The shield that guards and defends the United States homeland from North Korean ballistic missiles stands capable and effective with the confidence of the United States President and the military commanders in charge of defending the United States of America. Since March 14, 2006 when Admiral Timothy Keating, Commander of U.S. Northern Command from November 5, 2004 to March 23, 2007 stated “When the president declares limited defensive operational capability, we are prepared as the shooter, if you will, to execute the mission to defend our country. And I’m very confident in the efficacy of that system.” (Link) There have been five consecutive United States military commanders of NORTHCOM that have assured their Commander in Chief, the President of the United States and stated to the United States Congress in testimony their confidence in the nation’s missile defense system to defend against ballistic missiles from North Korea.
- General Lori Robinson, NORTHCOM Commander from May 13, 2016 to present – Talking about if Kim Jong Un were to launch a ballistic missile targeting the U.S. homeland, “I’m confident, should he do that.” (Link) April 6, 2017.
- Admiral William Gortney, NORTHCOM Commander from December 5, 2014 to May 13, 2016 – “We’re ready for [Kim Jong Un], and we’re ready 24 hours a day if he should be dumb enough to shoot something at us.” (Link) October 7, 2015.
- General Charles Jacoby, JR., NORTHCOM Commander from August 3, 2011 to December 5, 2014 – “I remain confident in our current ability to defend the United States against ballistic missile threats from North Korea or Iran.” (Link) February 26, 2014.
- Admiral James Winnefeld, JR., NORTHCOM Commander from May 19, 2010 to August 3, 2011 – “I have gained increased confidence in the existing ballistic missile defense system’s ability – including our sensors, weapons systems, and highly trained operators – to defend against current limited threats.” (Link) March 9, 2011.
- General Victor Renuart, NORTHCOM Commander from March 23, 2007 to May 19, 2010 – “The nation has a very, very credible ballistic missile defense capability. Our ground-based interceptors in Alaska and California, I’m very comfortable, give me a capability that if we really are threatened by a long-range ICBM that I’ve got high confidence that I could interdict that flight before it caused huge damage to any U.S. territory.” (Link) July 2, 2009.
Since December 1999, there have been 52 hit to kill – metal on metal, kinetic energy – successful intercepts by United States missile defense systems that intercept in space and prove the system engineering can bring together all sensor information, process that information for the best firing solution and provide that information to the interceptor, pre-flight and in-flight, further enabling the interceptors sensor to best position itself for successful intercept along a ballistic missile trajectory. There have been nine successful intercepts by the Ground-based Midcourse Defense (GMD) System, there have been thirteen successful intercepts by the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system, and there have been 30 successful intercepts by the Aegis Standard Missile-3 (SM-3) system to include the shoot down of a hazardous deorbiting satellite in 2008. All three of these missile defense systems have capability and are deployed today to defend the United States territory from North Korean ballistic missiles. The last successful intercept from these three systems was demonstrated on February 3, 2017 (Link) of the SM-3 Block IIA and the next two intercept tests will be completed next month, which will include both the SM-3 Block IIA and the GMD system – which has been upgraded with new software and hardware upgrades that were validated on a June 22, 2014 successful intercept test (Link).
Today’s North Korean ballistic missile threats to U.S. territory, one missile that has been demonstrated successfully with others without success and still unproven and untested, are simplistic, non-complex, and can be easily tracked, easily discriminated, and easily intercepted by all three of the current United States missile defense systems deployed today against the North Korean ballistic missile threat to U.S. territory – Aegis SM3, THAAD and GMD – which have all three have been tested against much more complex ballistic missile test targets than what North Korea has launched with success.
The United States missile defense systems deployed today for the defense of the United States homeland and territory are clearly capable and have high confidence to defeat the current North Korean ballistic missile threat to the United States.
President Donald Trump – “As far as North Korea is concerned, we are in very good shape. We’re building our military rapidly. A lot of things have happened over the last short period of time. I’ve been here for approximately 91 days. We’re doing a lot of work. We’re in a very good position.” April 20, 2017.
The United States would not have the flexibility and options it is using to resolve the North Korean nuclear ballistic missile problem if it did not have high confidence in the capable United States ballistic missile defense systems deployed today to defend America. Without a highly capable and equally high confidence in its missile defense systems to defend its population, the United States would have the limited options of either paying off North Korea or going to war against North Korea to solve the issue.
We have been involved with advocating for ballistic missile defense since 1980 to include meeting with Dr. Edward Teller, a concerned scientist (Link) and his belief that validated President Reagan’s vision and belief that nuclear ICBMs could be technically intercepted through kinetic energy intercepts.
The critics of missile defense backed the wrong arguments in 1983 when they challenged SDI, which helped to break up the Soviet Union in 1989 and put in place our nation’s prolific partnership with Japan in BMD. The critics of missile defense backed the wrong arguments again in fear of an arms race in 2001 when the U.S. withdrew from the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty, where today the U.S. and Russian nuclear warheads have been reduced from 20,571 to 13,800 since the treaty was unilaterally withdrawn from. The critics of missile defense are wrong again today, when they say the United States may not be able to shoot down North Korean missiles.
“The shield stands guard, and the sword stands ready.” – Vice President Mike Pence, April 19, 2017.