced by $1.4 billion.
"Because of its significant technical challenges"?

Are you serious. The plane, happened overnight. Missiles overnight. Aircraft carrier overnight. Everything was so easy. I must say it seems as though Gates has fallen in lockstep with POTUS.

We no longer live by Kennedy logic "we choose not to do these things because they are easy, but because they are hard." We live by Obama logic "if it is hard we don't bother with it, because gosh darn it people like me."


The evasive measures were of no effect and due to this decision we will not have the aircraft and many good people will be losing their jobs. Close to 100,000.
We will end production of the F-22 fighter at 187 – representing 183 planes plus four recommended for inclusion in the FY 2009 supplemental.

In the Hill:
“Cooperation on missile defense is now a critical component of many of our closest security partnerships around the world,” Lieberman wrote in a letter to the president. “We fear that cuts to the budget for missile defense could inadvertently undermine these relationships and foster the impression that the United States is an unreliable ally.

“Moreover, sharp cuts would leave us and our friends around the world less capable of responding to the growing ballistic missile threat.”

Lieberman, a longtime supporter of a robust missile defense program, is the lead signatory on the letter.

Alaska Sen. Mark Begich (D) and four Republicans, Sens. Jon Kyl (Ariz.), Lisa Murkowski (Alaska), Jeff Sessions (Ala.) and James Inhofe (Okla.), also signed it. (An important battery of interceptor missiles is based in Fort Greely, Alaska.)