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U.S. Must Expedite Construction of Missile Defense


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U.S. Must Expedite Construction of Missile Defense

Posted by Senator Jim DeMint

Ever since President Obama was elected nations have sought to test America and the resolve of our new president.

First, Russia threatened to deploy ballistic missiles to Eastern Europe.

Second, Iran -- who can already reach our allies and soldiers in Europe with ballistic missiles -- just recently launched its first satellite, which sat atop a missile that could threaten the United States. Meanwhile, Iran is partnering with Russia to complete their nuclear ambitions. Together these facts demonstrate that Iran is reaching the capability to launch a nuclear warhead thousands of miles away.

Third, U.S.-satellite imagery recently confirmed North Korea has moved another test missile to a launch facility on the border with South Korea. At the same time, North Korea announced it is unilaterally withdrawing from a non-aggression pact with South Korea. In July 2007, North Korea detonated a nuclear bomb. North Korea has demonstrated its capabilities, and the U.S. cannot underestimate North Korea or nor its ability to destabilize East Asia.

In order to counter these threats and improve security for our friends in Europe and Asia, the Bush Administration pursued ballistic missile defense technology -- a purely defensive system that consists of a small number of non-explosive missiles to counter rogue regimes with small ballistic missile arsenals. The system poses no threat to nations -- such as Russia -- that have thousands of ballistic missiles. Even though we offered to merge our missile defense radars with Russia and protect them as well, Russia has protested. Now, Obama is considering withdrawing from agreements the U.S. reached previously with its allies such as Poland and the Czech Republic.

Our allies in Europe rely on the us to honor our commitments, and U.S. interests are too great to back away from our friends. America has made significant progress on missile defense and must move forward with deploying the new system. Completion of the system in Europe would send a strong signal that the U.S. is serious about enhancing security in a turbulent world. Vice President Joe Biden said that "faced with new threats we need a new resolve to meet them, and the capabilities to succeed." We possess the know-how, now the president needs to demonstrate the resolve.

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