Thursday, April 17, 2008

Doubts voiced about U.S. anti-missile plan

Go to AP original
WASHINGTON (AP) — A group of prominent scientists who have been critical of missile defense plans told lawmakers Wednesday that a system being built by the United States cannot protect the country.

They also questioned whether the Defense Department has misled the public and European allies about the system's capabilities.

"The program offers no prospect of defending the United States from a real-world missile attack and undermines efforts to eliminate the real nuclear threats to the United States," Lisbeth Gronlund, a senior scientist at the Union of Concerned Scientists, told lawmakers at a House oversight hearing on the missile defense program, according to prepared testimony. Gronlund's group has long expressed skepticism about missile defense.

The hearing was called by the panel's chairman, Rep. John Tierney, D-Mass., who has sought to step up oversight of the missile defense program since the Democrats took control of the House last year. Missile defense traditionally has drawn more support from Republicans.

Tierney said the testimony from the witnesses raises questions about current missile defense spending levels. He pointed to congressional projections of $213 billion to $277 billion for the program between now and 2025.


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