World Policy Institute – Arms Trade Resource Center


Tangled Web 2005: A Profile of the Missile Defense and Space Weapons Lobbies by William D. Hartung with Frida Berrigan, Michelle Ciarrocca, and Jonathan Wingo


1. Figures from U.S. Department of Defense, Program Acquisition Costs by Weapon System, Fiscal Year 2002 through 2006 editions. These estimates omit the costs of the Space-Based Infrared System-High (SBIRS-High), a multi-billion program integral to missile defense plans that is contained in the Air Force budget. Costs for SBIRS-High ranged from $524.5 million to $775.3 million per year from 2001 through 2006, for a total of over $3.8 billion.

2. Alex Fryer, “Missile Defense in Place in Alaska, But Will It Work?,” Seattle Times, July 17th, 2005; “Ninth Boeing Ground-Based Midcourse Defense Interceptor Emplaced,” Boeing News Release, September 21, 2005, available at

3. Bradley Graham, “U.S. Missile Defense Test Fails; Latest Setback in Pacific Fuels Doubt About System’s Future,” Washington Post, December 16, 2004; Ann Scott Tyson, “U.S. Missile Defense Again Fails Key Test,” Washington Post, February 15, 2005; John Hendren, “Interceptor Missile Defense Fails; In Another Delay for the New Defense System, a Problem With Ground Equipment Apparently Keeps it From Launching,” Los Angeles Times, February 15, 2005; Bradley Graham, “Panel Faults Tactics in Rush to Install Missile Defense System,” June 10, 2005.

4.Lisbeth Gronlund, “Fire, Aim, Ready,” Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, September/October 2005.

5.United States Government Accountability Office, Report to Committees, “Defense Acquisitions: Assessment of Selected Major Weapons Programs,” Washington, DC, GAO, March 2005, p. 15-16.

6.GAO, op. cit., pages 17 and 105.

7. Ibid., adjusted for inflation and expressed in 2005 dollars.

8. David Wright, Laura Grego and Lisbeth Gronlund, The Physics of Space Security: A Reference Manual, (Cambridge, MA: American Academy of Arts and Sciences, May 2005), pp. 99-100.

9. See, for example, Theodore Postol, “Unfriendly Fire: How Can We Hope to Defend the U.S. From Missile Defense When Current Systems Are Deeply Flawed,” New Scientist, October 2, 2004; and Theodore Postol, “Why Missile Defense Won’t Work,” Technology Review, April 2002. See also Andrew M. Sessler, et. al., Countermeasures: A Technical Evaluation of the Operational Effectiveness of the Planned National Missile Defense System, (Cambridge, MA: Union of Concerned Scientists and MIT Security Studies Program, April 2000).

10. Steven Hildreth et. al., CRS Report for Congress, “Missile Defense: The Current Debate,” Updated March 23, 2005, p. 11.

11. D.K. Barton, et. al., Report of the American Physical Society Study Group on Boost-Phase Intercept Systems for National Missile Defense: Scientific and Technical Issues, October 2004.

12. Ibid., p. xxxii.

13. Ibid., pp. xxiv, xxix,

14. See “Hearing of the Senate Armed Services Committee, Strategic Forces Subcommittee, on Missile Defense Acquisition Policy,” March 13, 2002, for summary of views of Robert Walpole, the National Intelligence Council’s top expert on missile threats to the United States. See also Greg Thielmann, “Rumsfeld Reprise: The Missile Defense Report That Foretold the Iraq Intelligence Controversy,” Arms Control Today, July/August 2003, pp. 7-8.

15. Prepared Testimony of Robert Walpole, National Intelligence Council, Central Intelligence Agency before the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee, Hearing on “CIA National Intelligence Estimate of Foreign Missile Development and the Ballistic Missile Threat Through 2015,” March 11, 2005.

16. Thielmann, op.cit. p. 8.

17. Lisbeth Gronlund, “Fire, Aim, Ready,” Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, September/October 2005.

18. Bradley Graham, Hit to Kill: The New Battle Over Shielding America From Missile Attack, (New York: Public Affairs Press, 2001), p. 117-22.

19. R. Jeffrey Smith, “Threat Gone, ‘Star Wars’ is Banished: Aspin Eulogizes Anti-Missile Shield,” Washington Post, May 14, 1993.

20. Rep. Newt Gingrich, Rep. Dick Armey, et. al., The Contract With America (New York: Times Books, 1994), p. 93.

21. John J. Fialka, “Reagan-Era Aide Seeks to Persuade GOP to Push For Smaller Version of Missile Defense,” Wall Street Journal, April 4, 1996.

22. For more on the Century for Security Policy, see About Face: The Role of the Arms Lobby in the Bush Administration’s Radical Reversal of Two Decades of U.S. Nuclear Policy, William Hartung and Jonathan Reingold, World Policy Institute, May 2002.

23. The Century for Security Policy, 1998 Annual Report: Tenth Anniversary Retrospection, (Washington: Center for Security Policy, 1998), pp. 51-52.

24. Ibid., p. 2.

25. Graham, Hit to Kill, op. cit., p. 27.

26. Report of the Commission to Assess the Ballistic Missile Threat to the United States, Executive Summary, p. 5.

27. Bradley Graham, “Iran, N. Korea Missile Gains Spur Warning,” Washington Post, July 17, 1998.

28. Ibid., p. 20.

29. Graham, Hit to Kill, op. cit. p. 43-44.

30. Graham, op. cit., pp. 101-111.

31. Ibid., pp. 101-102.

32. Ibid., pp. 111-112.

33. “Jack Kemp and Bill Bennett Target Nevada’s Senators on Major Defense Issue,” Empower America news release, July 28, 1998.

34. Center for Security Policy web site:

35. Graham, Hit to Kill, op. cit., p. 121.

36. Robert Suro, “Woes Undermine Missile Defense Cause; Clinton Weighed Test Failures, Development Delays in Addition to Diplomatic Costs,” Washington Post, September 3, 2000.

37. “The 2000 Campaign: Exchanges Between Candidates in the Third Presidential Debate,” October 18, 2000.

38. Data from Center for Responsive Politics, at Bush received $180,775 from the defense industry versus $39,750 for Al Gore.

39. Center for Responsive Politics, op. cit.

40. The Rumsfeld quote is from Wil S. Hylton, “Dick and Don Go to War,” Esquire, February 2002. It is also included in the official text of Rumsfeld’s remarks posted on the Pentagon’s web site at and was run proudly on the Center for Security Policy’s web site for several months after the event.

41. “Key Role for Aerospace in Missile Defense,” Aerospace Corporation Press Release, March 4, 2002; Aerospace Corporation Annual Report for 2003, p. 15; and “Aerospace Targets Airborne Laser Project,” Aerospace Corporation press release, August 26, 2005.

42. On Aldridge’s potential conflicts of interests, see Leslie Wayne, “Pentagon Brass and Contractor’s Gold,” New York Times, June 29, 2004.

43. Corporate Connections are from William D. Hartung and Jonathan Reingold, “About Face: The Role of the Arms Lobby in the Bush Administration’s Radical Reversal of Two Decades of U.S. Nuclear Policy,” World Policy Institute, May 2002, appendix A.

44.”Ballistic Missile Defense Historical Funding,” op. cit.

45. Lisbeth Gronlund, “The Value of Fort Greely to the Intercept Test Program and a Block 2004 Contingency Defense and the Use of Classification to Prevent Public Scrutiny,” Testimony at a Special Investigations Briefing on “Rushing to Failure in 2004: Is Missile Defense Testing Adequate,” held by John F. Tierney, U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Government Reform, Subcommittee on National Security, Veterans Affairs and International Relations, June 11, 2002.

46. Bradley Graham, “Secrecy Over Missile Defense Grows,” Washington Post, June 12, 2002; “U.S. Plans: Oversight Reduced at Missile Agency,” Global Security Newswire, February 19, 2002; and David Ruppe, “New Missile Defense Director Vows More Secrecy,” Global Security Newswire, October 27, 2004.

47. Information is based on Pentagon computer tapes listing all prime contract awards worth more than $25,000 for a given fiscal year. Figures in this table are conservative estimates, for two reasons: 1) Not all missile defense contracts are identified as such in the Pentagon’s data set; and 2) The information covers prime contracts only, not subcontracts for missile defense work that may be received from other companies.

48. Data on concentration of contracts provided by Eagle Eye Publishers, op. cit., Table I.

49. Other companies include Boeing, PF Industries, MLD, CSA Engineering, AASC, Intevac, Raytheon, LPC, Lohn Star, Wyle Labs, GK Industries, Honeywell, Sargent Fletcher, AP Labs, Palomar Industries, Marotta Scientific Controls, Xinetics, ADA, Mercury Computers, General Electric, Rockwell Collins, and General Dynamics. For full details on companies and states cited by Boeing as being involved in the ABL program, including brief descriptions of what each company is doing on the program, see Boeing’s web site at

50. “General Dynamics Completes Acquisition of Spectrum Astro, Inc.,” General Dynamics press release, July 9, 2004.

51. “L-3 Communications Completes Acquisition of the Titan Corporation; Completes Related Debt Offerings and Tender Offer,” Business Wire, New York, July 29, 2005.

52. See Victoria Samson, “Safety in Numbers?,” Washington, DC, Center for Defense Information, October 18, 2005.

53. “U.S. Senator Jeff Sessions Comments on President Bush’s Missile Defense Announcement,” Senator Sessions Office Press Release, December 17, 2002.

54. “Missile Defense Funding Passes House of Representatives: Bill Also Includes Increased Benefits for Servicemen and Their Families,” Representative Cramer Office Press Release, May 26, 2005.

55. “House Defense Bill Passes With $2.25 Billion in Weapons System Funding Impacting Southeast Alabama Military Jobs,” Representative Everett Office Press Release, July 8, 2004.

56. All data from the Center for Responsive Politics.

57. “Key House Subcommittee Adds 2 Aegis Destroyers to Defense Bill — Hundreds of Millions of More Aegis Work Would Come to Lockheed Martin Moorestown plant,” Representative Saxton Office Press Release, May 12, 2005; and “Good Day for Lockheed Martin Workers — House Okays $25 Million in R&D, Adds to Aegis Ships to Defense Bill,” Representative Saxton Office Press Release, May 26, 2005.

58. Data from Center for Responsive Politics.

59. “Murtha Supports Decision to Delay Missile Defense,” Representative Murtha Office Press Release, September 1, 2000.

60. “Murtha: MountainTop to Create 20-25 Jobs,” Representative Murtha Office Press Release, May 28, 2004; “Murtha: Kuchera Gets Northrop Grumman Contracts,” Representative Murtha Office Press Release, June 3, 2005.

61. “Northrop Grumman Opens Pennsylvania Facility,” Defense Today, September 19, 2005.

62. Data on votes are from Peace Action Education Fund, “Congressional Voting Record 2004,” Washington, DC, 2004.

63. “Space Power Caucus,” Senator Ben Nelson Office Press Release, November 4, 2003.

64. David Ruppe, “White House May Re-Consider Missile Defense Approach,” Global Security Newswire, October 7, 2005.

65. Stephen Young, Living in Limbo, Washington, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, October 25, 2005. The $25 billion price tag for the prior missile defense program is measured in today’s dollars, not the current dollar price tag used in the 1970s. This approach to measuring cost allows for the substantial inflation that has occurred over the past three decades.

66. The $300 to $500 million estimate for space weapons research is an extremely conservative one. Accounting for all “dual use” systems that could play some role in supporting space weapons as well as supporting other types of space operations would put the figure in the billions of dollars.

67. Report of the Commission to Assess United States National Security Space Management and Organization , pursuant to Public Law 106-65, January 11, 2001, pp. 13, 22.

68. Ibid., pp 36-38.

69. Ibid, Appendix A, pp. A-1 through A-4.

70. United States Air Force, Counterspace Operations, Air Force Doctrine Document 2-2.1, August 2, 2004, p. viii.

71. Counterspace Operations, op. cit., p. 25.

72. Tim Weiner, “Air Force Seeks Bush’s Approval for Space Weapons Programs,” New York Times, May 18, 2005.

73. Report of the President’s Commission on Implementation of United States Space Exploration Policy: A Journey to Inspire, Innovate and Discover, Washington, DC, June 2004, pp. 19-20.

74. Ibid., p. 30.

75. Ibid., pp. 33-34.

76. Terry Phillips and Bob O’Leary, Schafer Corporation, “Common Aero Vehicle on Orbit,” September 6, 2003; linked to Jeffrey Lewis, “Common Aero Vehicle,” on, March 18, 2005. The easiest way to locate the article is to search for “Schafer” on the web site.

77. On Miltec’s ASAT work, see; for documentation that there are nine companies involved in the project, see K.I. Vantram, “FALCON Phase I Contractors Selected,” American Force Press Service, December 22, 2003.

78. See and United States Department of Defense, Contract Announcements, July 27, 2001, at which announces an initial, cost-plus-fixed-fee contract of $21 million to Lockheed Martin for research and development on the XSS-11, planned to run through July 2005. The list of associated contractors is from the XSS-11 profile at

79. On the role of Schafer Corporation, see’sde/msp.htm; for documentation that there are nine companies involved in the project see K.I. Vantram, “FALCON Phase I Contractors Selected,” American Forces Press Service, December 22, 2003.

80. On Miltec’s ASAT work, see; for documentation of Davidson Inc.’s role in KE-ASAT see

81. Department of Defense Contract Listings, January 14, 2003, available at

82. See “KEI Subcontractors,” at

83. Data on political donations and lobbying expenditures are from the Center for Responsive Politics, at For the year 2000, lobbying spending by Spectrum Astro is substituted for General Dynamics, since GD had not yet purchased Spectrum Astro in 2000.

84. Stew Magnuson, “Space Leaders Urge Next U.S. President to Make Changes in Space Policy a High Priority,”, December 13, 2000.

85. Sen. Wayne Allard, “Reaching Towards the Stars,” Rocky Mountain News, November 1, 2003.

86. Allard, “Reaching Towards the Stars,” op. cit.

87. “Promoting Colorado Aerospace and Defense is Focus of Landmark Roundtable Discussion,” Office of the Lieutenant Governor, State of Colorado, October 15, 2003.

88. See for example, the “class notes” section of Reflections: A Magazine for Alumni, Parents and Friends of the SUNY College at Oneonta, for a description of the career path of Ed Swallow, who followed 23 years service in the Air Force Reserves with a position as Director of Strategic Development for Northrop Grumman Information Technology. The profile notes that Mr. Swallow “was recently elected the chair of the National Defense Industrial Association’s Space Division and is the industry representative to the Congressional Space Power Caucus.”

89. “Report from Washington,” Space Watch, August 2005.

90. Ibid.

91. Baker Spring, “Slipping the Surly Bonds of the Real World: The Unworkable Effort to Prevent the Weaponization of Space,” Heritage Lectures, May 10, 2005.

92. Jeff Kueter and Andrew Plieninger, “Saving Space: Securing Our Space Assets,” Space News, August 8, 2005; see also Andrew Plieninger, “Space and Security,” letter to the New York Times, May 25, 2005.

93. For an alternative view of how to look at the space weapons issue, see “Space Security or Space Weapons: A Guide to the Issues,” Henry L. Stimson Center 2005.

94. Bruce M. Deblois, Richard Garwin, R. Scott Kemp and Jeremy C. Marwell, “Space Weapons: Crossing the U.S. Rubicon,” International Security, Fall 2004, p. 70.

95. Center for Defense Information, “CDI Space and Security Updates #10.2005,” quoting from an October 3, 2005 article in Defense News.

96. See Theresa Hitchens, “CDI Fact Sheet: Space Debris,” Washington, DC, Center for Defense Information, August 12, 2005.

97. See Michael Krepon, “Weapons in the Heavens: A Radical and Reckless Option,” Arms Control Today, November 2004.

98. See Theresa Hitchens, “National Space Policy: Evolution by Stealth,” Arms Control Today, November 2004

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