Friday, July 06, 2007

Congress will move to block funds for Bush's missile plan

From the Guardian:

The Senate appears ready to join the House in cutting from the defence budget the millions Mr Bush requested to fund US missile bases in Poland and the Czech Republic. The president would have to use his veto to go ahead but that would put the whole defence budget in peril...

Congress is seeking ways to reduce the 2008 defence budget that has already ballooned because of the billions needed for Mr Bush's Iraq "surge". The House voted last month to cut the $40m (£19.9m) needed to begin preparations to establish bases in Poland and the Czech Republic.

The Senate armed forces committee, which has been looking in detail at the missile plan, has come out against it not only on cost grounds but because it is sceptical about the technology. Mr Bush wants to place 10 interceptor missiles in silos in Poland and a radar tracking system in the Czech Republic. He insists they would be aimed not against Moscow but Iran, but Mr Putin has not been persuaded.

The Senate committee said that work should be delayed until the stand-off is resolved. Negotiations between the US and the Polish and Czech governments have also not been completed.

Good. The plan is foolish because a) the system is way too costly for something that has not even remotely been proven to work and b) Iran doesn't have long-range missiles or nuclear weapons, and certainly doesn't have the capability of fitting the latter on the former. They are years away from all that, so how can this be worth a certain fight with Russia right now?

This whole idea has been a stupid, wet dream of conservatives for years and I'm glad Democrats have the balls to finally eliminate such wasteful defense spending.

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