Health care rationing czar Dr. Donald Berwick may be stealing all the headlines, but he is not the only bureaucrat President Barack Obama is forcing on the American people without proper Senate review. Unlike Dr. Berwick, at least the Senate got the opportunity to question President Obama’s new associate director for national security in the White House Office of Science and Technology, Phillip Coyle.
Coyle’s new title may have the word “science” in it, but he is in fact the “high priest” of missile defense denialism. At National Review Online, Foreign Policy Initiative executive director Jamie Fly wrote back in March: “Coyle made a name for himself by questioning whether missile defense is technically possible, contradicting a proven track record of repeated successes by the Pentagon’s Missile Defense Agency.”
A Senate debate over Coyle’s anti-missile defense views would completely undercut the Obama administration’s push to ratify the New START with Russia. Back in May when we exposed the fact that the White House fact sheet on New START significantly differed from the State Department fact sheet:
Notice the change? The Obama administration has backtracked from “does not contain any constraints on testing, development or deployment of current or planned U.S. missile defense programs” to “does not constrain the United States from deploying the most effective missile defenses possible.” So are only the “most effective missile defenses” allowed by New START? As determined by whom? By the Russians? By Obama’s nominee to be Associate Director for the National Security and International Affairs, Office of Science and Technology Policy Philip Coyle? Coyle, by the way, has made a name for himself by questioning whether missile defense is technically possible, despite a proven track record of repeated successes by the Pentagon’s Missile Defense Agency. If a new U.S. President who actually believes in missile defense is elected, would that Commander in Chief be constrained by what President Obama and anti-missile defense advocates like Coyle thought qualified as “effective missile defense”?
This is why the White House snuck Coyle through on a recess appointment. They do not want the fact that if the Senate did ratify New START, it would bind future Presidents to “high priest” Coyle’s interpretation of what was and wasn’t “effective missile defense.”
This stealth appointment is about nothing less than significantly weakening our nation’s future missile defense capabilities.