Testimony of Robert G. Joseph Before the House Armed Services Committee   [open html - 28KB]

There is substantial agreement on the emerging threat to the United States from long-range ballistic missiles. This is reflected in the unanimity of views in the Rumsfeld Commission and in the subsequent reassessment by the intelligence community last fall. The overwhelming majorities in both Houses of Congress that passed the National Missile Defense Act -- making it U.S. policy and law to deploy a national missile defense "as soon as is technologically possible" -- is further evidence of the growing consensus on the threat, both to U.S. forces and allies abroad, as well as to the American homeland. Long-range missiles become particularly valuable to states such as North Korea as instruments of coercion to hold American and allied cities hostage, and thereby deter us from intervention. They need only hold a handful of our cities at risk. This is not irrational. In fact, it is very well thought out. If you cannot compete conventionally and you have territorial or political or religious goals that require the use of force, you must find a means of keeping the United States out of the fight. Any comprehensive approach to meeting the missile proliferation threat must reconcile these inconsistencies. In doing so, we will better protect against the growing threat and establish a more stable basis for our relations with Russia and others.

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