With all the bad news circulating these days on the foreign policy front, Americans had some great news that was largely unnoticed. A Ground-based Missile Defense (GMD) system worked in a test this week to successfully intercept an intercontinental missile test in California.
When I was a kid, Ronald Reagan talked about “Star Wars” technology back then known as the Strategic Defense Initiative or SDI. We were in the height of the Cold War with Russia and I grew up with what was a real fear that we would die in a global nuclear war with the Kremlin. The idea that we could shoot their missiles out of the sky was revolutionary.
The fact that we weren’t capable of doing it mattered little. It was a great idea that has now come to fruition. We’ve done it. We can shoot down an inbound ICBM and we just tested it to show the world.
ABC News reported on May 30, 2017, that after the ninth North Korean offensive missile test, the United States tested the defensive GMD system to defend against that type of attack. Missile Defense Agency Director Vice Adm. Jim Syring was quoted by ABC News saying “the intercept of a complex, threat-representative ICBM target is an incredible accomplishment for the GMD [Ground-based Missile Defense] system and a critical milestone for this program. This system is vitally important to the defense of our homeland, and this test demonstrates that we have a capable, credible deterrent against a very real threat. I am incredibly proud of the warfighters who executed this test and who operate this system every day.”
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This technology produced by Boeing has proven to be a success story in the long-forgotten promise from President Ronald Reagan.
This successful test should motivate Congress to fully fund this program and maybe find some extra resources to expedite the deployment of more defensive GMD systems to defend the homeland. The Center for Strategic & International Studies (CSIS) has found that the program is only in an adolescent phase and the Pentagon has “far to go before they might be described as mature or robust.” The CSIS is not arguing that the technology is in its adolescence – they are arguing that the deployment of existing technology is in a non-mature phase. What is holding them back? A lack of funding from Congress and the Pentagon.
Congress has funded numerous foreign wars and other missile technologies that are not designed to protect the homeland like the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) and the Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense system (AEGIS). The only technology that has been tested and deployed to protect the homeland from an intercontinental missile is the GMD system.
Can we protect America from North Korea or Iran? These are nations that have pledged to destroy America here in the continental United States. We can implement this program if Congress and President Donald Trump commit more cash in the one technology that can protect the United States from these countries intent on destroying America.
The fact that we’ve successfully done this will in all likelihood trigger a similar technology to be produced in both China and Russia. Now is the time to fund this program and capitalize on our lead in technology.
A working missile defense system will protect Americans from all kinds of attacks from nations who would harm us, and provide a peace of mind that I didn’t have as a child. Fund this program. It’s time for us to leap into a future only dreamt of thirty years ago.