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Press Release - JINSA Calls on Congress to Fund Missile Defense Sites in Poland and the Czech Republic

WASHINGTON - (Sept. 16, 2008) The Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs (JINSA) today called upon Congress to restore the necessary funding for missile defense sites in Poland and the Czech Republic, noting that U.S. support is critical to defending the West from threats posed by a potentially nuclear-armed Iran armed with ballistic missiles capable of reaching Europe. The funding had been included in the Defense Appropriations bill, but was removed in May by congressional Democrats.

"Cutting the funding for these sites willfully ignores the serious threat posed by Russia and its intent to complete work on the Iranian nuclear plant in Bushehr," said Tom Neumann, JINSA’s executive director. "Moscow’s involvement in the project – which predates the events in Georgia – is an act of direct provocation against the U.S., as it puts Iran closer to the ability to produce weapons-grade nuclear fuel."

"Hobbling U.S. support for the missile defense program in Europe is simply irresponsible and potentially dangerous, as it will leave us and our allies exposed to the developing threat from Iran," said Neumann.

Neumann noted that much has changed since the early spring when the funds were cut. Since then, Iran put on a bombastic military display that included the launching of several ballistic missiles in a clear attempt to intimidate the West and, in a provocative show of force, Russia invaded the sovereign democratic state of Georgia and continues to occupy Georgian territory despite numerous pledges to withdraw its forces. In addition, an agreement with Poland on the interceptor sites was signed in August, negating the proximate reason for the earlier zeroing of the funds.

"U.S. missile defense technologies are mature, and the new democracies of central Europe are keen to participate in their use. But they must be deployed before Iran’s missile threat is fully developed, or their deterrent value will be negated," Neumann said.

To arrange an interview with Tom Neumann, JINSA Executive Director, contact Jim Colbert at 202-667-3900.

The Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs is an independent, non-profit, non-partisan, non-sectarian educational organization established in 1976 to educate the public on national and international security issues, including the importance of an effective U.S. defense capability and the key role of strategic allies, including Israel, to promote democratic values in the Middle East.

Jewish Institute for National Security of America
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