Jim Kouri
Obama, Gates ignore national security failure
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By Jim Kouri
December 17, 2010

"This is a tremendous setback for the testing of this complicated [security] system. Much more troubling is the confidence in the GBI system that is currently deployed in Alaska and California."

While patting himself and his warfighting team on the back over successes in Afghanistan, President Barack Obama — as well as Defense Secretary Robert Gates — is ignoring the recent defense failure on Wednesday.

A long-range interceptor missile fired by the U.S. military failed to hit and neutralize its target in a test over the Pacific Ocean.

"Many military and security experts are wondering when Obama and Gates will stop worrying about treaties — like START — and start making certain what weapons systems we do have are operating properly," said political strategist Mike Baker.

The Vandenberg Air Force Base conducted the missile defense test on Wednesday with disappointing results. It launched a Ground-Based Interceptor (GBI) missile that failed to destroy an incoming intermediate-range target missile launched from Kwajalein Atoll.

While the White House staff and the Defense Secretary and military chiefs of staff were silent, the Pentagon's Missile Defense Agency (MDA) spokesman Richard Lehner issued a statement: "Program officials will conduct an extensive investigation to determine the cause of the failure to intercept the target."

"The next flight test will be determined after identification of the cause of the failure," Lehner added.

Unfortunately, according to defense experts, the GBI is the only long-range missile the U.S. possesses. And this latest test is the third major failure in two years and the first test firing conducted in January 2010 also failed to take out its target.

U.S. military and intelligence agencies have testified in Congressional hearings that the ballistic missile threat to the United States from North Korea is real and that Iran could have a capability as early as 2015 to strike the U.S. homeland. There are Ground-Based Interceptors (GBI) deployed today that the Administration has deemed necessary to protect our nation from long-range ballistic missile threats. These deployed GBIs also help dissuade North Korea and Iran from developing long-range missiles that could strike the U.S.

Lehner said that both the long-range and intermediate-range missiles were "launched properly with all radar and sensor systems operating. However, the long-range missile failed to 'kill' its target."

"This is a tremendous setback for the testing of this complicated system. Much more troubling is the confidence in the GBI system that is currently deployed in Alaska and California. The thirty deployed interceptors have a similar configuration to the one in today's test," said Riki Ellison, chairman and founder of the Missile Defense Advocacy Alliance.

"Modernization of the GBI system would seem to be necessary, as well as a strong look at the testing culture and environment," Ellison added.

START MAY BECOME AMERICA'S FINISH

According to Frank Gaffney, head of Center for Security Policy, the new S.T.A.R.T. is bad for America because:

* It forces the U.S. to reduce its stockpile of nuclear weapons, and makes our existing nuclear arsenal unreliable

* It gravely reduces the ability of the U.S. to defend itself by banning the use of missiles to shoot down incoming missiles

* It compromises our sovereignty by creating a Bilateral Consultative Commission — which could open the U.S. up to more restrictions without Senate approval

* It requires sharing missile defense secrets with Russia — who could then use that intelligence against us, or share it with rogue nations

* It abandons the "trust but verify" monitoring deal with Russia, undermining our ability to know what kind of missiles they are developing and testing

* It forces the U.S. to eliminate as many as 150 delivery vehicles, even though they may be used for transporting conventional weapons, so it harms other military actions — and it allows Russia to ADD more than 130!

* It does nothing to address the danger of nuclear terrorism, ignoring the threats we face from Iran and North Korea

© Jim Kouri

 

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Jim Kouri

Jim Kouri, CPP is currently fifth vice-president of the National Association of Chiefs of Police... (more)

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