Republicans Blame Obama Funding Cuts for 3rd Failure of U.S. Missile Defense Test

missile defense

This file photo from the last successful test of U.S. missile defense capabilities shows, a ground-based interceptor missile lifts off from Vandenberg AFB in California on December 5, 2008, en route to intercept with and destroy a target missile launched in Alaska several minutes earlier. Since then there have been three failed tests of the system, the most recent on July 5, 2013. (Photo: Missile Defense Agency)

As the array of foreign missiles capable of reaching the United States grows, four Republican lawmakers are pressing Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel for assurances after a third consecutive failed test of “the only national missile defense system in place to protect the American people.”

In a letter responding to the unsuccessful test of the ground-based midcourse defense system (GMD), the four said the system “appears to have been put on ‘life support’ under the Obama Administration’s budget requests.”

The last successful GMD test took place in December 2008, when an interceptor missile launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif. intercepted and destroyed a long-range ballistic missile target launched in Alaska minutes earlier.

Since then there have been three failed tests of the system, the most recent on July 5, when an interceptor missile launched from Vandenberg AFB failed to intercept a target launched from a test site in the Marshall Islands.

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