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North Korea and Useless Weapons

May 27, 2009

With the North Koreans continuing to defy the world community with its nuclear tests, I expect the proponents of Ballistic Missile Defense are whetting their lips at the thought that now no one would deny their very high cost and technologically risky program all the funds it wants. The last time the rogue Asian Nation held the nation in terror over its nuclear ambitions, the testing of a missile back in April when it passed near US allies, the government balked at using its awesome arsenal of ABM firing ships to knock it down, as I wrote back then:

Recently Secretary Gates announced, after so many in the military and the media have terrified us into thinking World War III is inevitable, that he would not seek to destroy North Korea’s impending launched of a ballistic missile capable of hitting any of our allies in the region or Hawaii. So here we have the Navy scrambling for increasingly scarce shipbuilding funds to deploy its own version of Ballistic Missile Defense to sea, but when the opportunity arises to actually use the weapon, we back down.

As I mentioned in the comments, I would rather we spent money on the troops, in desperate need of new armored vehicles and aircraft worn from years in the frontlines in Iraq and Afghanistan than to build high tech wonders at sea for deterrence that doesn’t deter. Iran, the North Koreans, and increasingly China are all calling our bluff where the Soviets refused for fear of starting nuclear war. Today we are faced with rogue powers who have little fear of national suicide apparently, as long as they can humiliate the West.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. Mike Burleson permalink
    May 28, 2009 4:55 am

    I don’t think anything can decisively stop numerous nuclear missile launches coming at your country, outside of science fiction such as laser beams and force fields protecting all your cities. I think these very costly systems are designed to make us feel better and little else. MAD has served this country well for decades, and I think if there is be deterrence, this is the only effective means.

    I just don’t see spending so much of our national wealth and advanced science to counter a threat which any Third World rogue state with the money to buy or build a missile can create. It is holding us hostage to fear. Spend our stretched thin dollars on irregular and conventional wars and forget Star Wars which will never work outside of bankrupting us like the old Soviet Union.

  2. Distiller permalink
    May 28, 2009 2:14 am

    If anybody wants to prevent NKorea from a long range missile assault on anybody, there needs to be an airborne boost phase interceptor (THAAD based?) carried by a VLO platform doing 24/7/365 patrol in the area. Or stand-off B-52 with those interceptors. And it’s time now that YAL-1 shows what it can do. Do or die. If it works, an airborne combo platform with an AESA powerful enough to fry electronics from useful stand-off ranges, a handful of the boost phase interceptors, and the laser (I reckon technological advance will make them small enough to fit into a B-something) has to be built . Or B-52 or B-1 adapted in a first step. Defensive strategic deterrence. And a true Air Force mission.

  3. jim permalink
    May 27, 2009 10:28 pm

    Well, BMD clearly doesn’t deter nations from acquiring nukes and missiles. It’s not clear it won’t deter them from using them. And is deterrence even the point of BMD? I thought it was to shoot down enemy missiles if deterrence fails?

    Right now isn’t the real deterrent our nukes and, ultimately, Obama’s willingness to press the button? If Kim nuked Seoul, would Obama nuke Pyongyang? I don’t think he would. I’m not even sure Obama would nuke another country if a small nuke took out an American city.

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