Germans Say “NEIN!” To Missile System

David Williams

June 5, 2013

The Medium Extended Air Defense System (MEADS) has had a rocky road over the last two years and the Taxpayers Protection Alliance has chronicled most of that (read previous postings here and here).  MEADS has rightly earned the moniker the “Missile to Nowhere.” And, according to a December 4, 2012 Politico article, “Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Sen. Carl Levin said today he feels strongly that the Medium Extended Air Defense System is a ‘waste of money,…’”  Because of the prohibitive cost ($2 billion over budget), schedule delays (10 years behind schedule) and the system’s poor performance, the U.S. Army has said it doesn’t want MEADS and that it would never use the missiles.  Now a German publication (click here to read the article in German) has dealt MEADS another blow.  According to the June 4 article, “Despite the beautiful promotional images, the Ministry of Defense currently does not know whether the system can ever hit missiles from the sky. In fact, the Ministry does not know what the development will be as designed. In his last report to the Defence Committee he says: “The original development agreement … contained …no requirement for a fully comprehensive documentation and archiving of development results ”  OUCH!

Despite last year’s version of The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) prohibiting the funding of the program, the Department of Defense (DoD) will be spending $380 million in continuing resolution (CR) funds to continue funding design and development of the program this year.  A valiant effort was made by Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.) and Rep. Bill Shuster (R-Pa.) to defund the program.

Sen. Ayotte  introduced legislation to prevent DoD from spending CR funding on MEADS development and design.  Unfortunately, that amendment never saw the light of day.  Senator Ayotte correctly coined MEADS the “Missile to Nowhere,” and elaborated on her distaste for the wasteful program in a press release when she said, “[t]axpayers shouldn’t have to keep paying for a failed weapons program that our troops will never use . . . with nearly $17 trillion in debt, we can’t afford business as usual spending. There is near unanimous support in the Senate for cutting funding for the ‘missile to nowhere,’ and the legislation I’m introducing will better support our troops.”  There wasn’t even a vote.

Rep. Shuster (R-Pa.) criticized the funding of MEADS in an April 11, 2013 press release which stated, “Rep. Bill Shuster told Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel today it would be irresponsible to fund the Medium Extended Air Defense System because it’s failing. ‘It’s foolish for us to be spending almost $400 million on a system that nobody’s going to procure, no one’s going to buy,’ the Republican congressman from Pennsylvania said of the controversial missile defense system, long a target of cost-cutters. ”

This latest German criticism comes at a time when Congress is debating another Defense authorization bill.  In the interest of taxpayers and national security MEADS must be terminated immediately and given DAS BOOT (the shoe not the ship)!