Michael Shannon, 3/8/2016 [Archive]

Let's Hope the Crazies Don't Have Eleven Missiles

By Michael Shannon

Israel is preparing to deploy what the Washington Post calls "one of the most sophisticated missile defense systems in the world." The defensive shield is the product of 10 years of Israeli research and $3.3 billion from the U.S.

It's composed of two ballistic missile defense systems: David's Sling and Arrow—3. Once in the field Israel will be able to intercept both ballistic missiles and orbiting satellites.

The Post describes "a layered system that will allow the Jewish state to respond to simultaneous attacks from multiple fronts — the relatively crude homemade rockets lobbed by Hamas from the Gaza Strip, the midrange rockets and missiles fired by the Shiite militants of Hezbollah from Lebanon, and the long-range ballistic missiles being developed by Iran that could carry conventional or chemical warheads."

Which is the mainstream media's way saying the system can also destroy Iran's future nuclear missiles that were enabled by Imam Obama.

I'm glad Israel has the system. I've been there, made a number of acquaintances and would like to return some day. It looks like money well spent. But after investing all that money in Israel, why does the U.S. air defense system consist of shotgun—toting fathers shooting at drones caught videotaping their daughters?

It's not like missile defense is a new idea. Ronald Reagan proposed a program during his first term. He thought it was immoral that defense planning for nuclear war consisted of hiding the leadership while both populations burned to a crisp.

Democrats used ridicule to try to kill his system, calling it "Star Wars." The Pentagon did the rest with its usual combination of dishonesty and incompetence. If you ask the average citizen where keeping him safe from nuclear incineration ranks as a priority, he'd put it near the top.

Democrats believed fighting Reagan was more important than protecting the populace, so the program yo—yoed back and forth. Democrat administrations cut funding and sidetracked the program, while Republicans restored funding and put it back on the fast track.

At the Pentagon the only sense of urgency was connected with the size of the budget, and whether program officers would be able to go to work for the contractors after they retired from the military.

The stakes are much higher in Israel and the consequences for failure more immediate, which is no doubt why their missile defense works and ours doesn't. During Israel's 2014 conflict with Hamas, the older Iron Dome system intercepted 90 percent of the 4,000 rockets and mortar rounds fired from Gaza.

By comparison, our missile defense system, called the Duck & Cover, has repeatedly failed during what the Los Angles Times terms "tightly scripted flight tests."Israel hits nine out of ten during a real shooting war when lives are on the line and Obama's defense department misses 50 percent of the dummy missiles in a test that has tighter controls than a Hillary Clinton town meeting.

Now the Pentagon is installing missile batteries it knows are flawed.

The Times reports General Accounting Office investigators found two separate defects in our anti—missile interceptors that can result in complete failure. Pentagon officials ignored the problems because fixing the flaws would "slow a planned expansion of the nation's homeland missile defense system."

That's how the Pentagon bureaucrat mind works. It's more important to keep to the schedule than it is to deploy a system that will work when incoming missiles aren't just another test. Government sources have admitted our system is so flawed in the event of an attack the U.S. would be forced to fire four to five interceptors at each incoming missile to have a chance to destroy it.

North Korea, an unstable regime run by an unstable man, already has nuclear weapons and just this week declared it is prepared to initiate a nuclear first strike. A salvo of only ten missiles would completely exhaust our pitch—'til—you—win missile defense system, meaning the eleventh missile gets through.

The U.S., to say nothing of South Korea and Japan, needs an effective missile defense system and we need it now. Maybe, after Obama leaves office, we can buy one from the Israelis.

——

©Copyright 2016 Michael Shannon, distributed by Cagle Cartoons newspaper syndicate.

Michael Shannon is a commentator and public relations consultant, and is the author of "A Conservative Christian's Guidebook for Living in Secular Times." He can be reached at mandate.mmpr@gmail.com.

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