ARLINGTON, VA — The Independent Women’s Forum worries that the Defense Department’s plan for research, development, testing and evaluation of missile defense systems, presented today to the Senate Armed Services Committee, may be too conservative to address the threat of missile attack on the United States and its allies.

“The Administration has presented a careful, sound, thoughtful plan,” said IWF’s vice president and general counsel Anita Blair. “Unfortunately, to make up for the ground lost during the past decade, when Washington fiddled while the rogue nations of the world acquired deadly technology, the current Administration simply has to work harder and faster.”

According to Blair, women especially should support an aggressive, accelerated missile defense system buildup. “For the first time in America’s history we are at risk of being attacked in our own territory, causing staggering losses of civilian lives and property and untold damage to the environment. People don’t realize we have no defense whatsoever against a missile attack, which could be launched at any time — even accidentally.”

Answering claims that the 1972 ABM Treaty prohibits the U.S. from developing a missile defense system, Blair says, “That Treaty is inoperative for several reasons. The other party, the U.S.S.R, no longer exists. The U.S.S.R and Russia and other former Soviet states, have repeatedly violated the treaty themselves, including building missile defense systems to protect their own citizens. No treaty can legitimately force a nation to surrender its right of self-defense; that’s like trying to enforce a suicide pact.”

The Independent Women’s Forum is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to research and public education on policy issues concerning women.