Louisville, Kentucky. The firing of multiple short, medium and long range missiles today by Iran in response to the United States Central Command Combined Naval Forces Exercises in the Persian Gulf puts the Persian Gulf region and our men and women serving in the Armed Forces there at great risk. This action by Iran puts Middle East countries and their populations such as Kuwait, Bahrain and Qatar that host United States coalition bases as vulnerable targets to Iran’s missile intimidation. Currently, in this region we do not have a missile defense capability and are vulnerable to missile strikes by Iran. This inflammatory display to the world shows that Iran perceives that it can deter the United States and its coalition partners, and this can be directly linked to Kim Jong-il’s similar action of displaying North Korea’s missile capability earlier this year.
These “chest pounding displays” by rogue nations must be confronted and dealt with as they will continue to motivate other nations to proliferate missiles and nuclear weapons. Speaking quietly while possessing a significant missile defensive capability allows the crisis not to escalate and render those missile systems useless in terms of deterrence allowing a diplomatic solution and international pressure to come to bear.
The immediate solution to a lack of missile defensive capability in the Persian Gulf region is to deploy one or more US Missile Defense equipped Aegis Destroyers and Cruisers from the 7th and/or 3rd Fleet to the 5th Fleet and move several Patriot 3 Batteries from El Paso, Texas, and/or Germany to the countries of Qatar and Kuwait where United States coalition bases are located. The longer term solution is to grow our Navy missile defense capability from 18 Aegis Ships to 28 Aegis Ships, and move forward with placing a third ground-based missile site in Central Europe.
MDAA’s visit to the Persian Gulf 10 days ago with the commanding officers for the Armed Forces of Central Command drove the reality of the vulnerability due to lack of missile defensive capability and the need for our leaders to fund and deliver missile defense assets to this region. Click Here to read more about the Persian Gulf trip.