The National Taxpayers Union has sent Secretary of Defense Robert Gates a letter pushing for an end to the Medium Extended Air Defense System. The project has been a joint effort between Germany, Italy, and the United States.
The program has already been deemed unnecessary and will not be pursued to fruition. However, it is still on schedule for the next development stage, set to cost $804 million.
The threat of $1 billion in penalties for terminating development is being used as an excuse to continue spending on unneeded stages of development. This odd contracting arrangement has led to questioning by Congress. Even so, experts disagree on the total, some estimating the termination cost at less than $500 million. Irrespective of the exact figure, the tripartite-cost-sharing arrangement (the U.S. at 58%, Germany at 25%, and Italy at 17%) should insulate the U.S. from paying the full penalty.
To read the entire letter click HERE.