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  • "No Time to Go All Wobbly"

    In the largest, most complex test ever attempted, U.S. military shot down a simulated long-range ballistic missile this past Friday. The target missile was launched from Kodiak Island, Alaska, at 3:04 p.m. Eastern time, tracked simultaneously by several ground and ship-based radars, and intercepted by a “kill vehicle” 3,000 kilometers away over the Pacific 25 minutes later. Friday’s test 13th ground-based interceptor test since 1999, and the 8th successful one. Overall, there have been 36 intercepts in 46 tries across all elements of the evolving shield.

    The fate of missile defense shield now rests in the hands of President-elect Barack Obama. The Examiner editorialized today:

    Russian President Dmitry Medvedev gave Barack Obama his first major foreign policy test the day after the election by vowing to move short-range missiles to the Polish border if the president-elect honors a Bush administration agreement to install a defensive shield in Eastern Europe. Instead of reassuring our NATO allies, however, Obama’s tentative response emboldened the Russians to conduct naval war games with Venezuela in the Caribbean.

    This is “no time to go all wobbly,” as former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher used to say. It is only a matter of time before Iran has a nuclear-armed missile that can hit Israel, Saudi Arabia or Europe. And there is no assurance that Venezuelan strongman Hugo Chavez won’t sign a mutual defense pact that puts such weapons within range of the U.S. homeland. When that happens, 87 percent of Americans agree, we’d better be able to protect ourselves.

    Obama promised during the campaign to work more closely with other nations. Yet he has failed to provide concrete assurance to Polish President Lech Kaczynski that he would honor the agreement the Bush administration negotiated to place U.S. missile defense units in Poland. Obama apparently believes the defensive system should be deployed, but only “when the technology is proved to be workable.” Well, by any reasonable standards, that’s now.

    Posted in Security [slideshow_deploy]

    3 Responses to "No Time to Go All Wobbly"

    1. KRLIG, USA says:

      How Do We Define Success?

      On December 5, a rocket launched from Kodiak, Alaska was intercepted by a rocket launched from Vandenburg AFB in California

      1. It wasn't a resounding "success": According to Lt. Gen. Patrick O'Reilly, head of the Missile Defense Agency, "…the target did not release planned countermeasures designed to try to confuse the interceptor missile. O'Reilly did not say what those countermeasures were, but they often include decoys or chaff to throw off shoot-down attempts." Apparently the technology to shoot down a real enemy missile which would have countermeasures is not yet working.

      2.It wasn't a truly realistic test: The "test" was very tightly controlled – everybody knew when the interceptor would be launched and its probable path (they've launched targets from KLC before). One wonders what would happen if they actually had to scramble an interceptor with no prior warning. Now that would be a true test.

      3. If the U.S. can't launch an ICBM that works the way it should, why do we think other countries can? 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 the badly distintegrating Mission Road past the Salvation Army and ask yourself: Is Missile Defense worth it? Friday's test cost between $120 million to $150 million.

    2. Mayme, NY says:

      KRLIG

      Great comment!

    3. Mayme, NY says:

      I say, if Europe wants protection, let them stand up and do it themselves! Isn't it fitting that they take responsibility for themselves. How long do we have to protect them and everyone else in the world? I'm sorry but I'd like my son to have a job in something other than weapons production.

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