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  • We're Still Not Safe from Long Range Missiles

    Last week, I wrote a column in the New York Post, questioning the Obama administration’s proposed plan for missile defense in Eastern Europe which will replace the Bush-era ground-based interceptors (GBI) in Poland and radar in the Czech Republic. I especially questioned the ability of the new Obama system to defend the United States against an Iranian ICBM until their land-based SM-3 comes on-line around 2020.

    This Saturday, the Director of the Missile Defense Agency, Lt. Gen. P. O’Reilly, responded, writing in part:

    Contrary to Brookes’ assertion, with our long-range interceptors currently deployed in Alaska and California, we already have the capability to defend the United States, including the entire East Coast, from a potential Iranian ICBM attack.

    While we’re happy the General took time to respond to my assertions, we respectfully disagree.

    The fact is that while the GBIs put in place by the Bush administration in Alaska and California (to defend against the North Korean nuclear and missile threat) have the ability to shoot down an Iranian ICBM targeting the US East Coast, these missiles are operating at the outer-edge of their performance envelope.

    In other words, if the west coast GBIs could handle an Iranian ICBM, there never would have been a need for a European missile defense system for countering long-range missiles directed against the U.S. Indeed, the Bush and Obama administrations seemingly agree on this point since both decided to build a missile defense system in Europe, albeit on different time tables. (Bush would have deployed in 2013; Obama in 2020).

    Moreover, relying on the West Coast GBIs takes away the “shoot-look-shoot” option until the SM-3 Block II-B interceptor can shoot down an Iranian ICBM in the ascent phase of flight, which otherwise would provide for a European-based GBI to take a shot at an incoming Iranian ICBM, to then look to see if it hit the missile, and if it didn’t, would allow for the Alaska and California sites to shoot it down as a last resort.

    But without a European missile gauntlet to run, the West Coast is the first and last resort at the moment for an Iranian ICBM. Unfortunately, that’s not the defense-in-depth we need against the growing Iranian nuclear and ballistic missile threat.

    Posted in Security [slideshow_deploy]

    14 Responses to We're Still Not Safe from Long Range Missiles

    1. Paul Mullan, Baltimo says:

      And even if it can protect the East Coast there is no way the West Coast GBIs can protect Europe and our bases/allies there. So as you mention, this "new" system does not cover all the threats the new Administration would lead us to believe.

    2. Freedom of Speech TX says:

      This should make people on the East Coast comfortable.

    3. NewYorkjoe, DC says:

      In conceding to Russian paranoia about a defensive system based in Poland and the Czech Republic, our current president showed weakness both to adversaries and allies. This also illustrates his inexperience with international relations; we should not unilaterally accede to Russian demands without recompense. There should be no quid without the quo; that is not how quid pro quo works. Our current president thinks that the way to deal with Putin is to give him what he wants so Putin will like him. I'm sure Putin likes him quite well, as does Castro and Chavez, but they certainly do not respect or fear him.

    4. Jeanne Stotler, Wood says:

      We do have the means, it's not public knowledge, there is still things that are classified. Did you ever hear of NOT TELLING YOU ENEMIES you plans. I know this for sure as my son works with the rockets.

    5. philip says:

      Obama don"t care about the U.S. or our allies he is our enmey he sides with Russia, china and Iran, ect.and cuts ours,and our allies defence systems while weaking our military,cutting it's budget for our defence lets stand together and call to reinstate of defence systems.

    6. ChuckL says:

      Yes. And we also have a better interceptor and air superiority fighter than the CANCELED F-22. We're just not going to tell you about it. We prefer that you worry yourself sick.

      The government knows better than you. And (SATIRE DRUM ROLL, PLEASE) Obama has never told a lie.

    7. Lynn B. DeSpain says:

      We are not even safe from short range missles launched from frieghters 200 miles from our Coasts. Obama has removed all quick response missles that protect us from such an atttack.

      And all the animals in the zoo, are jumping up and down for you.

    8. Freedom of Speech TX says:

      Dear Jeanne Stotler,

      Please advise your son not to tell anyone else about classified material – including you.

      Telling enemies our plans? I don't follow.

      Are we tricking them by telling them the East Coast is being protected from the West Coast and Alaska? Have you ever heard of misinformation? I wish we had missile sites bristling and at the ready on all of our borders. That is deterence.

    9. ChuckL, NV says:

      "We do have the means,…" Well, if you count things in research, maybe. We have a now proven ability to destroy a missile in the boost phase with an airborne laser, but Obama has canceled the research to put it into production and pushed it back to a research project to prove what is already proven. The technology exists and could be implemented, but that is not being done.

      We had in production the best aerial dominance fighter in the world. It has been canceled for cost reasons and is to be replaced with a much less capable aircraft which has a shorter range for a ten minute response time (about half) and which carries about half of the weapons when stealthy. Oh yes, this replacement was designed to be a ground attack fighter, not an air dominance fighter. And this replacement which was to cost less than half as much as the plane that it is replacing, has run into problems that make its new cost look more like 75% or more of the original. The aircraft are of course, the F-22 and the F-35.

      At last months projected production rate for the F-35 we would have only had to run a deficit of 741 fighters before we started to reduce this lack of defense. Some of the defense of the F-35 claim that its sensors are newer and therefore better than those on the F-22. This is possibly correct, but even the F-16 ant F-15 were upgraded many times to improve their performance against improved enemy aircraft. The F-22 and the F-35 have been designed to allow for much easier upgrading that was possible before their time.

      Just like the SR-71, much new invention and engineering was needed to get the F-22 into production. All of these costs are charged to the F-22, even though much of the costs were equally applicable to the F-35. This has definitely increased the cost disparity between these two aircraft.

      And then we have the gem. "Did you ever hear of NOT TELLING YOU ENEMIES you plans." Yes, and I have also seen the results of not telling a bully that you can easily defeat him in a manner that is clear and can not be mistaken. He attacks you and starts a fight. This bully never picks on someone who he knows can easily defeat him.

      Peace through weakness is just as false as security through obscurity. Neither is reality.

    10. Bobbie Jay says:

      No need to worry. Obama has us protected with solar panels and wind turbines.

      this government majority has no sense of reason. I am eternally grateful to the men and women in our military and pray often, as it seems there is an obstacle in the way… the president of the United States of AMERICA!

    11. Jeanne Stotler, wood says:

      He doesn't tell me classified info. I do know what he does for a living but that is all, and I DO KNOW they are protecting our country, sites and other info I DO NOT KNOW and don't want to. I've lived in D>C> area most of my life, my grandfather was USA JAG, and fought in Border dispute, Spanish amer. War and WWI. both my parents worked for the USN during WWII, I am not ignorant as to defense. During WWII I was in CAP. I do knopw what is classified and what is NOT. As for telling the Enimies our plans means posting our sites and what we have on line for idiots.

    12. Ben C. Ann Arbor, MI says:

      Looks like we are headed back to another "Cold War." Problem is that this time we are broke and can't outspend them on defense. Time to speak softly and carry a big stick. And our president is Obama – good luck with this one.

    13. Leon, Durango, CO says:

      Obama is a wienie on National Defense. He is going to do a Carter on us, strip our military of its pride, and guns, then whine like a puppy when Putin, A-mad-dim-fascist-shod, and his loving buddy, Hugo Chavez come demanding. Gee, Castro wasn't enough trouble, now the Democrats want another Socialist Client State in our hemisphere. Well, actually two Socialist client states, counting our own brave new communist nation, the USSSA. I'll bet you money Obama is on the Communist Party payroll, how else did this traitor get elected?

    14. Slick - Nebraska says:

      How's this for justice? Big O eliminates "Bush-era ground-based interceptors (GBI) in Poland and radar in the Czech Republic" and guess who is at the most risk! The EAST coast. I don't know about you, but if someone should have to worry I am glad it is the President and his cronies as well as Congress. These guys got us into this mess so maybe they should have to sweat out the consequences!!!

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