Do We Really Need Missile Defense?

Liberals say we don’t. This story says that we do.

North Korea to ‘Test Missile Capable of Striking U.S.’

North Korea is preparing to test fire a long range missile capable of striking the United States, according to media reports in South Korea and Japan this morning.

The Yonhap News Agency in Seoul quoted South Korean officials who described satellite image showing a long cylindrical object being transported on a train through the North Korean countryside. The sinister object has been identified as a Taepodong-2, an intercontinental missile with a range of more than 4000 miles, capable of crossing the Pacific and striking targets in Hawaii or Alaska.

When you point out that a nuclear armed North Korea might be able to launch a nuclear missile that could hit us, the liberal response is usually “Mutually assured destruction. They nuke us, we nuke them back!”

The are two major problems with that way of thinking.

#1) MAD has always been an unwieldy, imperfect option. Over the years with the Soviets, there were close calls. There were dangerous miscommunications. There were times when people on both sides asked that frightening question, “Do we need to hit them first to make sure that they don’t hit us?”

In other words, MAD is better than nothing, but it doesn’t come close to assuring our safety.

#2) There’s a difference between say China and the Soviet Union, where the people in charge are/were evil, but rational, and countries like Iran, where religious fanatics hold sway — or North Korea where an unbalanced dictator has absolute authority.

If you’re Kim Jong-Il and let’s say you’re on your death bed, do you perhaps consider launching a nuclear weapon without caring what happens to your people? If you’re some crazy in Iran who thinks a nuclear conflict with the United States will pave the way for the Mahdi, do you pull the trigger? Maybe you do.

It’s also worth noting that people in different cultures don’t always read the United States very well. For example, it appears the reason that Saddam Hussein left the world with the impression he had WMD’s even though he wasn’t retaining stockpiles, was that he thought the US was a paper tiger and that Iran and his own people were greater threats to his rule than Bush. That turned out to be a cataclysmic error, but it’s one that could easily be repeated. Can’t you just see some foreign dictator convincing himself that a weakling like Barack Obama wouldn’t nuke him back under any circumstances? Heck, I live here and I’m not sure that Barack Obama would nuke a nation back that fired nukes at us.

Moreover, consider how much damage a nuclear weapon hitting an American city would cause. The loss of life and monetary costs would be astronomical. It would make 9/11 & Katrina combined look like a stroll through a petting zoo. Even if we weren’t hit, think about how easy it would be for a country like Iran or North Korea to use nuclear blackmail against us.

The importance of our missile defense program should not be underestimated and honestly, it’s probably more important than anything we’re spending money on in “porkulus.” That’s something liberals should keep in mind as we go forward.

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