Monday, March 30, 2009

Pyongyang, Tehran: Axis Of Missiles

photo of U.S. THAAD anti-ballistic missile.

This is what the launch would look like if Obama and Gates had the cojones to to use our anti-ballistic missile system on North Korea's upcoming "satellite" launch.

It's not a matter of whether we can shoot the North Korean missile down, we know that we can. The bottom line is we shouldn't allow North Korea have a successful launch and confirm what their missile capability is. As soon as they they know it, the blackmail and extortion will begin.

It's hard for them to make serious threats when they don't know if their missile will explode 40 seconds into launch like the last one did.

It doesn't mean that North Korea wouldn't launch a nuclear tipped missile anyway without a previous successful launch, but if we've shot everyone of their launched missiles out of the sky, why would they believe the next one would be able to reach its target?

Beyond the nuclear missile capability, North Korea needs a successful launch for prestige and to satisfy their narcissistic leader. I hope the Obama administration hasn't made a deal with the devil, and told North Korea that they would not shoot the missile down if they would come back to the negotiating table. Let's hope not. However, Obama needs some foreign policy success, because so far, he's had none at all. Otherwise, it's hard to explain the bizarre comments, contradictions and incompetent behaviour we're seeing.

Monday, March 30, 2009

National Security: Iranian missile experts are helping North Korea with the imminent launch of an ICBM that can hit Alaska and Hawaii. Imagine a Taepodong-2 with a nuke. This is no time to gut missile defense.

The enemy of my enemy is my friend, the saying goes. On Sunday, the Japanese paper Sankei Shimbun reported that a 15-member delegation from Tehran has been advising the North Koreans on their imminent "satellite" launch since the beginning of March. Iran recently launched its own satellite to demonstrate its global reach.

The Iranian experts include senior officials with rocket and satellite producer Shahid Hemmat Industrial Group and brought with them a letter from Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to North Korea's Kim Jong Il stressing the importance of cooperating on what they call "space" technology.

Cooperating they have been. The Sankei report said North Korea sent missile experts to Iran when it launched a satellite in February. North Korea is known to have sold missiles and missile technology to Iran, and Iran's Safir-Omid space launch vehicle owes much to North Korea's Taepodong missile.

Iran's cooperation with North Korea began in the 1980s, when Tehran financed Pyongyang's production of Soviet-designed Scud missiles and received 100 of them. Later, North Korea shipped engines for Rodong midrange missiles to Iran. Pyongyang also has helped Tehran set up missile production facilities, and North Koreans are regular visitors to these plants.

A November 2006 Congressional Research Service report reinforced concerns over Iranian and North Korean ties relating to missile technology. The report said Israel's military intelligence chief had information indicating that North Korea had shipped 18 long-range ballistic missiles capable of carrying a nuclear warhead up to 1,500 miles.

Iran's Shahab-3 simply is Iran's enhanced version of the North Korean Rodong. Confirmed reports place Iranian scientists and engineers inside North Korea in 1993, when the Rodong-class missile was first tested and unveiled.

A 21-member delegation headed by Brigadier-General Hossein Mantequei, the Iranian Revolutionary Guard commander in charge of Tehran's missile force, had arrived in Pyongyang to observe the test. The Iranians were satisfied, and as many as 150 Rodongs were sold to Iran, where the missile was renamed the Shahab 3.

North Korea's upcoming test may fail, as a Taepodong-2 launch in 2006 did. But that should not reassure us. Success is inevitable, even for the last Stalinist regime on earth. Working in tandem with Tehran, we may soon be faced with two nuclear powers capable of hitting Western cities.
As we have noted, if you can orbit a satellite, you can deliver a warhead anywhere on earth.

We forget these missiles don't have to be accurate. A single nuclear warhead detonated over the American heartland would fry our technological infrastructure and catapult America and its economy back into the 18th century.

This is no longer a theoretical discussion about hitting a bullet with a bullet. North Korea may soon be able to hit our Alaskan oil fields or Anchorage. Admiral Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff told CNN on Friday that a variant of the Taepodong-2 "could probably get down to Hawaii."

A Taepodong-2 with a range of 6,700 kilometers has been developed, bringing U.S. bases in Okinawa, Guam, Alaska and Hawaii within the potential range of North Korean missiles. Honolulu and Pearl Harbor are within range.

Thanks to the vision of President Ronald Reagan and the leadership of President George W. Bush, we have some arrows in our quiver — from the Patriot-3 to the sea-based Aegis to the ground-based interceptors based in Alaska and California.

But is there some quiver in our arrows? Will we give up for vague promises the missile defense sites in Poland and the Czech Republic specifically designed to deal with the Iranian threat? Will we give up expanding the missile defenses that give us a fair chance of shooting down these missiles in the hands of unstable tyrants?
Will we give up? - [my comment - If Obama has his way, the answer is Yes.]

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1 comment:

  1. Thanks for posting these. I read all of your posts as a good synopsis of what is going on.