Palin Slams Proposed Cuts to Missile Defense

By Teddy Davis

Apr 9, 2009 6:00pm

ABC News’ Teddy Davis reports: Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin (R) announced Thursday that she has sent a letter to Defense Secretary Robert Gates urging him not to go forward with plans to cut $1.4 billion out of missile defense.  "I would like to express my deep concern over your proposed budget cuts to the Missile Defense Agency," writes Palin in her letter. "In these crucial times of rocket design and technology development by North Korea and Iran, I believe the global missile defense shield is more important now than ever." Read the full text of Palin’s letter, which is dated April 8, by clicking here. The letter is one of the first times since the 2008 election that John McCain’s former running mate has weighed in on an issue with national security implications. Up until now, Palin’s criticism of the Obama administration has focused on economics (she rejected some of the stimulus money available to her state out of a concern that it would grow the size of state government once the federal dollars dry up) and on sensitivity (she slammed President Obama for joking on the "Tonight Show with Jay Leno" that his poor bowling skills resemble those found at the Special Olympics). While Palin has made an effort during her state’s legislative session to appear solely focused on issues of concern to Alaska, missile defense provides her with an opportunity to play locally and nationally at the same time. On the Alaska front, she is able to advocate on behalf of missile defense implementation at Fort Greely and the development of future technology through the Kodiak Launch Complex. On the national front, the potential 2012 candidate for president is able to warn that the Obama administration’s proposed cuts to missile defense will erode "our security, our freedom, and our American way of life." "I am deeply concerned with North Korea’s development and testing program," writes Palin in her letter. "It has the clear potential of impacting Alaska, Hawaii, and possibly the West Coast with a nuclear armed warhead." "Alaska’s strategic location and the system currently in place have proven invaluable in defending this great nation," Palin’s letter continues. "Any cuts to the sole missile defense system for the United States has the potential of sending the wrong message to our adversaries with the unintended consequences of placing our nation at increased risk of offensive missile threats in the future." Neither the Pentagon nor the White House immediately responded to a request for comment. ABC News’ Luis Martinez contributed to this report.

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