The Associated Press
Thursday, June 28, 2007
WASHINGTON: A mostly Republican group of lawmakers joined Thursday in an advocacy group organized to promote plans for a missile interceptor system to protect the United States.
The 34 Republicans and three Democrats are seeking to boost the U.S. missile defense program at a time when Democratic leaders in Congress have sought to trim its funding.
Caucus members are "committed to providing for the defense of the American people, our warfighters and our national interests by supporting a layered and robust missile defense that utilizes land, air, sea and space," their mission statement says.
The group was organized by Republican Rep. Trent Franks, who is co-chairman with Rep. Jim Marshall, a Democrat. One member is Rep. Duncan Hunter, a conservative Republican who is running for president with a hard-line, pro-military campaign.
The mission statement said that despite the West's victory in the Cold War, "the principal military threat from this struggle unfortunately did not vanish along with the Soviet Union — ballistic missiles capable of delivering extraordinary damage to the United States."
It said "rogue states and America's strategic military rivals" are building faster, longer-range and more sophisticated ballistic missiles, capable of hitting the United States. It identified no countries in either category of potential enemy.