Dear Members and Friends,
North Korea has proven and tested a real capability to strike the United States with an ICBM (intercontinental ballistic missile) launched yesterday (link). This North Korean breakthrough of a two stage ICBM with a payload capability of heavy nuclear weapons flew 39 mins in a lofted trajectory that was launched from a sophisticated modern Chinese road-mobile ICBM launcher (link). This accelerated time line curve of North Korean ICBM development is ahead of U.S. intelligence predictions and experts who have estimated that North Korea is five years or more in their development of having ICBM capability to strike the United States. North Korea still must prove out survivability and reliability of nuclear warheads on the third stage to reenter the atmosphere, which the United States prudently has to assume North Korea will demonstrate and can do now for precaution and protection of America and its people. North Korea clearly has the mechanisms to deliver nuclear warheads to the United States and will continue to expedite their development and proliferate with mass numbers.
The successful North Korean ICBM test defines a tipping point for the United States with major strategic implementations for the world. The United States will not be held nuclear hostage nor nuclear negotiated with by North Korea, Iran or any nation that can build develop, test and deploy nuclear ICBMs. Current U.S. policy, strategy and future review for ballistic missile defense that began with the 1999 Missile Defense Act, 2010 BMDR (Ballistic Missile Defense Review) and the upcoming BMDR is debunked, out of date, irrelevant and out of place to ensure the best defense of the U.S. homeland. Current U.S. deployed limited missile defense capabilities and capacity are becoming overmatched, overwhelmed and not enabled to provide full capability that is inherent in their systems, which is all limited by Policy and acquisition driven strategy.
China and Russia must take heed and will have to confront this strategic tipping point that will catapult U.S. dominance and supremacy in the air and missile defense domain caused by North Korea which both Russia and China have enabled to become a nuclear ICBM capable nation that can threaten the United States.
The temptation of an expedient fix, appeasing constituents and being politically correct by more sanctions, UN security meetings and increasing Congressional one year plus up funding to MDA (Missile Defense Agency) will just perpetuate the problem of U.S. limited capability to defend itself. A new policy with a coherent integrated sensor, shooter, command and control in deliberately orchestrated systems from IAMD (integrated air and missile defense) to BMD (ballistic missile defense), to include cross domain, third offset, left of launch, directed energy, electronic attack, algorithmic warfare up and beyond what is slated and funded now is needed.
Over the next four years the United States has to increase its current capacity of our deployed systems, aggressively push for more and faster deployment with investment into our upcoming future systems that are four to five years away to bring them ahead of the proliferating North Korean threat.
Increased investment in missile defense must have defined outcomes, must be multiyear with individual pricing to reduce the cost. Additional separate funding must be “fenced” for long lead time engineering challenges. RDT&E (research, development, testing and evaluation) efforts with the national labs and UARCs (University Affiliated Research Centers) need greater emphasis to produce a competitive environment that has clear winning and losing, not pay as you go. Demonstration, validation and testing of new capabilities must happen more often. We cannot be afraid of failure, we must embrace it and win from it.
Finally, the United States must get to space in a big way with both sensors and shooters. Space is the high ground and it is absolutely required to secure the national security of the United States with the highest reliability against nuclear ballistic missile threats. Land and sea based sensors are fundamentally limited due to the earths curvature and they should never be replaced but augmented with space for more flexibility, redundancy and increased capability.
It is time to change our ways, and unleash our best to be the best in the best defense of our nation and our allies.