• The Heritage Network
    • Resize:
    • A
    • A
    • A
  • Donate
  • The Increasing Ballistic Missile Threat

    Iran's improved Sejil 2 medium-range missile

    The Pentagon’s release of the Ballistic Missile Defense Review confirmed that North Korea could be able to deploy a nuclear-tipped ballistic missile capable of striking the United States within the next decade.

    The Washington Times reports that the review expressed serious concern over North Korea’s two underground tests and its attempt to develop a long-range missile.

    The Pentagon’s review also highlighted U.S. intelligence’s concerns about the Iranian nuclear program and their pursuit of “long-range ballistic missiles.” The report comes a day after Iran announced that it had launched a rocket into space, calling attention to the regime’s serious efforts to gain this dangerous technology.

    The real concern is over how the United States can protect against such threats and ensure a credible deterrent to promote regional stability in the Middle East and East Asia. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates has requested $8.4 billion dollars for the Missile Defense Agency. The internal structure of this budget will serve to shift the U.S. missile defense posture away from defending against long-range missile attacks and toward countering short- and medium-range missiles. This plan is further outlined in the Ballistic Missile Defense Review Report.

    Despite Iran’s nuclear ambitions and the intelligence estimates that North Korea could reach the U.S. with a missile within the decade, the Pentagon plan to deploy advanced variants of the SM-3 missiles will have “some capability to knock out long-range missile warheads” and will not be ready until 2020.

    Regarding the canceled deployment of interceptors in Easter Europe, the Heritage Foundation’s Baker Spring writes, “The plan sets up a false choice between long- and short-range defenses in terms of sequencing, when the U.S. needs to field defenses against both short-range and longer-range missiles immediately.”

    Posted in Security [slideshow_deploy]

    8 Responses to The Increasing Ballistic Missile Threat

    1. Dennis Johnsey says:

      Unless we are prepared for the scud-in-a-bucket scenario, then we are deceiving ourselves about the existence of any meaningful level of security. It's not just about what someone can do from their own soil, so those long-range missiles are not the deadline, but rather a meaningless milestone… we're already vulnerable.

    2. John N., Ca. says:

      The hair stands up on the back of my neck because I do not believe anyone in this Administration has the ablility to deal with these threats. Moybe not threats of any kind :-((

    3. P. Roberts says:

      Yeah, Obama was too busy "Apologizing" to them for "us" as in "Americans" for being arrogant. These guys will bomb us either way

    4. bruce says:

      How do you deal with N Korea and Iran having nukes? Isreal does not have the technology to get to Irans bunkers Russia and China won't help with North Korea. It will all fall on the US to take action.

    5. Randy,SA TX says:

      another article to create fear. no country in their right mind or out of their mind would dare to fire a missle at the usa.

    6. J.C. Hughes, Texas says:

      Randy. I'll agree that situational awareness is key to recognizing potential threats. Intelligence communities must go above and beyond data collection. They must use their imagination to consider all possible attack scenarios. Who in "…their right mind…" would have piloted passenger aircraft into sky scrapers. When you have unstable individuals at the controls of weaponry capable of causing mass destruction, one has to pay very close attention. That said, I'll agree America's response capabilities, much like Israel, would wipe such malicious reckless regimes from the face of the Earth.

    7. Pingback: Will The New START Undermine Our Nuclear Security? « A Nation ADrift-Why?

    8. Pingback: The President Must Stop Voting “Present” on Iran! « A Nation ADrift-Why?

    Comments are subject to approval and moderation. We remind everyone that The Heritage Foundation promotes a civil society where ideas and debate flourish. Please be respectful of each other and the subjects of any criticism. While we may not always agree on policy, we should all agree that being appropriately informed is everyone's intention visiting this site. Profanity, lewdness, personal attacks, and other forms of incivility will not be tolerated. Please keep your thoughts brief and avoid ALL CAPS. While we respect your first amendment rights, we are obligated to our readers to maintain these standards. Thanks for joining the conversation.

    Big Government Is NOT the Answer

    Your tax dollars are being spent on programs that we really don't need.

    I Agree I Disagree ×

    Get Heritage In Your Inbox — FREE!

    Heritage Foundation e-mails keep you updated on the ongoing policy battles in Washington and around the country.