Executive Director John Tierney and Council Board member Joe Cirincione wrote an op-ed in Defense One about how President Biden can correct the mistakes of the past, halt an arms race, and put the United States in the driver’s seat by putting missile defense on the table in strategic stability talks with Russia.
President Joe Biden has forgotten more about missile defense than most people know. He can now use that knowledge in his talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin to reorient programs that have cost more than $400 billion over the decades yet cannot reliably protect the nation.
Biden can correct the mistakes of the past. The future of missile defense will be thoroughly studied as part of a broader nuclear posture/deterrence review that will be started in the few weeks. Mindful that less expensive offensive weapons can always be developed to overwhelm, sabotage, or destroy any conceivable defensive system, his administration can return to diplomacy, seek verifiable mutual reductions, prevent the development of new threats, and address rising concerns such as the weaponization of space and cyber threats. That would allow the transfer of funds from the weapons that don’t work to programs that will rebuild and add to America’s security.
Twenty years ago, Senator Biden knew missile defenses were unproven and destabilizing. Today, President Biden can act on his beliefs to correct the distortions created by decades of bad choices and bloated budgets. Read more