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  • Morning Bell: Moving Forward With Missile Defense

    Sometime today a missile will be fired from Kodiak, Alaska. As it sails over the Pacific, it will be followed by four target-tracking sensors that will help guide a long-range interceptor fired from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. The missile from Kodiak will be representative of the type we would expect from a country such as North Korea or Iran. It will be similar in terms of distance involved, trajectory, speed and flight time (33 minutes). A successful test today would join a growing body of evidence that missile defense technology can protect America. To date, the core ground-based defense system has destroyed its target in six of nine attempts, and overall, there have been 36 intercepts in 46 tries across all elements of the evolving shield.

    President-elect Barack Obama’s “Blueprint for Change” states: “In a world with nuclear weapons, America must continue efforts to defend against the mass destruction of its citizens and our allies.” A national survey reveals 87% of Americans think the U.S. should have a missile defense system capable of protecting America against missiles that may contain weapons of mass destruction warheads. Yet the Obama blueprint also says his administration will support missile defense that is “pragmatic and cost-effective” and “does not divert resources from other national security priorities until we are positive the technology will protect the American public.” These statements imply that ballistic missile defense technology is not proven. As the growing body of evidence mentioned above demonstrates, this is not true.

    It is important, therefore, that Obama clear up ambiguities in his position on missile defense. Allies like Poland are watching and will need to be sure of our commitment to them. At the same time, Russia will try to take advantage of any uncertainty. It is critical that Obama move ahead quickly on his promise to “spare no effort to protect Americans from the threats posed by nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles.”

    In order to fulfill the fundamental commitment to protect and defend the people, territory, institutions and infrastructure of the U.S. and its allies, Obama will need to propose a defense program that includes a dedicated and robust ballistic missile defense enterprise. In order to realize this vision, Heritage’s memo to Obama recommends:

    • A commitment to spend between 2% and 3% of the defense budget on ballistic missile defense.
    • A consistent program of development and testing.
    • A layered missile defense concept.
    • A plan to expand the role of the services in ballistic missile defense.
    • The development and fielding of space-based elements.
    • A program for cooperation with U.S. allies.
    • Recognition that ballistic missile defense has been the least developed component of the forces necessary to protect and defend the U.S. and its allies.

    The requirements of today’s world demand a strategy to protect and defend the U.S. and its allies. The Cold War strategy of retaliation-based deterrence is insufficient. Ballistic missile defenses are an essential component of a protect-and-defend strategy for the 21st century.

    Quick Hits:

    Posted in Ongoing Priorities [slideshow_deploy]

    20 Responses to Morning Bell: Moving Forward With Missile Defense

    1. Byron Simmons, Alpin says:

      Your article regarding missle defense is well taken and I agree that we should continue our work in this area, however, it does leave out the possibility of a "close range strike" from a container ship 100 miles off our shores. In order to protect against that type of strike, much more work will be needed.

    2. Ken Jarvis - Las Veg says:

      Instead of WASTING Time and $$$$ on Missile defense

      which we DON'T NEED.

      How about talking about a NATIONAL SALES TAX



    3. William Lulias, St. says:

      Unfortunately I do not look for the President elect to embrace a comprehensive missle defense as Heritage outlined. His Blueprint for Change is contradictory at best and most probably viewed by most predator nations such as Russia as a sign of weakness in our future defense stragety. Its no wonder or surprise why Putin is licky his chops and speaks favorably of this new administration. With the world in financial turmoil, a time which historically demonstrates when predator nations will strike, we as a nation along with our many allies, face a compremising future. This will be further highlighted with the lack of a superior missle defense system. Unfortunately we as a nation are slow to act but quick to react. Reaction time can be slow and reaction inadequate is one hasn't prepared or strengthened, which is why Cold War tactics are ineffective today. This certainly is weakness you can believe in.

    4. Evan from Anchorag says:

      A missle defense system in Europe should be paid for by the European countries. Its not our job to do and pay for the whole worlds protection. If we ask them to pony up, at least it will bring to their attention how generous we have been for the past 100 years.

    5. Kevin E. vonMoses, G says:

      I have written Trent Franks, John Kyl and John McCain to discuss in their offices some of the alternative energy considerations… As I don't 'have a dog in the fight', my experience with Hybrid vehicles and why they are an imperative may be useful.

      As long as the Border to the South is so permeable, the issue of long range missiles is a moot one. Since NAFTA allows practically unfettered access, any vehicle could deliver a 'dirty' nuke or WMD.

      The failure to take terrorists seriously goes back to before and after 9/11. IF we had sealed the border with troops anywhere but at bona-fide entry points with stringent inspections and suspended Foreign Aid to pay for the prosecution of a war, the World at large would have taken us seriously… As it is, we are seen as fools with a 'business as usual' mentality.

      535 Legislators, nine Justices and a President that thus far look, to the World, like they couldn't lead a hungry dog to a bowl of food…

    6. mike hutchings texas says:

      missile defence to obama means nothing unless someone tells him it does. there is an episode of the sopranos where they set up uncle junior as boss to take the hits and cover tony. hillary has the push here and obama is a cut out you can scrawl what beliefs you think he holds on and then clean them off and start over. the republicians are fine with it and have retired to the hammock with a scotch and soda. lets see if the conservatives can get out from under the thumb of the wall street journal rinos and then i might take terrorism seriously again. nuclear or chemical they cinch the saddle tighter and all thier efforts extort money.at what point do taxes become extortion and how many lies have to be paid off on the road to this politicians(workers)paradise.

    7. Barry E Lerner, Rye says:

      Heritage's comments, analyses and memos are all well and good, but I suspect you're just shoveling sand against the tide. Our fellow Americans, steeped in the ignorance resulting from liberal-controlled education, secure in the misinformation fed to them by the liberal-controlled media, and socially immature from years of being told that they're entitled to all sorts of things without working for them, are no longer capable of supporting a republic of free and independent citizens. Witness the results of the recent presidential election.

      The situation is seemingly irreversible, and someday someone will write "The decline and fall of the great American experiment." Probably in Chinese.

    8. Ernie Kurtock Swan R says:

      A Defence, an Offence, a 6 pence,a barb or a cyclone fence they are all good if no one attempts to breach them.

      So therefore, they must be manned at all times to insure the fact that any attempt will be thwarted.

      The term "Globalization" will stagnate as no one trusts the other right??

      So, now that suspicion runs rampant, we fall back into a "Cold War" mode.

      Now that "Grid Lock" takes over, something' gotta give..Any suggestions?

    9. Eileen, Alabama says:

      Ken Jarvis, we get that your one of those enlightened liberals, so you don’t understand about national security or the constant threat that’s out in the World. If you’d stop watching the liberal media you might learn some true facts instead of the fabricated fiction they enjoy spreading.

      Instead of WASTING Time and $$$$ on Missile defense which we DON’T NEED.>>

      You’ll need to explain that message because it’s a vital part of our Country’s protection. President-elect Obama was stopped his war of terror rhetoric once he starting getting his security briefings and the fact that he’s keeping Gates should open your eyes to the realities we are faced with.

      In true liberal fashion taxes are the be all existence to solve all the World problems. Ask Europe if they think that now? That’s the Socialist manta but see if you can name a Country where the citizens have the freedom to be business men and women and are allowed to keep the profits they’ve fairly earned. High taxes creates job loses, as the businesses watch their net profit start to decline the layoff becomes a reality. In order for this Country to be solvent, taxes need to be low to create jobs and simulate the economy and as the economy grows the more jobs available. It’s not that hard or difficult its simple logic that even a 5th grader could understand. So, the question to you is, are you smarter than a 5th grader?

      Having a national sales tax would only increase the state sales tax. Each state has needs and they don’t always match those of the federal government. The recent proposal is a 23% tax on all Americans but as each states needs grow, will the government increase the sales tax or leave it where it is? If they leave it, the States will most likely reinstitute their own sales tax. 23% would be a large tax, so think about purchasing a car or any high priced item and add 23% on the dollar. How is that going to help the poor by placing even a larger burden on them? Then if there’s talk about exemptions for the poor. I used to work for the Health and Human Services so understand where the money goes. Who bears the burden of a particular tax? Any attempt to evaluate the "fairness" of a tax (or a change in the tax system) requires knowing whose disposable income is changed and by how much in response to the tax.

      Economists often refer to taxes as "regressive" or "progressive," but the confusion over the terms' meanings requires careful definitions. The definitions that most economists use rely on the average tax rate, that is, the ratio of tax liabilities to income. A tax is regressive if the average tax rate falls with an increase in income, proportional if the average tax rate is constant, and progressive if the average tax rate rises with income. Simply put, low-income people pay a higher fraction of their income in taxes than wealthier people if the tax is regressive and a lower fraction if the tax is progressive.

      Placing the poor in a more difficult situation which will suffocate their growth to rise above their situation. They won’t be able to afford homes and/or cars. So if the poor get an exemption, who then picks up their tax burden? Not a great plan although I’m all for the removal of the IRS, as most Americans would be.

      Living in Alabama where the sales tax is 9% has closed business growth and we have large unemployment even before the recession and the economy went into the tank. It’s only gotten worse.

      We have a 35% business tax and do you understand that these businesses don’t really pay the tax, they add it on to the cost of the product or service. Property taxes are the only lower tax available here. Car dealerships are eating the cost of their profits by paying half the sales tax to sell their cars. Especially the area I live in so close to Florida where there is no sales tax, in order to compete they have to decrease their profits.

    10. Kevin E. vonMoses, G says:

      This forum began on missile defense and digressed to a discussion of Taxation… It would appear that Ms. Eilleen of Albama & Mr. Jarvis of Las Vegas are disputing the issue.

      Point of fact that ANY tax scenario that has exceptions will be abused. A National Sales Tax at 4% would cover operations nationally IF the PorkPirates would adhere to the principles they were sent to Congress for.

      I do not think the Constitution extends protection to wooden bows and arrows.

      Any State adding to that in excess makes the living climate too expensive, creating a self regulating environment… People flee to where they get the most 'bang for their buck' or stay and starve.

      IF you believe that the free market will ultimately balance, those States who want to balance an educated workforce and a friendly tax environment with all the other factors of local governance will be the most attractive and flourish.

    11. Pingback: Moving Forward With Missile Defense « Conservative Thoughts and Profundity

    12. Linda Fisher, South says:

      I am afraid we are in for a rude awakening. Things are more than likely going to get a whole lot worse. My bigest fear that America will no longer be a soverign nation and our military will be under the control of the UN.I pray that God in His mercy will intervene for HIS NAME SAKE.


    13. KRLIG, Kodiak says:

      3.Neither North Korea or Iran has ever successfully fired a missile that had any chance of landing anywhere near the U.S. Right now, if North Korea got really lucky, they might be able to hit the tip of the Aleutians. We are sure the folks out there appreciate the expenditure of ten billion dollars a year to help them sleep more soundly.

      4. It's ALL about the money: Roughly $10 billion is spent per year on the program, which is run by defense contractor Boeing Co. but includes work by most of the nation's largest weapons makers. It is spread across three branches of the military and is composed of missiles, radar and satellites designed to intercept missiles during different stages of flight.

      5. Fortunately, President-elect Barack Obama expressed skepticism about the capabilities of the system during his campaign, leading to speculation he may reduce the program's scope. Russia has strongly objected to plans to install missile interceptors in Eastern Europe.

      6. At least the true character of the KLC has finally been admitted. According to the AP: "WASHINGTON – The Defense Department said today it shot down a missile launched from a military base in Alaska…"

      7. Finally, Kodiak desperately needs a new high school and a new police station and jail. Our roads are a mess and infrastructure in Kodiak, Alaska and all across the United States is crumbling. Take a drive down Mission Road past the Salvation Army and ask yourself: Is Missile Defense worth it? Friday's test cost between $120 million to $150 million.

    14. poptoy says:

      GOD indeed help us if our New President, (for whatever the reason), decides to stop funding missile defense.

    15. Hans Scheibe says:

      I wish people were'nt sheeple.Every since President Carter took this country straight to hell.Get rid of EPA,Global Warming Hype(Listening only global sciencetist).Now that the left has taken over,where in the hell are all the hearings about why were in this situation.DRILL,DRILL,DRILL for more oil and with the the libs in there it'll never happen.Tell MRS. Pelosi to stop flying home to Frisco with all her friends in a nice big JET.The BIG 3 should have that up.Give Harry Reid some cotton for his noise,it would save how many millions over budget for the visitors odor.I hope the conservative hold hearings and start putting ads on TV after about 6 months.Maybe then they will show the people what Reagan Conservatism is all about.Don't let these twirps get away with not being made to resign,like Trent Lott or the others we lost to a lot less then these crooks have.Thank you for letting me vent a little bit

      Hans Scheibe

    16. A. Cherry, Wwashingt says:

      That is clear that the "blueprint" here represent destruction. Please do not merge good meaning with Obama twist.

      The nuclear weaponry obviously works both ways: to destruct and to intercept thus – activate the nuclear reactors in the area sensitive to such intercept ( and who is not loaded with these).

      All this more weapon when particles / areas are already acting out are wrong.

      We need a change but in understanding that destruction reduces ONLY and EXCLUSIVELY with nondestructive action in itself.

      So does any other interaction in human world.

      There is something entirely wrong with American view on the wars we as Americans do not make but are in – that is very destructive to..us. Why be in? The ideology is wrong.

      The last war to "end all wars” ( saying very well known than and liberally used in press and literature) was WW the First – the fact well known and sufficient conditions of worse manslaughter there was. ( you might’ve different response if you do not know that these who set Japan on communist route also lunched or participated in the attack; very likely scenario in other parts of the WWII scenario)

      Have yourself less destructive thoughts for the Holliday. I mean in – please check against the reality that destruction can only destruct more and no less in the world of particles. if you destruct – you activate surrounding area ( se samples around and in Japan after the nuclear attack). The time to be constructive with the acting out already particles is now.

      We are contractive with it if we using them for activate more neutrons ( a clean particles) that pait with clean agents only, like is now planned to do in European subways; by growth of the specifically selective plants that make best use of these but in the prospective contamination can become a factories of processing the bad fission effects

      ( plants will do the cleaning not any anti-nuke device). There are many other uses of the

      Slow nuclear energy that is constructive. Even thought the FV University does not specialize in the nuclear power issue, the slow nuk is very well undertook as it is clear cut sample of the process taking over Structure and creating a new clean structure. The slow nuk is a constructive energy when it is undertook in the all context that it acts in.

      Many nuk specialist including from Harvard Uni, Princeton Un I and other consult us about effects of fissions and the cleaning process. We do not need 20 years to clean fission, fusion or burned reactor. We need a good operation how to do it. This one will not trigger nuk lunched at us from around Alaska. If there is a conflict in Alaska

      ( for these who unlike Obama, remember), the constructive way is to negotiate it with affected parties.

      (publically known)

    17. Bob R, Tucson, AZ says:

      I believe the several, unfriendly (to US),

      nuclear nations justifies the expenditure to counter the ballistic missile threat. Russia I believe is afraid of losing its nuclear bargaining chip. Also it is geographically situated much too far north for an eventual shift

      to a colder climate which some of their scientists have proposed as likely in the next 50 to 100 years. The Green/Politically inspired Globaloney Warming is not supported by rational science. Our last 12,000 years of so called warming since our last glacial period (Wisconsin) has been interrupted by cooling episodes several times, first 11,000 years ago (Younger Dryas) almost returned us to glacial conditions for more than 1000 years. This was ended by a cycle of warm / cool spells until the Mideval Warm period, 900 to 1,400 AD (warmer than today), followed by the Little Ice Age that lasted until 1850. The claim that we are now in a period of "unpresidented" warming is totally false as we have not had a warmer year since 1989.

      Our war with radical Islam, is irrational,

      religious inspired (the worst kind). That is our and Europe's most dangerous opponent. The future of Western Civilization is at stake. I am not worried about China. Its huge population is not its strength but its weakness. Drastic overpopulation has resulted in widespread pollution of its air, soil and water which will occupy most of its attention just to suppress widespread starvation and disease.

    18. Lynda, Colorado Spri says:

      Missile defense has proven itself and I don't think it will go away, it may just be downsized. It has been around since the Reagan administration (in some form). Even though I am not in complete agreement that it should happen, I look and the economy, and all the issues the government is facing, and understand why missile defense may be downsized.

    19. Charles B.Erion, ICP says:

      Mr. Reid don't have to tell us the capital smells, I believe all All Americans know this. It is not because of the visitors It is because of the individuals who work there. They just don't realize it till summer, but it stinks all the time and getting worst. I believe the politician are in no way listening to the American people anymore, but just doing what they wish even though it is not Constitutional. How sad our representatives have become, do to lack of ethics morals. My most satisfaction is a day in the near future these same people have to meet there maker. How are they going to over come that power. Maybe they can buy the lords seat.

    20. Nick, US says:

      Someone on here said that we are trying to make Russia fell like our equals by cutting U.S. stockpile… I don't get that at all, they have had more active nukes since the 1970's and still to this day (from what I've read) have nearly twice as many active WMD ???

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