Rep. Turner slams Obama on missile defense

In a letter to the White House on Wednesday, Rep. Mike Turner (R-Ohio) criticized the administration's decision slash investment in critical missile defense systems. 

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"At a time when our missile defense system is the only defense that we have to the threat from North Korea, and the emerging threats from Iran, I am greatly concerned that your missile defense strategy is languishing," Turner wrote. 

The Ohio Republican did credit the White House for its decision to re-establish a battery of anti-missile weapons in Alaska, but that stopgap effort is further proof American missile defense strategy is not up to task. 

The Alaska anti-missile field "this has me even more concerned that your Administration has no plan to reasonably respond to the real and foreseeable threats from North Korea and Iran," Turner said.

Turner is one of several Republicans who have tried to revive a plan for an East Coast missile defense shield, in light of recent aggressiveness by North Korea. 

The concern, according to the House GOP, is that if systems in Alaska and on the West Coast cannot intercept a missile strike from North Korea or Iran, no backup system exists to protect the Eastern Seaboard.  

The Alaska site is a positive step, but "that doesn't resolve the problem of the East Coast," Sen Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) told military officials during a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing in March. 

"The threat is very real [and] it needs to be corrected ... it needs to be addressed," he added. 

Outside of North Korea and Iran, the continued impasse between Washington and Moscow on missile defense only bolsters the argument against Obama's strategy, he added. 

"Your haphazard approach to a missile defense strategy has significantly alienated the United States' European allies," according to Turner.  

Attempts to resolve issues with Moscow on missile defense "have left our allies abandoned in the face of domestic criticism and Russian opposition," he added. 

During last year's presidential elections, Turner accused Obama of drafting a secret deal with Russia on missile defense, allegedly promising concessions to Moscow after the elections.

The administration has denied such claims, but continued efforts to jump start missile defense talks with Russia. 

National Security Adviser Tom Donilon recently met with Russian president Vladimir Putin, foreign minister Sergey Lavrov and a host of top Russian national security and foreign policy officials on Monday,

"The discussions were comprehensive and constructive" and will set the agenda for September's meeting between Putin and President Obama, National Security Council Caitlin Hayden said.

Russia and the United States have been at loggerheads over the Obama administration's missile defense plans to push those American systems eastward, into European countries along the Russian border. 

Thee White House plans to field a massive network of land and sea-based ballistic missile interceptors to defend against potential long-range missile threats from Iran by 2020.

Russia has strenuously opposed that plan, arguing the weapons could easily be used to take out Russian-operated missile systems stationed in the region.

Moscow pulled out of missile shield talks last year after NATO balked at a Moscow-backed plan forcing the alliance to agree that none of the U.S. missiles would be used to target Russia's own missile defense system.