Missile Defense for the Homeland

The newest iteration of North Korean lunacy and aggression have justifiably put the American population on edge. Every few weeks we see Kim Jong-Un recklessly launching a missile into the ocean over a Japanese city, or sometimes failed to even launch. However, we have seen that, unfortunately, the threat of a nuclear missile actually hitting an American city is the most likely it has been since the Cold War.

Kim Jong-Un and his family have driven their nation into darkness and despair. There is some evidence that his family’s disastrous and evil reign might finally be nearing an end. For example, China is quietly beginning to build refugee camps along the Chinese/Korean border in anticipation of a possible collapse of the North Korean regime.

Over the long-term, the world will be far more peaceful and the oppressed citizens of North Korea will have a chance for a better life. However, in the short-term, it is highly likely that the impossibly reckless North Korean leader will use all of his nuclear and biological arsenal against the ‘West’ generally, and the USA specifically. Kim Jung Un knows full well his chances of surviving a regime change are very small, considering he and his deceased father oversaw/oversee the largest concentration camp in world history.

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Luckily, the Western parts of the United States, including Hawaii and California, are not exactly sitting ducks. Unlike during the Cold War, when our best protection against a nuclear attack was to hide under our desks, we now have a defense tool that can provide a high level of protection from a nuclear armed intercontinental ballistic missile. I am referring, of course, to missile defense technology.

Originally, President Trump proposed keeping the missile defense spending at the same levels of the Obama administration. However, following some very public North Korean tantrums, Congress decided to dramatically increase the spending levels by $368 million, with $249 million dedicated to the Missile Defense Agency (MDA). This was a positive development for those who advocate the robust development and improvement to our nation’s missile defense capabilities.

However, a significant percentage of this allocation is to extremely costly interceptor systems deployed overseas and designed to intercept missiles either prior to or after the midcourse phase. While these systems are valuable, spending on them is disproportionately large given the costs and benefits represented by each program in relation to the defense of American soil compared to the costs and benefits of the Ground-Based Midcourse Defense (GMD) system.

For example, the only domestically based system that intercepts missiles in space and doesn’t produce extremely harmful nuclear fallout is GMD, which gives it a unique advantage relative to other systems. Hitting the missile during the midcourse phase is an extremely important capability. The military spending legislation mandates that there be no fewer than 43 interceptor missiles on the ground, which is not a robust number given the outcome should a multi-missile event occurs against the USA.

The next few years will be a tumultuous and precarious time for our national security. No one wants to look back and wonder what would have happened if we took the right steps to protect our people.

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