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  • Failure to Launch: Gates Refuses Request to Use Top Missile Defense Radar

    Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates refused to grant permission to U.S. Northern Command to use the nation’s most powerful sea-based radar to monitor North Korea’s recent missile launch. Why is this significant? Because the $900 million dollar system, known as SBX, is capable of detecting a baseball hit out of a ballpark from more than 3,000 miles away and provides unparalleled details of missile capabilities. The system is three to four times more powerful than all other radars in the missile defense inventory. If any system should have been used to monitor the launch it is SBX.

    One explanation for Gates’ lapse in judgment is that the Administration was worried the repositioning of the floating radar system would be seen as provocative by North Korea and upset diplomatic efforts. Funnily enough, talks with North Korea are unlikely to start again any time soon. In fact, after the U.N’s condemnation of the launch North Korea stated they would never participate in nuclear talks. Nuclear talks with North Korea are unrealistic and being used as an excuse for inaction. Right now the U.S. needs to focus on protecting its citizens and allies from a missile attack.

    The threat of North Korea is apparent to many in the Department of Defense, but that doesn’t seem to be the case with the powers that be. In fact some confusion seems to exist in the Administration’s position on North Korea. North Korea’s launch demonstrated their desire to reach ever longer distances across the planet. Yet, the Administration deferred to the U.N. on the matter. The launch directly impacts U.S. national security. It’s hard to miss the writing on the wall.

    It is vital for the United States to collect as much information as possible on North Korea’s missile capabilities. The last thing the U.S. needs is to be caught by surprise because it didn’t use technology already available. Once again, missile defense must be a top priority for the Administration. It is far better to be unpopular and choose missile defense than to ignore the threat and have to apologize for thousands of dead citizens. This is the tough reality of the situation.

    Posted in Security [slideshow_deploy]

    6 Responses to Failure to Launch: Gates Refuses Request to Use Top Missile Defense Radar

    1. Cheryll Lawand F says:

      The administration, Homeland Security and the Secretary of Defense has the responsiblitly

      to protect this country rather then saving face with North Korea. Not using this SBX radar is putting our country at risk and leaving the military at a great disadvantage. Mr. Gates refusal to utilize the SBX and the Secretary of Homeland Security's new position on our veterans as potential terrorist's places the nation in a very grave situation.

    2. Rabbett - Kailua, Ha says:

      The X-Band Radar system has been in Pearl Harbor for several months getting some upgrades. During the Korean launch it was not "seaworthy" as it was having a crane or cranes installed from what I hear from folks who work at the shipyard.

    3. Spiritof76, New Hamp says:

      Why is this not an impeachable offense? SBX radar deployment is for the purpose of detection. Obama administration is more concerned about appeasing N.Korea than protecting our citizens. It is not surprising since Obama thinks that Americans are arrogant and his pastor of twenty years thinks that we deserved the 9/11 hit. May be we should point out that the radar dome is painted in the same color as he would like to wave readily-white.

    4. Paul Maryland says:

      For Spiritof76 Why should the DOD give away knowledge of its equipment capabilities on a failed launch. Why impeachable? Not looking at a failed launch by a bunch of incompetents, denying knowledge of capability seems prudent management. How does this profit North Korea?

    5. Barb -mn says:

      Hey Spiritof76, good to read from you. There does seem to be a HUGE problem in enforcing the laws to those breaking them! They are directly and deliberately putting us in harms way with no means of defense.

    6. Spiritof76, New Hamp says:

      Paul Maryland,

      The US defense must not hinge upon N.Korea's antics.

      Since we have the capability to detect their launch, we must use it to get their characteristics defined well enough to catalog for future use. It is knowledge. It is training. We are getting useful information and understanding the operational characteristics of our own equipment and systems. It is intelligence gathering. We need to test our detection-to-launch system for our anti-missile defense. It is not necessary that we need to announce our intentions.

      N.Korea and its string ally in Iran are proceeding to refine the delivery system. N.Korea already has nuclear weapons.

      Obama administration is shelving the development of the laser shield. Can he guarantee that a rogue nation like N.Korea will not launch and destroy a US territory? What happens if N.Korea merely detonates a nuclear bomb at a high altitude over the US? The EMP (Electromagnetic pulse)generated by it will cripple the US. None of our electronics except for military hardware is EMI(Electromagnetic interference) protected.

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