Using Missile Defense against our Allies

September 18, 2009

I am stunned, but not surprised, by the Obama Administration’s decision to scrap the Eastern European missile defense shield.  I told anyone who would listen as far back as October, 2008 if Sen. Obama were elected to the Presidency he would cancel the agreement reached between Poland, Czech Republic, and the U.S. to install a missile defense shield to protect Europe from Iranian short and medium range (nuclear) missiles.  It took a few months longer than I thought it would but this Administration gave indications of canceling this agreement last winter.  The proposed “new and improved” missile shield is, at best, laughable and at worse, dangerous.  The Administration’s desire to show deference to Russian belligerence is a strong signal to any U.S. adversary that the U.S. will capitulate in the face of defiance and anger involving our national security and defense of Allies.

The SM-3 is a good missile coupled with Aegis systems; however, initial reliance on a strictly sea-based delivery system leaves this defensive posture dangerously vulnerable.  I don’t expect the Defense Department to release all of the proposal’s components, but here is where I believe the main vulnerabilities lie:

  1. Ships can be sunk regardless of location.
  2. SM-3 capability is against short and medium-range missiles.
  3. SM-3 range can be used against it by relocating launch sites.

1.  Iran has in its possession land-based, air, and, possibly, submarine-launched anti-ship missiles.  Their inventory includes the French Exocet, Chinese Silkworm, Russian Sunburn and their own Misagh-2 and Kowsar missiles.  A large attack from multiple directions can defeat any ship-based anti-missile system.  Such an attack would preclude any sort of land based missile launch.  A surprise attack would not have to destroy or disable all SM-3 launch-capable ships in order for a successful missile launch against Eastern Europe or Israel.

2.  Suppose Russia or China provide inter-continental ballistic missiles to Iran.  With what Russia and China are selling Iran these days this scenario is not out of the question.  The SM-3 is not capable of successful defense against ICBMs.

3.  This is self-explanatory.

This Administration has announced to the world they are more concerned with what our adversaries think of us than what our allies mean to us.  Putin is more concerned with re-establishing Russian world dominance than aiding the U.S. and Europe in reining in Iranian terror activities.  Polish and Czech politicians voted approval of the defense shield in the face of local opposition and Russian anger in hopes they would be treated as equal allies.  Sadly, they now know the truth.  Israel has not publicly come out against the announcement, but one must wonder what they are talking about in private regarding what used to be their strongest supporter’s stance on their standing with us.

The Administration should have announced it will add SM-3 capabilities to the Bush Missile Defense Agreement.  But such an announcement would mean being serious about National Defense and affirming NATO and other defense agreements.

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Published in: on September 18, 2009 at 12:39 pm  Leave a Comment  
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