The Tipping Point is Here
From MDAA, February 11, 2016
North Korea’s total disrespect of United Nations Resolutions and disregard for decades of sanctions from the international community was reinforced and resounded to the world as they successfully tested their Long Range Ballistic Missile. The test proved out validation of development on their reliability in propulsion, staging and aerospace system engineering that will enhance their strategic ballistic missile force. The North Korean test over the weekend further developed and mastered the same missile it tested two years ago, the Unha-3, which delivered an object with no communications into a polar orbit that passed over California hours prior to the Super Bowl on Sunday. Coupled with North Korea’s defiant fourth nuclear test last month, which looks to have demonstrated a boosting fission nuclear bomb that enables miniaturization of small nuclear warheads to be placed on ballistic missiles, this long-range ballistic missile test presents a viable projection of North Korean nuclear force to the surrounding Asian region, the Pacific theater and to the United States of America.
In show of power, the North Korean long range missile flew with total disregard over international borders and air space, and for the second time over the Japanese airspace and island territories of Okinawa, Miyako and Ishigaki. This marks the fourth time that North Korea has blatantly launched missiles over Japan air space and territory with total disrespect and disregard to the international borders of Japan. The Japanese Self-Defense Forces had deployed their own Kongo class Aegis BMD ships in the East China Sea capable of shooting down the North Korean missile, as well as their own Patriot defense units deployed for terminal defense against falling debris from staging of the North Korea Missile on each of three Japanese islands. The United States also had Aegis BMD Ships in the East China Sea capable of shooting down the North Korean missile and U.S. Patriot batteries deployed in Okinawa capable of shooting down falling debris from staging of the North Korea Missile. In addition, the United States had some of its 30 GBIs in California and Alaska in readiness along with its two forward based TYP-2 radars in Japan, the Sea-Based X-Band floating radar, as well as additional Aegis BMD ships in the Pacific and its THAAD battery in the defense of Guam.
On this same weekend, in San Francisco, one of America’s defining cultural annual events, the Super Bowl, was held undisrupted and undisturbed by the North Korea’s missile test. We give great appreciation to our world champion United States missile defenders made up of U.S. soldiers, sailors and airmen that served around the Pacific this weekend in the protection and defense of our freedoms and nation from North Korea. They all are to be congratulated for their selfless mission and duty on Super Bowl weekend more than the Denver Broncos for winning the Super Bowl on Sunday.
The editorial board of one of the world’s most renowned newspapers, the Washington Post, published on Tuesday that North Korea’s missile test was an example of President Barack Obama’s failed policy of strategic patience with North Korea, and recommended that the U.S. deploy the newest missile defense system, the THAAD, to the Republic of Korea. This editorial marks a significant shift in the outlook for the Washington Post, a major influencer and shaper of American public opinion, and a news outlet that has historically not supported missile defense since President Reagan’s 1983 Strategic Defense Initiative.
MDAA’s Reagan memorial as featured in the Washington Post
North Korea’s successful long range ballistic missile test marks a tipping point for not only American public opinion, but also for the justification and increasing need for missile defense systems for the United States and its Allies. This increased justification and need for missile defense has resulted in a path forward for a THAAD request this week from South Korea to the United States despite strong Chinese and Russian objections, but is also a catalyst of multilateral Allied partnership capacity efforts in missile defense to successfully deter and counter the North Korean threat. Forthcoming concepts that are being seriously thought through as a result from this North Korea test are the following:
– a historic bilateral opportunity between Korea and Japan on Missile Defense
– earnest discussions on operationalizing Aegis Ashore in Hawaii
– U.S. releasability of Aegis Ashore sites, SM-6 and NIFC-CA to Japan
– increasing THAAD capability in Guam
– an additional Army Air Defense Brigade HQ in the Pacific
– upgrading Patriot capability and implementing IBCS in Japan and Okinawa
– consideration for a global response force THAAD battery in Okinawa
– increased operational dwell time for SBX
– increased GBI inventory with additional deployment into California and Alaska after the new RKV has been tested and proven.
– a long range discriminating radar in Hawaii
Implementing all or some of these will bolster force joint interoperability, shared allied increased partnership capacity growth and burden sharing that will apply tremendous pressure on China and Russia to help contain and deter disruptive North Korean actions and prevent Korea and Japan from considering having their own nuclear deterrent. Missile defense is an acceptable and legitimate solution today and in the foreseeable future to prevent a catastrophic nuclear war, maintain peace and status quo, curb thoughts of Allied nuclear proliferation and adequately have a credible capability to defend and protect the hundreds of millions of lives in the Asia America Pacific region from the threat of a nuclear North Korea.
With the failed policies of “Reset to Russia”, “Red Line in Syria”, “Strategic Patience with North Korea,” and the continual ballistic missile proliferation to include Iran along with the clear and present danger of a nuclear armed North Korea, it is incomprehensible that the President on Tuesday would make the lowest budget request for missile defense with a reduction of seven percent, or $700 million. The federal budget allocated to missile defense was reduced from $9.8 billion in FY2016 to $9.1 billion in FY2017, slashing spending on U.S. missile defenses and the missile and rocket defense support of Israel. It is disheartening when the President’s budget has reduced its funding rather than than increasing it in spite of the clearly demonstrated current and growing ballistic missile threat posed by North Korea to the American public, its deployed troops overseas and its allies.
No Presidential candidates wanting to be the President of the United States have or would go on record with what North Korea has done and slash the missile defense budget for future capability needed to best deter and restrain North Korea to protect the American public. Furthermore, what strategic message does slashing the U.S. Missile Defense budget send to North Korea after their defiant and United Nations non compliant nuclear and long range ballistic missile tests let alone the strategic message it sends towards our Allies of Japan and Korea.
With an FY17 Missile Defense Agency budget that represents only 1.3 percent of total DoD spending in, we look forward to understanding the administration’s congressional testimony to the American public on the 2017 budget in justifying their slashing of the missile defense budget at this time is in the best interests of the American People and her Allies.
We have reached the tipping point for missile defense.
MDAA is visiting Japan this week to better understand the aftermaths of what took place this past weekend.
MDAA’s mission is to make the world safer by advocating for the development and deployment of missile defense systems to defend the United States, its armed forces and its allies against missile threats.
MDAA is the only organization in existence whose primary mission is to educate the American public about missile defense issues and to recruit, organize, and mobilize proponents to advocate for the critical need of missile defense. We are a non-partisan membership-based and membership-funded organization that does not advocate on behalf of any specific system, technology, architecture or entity.