Levin scoffs at East Coast missile plans

June 12, 2013 at 12:43 PM

WASHINGTON, June 12 (UPI) -- There's no military reason to deploy U.S. missile defense systems on the East Coast, military officials told U.S. Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich.

Republican leaders on the House Armed Services Committee last week voted on a measure to back a missile defense system for the East Coast. Levin said the system would cost at least $3 billion.

Supporters of the measure say it would provide an additional layer of defense from overseas threats emanating from Iran. A similar measure proposed for Eastern Europe has frustrated the Russian government, which says the missile shield would upset the regional balance of power.

Levin last week requested information about the eastern missile shield plans from Missile Defense Agency Director Vice Adm. J.D. Syring and Lt. Gen. Richard Formica, commander of U.S. Integrated Missile Defense

In a statement to the senator, chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, they said there's no viable reason for the missile deployment.

"There is no validated military requirement to deploy an East Coast missile defense site," they said in a joint statement published Tuesday on Levin's website.

U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said in March he backed the estimated $1 billion needed to deploy more missile interceptors in Alaska to address potential nuclear threats from North Korea.

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