Tag Archives: missile defense

Rebuttal of Kingston Reif’s and Greg Thielmann’s newest lies – about missile defense

North_Korean_missile_range

Kingston Reif – a pacifist propagandist working for the extremely-leftist “Council for a Livable World” – has shown his utter ignorance, as well as his extremely leftist beliefs and desires to disarm the US unilaterally, on quite a few occassions, and in December, I even took the time to completely refute his utter garbage calling for scrapping the nuclear triad. Since then, however, Reif has not stoppped writing his ignorant leftist garbage, and has recently (on June 4th) written a screed in the liberal Time magazine criticizing House Republicans for “all sorts of madness on nuclear weapons, missile defense, and related issues” – especially their proposal to create an East Coast missile defense site in the northeastern United States (e.g. New York state or Maine).

Reif claims that it would be “unnecessary, technically dubious, and cost-ineffective”.

Regarding the latter, he invokes CBO’s estimate that creating such a site would cost $3.6 bn over 5 years, and another by the National Academy of Sciences saying that their proposed “evolved GMD system” would cost $25.4 bn over 20 years.

But those numbers are not only small by themselves, they’re even small when put into perspective on a per year basis. Reif, to exaggerate the cost and scaremonger taxpayers, conveniently omits the “over X years” part of the price tag.

Divided over 5 years, $3.6 bn is $720 mn; that is 0.152% of the DOD’s base budget for FY2014 even under sequestration ($475 bn), or % if sequestration is cancelled (the DOD’s base budget would then be $526 bn).

Divided over 20 years, $25.4 bn is $1.27 bn, i.e. 0.276% of the DOD’s base budget for FY2014 even under sequestration.

So the cost would be tiny – a small fraction of one percent of the base defense budget even with sequestration accounted for. A fraction of 1% of the DOD’s budget is all that it would cost to build an EC missile defense site.

Reif claims it’s “unnecessary.” But the DOD and the Intelligence Community estimate Iran will have an ICBM in 2015/2016. That is just 2-3 years from now. So the US has just 2-3 years to prepare itself for a potential Iranian ICBM threat. Iran has made considerable progress  in long-range missile development, including being able to launch satellites into orbit (e.g. with the Safir space rocket).

Reif invokes the recent statement by VADM James Syring, director of the Missile Defense Agency, that money for East Coast missile defense would not be used in the next FY. Of course, Syring was just expressing the position of the leftist Obama Administration – he can’t speak against his own president. But former Missile Defense Agency Director Henry “Trey” Obering, in a recent article, has expressed strong support for an East Coast BMD site.

In his screed, Reif totally contradicts himself, claiming, alternately, that the current ground-based interceptors in Alaska and California are either sufficient for protecting the East Coast or deficient and unreliable. He alternately claims they already offer adequate protection… or don’t work at all. So which is it, Kingston?

As for thereal experts on the issue (other than Gen. Obering), current Strategic Command leader Gen. Bob Kehler says that:

“I am confident that we can defend against a limited attack from Iran, although we are not in the most optimum posture to do that today… it doesn’t provide total defense today.”

The Commander of the Northern Command (charged with defending the US homeland and Canada), Gen. Charles Jacoby, says that the current GBI system is “sub-optimum.” This is no surprise; the interceptors in Alaska and California would be at the extreme margin of their performance envelopes if tasked with shooting down an ICBM heading for the East Coast.

A “sub-optimum” defense posture is not good enough. Not even close.

Moreover, in March, just 3 months ago, Gen. Jacoby told the Senate:

“What a third site gives me, whether it’s on the East Coast or an alternate location, would be increased battle space; that means increased opportunity for me to engage threats from either Iran or North Korea.”

Also in March, Gen. Jacoby told the House:

“I would agree that a third site, wherever the decision is to build a third site, would give me better weapons access, increased GBI inventory and allow us the battle space to more optimize our defense against future threats from Iran and North Korea.”

Doesn’t this nation owe it to the Northern Command – the one charged with protecting the homeland?

The requirement for a third site to protect against Iranian ICBMs was also stated in the 2010 Ballistic Missile Defense Review, which said:

“… defense of the US homeland will be augmented by Europe-based SM-3 Block IIB interceptors, which are planned to be able to provide an early-intercept capability against potential Iranian ICBMs.”

But the SM-3 Block 2B has been cancelled now, so an EC missile defense site is needed.

Reif also claims that the proposal is “technically dubious” because GBIs supposedly don’t work. Here, he’s wrong as well. GBIs have passed most of their tests, including a recent flight test, and more tests are planned for later months. The interceptors themselves work, as do their current, first generation kill vehicles (kinetic “warhead” counterparts). Critics love to seize on the two failed intercept tests from 2010, but in those tests, it was a new generation of kill vehicles that failed – not the older kill vehicles, and not the missiles themselves. The MDA, in any case, is working to solve the problem.

And even if and when a weapon fails, this teaches us something and doesn’t mean the weapon can never work. Quite the contrary. The Polaris submarine-launched ballistic missile – the first American nuclear-armed missile deployed on submarines – failed the vast majority of its tests: 17 out of 22. Yet, it passed 5, was ultimately proven to work (with President Kennedy watching), and was deployed on 41 USN ballistic missile subs – and later became the basis for the development of the Trident ballistic missile.

Reif bemoans the GBI’s low ability to distinguish real missiles and warheads from decoys. But the MDA actually had a program to solve that problem – called the Multiple Kill Vehicle, essentially a bus carrying dozens of small kill vehicles sufficient to kill all warheads and countermeasures – until April 2009, when President Obama killed the program and when General Obering had already retired. (General Obering, of course, points this out in his piece.)

So the problem of enabling GBIs to discriminate between genuine targets – like real missiles and warheads – and decoys can be solved quite easily, if the MKV program is simply revived.

Reif complains that there is “no guarantee” that this problem will ever be solved and the GBI system made highly effective. Actually, in life, there is no guarantee of anything. There is no guarantee that your car will always start (especially in winter), or that your bus, train, or flight won’t be delayed, or that even the best friends will not fail you, or that even the most reliable weapons will always work perfectly.

There is no perfect person, vehicle, weapon, plane, ship, or anything that humans make.

But if the development and improvement of ground-based interceptors is continued, and the MKV program revived, there’s a high likelihood that these interceptors will become highly effective.

Moreover, Reif and other missile defense opponents are contradicting themselves. On the one hand, they claim that US BMD systems can’t distinguish real warheads from decoys, but OTOH, they also claim that North Korea and Iran don’t know how to mate nuclear warheads to missiles.

But if they don’t know how, they also certainly don’t know how to make credible decoys (or mate them to missiles). Why? Because decoys, in order to deceive anyone, must EXACTLY match real warheads in size and flight patterns – they must look and fly exactly like the real thing. Any decoy not matching a real warhead EXACTLY in size, shape, and flight patterns will immediately be seen on radars as what it really is – a fake.

In order to make a fake of something that exactly matches that “something” in size, shape, and flight patterns, you must first be able to make the real thing. Otherwise, you don’t know how to mimic it exactly. It’s simple logic.

So simple logic alone utterly refutes the lies of missile defense opponents like Reif. It exposes their real motivation – ideological, implacable knee-jerk opposition to missile defense per se, which motivates them to make any false claims, even contradictory ones.

You can’t have it both ways, Kingston. Either North Korea and Iran  can make credible decoys and mate them with missiles – in which case they can do the same with real warheads – or they can’t.

In short, there is a clear need for the East Coast missile defense site; it would be cheap; and if the GBI system continues to be developed and improved, and if the MKV program is revived, the system can become very effective.

Like Reif, ACA’s Greg Thielmann falsely claims that an East Coast missile defense site – and deploying the now-cancelled SM-3 Block 2B missile also intended against ICBM – would be too expensive and that the Iranian ballistic missile threat hasn’t even even begun to emerge. He even claims it’s doubtful that Iran will have an ICBM by the end of this decade.

But that threat has already begun to emerge: the US intel community and the DOD estimate Iran will have an ICBM by 2015/2016, and it could simply buy one from North Korea or China. It has already (allegedly) bought Musudan-ri MRBMs (with a 4,000 km range) from North Korea and has developed its own solid-fuel Sejjil and Ashoura MRBMs with a range of 2,500 kms. Moreover, it has also launched a satellite into space, thus making a huge step towards constructing an ICBM and demonstrating the capability to mate nuclear payloads with missiles.

Again, this truth must be repeated: the technology used to install satellites on missiles is THE SAME as that used to mate warheads to missiles. Fact.

Moreover, the point of defense, including missile defense, is to stay AHEAD of the threat, not to barely keep up with it. Yet, the US intel community and the DOD project Iran to have an ICBM by 2015/2016, so the US now has only 2-3 years to build an East Coast missile defense site.

But Thielmann goes even further, falsely claiming that North Korea doesn’t have ICBMs either and that its successful December 2012 launch of a satellite on an Unha-3 (Taepodong-2) rocket, i.e. on an ICBM. Again, the technology used to marry satellites and warheads to missiles is the same.

Moreover, after that successful launch, the South Koreans retrieved the upper stages and the delivery bus of the rocket from water; TheDailyBeast investigative journalist Eli Lake was the first to report this fact. The retrieved pieces of the missile demonstrated that North Korea DOES have the ability to marry payloads to missiles. CDN’s Defense Issues Weekly duly reported the story.

North Korea’s TD-2 ICBM, capable of reaching the CONUS, was the basis for the successful space rocket. On top of that, North Korea also has the road-mobile KN-08 ICBM, whose existence and genuity were recognized by the DOD (spoken for by Joint Chiefs Vice Chairman Adm. Sandy Winnefeld) in March.

Thielmann also wrongly touts the utterly false numbers given for Russia’s and China’s nuclear arsenals by Hans Kristensen and Robert Norris (for Russia, 466 ICBMs and SLBMs and less than 1,500 deployed warheads; for China, only 300 warheads and 50-75 ICBMs and SLBMs). This is supposed to prove that even the Russian and Chinese nuclear threat isn’t big; like other advocates of America’s disarmament, he dramatically understates the real size of China’s nuclear arsenal.

But both countries have far more weapons than that. Russia has 434 ICBMs and 224 SLBMs (16 for each of its 14 ballistic missile subs), a total of 658 intercontinental missiles, and 1,550, not 1,466, deployed strategic warheads – right at New START limits. (It has significantly built its arsenal up since New START’s ratification, while the US has had to cut its own.)

China has at least 86 ICBMs, plus at least 60 SLBMs on its five Jin class submarines (which, contrary to Thielmann’s blatant lies, ARE operational, and China has 5 of these, not merely 2), plus another 12 on its Xia class sub. And China’s real nuclear arsenal numbers at least 1,600-1,800, not 300-400, warheads.

Thielmann also falsely claims that Russia and China have many common interests that make their attacks on the US unlikely. This is also a blatant lie.

The US and China share no interests whatsoever; their national interests are diametrically opposed. The US wants to safeguard freedom of navigation at sea and in the air, freedom of trade and travel around the world, and to preserve its own and its Pacific’ allies security, as well as the international rules-based order. China wants to replace the US as the world’s top power, turn the Western Pacific into an internal Chinese lake, seize the Okinawa, the Senkakus, the Spratlys, Taiwan, and goodness knows what else, and push the US out of Asia completely.

China has behaved in a very hostile manner towards the US, whether by harassing unarmed American ships, stalking American carriers, blinding American satellites with lasers, threatening war with the US, or launching massive cyberattacks on US networks. The same is true of Russia, whose President Vladimir Putin openly vents his hatred of the US at every opportunity, while conducting an arms race against America, bullying US diplomats, launching his own cyberattacks on America, and supplying America’s enemies around the world (including Iran) with weapons and nuclear fuel.

Russia and the US share very few, if any, interests.

Lastly, Thielmann falsely claims that missile defense is impeding new arms control agreements and “additional” cuts in Russia’s arsenal. This is totally false. Since the late 2000s, Russia has not been cutting anything; under New START, it has significantly increased its nuclear arsenal.

Moreover, both Russia and China know that America’s current and planned missile defense systems are of limited scope and capability – capable enough against Iran and North Korea, but not against Russia’s and China’s much more advanced missiles, let alone the huge arsenals that Moscow and Beijing have. The idea that US missile defense systems pose any threat whatsoever to Russia’s or China’s nuclear arsenals is utterly ridiculous – like everything that Thielmann and his Arms Control Association colleagues write.

Thielmann’s ACA program is ridiculously called the “Realistic Threat Assessment Project”; in fact, it’s a Threat Dramatic Understatement Project and should be called that way.

Thus, Kingston Reif’s and Greg Thielmann’s claims have once again been exposed for what they really are – blatant lies.

Reagan’s Legacy Lives in Israel’s Iron Dome

(Video uploaded on You Tube Nov. 15, 2012 by Truthloader.)

Crossposted from American Millennium Online

American President Ronald Reagan

by Jeremy Griffith

As the title of this article suggests, the Israeli Iron Dome, an anti-missile missile system is saving lives in that country as Hamas, the Palestinian Terror organization, shoots hundreds of rockets at Israel from the West Bank and Gaza on a daily basis. The rockets create fear and uncertainly and can kill people and cause a lot of damage, but the Iron Dome is preventing many of these rockets from hitting their targets and achieving their goal.

I spoke to my brother recently who asked me to watch a You Tube Video on the topic and to comment upon it. My brother, Jason Griffith, is a Major in the Colorado National Guard and a Space Operations officer recently returned from a 9-month tour of duty in Afghanistan as the leader of a space team. He asked me this  poignant question.

“How many rockets are launched at Israel from Gaza?” he asked. I had no idea, but having been in the Holy Land once before myself, I knew it was a lot.

“Eight Hundred Seventy Seven,” he said. “And that is in just the last two weeks. How many of us would tolerate such a barrage from say Canada or Mexico?”

How many indeed?I think that most Americans would pummel the living crap out of those people attempting to assault us, but when it comes to Israel defending itself, the world urges restraint. RESTRAINT?! Please. This is an outrage. None of us would tolerate this, why should Israel? But instead of siding with Israel, who is the victim of these attacks, the Israelis are targeted by negative world opinion and labeled as the aggressors when they go into these areas and kill the leaders of Hamas responsible for the terror.

So here is my commentary on the video. Ronald Reagan was a demonstrable genius when he envisioned the so called Star Wars shield of anti-missile missile batteries when he came up against the Soviet Union in the Cold War. His greatest achievement was bluffing down the Russians and pushing off from the table at Reykjavik when Gorbachev asked him to give up Star Wars. Now the vision that Reagan had is a reality and all the idiots who called him an idiot can see for themselves the real life realization of his dream. The Patriot Missile batteries of the United States and the Iron Dome of Israel is the culmination of that dream, a shield that would block incoming ballistic missiles and keep a nation free from the threat of intercontinental ballistic missiles, especially nukes.

But we can take no comfort in the long lasting legacy of Reagan. While Israel continues to proof these great defensive weapons, President Obama plans to cut the military and what do you suppose will be among the first programs to cut? Intercontinental anti-ballistic missile systems, leaving us vulnerable to attack from without. Obama will not just stop at cutting Star Wars, he has already planned to cut back our nuclear ballistic missile capability to dangerous levels, thus making us weaker while emboldening our enemies.

This President doesn’t care about defense, which is the executive branch’s primary mission. We saw that with his reaction to Benghazi. Obama’s goal it seems is to continually steal from the taxpayer to pay off cronies and to redistribute wealth from those who have, and have worked to earn it, to those who have not, and who have no plans to ever work. Over half of Americans voted to re-elect a president so they could steal from you what they have no right to have and give it to them who have no desire to earn it. Amazing!

Well, there are consequences to elections people and we will be seeing them in the next few years as this President and his cronies in the Democratic Party, a degrading bastardization of the Party of Thomas Jefferson, drives us all over the fiscal cliff!

Take heart that at least Israel gets it and will likely be fine on their own. Necessity is the mother of invention. When we at last are threatened like Israel, perhaps we will come to our senses. I just hope that isn’t too late.

Watch this video from the US Missile Defense Agency on their prospective anti-ballistic missile capability in 2020.

Rebuttal of the ACA’s newest blatant lies

The extremely leftist, pro-unilateral-disarmament Arms Control Association (ACA) has written yet another litany of blatant lies on its website, this time in the blog section, and the leftist DefenseNews magazine’s writers, as usual, blindly and foolishly reprinted the ACA’s blatant lies without any critical analysis.

The ACA falsely claims that the East Coast missile defense site, proposed by Congressional Republicans, the Institute of Defense Analyses, and the National Research Council, is unneeded and “makes little sense”. They falsely claim that

“This was a bad idea when the House proposed it this summer, and it’s a bad idea now.”

But they’re completely wrong. It was a good idea when the House proposed it this past summer, and it’s a good idea now. More to the point, it’s a NECESSARY policy. It’s necessary to protect the East Coast from future Iranian ICBMs, which Iran may have as early as 2015, according to US intel and DOD reports on Iran. Tehran has already demonstrated the capability to launch satellites into space; developing an ICBM is a logical next step. The US intelligence community and the DOD say that Iran will have an ICBM later in this decade and may have it as early as 2015 – just 3 years from now.

Concurrently, Iran, despite leftist organizations’ (such as the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists’ and Arms Control Wonk blog’s) pious denials, is working on nuclear weapons, as evidenced by its development of uranium deuteride, a type of a neutron initiator. A neutron initiator has NO civilian applications. Its only usage is as a trigger for nuclear weapons.

Studying possible sites for interceptors, radars, and a command center, making the Environmental Impact Statements, getting funding for such sites passed by the Congress, and building such sites will take many years, so it is necessary to start the work on an East Coast missile defense site NOW, before it’s too late – before Iran obtains an ICBM.

But for the extremely leftist, treasonous ACA, protecting America by any means – whether by missile defense or with a nuclear deterrent – is “a bad idea” and “makes little sense”. They categorically oppose (and have long opposed) any kind of missile defense for the United States (but don’t oppose Russian and Chinese programs on the same subject) and they want America to deeply and unilaterally cut its own nuclear arsenal and fleet of delivery systems while other countries (Russia, China, North Korea, Pakistan) continue to rapidly build up and modernize their nuclear arsenals. The ACA’s response? The US should just hope that Russia would be nice enough to cancel its nuclear buildup and modernization in reward for America’s unilateral disarmament.

The extremely leftist ACA ridiculously cites a recent (September) National Research Council/National Academy of Sciences report as supposed evidence that an East Coast missile defense site is unneeded, but the NRC/NAS report actually proves that such a site is necessary and explicitly calls for the construction of such a site (in lieu of the 4th phase of the Obama Admin’s European Phased Adaptive Approach, i.e. the SM-3 Block 2B missile). The NRC says that an East Coast missile defense site should be located in Maine or New York state and would be far more effective and at intercepting ICBMs than any site or any missile in Europe. Here’s what the report says (p. 5-27):

“In addition to FGA and VAFB, new sites, including a northeastern United States site such as Fort Drum, New York, or northern Maine; a far western site on Shemya, Alaska; and a European site in Poland, were studied. All of these new interceptor sites were assumed to be populated with the new GMD-E high-performance interceptors, as previously described, with communication links to the BMC2 system. In this regard, the first step in a deployment evolution (using GMD-E interceptors) would be a committee-recommended site for 30 interceptors in upstate New York or northern New England. The next step in the evolution would be a phased upgrade of the current interceptors at FGA and VAFB, with the new GMD-E interceptors. In addition, an Aegis system would be used to defend Hawaii (either a ship positioned near Kauai, Hawaii, or Aegis ashore on Kauai with an additional GBX radar and THAAD battery for second shot).”

I repeat: the NRC/NAS report recognizes the need for, and explicitly CALLS for the construction of, an East Coast missile defense site.[1]

The ACA also falsely claims that:

“Instead of Sen. Ayotte’s premature proposal to study possible deployment locations for missile defense sites on the East Coast, Congress needs to take a deep breath, look at how little the nation got for over $30 billion invested on the West Coast, and ask: ‘Haven’t I seen this movie before?’”

That is also a blatant lie. The nation has realized a huge benefit for the $30 bn invested in West Coast missile defense: 30 anti-ICBM interceptors in Alaska and California capable of and ready to intercept any ICBMs from North Korea (and even a small number of Chinese ICBMs). These interceptors are accompanied by radars and command/control centers. If North Korea launches an ICBM, and if this North Korean ICBM makes it close to the US this time, America will be able to shoot it down, thanks to the GBIs on the West Coast and the $30 bn invested in West Coast missile defense.

Had the ACA had its way, the entire West Coast would’ve been completely unprotected and defenseless and North Korea would’ve been able to blackmail the US with a missile attack on the West Coast.

Think about it, folks: The ACA has been wrong everytime it has opened its mouth. It has been wrong everytime it has commented on something. It was wrong about North Korea and the West Coast, and had it had its way, the West Coast would’ve been completely defenseless. But now, ACA says “trust us, we’re be right this time, there’s no need for an East Coast missile defense site.”

But they’re wrong again, as always.

Also think about this, folks: ACA is an extremely leftist organization which seeks America’s unilateral disarmament and ideologically opposes any kind of missile defense (and has opposed it for a long time; they’ve said that the US should not deploy any kind of missile defense systems even if they prove themselves to work as intended).

They have an incentive to lie. They have an incentive to deny or understate threats to US security and to deny the effectiveness and usefulness of missile defense systems. They are not credible and cannot be trusted.

On a positive note, the Senate has adopted an amendment by Sen. John Hoeven which (and this will irk the ACA and other treasonous organizations) states that the Senate believes that the US needs to continue to maintain a nuclear triad of ICBMs, SSBNs, and strategic bombers. The amendment states:

“It is the sense of the Senate that 1) the United States should maintain a triad of strategic nuclear delivery systems; and 2) the United States is committed to modernizing the component weapons and delivery systems of that triad.”

http://www.defensenews.com/article/20121129/DEFREG02/311290006/U-S-Senate-Leaves-East-Coast-Shield-8217-s-Fate-Conference-Panel?odyssey=tab|topnews|text|FRONTPAGE

[1] Donald Montague [ed.], Making Sense of Ballistic Missile Defense: An Assessment of Concepts and Systems for U.S. Boost-Phase Missile Defense in Comparison to Other Alternatives, National Academies Press, Washington DC 2012, p. 5-27.

Obama’s foreign policy shares fate of North Korea’s rocket launch

On Thursday, North Korea’s launch of its Unha-3 rocket – purported to have an orbital satellite as a payload – broke apart shortly after launch and fell into the ocean – along with the current administration’s foreign policy approach.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had said on Thursday that a launch by North Korea would violate the agreement made between the United States and North Korea. The earlier agreement had promised food and medical supplies for the starving masses as long as several conditions were met – one of which was a missile testing moratorium.

In another sternly-worded statement, Clinton said:

If Pyongyang goes forward, we will all be back in the Security Council to take further action.  And it is regrettable because, as you know, we had worked through an agreement that would have benefited the North Korean people with the provision of food aid. But in the current atmosphere, we would not be able to go forward with that, and other actions that other countries had been considering would also be on hold.

The United Nations is the sole remedy from the Obama administration. As proved by North Korea’s actions, Iran’s continued defiance of U.N. mandates and the ongoing violence in Syria, it is a failed approach that relies on a defunct, but expensive, organization.

Obama has also recently expressed his willingness to sell-out American defense interests as he told Russian president Dmitry Medvedev that Obama would have much more flexibility on missile defense once he gets re-elected. There had also been confusion over just what the Obama administration had negotiated away last January in the START treaty with Russia. While Russia said that the treaty prevented America from deploying missile defenses, American counter-parts disagreed.

President Obama’s speak softly and carry nothing policy will likely lead to both Iran and North Korea having an inter-continental ballistic missile capability and the United States having no missile defenses to protect herself. This is not simply a failure in foreign policy, but now in national defense.

Obama Begs Russian President for ‘Space’ in Election Year [Video]

President Obama was caught on an open microphone asking the Russian President to give him some political “space” until the November election. In exchange, Obama would have much greater “flexibility” in regards to missile defense and other points of contention between the U.S. and Russia.

This “flexibility” could apply to:

  • Russian help to Iran on it’s nuclear stockpile
  • Cuba and Venezuela
  • Defense of Europe from an Iranian missle
  • National defense secrets that the State department has reportedly been seeking to give to Russia

The Obama administration’s response to the airing of this video interchange was to simply state that that nothing is going to be accomplished in an election year. Clearly the President is far too busy golfing, fund-raising and attending his $3 lottery dinners to deal with issues like national security, foreign policy or silly things like open microphones.