North Korea is under the thumb of a communist dictator who has nuclear weapons that threaten to strike our West Coast and our allies in South Korea and Japan. Among many crises dumped by Obama on President Trump, this may be the worst.
The optimal approach for dealing with the rogue state of North Korea is as obvious as building a border wall to stop illegal aliens from pouring into our country from Mexico. The equivalent of a wall, an effective missile defense system, should be installed around North Korea.
We have long had the ability to develop this, more so with each passing day as our technology improves. So why don’t we have a combat-ready missile defense system to install immediately to shut down the frightening threat posed by Kim Jong-un of North Korea?
It is not due to a lack of resources or high-tech know-how that our missile defense system is not as advanced as our iPhones, Androids, and driverless cars. Our annual spending on defense (including pensions and veterans benefits) approaches a trillion dollars a year, more than the market value of Apple Computer or any other company in Silicon Valley.
Today officials confirmed that our Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system is successfully installed in South Korea, which helps but may not intercept the intermediate-range missiles that North Korea has been deploying. Relying on THAAD is like continuing to use an outdated flip cell phone.
Developing state-of-the-art systems to protect people against missile attack should be enthusiastically supported by Democrats and Republicans, liberals and conservatives, pacifists and hawks. A madman who gains control of a nuclear arsenal may be not deterred by the possibility of his country being bombed in retaliation if he misbehaves.
A high-tech missile defense system that intercepts enemy missiles in the boost phase, as envisioned by the “Brilliant Pebbles” system developed in the late 1980s at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, would cost only about $20 billion today. Brilliant Pebbles was cancelled by President Bill Clinton in order to pander to globalism.
Globalists have long opposed using American technology to build missile defense, just as they oppose building a border wall to stop illegal immigration. Globalism favors a less sovereign United States, one that is more dependent on the United Nations and international power brokers.
Globalists have interfered with missile defense development for a half-century, dating back to 1966 when Phyllis Schlafly advocated for the Nike X missile defense system. Nike did not stand for an athletic shoe then, but for the Greek goddess representing victory in both war and peace.
Phyllis pointed out then that development of a missile defense system would have weakened the resolve of the Soviet Union and could have dissuaded them from continuing to fund the war of attrition in Vietnam. Nearly two decades later, again at the urging of Phyllis, President Ronald Reagan promoted the development of a similar program and it helped enormously in causing the collapse of the communist Soviet Union.
In a speech delivered in October 1966 – more than 50 years ago – Phyllis Schlafly urged globalist Robert McNamara to drop his opposition to the Nike X missile defense program. McNamara was the longest-serving Secretary of Defense in American history, dictating policy under the Kennedy and Johnson Administrations.
Phyllis explained then that “American technological genius has developed a marvelous new weapon which can give us the anti-missile defense we need. It is called the Nike X. It has been developed, and thoroughly tested, so that we know it is reliable and ready to go into production.”
Arguments against missile defense are almost too silly to repeat. On one hand critics insisted that it is impossible to build, but then on the other hand they contradicted themselves by asserting that it would be destabilizing to construct one successfully.
President Reagan persevered against the naysayers, and his refusal to abandon this program was a major cause of the collapse of communism in the Soviet Union, as the Soviets realized they could not keep up with our technological advances. When the Gulf War broke out during the presidency of the first George Bush in 1991, the newly developed missile defense system known as “Patriot” played a spectacular role in shooting down missiles launched by Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein.
Phyllis Schlafly referred to opponents of missile defense as the “gravediggers," because their senseless opposition to defending us against enemy attack was akin to digging graves for us. It is inevitable that an attention-seeking dictator will get control of a nuclear arsenal and start launching missiles far and wide.
That day may arrive soon, in the form of North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un. With so many technological advances in every other walk of life, now is the time for a new “Manhattan Project” to upgrade and perfect our missile defense systems.
John and Andy Schlafly are sons of Phyllis Schlafly (1924-2016) whose 27th book, The Conservative Case for Trump, was published posthumously on September 6.