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Possible North Korean Threat Triggers Beefed-Up U.S. Missile Shield

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KCNA / Reuters

North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un visits a long-range artillery sub-unit of the Korean People's Army Unit 641, whose mission is to strike Baengnyeong Island of South Korea in the western sector of the front line, in this handout picture released on March 11, 2013.

The Obama Administration took the offense on missile defense Friday, saying it will fatten up the nation’s thin missile-defense shield by nearly 50% to defend against a possible North Korean attack.

The added missiles were part of the Bush Administration’s original plan, but President Obama halted their deployment in April 2009, three months after his inauguration.

The announcement came about 72 hours after the U.S. military’s top strategic commander said “we are confident we could defeat a threat from North Korea today.”

But the concern isn’t today, but tomorrow. The additional interceptors won’t all be deployed for four years, and North Korea – if the past is any guide – won’t be curbing its missile and nuclear ambitions. Pyongyang recently threatened to attack the U.S. with a nuclear weapon.

“We will strengthen homeland missile defense by deploying 14 additional ground-based interceptors, GBIs, at Fort Greely, Alaska,” Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said. “These additional GBIs will provide a nearly 50% increase in our missile defense capability.” There are currently 26 interceptors based in Alaska, and four at California’s Vandenberg Air Force Base.

There is next to no chance that the North Koreans have developed a nuclear weapon small enough to be fitted atop a Pacific-crossing intercontinental ballistic missile. And there is next to no chance it has such a missile. “But it’s not zero,” a Pentagon official says. “This is pretty cheap insurance.”

“Nations like North Korea and Iran are committed to building long-range ballistic missiles and are undertaking robust nuclear weapons programs,” Rep. Mike Turner, R-Ohio, who heads the House Armed Services subcommittee on tactical air and land forces, said. “No longer can the Administration ignore these threats. The building of a missile defense site on the East Coast is the next logical and prudent step to ensure we can counter the rising threat to the homeland.”

Then-defense secretary Robert Gates announced the scaled-back shield four years ago. “In the area of missile defense, we will restructure the program to focus on the rogue-state and theater-missile threat,” he said. “We will not increase the number of current ground-based interceptors in Alaska, as had been planned, but we will continue to robustly fund continued research and development to improve the capability we already have to defend against long-range rogue missile threats, a threat North Korea’s missile launch this past weekend reminds us is real.”

Defense Secretary Gates Travels

MSgt. Jerry Morrison / Department of Defense

A ground-based interceptor missile silo at Fort Greeley, Alaska.

Gates said that even if that 2009 North Korean launch had succeeded, there was no need at the time for the additional interceptors. “If it had been an intercontinental ballistic missile, the ground-based interceptors in Alaska could have taken care of that challenge,” he said. “We’re in a pretty good place in terms with respect to the rogue-country missile threat.”

But Pyongyang’s continued nuclear and missile ambitions – and its increasingly bizarre behavior – make the additional intercepts a prudent step, defense officials said Friday.

The nation’s top strategic commander said as recently as Tuesday that the existing interceptor force was sufficient. “I am satisfied that we can defend against a limited attack from North Korea today with 30,” Air Force General General Robert Kehler, chief of the U.S. Strategic Command, told the Senate Armed Services Committee, without defining just what “limited” means. “We are confident we could defeat a threat from North Korea today.”

But he added there were growing reasons for concern. “Given the potential progress we are seeing from them, we are considering right now whether we need to take additional steps,” Kehler said, telegraphing Friday’s announcement. “Their activities have our attention, and it has our concern.”

19 comments
gornisht
gornisht

Is the US nervous? Why? Obama lectured Netanyahu to give DIPLOMACY a chance! What is good for the goose ,is good for the gander! Why should the US be in so much of a rush to be pro-active? The US should ask the SECURITY COUNCIL, to condemn N. Korea's belligerence!  Yeh, and hyenas are vegetarians!

AllanAshby
AllanAshby

In the standoff with North Korea or other rogue states, it's amazing that no one has used those three magic words.

Back in the days of "Desert Storm," there were some fears that nuclear or biological weapons would be used by Saddam Hussein against the coalition trying to force him out of Kuwait. The conventional wisdom - especially in the civilian sector - was that they had to block each of Saddam's possible attacks, from Scuds to superguns by adopting a counterforce strategy. This is sort of like going to war with the aim of blocking each bullet and shell fired in your direction. It's a strategy that's never been successfully applied, and many military people tell us that it's designed to produce failure.

Bur there is another option - countervalue strikes. This strategy is used all the time because, in a war, it's the only practical strategy to adopt. Countervalue strategy doesn't try to block every attack. It simply says, 'if you do that, I'm going to do this.'

In the Desert Storm liberation of Kuwait, those three magic words of countervalue strategy were "glass parking lot."

Jerry_Can
Jerry_Can

The Obama administration in 2009 dropped the Bush administration’s plan to add missile interceptor capability against North Korea, yet on Friday, when Obama’s Pentagon realized their error and scrambled to announce a reversal to implement the Bush plan, ABC, CBS and NBC failed to mention Obama’s dereliction. (Below: Krauthmmer zinged “Democratic resistance” to missile defense. “Reagan was right.”)

FNC’s Mike Emanuel, in contrast, on Special Report with Bret Baier, noted: “That interceptor expansion had originally been proposed by the Bush administration until President Obama, in 2009, stopped it.” Even CNN’s Erin Burnett squeezed in how the new Obama plan to deploy 14 additional interceptors “is a plan by the way, that President George W. Bush had put forth that the President moth-balled when he got into office.”

But that didn’t make it into the full stories run Friday night by ABC’s Martha Raddatz, CBS’s David Martin and NBC’s Jim Miklaszewski, nor was it mentioned on Saturday’s Today, Good Morning America or CBS This Morning.


Read more: http://newsbusters.org/blogs/brent-baker/2013/03/16/abc-cbs-and-nbc-avoid-obama-administration-s-dereliction-missile-defens#ixzz2NjhjqiHx

brenro12
brenro12

Where's this money coming from?

Harry_Bilgewater
Harry_Bilgewater

Egad, this clown with a bad haircut has unilaterally announced the truce is over. Why are our leaders waiting for his next spring loaded stupid stunt? Send him an unannounced air mail MK-39 with a Pyongyang delivery address.

CrossWinds
CrossWinds

Let Kim Jong lead the charge since he is such a tough guy..........he would fall face down after running 10 yards..........that will teach him not to run with food in his mouth..........

ChristieLey
ChristieLey

The young Kim Jong - Un feels he must prove himself, and his military higher ups encourage such actions. They do not care that they are endangering the lives of their own people by using such tactics. As long as the rest of the world stands by and does nothing, their people will suffer under a military run government.

denmarks47
denmarks47

Time for the big boys (So Korea, Japan, and, to some extent China) in the neighborhood to slap down the neighborhood punk.  These countries like so many others love to watch Uncle Sam get out the big stick on their behalf.  Time for them to step up on their own and close out this knitwit regime in North Korea.  In closing: Does anyone seriously believe North Korea would continue to exist if they really had any capability resembling a threat?  Remember boys and girls business is what runs the world.  Unless North Korea reaches the it's bad for business line in the sand; the whip aint comin' down.

elcidharth
elcidharth

Alaska D.C. Delegation Reacts to Ft. Greely Missile Plans Due to North Korea

  By Corey Allen-Young Channel 2 News

8:53 p.m. AKDT, March 15, 2013

ANCHORAGE, Alaska— The Pentagon announced on Friday plans to strengthen its missile defense system with Ft. Greely on deck to see a significant increase due to the potential threats from North Korea.

Alaska’s D.C. delegation, Rep. Don Young and Sens. Mark Begich and Lisa Murkowski, have applauded the plan that would add 14 more interceptors at Ft. Greely. The base located near Fairbanks already has 26 interceptors.

“From the 14 new ground-based missile interceptors, to the fish in supermarkets across the country, to gasoline in our fuel tanks, people often forgot how important Alaska is to this country,” said Rep. Young in an issued statement.

Young also said that he will invite Sec. of Defense Chuck Hagel to Alaska to tour Ft. Greely.

Should I be worried? 

Chuck Hagel's Baptism by Fire @elcidharth

BobJan
BobJan

Bang them war drums. Send the whole Congress to fight first. Then their wives and kids. If that doesn't work, we're done.

Don_Bacon
Don_Bacon

“Nations like North Korea and Iran are committed to building long-range ballistic missiles and are undertaking robust nuclear weapons programs,” Rep. Mike Turner, R-Ohio, who heads the House Armed Services subcommittee on tactical air and land forces, said. “No longer can the Administration ignore these threats. The building of a missile defense site on the East Coast is the next logical and prudent step to ensure we can counter the rising threat to the homeland.”


North Korea and Iran --  the gifts that keep on giving to the MIC. And the fact that Rep. Turner is a stranger to the truth doesn't hurt either.  Faced with these "threats" how can Pentagon spending increases possibly be curbed? Iran has a "robust nuclear weapons program?" That's not what DNI Clapper told the Senate Select committee this week. Perhaps a hundred thou plus going into Turner's campaign war-chest had an affect, ya think? 

 The principal threats to the homeland are Rep. Turner, R-Ohio and people like him. They want to steal your money and give to their benefactors, which ought to be a crime but isn't.

SimonRup1
SimonRup1

Now, I'm no military strategist and I do hope I'm not giving them ideas. But If I was KJU I would not be trying to shrink the technology to fit on a missile. I'd be putting anything nucleaur and volattile on a container ship or oil takner. Park it next to a huge port and hit the red button before it reached customs.

I am generally not one to agree with the notion of Pre-emtive strikes because the concept is open to so much abuse. It's the old South Park 'It's coming straight for us...Bang!" methodology. BUT when you are dealing with a 3rd of 4th generation despot dictater the scam of pretending to be god like and a descendent of god is passed on as reality to the point where you know the chubby kim jun Cartman believes his own hype. Which means he thinks he is totally justified as he is on the side of good. Thereofre it is only a matter time before he does something stupid.

However before any of that can happen a huge amount of diplomacy with China is required. As the US are still China's B***h if it ever came to a war.

ivymike777
ivymike777

Where are all of the missile defense naysayers now?

robrtl
robrtl

gee ibremember when time was reffering to rtonald regans missile defense as"star wars"

RealThought
RealThought

If those idiots fire something at us, the entirety of North Korea will quickly become a used-up hunk of charcoal. And they know it.


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