This past weekend, Prime Minster Shinso Abe of Japan and President Bush vowed together publicly to accelerate and strengthen missile defense in their pledge to address North Korea. Five of the Six Party talks – South Korea, Russia, China, Japan and the United States have a common objective of forcing Kim Jong-il to give up his nuclear weapons.
Missile Defense as advocated by our President and the Prime Minster of Japan is an effective diplomatic tool to add additional pressure to the United Nations Security Council Resolution #1718. With this international endorsement of Missile Defense and its expansion/acceleration in and around the Sea of Japan, President Bush and Prime Minster Abe are negating the threat posed by North Korea’s most valuable negotiating position and asset; “the threat of holding cities and countries in the region hostage by ballistic missiles and nuclear weapons.”
The world endorses this multi-national approach, and Missile Defense provides another option in addition to diplomatic measures to prevent the use of pre-emptive military action to handle nuclear and ballistic missile proliferation. Missile Defense expanded and deployed, dissuades other proliferating countries from following the leads of North Korea and Iran.
Several high profile leaders on Capital Hill, most notably, The Honorable Carl Levin, the new chairman of the Senate Arms Service Committee have stated that Missile Defense not be expanded or accelerated and be kept in a testing mode. Having Missile Defense in a testing capability only will accelerate instability in the two most volatile regions of the Middle East, Far East, and will accelerate the use of nuclear blackmail and intimidation. Thus forcing the use of our military and their lives in pre-emptive action whenever and wherever proliferation is not stopped.
This diplomatic application of Missile Defense leads to the question for our new leadership in Congress; “Can we as a global community and a steward of our national security and public safety afford not to use Missile Defense as a diplomatic tool and an investment to reduce proliferation?”
With this theme, MDAA is engaging the American people throughout our nation. Since early November, events included stops in Palo Alto, CA, Louisville, KY and New York City, NY, as well as three academic seminars held at Virginia Tech University, The Citadel and the University of Southern California.