By Rich Lowry
The Hendricks County Flyer
Wed Mar 27, 2013, 03:44 PM EDT
Rather than simply trust that a lunatic regime running its country like a vast prison camp will rationally calculate its self-interest as we would hope, the Obama administration says it is going to add back the 14 canceled interceptors. This will take the number of West Coast interceptors from 30 to 44, but with unnecessary expense and delay. The new interceptors should be online in 2017, or by the end of the president's second term.
While the restoration is heartening, the Obama administration has pulled the plug on the development of other, more technologically advanced defense systems and can't overcome its compulsion to make unilateral concessions to the Russians. At the same time that Hagel announced the return of the West Coast interceptors, he said the administration won't complete the final phase of a defense system in Europe to guard against an Iranian launch targeting the United States.
Why seek protection from Kim Jong Un, but not Ayatollah Khamenei? The move is meant to placate the Russians, who pretend to believe that any defenses - no matter how minimal - are directed against them. (Why they should be threatened by a purely defensive system is never satisfactorily explained.) If we are going to let malignant paranoiacs have a veto over our policy, we wouldn't place defenses on the West Coast either, since China insists that they "will intensify antagonism and will not be beneficial to finding a solution for the problem."
Beijing succinctly captured what has long been the left's attitude toward missile defense, an attitude that shouldn't survive the new era of rogue-state threats and technological advance for defenses. Liberals once insisted that a missile couldn't possibly be made to hit another missile. Now, the technology has been demonstrated to work again and again. It is one of the reasons that the Israelis didn't invade Gaza in response to the rocket barrage emanating from there a few months ago. It protected itself with the Iron Dome defense system that intercepted about 85 percent of the rockets.
The Israelis don't have the luxury of abiding by stale arms-control orthodoxies. Neither do we. Evidently, though, only Kim Jong Un and his ilk have the power to convince the Obama administration of it.
(c) 2013 by King Features Syndicate
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