North Korea raised the stakes with a successful test of an intercontinental ballistic missile.
They have the capability to launch a weapon that could hit Alaska.
Now America is vulnerable to an attack because of one of Obama’s biggest mistakes.
When Obama was in office, he scaled back America’s missile defense commitment.
Larry Bell wrote in Forbes back in 2013:
“Reversing an earlier Obama administration decision, the Pentagon has now budgeted $1 billion to expand our West Coast-based missile defense system. Newly-appointed Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel has announced plans to deploy 14 more ground-based long-range missile interceptors in Fort Greely, Alaska by 2017. This will supplement the 30 already existing on the West Coast. The reasoning he offered was: “The United States has missile defense systems in place to protect us from limited ICBM attacks…but North Korea in particular has recently made advances in its capabilities and is engaged in a series of irresponsible and reckless provocations.”
The U.S. could have already had those 14 more interceptors in place, along with another 10 in Europe next year. The Bush administration deployed the first ground-based interceptor (GBI) in 2004, and had planned to deploy a total of 54. In 2009, Obama pulled the plug on that plan, and cut GBI deployment to just 30.
President Obama also mothballed or killed several other missile defense development programs. This included a scale-back of the Airborne Laser program to enable enemy missile interceptions during their early launch phase, along with the elimination of the Multiple Kill Vehicle and Kinetic Energy Interceptor which uses small warheads on a single rocket to handle decoys and offer a better chance of success. Obama’s 2010 defense budget cut $1.4 billion from the Missile Defense Agency.”
Obama’s delay proved costly.
In the wake of North Korea’s launch of an ICBM, the U.S. military’s missile defense shield is not yet ready.
“Tens of billions of dollars spent over three decades have still left the Pentagon with no reliable way to shoot down nuclear-tipped missiles approaching the U.S. homeland — a vulnerability that has taken on sharp new urgency after North Korea’s Independence Day test of its first ICBM.
Instead, the missile defense system designed to shield the United States from an intercontinental ballistic missile — a diverse network of sensors, radars, and interceptor missiles based in Alaska and California — has failed three of its five tests, military leaders acknowledge. Even the two successful ones were heavily scripted.
“If the North Koreans fired everything they had at us, and we fired at all of the missiles, we’d probably get most of them,” said Jeffrey Lewis, the director of the East Asia nonproliferation program at the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies. “But is ‘probably get most’ a good day or a bad day?”
The Pentagon’s official stance on Wednesday was that the Ground-based Midcourse Defense system, designed by Boeing and a slew of other defense contractors, can knock out a missile whizzing through the atmosphere. But that view is in the minority.
Most current and former military officials and other experts argue that the chances of protecting U.S. territory from a surprise or short-notice ICBM attack would be slim at best. As recently as last month, the outgoing Navy admiral in charge of all the Pentagon’s missile defense programs told Congress he has “reliability concerns” with the system.”
The situation could have been less dire had Obama not gutted the program.
But now America may be vulnerable to a surprise strike by the North Koreans.
This may be Obama’s most disastrous legacy.