Joe Biden is wrong on missile defense

James Lewis
Joe Biden is supposed to add foreign policy credibility to the Obama ticket. But Senator Biden has been consistently wrong on at least one crucial national security issue: The steadily spreading danger of strategic missiles and nuclear weapons

Two years ago the north of Israel was attacked from Lebanon with thousands of fairly simple missiles. Israel's high-tech army could not mount a successful defense, nor could it completely wipe out the dug-in missile launchers in Lebanon. Hundreds of thousands of civilians had to be evacuated. An Israeli naval vessel was nearly sunk by an Iranian missile fired from Lebanon.   

Since the summer of 2006 missile defense has become an even greater priority for countries that feel threatened, from Israel to India, Japan, Eastern Europe, and the Middle East. Iran is now boasting about its advanced Shahab-3 missiles, built with the aid of North Korea. Shahab-3s can strike large parts of Europe and the Middle East. North Korea launched a multistage missile over Japan several years ago. Pervez Musharaf just resigned as President of Pakistan -- but that country has both nukes and missiles, and a history of instability. We may end up regretting the loss of Musharaf if those weapons get loose.

Missile proliferation is a reality; it's too late to stop it now. All we can do is build up our defenses. 

In the US Senate, Joe Biden consistently resisted missile defenses, a position that seems more and more reckless with every passing month. If Obama wins in the Fall, VP Biden will be in a powerful position to wreck our growing defenses, just on the very cusp of success. Liberals have been known to do just such dangerous things.

In 2001 Senator Biden loudly fought the Bush administration's decisive push for BMD, because he claimed it would never work, wasn't worth the money, and there wasn't any danger anyway.   But Biden has no engineering background, so he had to go on faith, echoing the critics --- who turned out to be wrong. Now we know ballistic missile defense works. If we had listened to Joe Biden in 2001 we would be far more vulnerable today.    

Our missile defenses have vastly improved since the Bush administration took office -- but they are not yet good enough. We need to push BMD as fast as possible into the realm of "ray gun" defenses. We are close to having a chemical laser mounted on a Boeing 747 that will be able to shoot down ballistic missiles during launch. The next generation will be beamforming radar systems able to bring down a massive attack, straight out of the "domed cities" of science fiction; except they will really work. "Iron Dome" is the Israeli name for its latest efforts along these lines. They are fielding it in the North, where Hezbollah rained missiles two years ago.

Apparently Poland, the Ukraine, and Georgia are fully convinced of the need; so are Israel and Saudi Arabia; so is India, Japan and South Korea. Not a surprise: If you're under the gun, you suddenly start thinking more seriously. Joe Biden hasn't been the swiftest thinker on these threats. 

The big question is: Does Joe Biden realize he was wrong? Does he learn when the facts go against him? Because if he doesn't, neither Obama nor Biden should be allowed near the White House.

James Lewis blogs at dangeroustimes.wordpress.com
Joe Biden is supposed to add foreign policy credibility to the Obama ticket. But Senator Biden has been consistently wrong on at least one crucial national security issue: The steadily spreading danger of strategic missiles and nuclear weapons

Two years ago the north of Israel was attacked from Lebanon with thousands of fairly simple missiles. Israel's high-tech army could not mount a successful defense, nor could it completely wipe out the dug-in missile launchers in Lebanon. Hundreds of thousands of civilians had to be evacuated. An Israeli naval vessel was nearly sunk by an Iranian missile fired from Lebanon.   

Since the summer of 2006 missile defense has become an even greater priority for countries that feel threatened, from Israel to India, Japan, Eastern Europe, and the Middle East. Iran is now boasting about its advanced Shahab-3 missiles, built with the aid of North Korea. Shahab-3s can strike large parts of Europe and the Middle East. North Korea launched a multistage missile over Japan several years ago. Pervez Musharaf just resigned as President of Pakistan -- but that country has both nukes and missiles, and a history of instability. We may end up regretting the loss of Musharaf if those weapons get loose.

Missile proliferation is a reality; it's too late to stop it now. All we can do is build up our defenses. 

In the US Senate, Joe Biden consistently resisted missile defenses, a position that seems more and more reckless with every passing month. If Obama wins in the Fall, VP Biden will be in a powerful position to wreck our growing defenses, just on the very cusp of success. Liberals have been known to do just such dangerous things.

In 2001 Senator Biden loudly fought the Bush administration's decisive push for BMD, because he claimed it would never work, wasn't worth the money, and there wasn't any danger anyway.   But Biden has no engineering background, so he had to go on faith, echoing the critics --- who turned out to be wrong. Now we know ballistic missile defense works. If we had listened to Joe Biden in 2001 we would be far more vulnerable today.    

Our missile defenses have vastly improved since the Bush administration took office -- but they are not yet good enough. We need to push BMD as fast as possible into the realm of "ray gun" defenses. We are close to having a chemical laser mounted on a Boeing 747 that will be able to shoot down ballistic missiles during launch. The next generation will be beamforming radar systems able to bring down a massive attack, straight out of the "domed cities" of science fiction; except they will really work. "Iron Dome" is the Israeli name for its latest efforts along these lines. They are fielding it in the North, where Hezbollah rained missiles two years ago.

Apparently Poland, the Ukraine, and Georgia are fully convinced of the need; so are Israel and Saudi Arabia; so is India, Japan and South Korea. Not a surprise: If you're under the gun, you suddenly start thinking more seriously. Joe Biden hasn't been the swiftest thinker on these threats. 

The big question is: Does Joe Biden realize he was wrong? Does he learn when the facts go against him? Because if he doesn't, neither Obama nor Biden should be allowed near the White House.

James Lewis blogs at dangeroustimes.wordpress.com