Posts Tagged ‘national missile defense’

How Democrats left us vulnerable to North Korea’s nukes

September 8, 2017
  September 6

With last weekend’s surprise nuclear test, North Korea has reached final stage of its crash course to develop thermonuclear weapons that can reach and destroy U.S. cities. So why are we not on a crash course to protect our cities from North Korean nuclear missiles?

Answer: Because for more than three decades, Democrats have done everything in their power to prevent, obstruct or delay the deployment of ballistic missile defense.

Opposition to missile defense has been an article of faith for Democrats since President Ronald Reagan announced the Strategic Defense Initiative in 1983. Sen. Edward M.Kennedy led the early opposition to what Democrats derisively labeled “Star Wars,” denouncing missile defense as a “mirage” and “a certain prescription for an arms race in outer space.” Running against Reagan in 1984, Walter Mondale called it a “dangerously destabilizing” and unworkable “hoax.”

Reagan nonetheless moved forward with research and development, and his successor, George H. W. Bush, put missile defense on track for deployment with the Global Protection Against Limited Strikes (GPALS) program. But as soon as President Bill Clinton took office in 1993, he terminated GPALS and cut national missile defense funding by 80 percent, while downgrading it from an acquisition program to a technology demonstration program. Clinton also signed an agreement to revive the moribund Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty, which banned deployment of missile defense and whose status had come into question with the 1991 collapse of our treaty partner, the Soviet Union.

Then Republicans took over Congress, and passed a defense authorization bill in 1996 that required deployment. Clinton vetoed it on the grounds that there was no threat. Secretary of Defense William Perry declared “we do not need a national missile defense system because . . . no rogue nation has [intercontinental ballistic missiles] . . . and if these powers should ever pose a threat, our ability to retaliate with an overwhelming nuclear response will serve as a deterrent.” In other words, national missile defense would never be needed — even to protect against a regime such as North Korea.

When President George W. Bush came to office, he revitalized missile defense efforts and withdrew from the ABM Treaty. Democrats were more upset than the Russians. Sen. Joseph Biden declared “The thing we remain the least vulnerable to is an ICBM attack from another nation” adding “This premise that one day Kim Jong Il or someone will wake up one morning and say, ‘Aha, San Francisco’ is specious.”

Bush deployed the first ground-based interceptors in California and Alaska, and put in place a plan to deploy 44 interceptors by 2009. He reached a historic agreement with Poland and the Czech Republic to deploy defenses. And he dramatically increased funding for three critical programs: The first two — the Airborne Laser and the Kinetic Energy Interceptor — would take out a ballistic missile in the “boost phase” of flight, the most vulnerable eight minutes when a missile is still over enemy territory and presents a large, slower-moving target because the small nuclear warhead at the top has not yet separated from the large rocket filled with highly explosive fuel. The third — the Multiple Kill Vehicle — would place multiple warheads on our ground-based interceptors, so that instead of hitting a “bullet with a bullet” we could fire five or 10 bullets at each target, dramatically increasing chances of success.

If we had continued the Bush program over the past eight years, we would now have a robust array of defenses against any North Korean ICBM. We would be able to target a North Korean missile in the boost phase, and if that failed we would have 44 ground-based interceptors armed with hundreds of warheads that could be fired to take it out in mid-course.

But we did not continue the Bush program. President Barack Obama slashed funding for ballistic missile defense by 25 percent. As part of his failed “reset” with Russia, he scrapped Bush’s agreement with Poland and the Czech Republic. He reduced Bush’s plan from 44 ground-based interceptors to just 30. (He belatedly changed course in 2012 after North Korea tested the Taepodong missile, but the United States still has not recovered from the delay.) And he cancelled the Airborne Laser, Kinetic Energy Interceptor and Multiple Kill Vehicle programs. As a result, North Korean now has eight minutes of unchallenged flight during which their missiles are most vulnerable, and we have dramatically reduced the chances of hitting a North Korean missile as it descends on a U.S. city.

Amazingly, on taking office, President Trump’s budget continued Obama’s missile defense cuts, reducing funding by another $300 million . Trump has since recognized his mistake, promising “We are going to be increasing the anti-missiles by a substantial amount of billions of dollars.” Time to do so is short. He should immediately deliver Congress an emergency supplemental spending bill to speed the deployment of ground-based interceptors, and he should revive the Multiple Kill Vehicle, the Airborne Laser and Kinetic Energy Interceptor — and then work with Congress on a long-term plan to build and deploy space-based interceptors.

In 1983, Reagan asked “Isn’t it worth every investment necessary to free the world from the threat of nuclear war?” For the Democrats, the answer was no. No one is happier about that today than Kim Jong Un.

Read more from Marc Thiessen’s archivefollow him on Twitter or subscribe to his updates on Facebook.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/how-democrats-left-us-vulnerable-to-north-koreas-nukes/2017/09/06/534e7cc2-9302-11e7-89fa-bb822a46da5b_story.html?utm_term=.94d49b56145f

Advertisements

Chinese official warns U.S. not to use North Korea as excuse for imposing sanctions — Talk of cutting off all U.S. companies from doing business with China due to North Korea mess

July 6, 2017

Reuters

China’s vice-finance minister said Beijing would implement all sanctions imposed on North Korea as a result of its missile tests, but warned the U.S. not to use them as an excuse to impose sanctions against China’s financial institutions.

“As a Security Council permanent member, China will of course implement all relevant resolutions,” he said. “But the U.S. should not use their domestic laws as excuses to levy sanctions against Chinese financial institutions.”

Speaking ahead of the G20 summit in Hamburg, Zhu Guangyao also called on leading economies to cooperate on global steel overproduction rather than engage in finger-pointing, since overcapacity could harm global growth.

(Reporting by Thomas Escritt; editing by Andrew Roche)

************************************

On Fox News Channel on Wednesday, July 5, 2017, Kirk Lippold, a news analyst on Neil Cavuto’s afternoon program, suggested that the White House needs to be discussing cutting off all U.S. companies from doing business with China due to North Korea missile test….

Image result for Scott Lippold,Fox news, photos

Kirk Lippold on the Fox News Channel

***********************************

U.S. Prepared To Use Force On North Korea ‘If We Must’: U.N. Envoy

People watch a TV broadcast of a news report on North Korea's ballistic missile test, at a railway station in Seoul
People watch a TV broadcast of a news report on North Korea’s ballistic missile test, at a railway station in Seoul, South Korea, July 4, 2017. REUTERS/Kim Hong-Ji

July 6, 2017

By Michelle Nichols

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – The United States cautioned on Wednesday it was ready to use force if need be to stop North Korea’s nuclear missile program but said it preferred global diplomatic action against Pyongyang for defying world powers by test launching a ballistic missile that could hit Alaska.

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley told a meeting of the U.N. Security Council that North Korea’s actions were “quickly closing off the possibility of a diplomatic solution” and the United States was prepared to defend itself and its allies.

“One of our capabilities lies with our considerable military forces. We will use them if we must, but we prefer not to have to go in that direction,” Haley said. She urged China, North Korea’s only major ally, to do more to rein in Pyongyang.

Speaking with his Japanese counterpart on Wednesday, U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis underscored the “ironclad commitment” of the United States to defending Japan and providing “extended deterrence using the full range of U.S. capabilities,” Pentagon spokeswoman Dana White said in a statement.

Mattis’ assurances to Japanese Defense Minister Tomomi Inada came during a phone call to discuss the North Korean test, the statement said.

Taking a major step in its missile program, North Korea on Tuesday test launched an intercontinental ballistic missile that some experts believe has the range to reach the U.S. states of Alaska and Hawaii and perhaps the U.S. Pacific Northwest.

North Korea says the missile could carry a large nuclear warhead.

The missile test is a direct challenge to U.S. President Donald Trump, who has vowed to prevent North Korea from being able to hit the United States with a nuclear missile.

He has frequently urged China to press the isolated country’s leadership to give up its nuclear program.

Haley said the United States would propose new U.N. sanctions on North Korea in coming days and warned that

if Russia and China did not support the move, then “we will go our own path.”

She did not give details on what sanctions would be proposed, but outlined possible options.

“The international community can cut off the major sources of hard currency to the North Korean regime. We can restrict the flow of oil to their military and their weapons programs. We can increase air and maritime restrictions. We can hold senior regime officials accountable,” Haley said.

Diplomats say Beijing has not been fully enforcing existing international sanctions on its neighbor and has resisted tougher measures, such as an oil embargo, bans on the North Korean airline and guest workers, and measures against Chinese banks and other firms doing business with the North.

“Much of the burden of enforcing U.N. sanctions rests with China,” Haley said.

The United States might seek to take unilateral action and sanction more Chinese companies that do business with North Korea, especially banks, U.S. officials have said.

China’s U.N. ambassador, Liu Jieyi, told the Security Council meeting that the missile launch was a “flagrant violation” of U.N. resolutions and “unacceptable.”

“We call on all the parties concerned to exercise restraint, avoid provocative actions and belligerent rhetoric, demonstrate the will for unconditional dialogue and work actively together to defuse the tension,” Liu said.

TENSIONS WITH U.S.

The United States has remained technically at war with North Korea since the 1950-53 Korean conflict ended in an armistice rather than a peace treaty and the past six decades have been punctuated by periodic rises in antagonism and rhetoric that have always stopped short of a resumption of active hostilities.

Tensions have risen sharply after North Korea conducted two nuclear weapons tests last year and carried out a steady stream of ballistic missile tests

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un said the ICBM test completed his country’s strategic weapons capability that includes atomic and hydrogen bombs, the state KCNA news agency said.

Pyongyang will not negotiate with the United States to give up those weapons until Washington abandons its hostile policy against the North, KCNA quoted Kim as saying.

“He, with a broad smile on his face, told officials, scientists and technicians that the U.S. would be displeased … as it was given a ‘package of gifts’ on its ‘Independence Day,’” KCNA said, referring to the missile launch on July 4.

Trump and other leaders from the Group of 20 nations meeting in Germany this week are due to discuss steps to rein in North Korea’s weapons program, which it has pursued in defiance of Security Council sanctions.

Russia’s deputy U.N. envoy said on Wednesday that military force should not be considered against North Korea and called for a halt to the deployment of a U.S. missile defense system in South Korea.

He also said that attempts to strangle North Korea economically were “unacceptable” and that sanctions would not resolve the issue.

The U.S. military assured Americans that it was capable of defending the United States against a North Korean ICBM.

Pentagon spokesman Navy Captain Jeff Davis noted a successful test last month in which a U.S.-based missile interceptor knocked down a simulated incoming North Korean ICBM.

“So we do have confidence in our ability to defend against the limited threat, the nascent threat that is there,” he told reporters. He acknowledged though that previous U.S. missile defense tests had shown “mixed results.”

The North Korean launch this week was both earlier and “far more successful than expected,” said U.S.-based missile expert John Schilling, a contributor to Washington-based North Korea monitoring project 38 North.

It would now probably only be a year or two before a North Korean ICBM achieved “minimal operational capability,” he added.

Schilling said the U.S. national missile defense system was “only minimally operational” and would take more than two years to upgrade to provide more reliable defense.

(Additional reporting by Lesley Wroughton, Phil Stewart and David Brunnstrom in Washington; Writing by Alistair Bell; Editing by James Dalgleish and Peter Cooney)

http://www.oann.com/north-korea-launches-projectile-into-sea-south-korea-military/

Turkey to Work With France, Italy on National Missile Defence System-Defence Minister

July 4, 2017

ANKARA — Turkey will cooperate with France and Italy on developing a national missile defence system project, Turkish Defence Minister Fikri Isik said on Tuesday, saying the focus was on development of the systems rather than purchasing.

“We will meet our immediate demands by buying the S-400 systems, and develop our own national air and missile defence systems on the other hand,” Isik said in an interview on state television channel TRT Haber.

“All technical work is completed, and we have arrived at the final decision point on buying S-400 systems from Russia,” Isik added.

(Reporting by Humeyra Pamuk and Can Sezer; Writing by Ece Toksabay; Editing by Daren Butler)

Image result for Russian, S-400, photos

Russian S-400