Does O Understand Anything About Ballistic Missile Defense?

If the Middle East -- and the rest of the world -- survives the aggressive rise of Iranian nukes and missiles, it will be thanks to Ballistic Missile Defense -- a completely new technology that is just being put into place. The next ten years will tell the story. 

It's already evident that Mr. Obama doesn't understand a lot about oil, coal and natural gas, the three key fuels of the world economy.  Senator O doesn't know much about General Petraeus' surge in Iraq -- a fundamental change in warfighting tactics, not just a surge in troop strength, as the media seem to think.  

Barack Obama has odd ideas about average Americans, and has a tendency to sneer at the rest of us. Barack and Michelle seem to be totally obsessed with race, the greatest sin of our age according to liberals. In sum, the Obamas seem mentally boxed into a very narrow liberal faith on all those issues. Senator Joe Lieberman recently said, "I'd hesitate to say he's a Marxist, but he's got some positions that are far to the left of me and I think mainstream America." 

Still, Obama could still win. Call it fifty-fifty right now.

My biggest question therefore is this: Does Obama understand anything, anything at all, about the most important new defense technology since World War II? I refer to Ballistic Missile Defense, a historic achievement of this administration -- based on decades of high-priority research going back to Ronald Reagan.  Forget Iraq, forget everything else President Bush has tried to do. If BMD works, it will be far and away the greatest gift of the last eight years. Future generations will live in safety because George W. Bush insisted on pushing BMD as one of his top priorities.

The United States now has the first tested, world-wide defensive system against a ballistic missile threats from mad regimes like North Korea and Iran. This is an amazing technology, ranging from Aegis Navy ships that can bring down missiles in mid-flight with SM-3 bullet-on-bullet defenses,   to a worldwide radar-and-satellite missile detection system, an emerging Boeing-747-based high-powered laser beam to shoot down multiple missile targets, to regional defense by Patriot-3s, Arrow missiles, and in the foreseeable future, shaped radar beams  An Iranian Shahab-3 attack on Tel Aviv would now have to run a gauntlet of missile defenses from Aegis ships in the Gulf to Arrows, PAC-3s and SM-3s in and near Israel. We can now put such ship, air and land-based regional defenses almost anywhere in the world.  The American homeland has its first effective missile defenses against a limited attack.

This is all clearly understood by other threatened nations, like Japan, Israel, and India. They are jumping on BMD technology. They know their necks are on the line; so is ours.

It is crucial to keep pushing those weapon systems as fast as possible over the next decade, as high-powered laser defenses are brought from the lab to the field. In ten years we may finally be safe again, after a 70-year Age of Nuclear Anxiety. Since 1949 a nuclear aggressor has been unstoppable; all we had was the threat of complete nuclear wipeout to counter a possible attack.  By 2009 the Iranian martyrdom cult will have its first nuclear bomb. The next decade will therefore see a screaming end-game to the Age of Anxiety -- a nose-to-nose race between mad aggressors finally getting their nukes, and saner nations obtaining nearly fool-proof defenses 

BMD is the only practical answer to the uncontrolled spread of nukes to mad regimes. We can make it all work, if and only if our leaders understand the urgency of the problem and its emerging technical solutions. That is why Obama has to get this one, and get it right --- unlike all the Leftist politicians who've fought against BMD since Ronald Reagan.

So this is not a small question. So far, Barack Obama has blown it on the most important survival issue of the age. In his victory lap in Europe he failed to back the Czech radars that will protect Europe from Iranian missiles. But Mr. O is nothing if not flexible. If he ever gets it about how vital this is, he could quickly switch to a sane position.

Since Senator O is a creature of the Left, the whole world could be in grave danger if he becomes President and the Dems control Congress. They could still kill our last best hope for safety. Or they could just slow and sabotage our defense buildup, as they have consistently tried to do in the past.

Ballistic Missile Defense is the biggest do-or-die question in the next decade. John McCain understands that. So far, Barack Obama doesn't have a clue. That gives us a 50-50 chance of being blackmailed by the likes of Ahmadinejad and his guru, Ayatollah Khamenei. Obama doesn't even have to stand up against the Islamofascists of Tehran; all he has to do is keep our buildup on course. Between the Israelis, who have national survival on the line, the Saudis, who are 50 miles from Iran, and the Europeans, other Arabs, who are finally understanding the threat to their own survival, our allies will keep us focused. But the US is the only country with the technical prowess to win the race against the rogue regimes.

So I come back to the biggest question: Does O understand anything about Ballistic Missile Defense? So far he hasn't shown any sign of it. 

If national survival matters, that leaves us with only one choice in the fall.

James Lewis blogs at
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