Obama made US more vulnerable to missile attacks from North Korea

Phillip Devoe:
It is true that Barack Obama left behind a significant missile-defense legacy: By cutting programs before they were complete, slashing defense funding, and embracing a risky and unproven strategy, he left the United States vulnerable to ICBM attacks from hostile nations such as North Korea and Iran.

The story begins with President Bill Clinton, who in 1993 cancelled the Ground-Based Interceptors (GBI) program — a component of the Ground-based Midcourse Defense (GMD) system, which can protect against ICBMs and is located at Fort Greely, Alaska, and Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. By 2008, President George W. Bush had asked for 44 GBIs, but Obama cut the program back to 30 within weeks of his inauguration. Ten of these GBIs were slated to be based in Poland, but they were cut along with a Ground-Based Radar in the Czech Republic, which not only made the U.S. more vulnerable to threats from Iran, but appeased Russia. Moscow celebrated the European GBI cancellation as a diplomatic victory.

Obama, however, didn’t leave Europe completely undefended. In 2009, he announced the European Phased Adaptive Approach (EPAA) program, which was designed to protect the U.S. from missile attacks originating in Iran. But of EPAA’s four phases, only the last — the SM-3 Block IIB program — delivered on this promise, and it was the only phase of the EPAA Obama cut, making the program only useful as a deterrent to missile attacks on Europe.

That said, no boost-phase anti-missile programs survived the Obama administration. These technologies target a missile while it’s still launching — the heat signature from the booster makes tracking the missile much easier. The Airborne Laser (ABL) and Kinetic Energy Interceptor (KEI) programs are especially important, because they would be effective against North Korean ICBMs. Japan even wanted to join the ABL program, which was testing well before cancellation. The boost-phase programs, however, drew most of Director O’Reilly’s skepticism; he argued they were too expensive and too complicated.
I have long argued that boost phase missile defense is the most lethal because it does not give an adversary an ability to launch decoys while in flight that complicates the shoot down.  Democrats have long opposed missile defense and now North Korea is targeting Democrat controlled cities in this country.  They can't blame Trump for this failure.  It is on them.


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