It Can't Be True: More on that Missile Defense Agency logo

In a post here Wednesday, under the headline “Can This Possibly Be True?,” I called attention to a “new” logo being used by the Pentagon’s Missile Defense Agency (MDA) on the grounds that it bore a disconcerting resemblance to an amalgamation of the Obama campaign’s logo and the symbols of Islam, the crescent and a single star. It turns out the answer is “no,” it isn’t true that the MDA’s logo is exactly new or, apparently, that it reflects an Obama-directed redesign.

MDA new logo

We have since learned that the logo has been used at the MDA website since at least October 2009. Matters are made more confusing by the fact that the agency continues to use its older shield-like logo for online and other purposes. The contract for a complete rebranding for MDA was let in 2007, during the Bush administration, although much of the work appears to have been done in 2008 in follow-on contracts during the presidential campaign in which the Obama logo was much in evidence.

It has also been observed that – rather than embracing the symbolic crescent and star, they could be interpreted as the targets of the intercepting swoosh in the MDA’s latest logo. If so, the 2009 design would presumably be offensive to Islamists, rather than evidence of submission to them.

For these reasons, I am content to have the question posed in the last post be answered in the negative, and I regret any confusion caused by my suggesting otherwise. The other criticisms I leveled at the Obama administration in connection with its serial and indisputable assaults on the Pentagon’s missile defense programs and capabilities – which the Missile Defense Agency is responsible for building – stand. Here’s an example:

Visit the Missile Defense Agency website for this extraordinary video of the successful February 11, 2010 Airborne Laser Testbed (ALTB) firing of a High Energy Laser, destroying a threat-representative ballistic missile. It’s a real-life example of what the old MDA logo – and okay, yes, the new MDA logo – represent in our missile defense systems: in this case, our nation’s only program capable of providing a near-term ability to intercept ballistic missiles early in their flight (i.e., the boost-phase).


Yet in the proposed 2011 budget, the Airborne Laser Testbed will never see production. As SpaceNews reports, “The MDA at one time had plans to field operational versions of the ABL for boost-phase missile defense, but the administration of U.S. President Barack Obama has scaled back the program. Plans now call for using the experimental ABL platform as a test bed for research on directed energy weapons.”

After years of effort, the MDA achieved a breakthrough success two weeks ago. The administration should reverse their plans to defund the Airborne Laser Testbed. Build on success – don’t punish it.


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