Thursday, June 25, 2009

Obama, North Korea and Missile Defense

As North Korea threatens to destroy the United States, President Obama claims there's nothing to worry about(from the Huffington Post):
President Barack Obama said the United States is "prepared for any contingencies" involving North Korea _ including the regime's reported threat to launch a long-range missile toward Hawaii.

. . .

"This administration _ and our military is fully prepared for any contingencies," Obama said Friday during an interview with CBS News' Harry Smith, to be broadcast Monday on "The Early Show."

"I don't want to speculate on hypotheticals," Obama said. "But I want ... to give assurances to the American people that the t's are crossed and the i's are dotted in terms of what might happen."

Given Obama's historic antipathy to Missile Defense and indeed his budget cuts to the Missile Defense program it is certainly something he cannot take any credit for doing:
Lawmakers are demanding to know why the president's proposed 2010 defense budget cuts missile defense by $1.2 billion and does not provide any funds for the European missile defense shield as Iran and North Korea defy the international community with missile testing.

Iran tested its longest-range missile to date last month, and North Korea in April took another step toward an intercontinental ballistic missile on the same day President Obama gave a speech in the Czech Republic touting U.S willingness to protect Europe and the United States from rogue missiles.

Under President Bush last year, Defense Secretary Robert Gates and then-Secretary Condoleezza Rice signed agreements with Poland and the Czech Republic to base interceptors and radar there, but now the Obama administration appears to be backtracking.

"I thought it was certain that the Poles and Czechs believe that it was a commitment we made," Sen. John McCain said Tuesday during a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing.

"We have not made a decision to go forward with that at this point," Deputy Defense Secretary William Lynn replied.

At Fort Greeley in Alaska, the missile defense silos can defend the U.S. from both North Korea and Iran, but the Obama budget would cuts the number of interceptor missiles based there from 44 to 30. And that has both Republicans and Democrats asking, why now?
If the US is prepared for missile defense (the answer the Vice Chairman of the joint chiefs of staff gave for the potential to intercept a single missile attack on the US as "90 percent plus" - not very reassuring if you're in range of those missiles) it is certainly not due to Obama who is trying to cut the defenses.

Instead, this is an area where the Republicans have been proven right on yet again --missile defense is one measure among many necessary to protect the United States and the Republican insistence, starting with Reagan on deploying such even in the face of Democrat's nay-saying and childish derisiveness about "Star Wars' has proven prescient.

Given the new threats we're facing in this unstable, multi-bi-polar world (Thank you North Korea and Iran) it only makes sense to speed up the deployment of such defenses, and to cut development and deployment as the Democrats have been proposing throughout is woefully shortsighted at best and a great betrayal of America at worst.

1 comment:

JSanderson said...

Missile defense is a huge deal and ever though it is getting a lot of notice on the Hill, it isn't getting enough coverage. The North Korea tests drum up interest, but it just doesn't stick. This is even though the public support is there: 88% if you check out our polling (
We're trying to get the media interested in covering missile defense. Just got to get the word out.