Ballistic Missile Defense: Necessity, Not Fantasy
In Hit or Missile, Austin Bay brings due attention to the necessity to continue developing various missile defense capabilities.
The rise of rogue states and fanatic, "suicide" terrorist organizations, combined with the proliferation of ballistic missiles and WMDs, turned MAD into utter madness.
A suicide bomber cannot be deterred by the threat of "mutual destruction."
Hezbollah's rocket rain offers a chilling example. Hezbollah demonstrated it is quite willing to sacrifice its own people and neighborhoods. Remember, Hezbollah is Iran's puppet, and Iran is led by a clique that believes the destruction of Israel will accelerate their version of apocalyptic end times. North Korea has already sacrificed its own people (via starvation) to finance its missile and nuclear programs.
In February 2003, I wrote a column titled, "The Hell Formula for the 21st Century." The formula: terrorists plus rogue states plus WMD. Breaking the Hell formula requires offensive action against terrorists and rogue states -- and we've taken that, in Iraq and Afghanistan. But I also wrote that "breaking down the Hell Formula will take time."
A more robust missile defense system buys time and blunts the political effects of "fear us" campaigns waged by North Korean and Iranian despots.
At present, ballistic missiles are employed as psychological weapons against their psychologically targeted enemies. It is wise to develop and perfect missile defenses while our enemies remain deterred from actually using chemical, biological or nuclear warheads.
For, when the day arrives that Iran's theocracy (or another actor) determines that they are willing to sacrifice their population as martyrs in order to "pave the way for the return of the Mahdi," will the West be able to defeat a missile-launched weapon intent on killing our own civilians?
Should that day ever arrive, what will the 'Star Wars' crowd of missile defense detractors have to say?
Perhaps the best public resource on both missile threats and Ballistic Missile Defense concepts is The Claremont Institute's MissileThreat.com. They work hard to increase public awareness and maintain an incredibly informative and valuable site.
Update Note: Judith Klinghoffer is not impressed with South Korea's own perception of the North Korean missile threat, going so far as to call the South Korean perception "self-medicated."
Why self medicated? [B]ecause they apparently convinced themselves that the North Korean missiles pose greater danger to the US than to South Korea. Their attitude is so reminiscent of the recently proven disastrous Israeli one, that it is pathetic. I suspect that they will learn the lesson as Israel did, the hard way. Iran did not attack the US. It used Hezbollah to attack Israel. It did not use its most sophisticated missiles, it got Hezbollah to use its least sophisticated but most difficult to stop ones.
Some may consider her passionate choice of words as over the top, but her point remains quite valid regardless.