THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION HAS FOLLOWED THE LEAD OF PAST DEMOCRATIC ADMINISTRATIONS IN VIEWING HOMELAND MISSILE DEFENSE AS (1) TOO HARD, (2) TOO EXPENSIVE, AND (3) TOO DESTABILIZING.
On the day deterrence fails, America’s highly capable strategic force will be little comfort because it can’t do anything to intercept incoming warheads. All it can do is lay waste to Russia.
The Obama Administration is proposing that the United States spend about a billion dollars per week in the fiscal year beginning October 1 to defend Afghanistan, Iraq and other nations against various threats they face. That’s how much money is in the Pentagon’s request for “overseas contingency operations.”
So guess how much money the administration is seeking to defend America’s homeland against an attack from Russia using nuclear-armed ballistic missiles. Russia has about 1,600 missile warheads capable of reaching U.S. territory, and if even a small fraction were launched, they could wipe out our electric grid, our financial networks, and quite possibly the whole U.S. economy.
The answer is that the administration is proposing to spend nothing. Even though we know that most of those Russian warheads are pointed at America. Even though we know relations with Russia are deteriorating. Even though we know that Vladimir Putin’s subordinates have repeatedly threatened the West with nuclear consequences if it seeks to block expansionist moves along the Russian periphery such as last year’s invasion of Ukraine.
Just this week, Putin stated in a documentary commemorating Moscow’s annexation of Crimea that he had considered putting the nuclear arsenal on alert to dissuade the West from pushing back, observing that he was ready for “the worst possible turn of events.” It isn’t so clear what a heightened state of alert would mean, since Russian military officials insist that even in peacetime, most of the country’s missiles are ready to launch within minutes.
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