WSJ OpEd - The Rogue State ICBM

Feb 12, 2016
Defense Drumbeat
The intercontinental nuclear missile threat arrives in America...

 

 

WSJ Editorial: The Rogue-State ICBM

The intercontinental nuclear missile threat arrives in America.

Americans have been focused on New Hampshire and Iowa, but spare a thought for Los Angeles, Denver and Chicago. Those are among the cities within range of the intercontinental ballistic missile tested Sunday by North Korea. Toledo and Pittsburgh are still slightly out of range, but at least 120 million Americans with the wrong zip codes could soon be targets of Kim Jong Un...

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“We assess that they have the capability to reach the [U.S.] homeland with a nuclear weapon from a rocket,” U.S. Admiral Bill Gortney of the North American Aerospace Defense Command said in October, echoing warnings from the Defense Intelligence Agency and the U.S. commander in South Korea...

All of this vindicates the long campaign for missile defense. Ronald Reagan’s Strategic Defense Initiative helped win the Cold War, and North Korea is precisely the threat that continued to justify the cause after the Soviet Union’s collapse... 

You can thank the George W. Bush Administration for the defenses that exist, including long-range missile interceptors in Alaska and California, Aegis systems aboard U.S. Navy warships and a diverse network of radar and satellite sensors. The U.S. was due to place interceptors in Poland and X-Band radar in the Czech Republic, but in 2009 President Obama and Hillary Clinton scrapped those plans as a “reset” gift to Vladimir Putin.

Team Obama also cut 14 of the 44 interceptors planned for Alaska and Hawaii, ceased development of the Multiple Kill Vehicle... and defunded the two systems focused on destroying missiles in their early “boost” phase... By 2013 even Mr. Obama partially realized his error, so the Administration expanded radar and short-range interceptors in Asia and recommitted to the 14 interceptors for the U.S. West Coast. It now appears poised to install sophisticated Thaad antimissile batteries in South Korea.

Yet the Administration has failed to support a third East Coast site (to protect against Iranian and Russian threats) and provide adequate funding...  Mr. Obama’s final budget proposal released Tuesday would cut another $800 million from the Missile Defense Agency, nearly 10% from last year’s total...

114th Congress