An End to Missile Defense

It is no surprise that President Obama has pulled the plug on the proposed European defense shield. After all, in February, Mr. Obama sent Russian President Dmitry Medvedev a letter offering a quid pro quo – abandonment of the missile defense shield in Poland and the Czech Republic in exchange for Russian help with the Iranian nuclear program.

Of course, the President has couched this cancellation in terms of providing for a better alternative – a new theater and sea-based missile defense system for Europe that will supposedly provide a shield against short and intermediate range missiles. The exact quote is that this new system “…will provide stronger, smarter and swifter defenses of American forces and America’s allies.”

However, this is at odds with a study released this past February by the Congressional Budget Office. The CBO really seems to be a thorn in the side of this administration. First it rains on the Obamacare parade, now it’s raining on this administration’s choice of a missile defense umbrella (pun intended).

The CBO’s February report concluded that the Bush Administration’s planned deployment of the fixed site system in Poland and the Czech Republic is the best in a series of realistic alternatives for protecting American troops, the U.S. homeland and our allies. This report concluded that the plans that the Obama Administration is now proposing would not, in fact, result in an earlier and more cost effective missile defense system. The Mobile ground-based defense system based in Turkey and Germany would provide comparable protection at a comparable cost, but two years later than the Polish/Czech system. The sea-based missile defense system would be operational at a considerably greater cost than the Polish/Czech system.

Besides the cost involved, the President’s claim that the nature of the Iranian threat is more geared toward short and mid-range missiles does not ring true. Concurrently with its nuclear weapons program, Iran has been working on a long range intercontinental ballistic missile program. This is evidenced by Iran’s launch of satellites into space. The technology required to do this is very similar to that needed to launch an intercontinental ballistic missile with a nuclear payload.

Despite the head in the sand approach of our European allies, the Russians and the International Atomic Energy Agency, the United States much be vigilant to the danger posed by Iran and its nuclear weapons program (including it rush to develop operational ICBM technology). Since it appears that President Obama will not take military action against the Iranian nuclear program and is also trying to prevent Israel from taking its own military action, the only hope for the security of the United States, our troops and our allies is the deployment of an effective missile defense program. The timing of the deployment of such a system is critical. It must be done prior to Iran’s nuclear program becoming operational. If not, we will find that we are at the mercy of a nuclear armed rogue Islamist regime.

Technical experts concluded that the requirements for an effective American missile defense shield required the deployment of anti-missile systems at three sites, in Alaska and California to protect against a North Korean launch of an ICBM and in Poland/Czech Republic to protect against an Iranian launch of an ICBM. The systems in Alaska and California are up and running (although they have been scaled back by the Obama Administration). The Poland/Czech Republic sites must also be deployed in order to effectively protect us and our allies.

The sad reality is that my analysis does not even take into account the political consequences of hanging our Polish and Czech allies out to dry. At great political risk to themselves, the leaders of those two nations agreed to host our missile defense sites in exchange for the protection that it would offer. Now, President Obama has disregarded the bold stand of these two government in the hopes that Russia, the same Russia that conquered these nations just over 60 yeas ago, will help us negotiate an end to the Iranian nuclear program. If the President really believes that the Russians will assist us with this, he is even more naive than even I had believed. Unfortunately, it appears that the Russians have already reached the conclusion that a nuclear armed Iran is in their national security interests. Because, if it were not, they would have joined us in attempting to do something about it long ago.

This reversal of American defense policy is yet another sign of weakness by the administration. We are not only preventing the deployment of a major piece of American technological innovation that will help keep us same, it also shows that we have no regard for the wishes and interests of our allies. I wonder if our friends in Eastern Europe will oblige us the next time we ask them to take a stand in defending the free world.

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