Taking Care of Business

February 27, 2009

Dear Members and Friends,

As North Korea prepares to launch its advanced Taepodong-II, long-range ballistic missile, amongst strong diplomatic efforts and sanctions, the top testing official at DOD and the Director of the Missile Defense Agency testified before Congress that the current deployed missile defense system can provide a defense of the American people from the current North Korean threat. The overall combat commander of the Pacific Region, Admiral Keating said on national television that the military is prepared to shoot down any North Korean ballistic missile if President Obama should give the order.

The merits of having a deployed operational missile defense capability today is invaluable to our President, our Secretary of State, our National Security Director, our nation, our allies and our military.

Below are excerpts from a Congressional hearing, this past Wednesday, from the Subcommittee on Strategic Forces of the House Armed Services Committee.

Dr. Charles McQueary, Director of the Department of Operational Testing

“In my annual report, I said ground-based mid-course defense has demonstrated a limited capability to defend against a simple long-range ballistic missile threat launched from North Korea toward the United States. And I stand by that wording, both this year and last year.”

Lt. General Patrick O’Reilly, Director of the Missile Defense Agency

When asked by Congressman Franks, “Are you confident that this capability that we have today can provide a defense of the American people from the current North Korean threat?”

Lt. Gen. O’Reilly replied “Yes, sir. Based on the scenarios that we’ve tested three times, although it’s limited and it’s in the beginning, those scenarios overlay a launch from North Korea and a response out of Alaska. And so we have tested three times that scenario first, for obvious reasons. And that is the source of my confidence. Second of all, our firing doctrine is that we have a significant number of missiles, so we can put a significant number of missiles in the air at once. And that each time significantly increases the overall probability that you are going to be successful.”

Admiral Timothy Keating, Commander, U.S. Pacific Command

“If a missile leaves the launch pad we’ll be prepared to respond upon direction of the president.”

“Everything that we need to be ready is ready. So that’s ready twice in one sentence, but we’re not kidding, it doesn’t take much for us to be fully postured to respond.”

In the U.S. arsenal is a “very sophisticated and complex, but effective ballistic missile-defense system,” Keating says, which would provide a line of attack against any kind of ballistic missile or warhead that springs from a North Korean launch pad.

The House Armed Services Committee main purpose was to question the confidence of the long range, ground-based ballistic missile defense system. (Link to the testimony).

In testimony that confidence was assured.

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