Mis­sile de­fense

The Washington Times Weekly - - National -

The Pen­tagon and State De­part­ment re­cently pub­lished a re­port ex­plain­ing the need to set up a third ground-based in­ter­cep­tor site in East­ern Europe to counter the grow­ing threat of long-range mis­siles from rogue states.

The re­port was pro­duced to bet­ter ex­plain why the Pen­tagon wants to build a 10-mis­sile in­ter­cep­tor site in Poland by 2011 to 2013, and a mid­course track­ing and dis­crim­i­na­tion radar in Czech Repub­lic by 2011. Talks are un­der way for the sys­tem.

The re­por t states that the threat from mis­siles “is real and grow­ing” and notes that in 1972 only nine states de­ployed bal­lis­tic mis­siles while by 2006 the num­ber had grown to 25 na­tions.

The num­ber of states with mis­siles ca­pa­ble of at­tack­ing U.S. al­lies and U.S. ter­ri­tory has in­creased from five states to nine, with Iran and North Korea the most wor­ri­some.

“If Europe is not se­cure, the United States is not se­cure,” the re­port stated.

The re­port notes that to pro­tect against mis­sile at­tacks, “we need de­fenses sta­tioned and op­er­a­tional in Europe be­fore a threat fully emerges.”

In ad­di­tion to North Korea’s long-range Tae­podong-2 mis­sile, the re­port iden­ti­fied an­other ma­jor threat as Iran’s Sha­hab-3 medium-range mis­sile, which was test-fired in Novem­ber dur­ing Iran’s “Great Prophet II” ex­er­cises. The Sha­hab-3 has a range of about 800 miles, enough to hit tar­gets in Is­rael and Turkey. Ad­di­tion­ally, Iran is de­vel­op­ing longer-range mis­siles, in­clud­ing a 1,240-mile range Sha­hab and even­tu­ally in­tercon­ti­nen­tal-range mis­siles.

“We can­not af­ford to be sur­prised by wak­ing up one day and dis­cov­er­ing that Iran has an [in­tercon­ti­nen­tal bal­lis­tic mis­sile] ca­pa­bil­ity,” the re­port stated.

The re­port shows that the Pol­ish-Czech site would not “catch” any Rus­sian ICBMs, but would pro­tect all Euro­pean NATO al­lies from at­tack against a long-range mis­sile fired from the Mid­dle East.

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