Something about Missile Defense

I won’t go into the older history of the Progressives’ vilification of President Ronald Reagan over his push for a missile defense, and I won’t mention then-Senator John Kerry’s (D, MA) denunciation of such a system as

a dream based on illusion, but one which could have real and terrible consequences[.]

But we do need to think about Presidential Candidate Barack Obama’s 2008 promise to gut missile defense development programs and—in one of the few spending cuts to which Progressives have agreed in recent history—to cut spending on such things.

We do need to think about President Barack Obama’s betrayal of Poland and the Czech Republic when he cancelled agreements to deploy missile defense systems there on the basis of Russian demurral.

We do need to think about spending $2 billion to add a whole 14 interceptors to our existing de minimis system in this time of world-ending sequester.

We do need to think about Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel’s analysts justifying all of this:

Although American and South Korean intelligence officials doubt the North is close to being able to follow through on a nuclear strike, or that it would even try, given its almost certain destruction, analysts say the country’s aggressive behavior is an important and worrying sign of changing calculations in the North.

After all, this “analysis” comes in light of the Russians and the Iranians having or being allowed to achieve this capability, yet we withdraw missile defenses from European locations that could defend Israel and Europe.

We do need to think about DoD delaying deployment at additional sites, including the East Coast, in order to do an environmental study, first.

We do need to think about whether this administration has any sort of clue at all about a coherent national defense policy.

Congressman Mike Rogers (R, AL), Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee’s Strategic Forces Subcommittee, is saying

Four years ago, the Obama administration began to unilaterally disarm our defenses and deterrent in the hope our enemies would follow suit.  President Obama is finally realizing what President Reagan taught us 30 years ago—the best way to keep the peace is through strength.

But is he?  Or is all of this just the loud posturing of a paper tiger?  After all, Pentagon officials are dismissing Rogers’ criticism, insisting that northern Korean technology was considerably less developed four years ago.  Yet surely they know that Russia’s wasn’t, when Reagan’s missile defense efforts were so loudly pooh-poohed, and surely they know that Russian technology was 30 years improved when Obama acceded to Russian demands to cancel our missile defense plans in eastern Europe.


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