On January 7, 2011, Hillsdales Kirby Center sponsored a lecture by Brian Kennedy, President of Claremont Institute, and Ballistic Missile Defense Project Director. It was carried on C-Span. The following notes are from that sobering lecture. 1. One of the unspoken dangers of the times in which we live is that our leaders rarely admit to or discuss the capabilities and intent of our enemies. In fact, the boilerplate assurances that we most frequently hear are a. Islam is a religion of peace b. We will never go to war with China, or them with us, because our economic interests are so intertwined c. We won the cold war and Russia is no longer our enemy. We would like to believe these myths of the left and the right, because without them we would be forced to face the reality that we have enemies that seek our destruction or subjugation. 2. Existential threats from abroad include Iran, whose beliefs include the necessity of destroying the infidel. They have developed advanced missiles that could destroy an American city, or if it could deliver the warhead as an electromagnetic pulse weapon, it could destroy the electronic infrastructure of the United States, causing hundreds of millions of United States deaths. a. The pulse would destroy transformers, so that your lights wont work, your refrigerator nor would the pumps that bring water to your home. Without transportation, food stores could not be restocked. The Electromagnetic Pulse Commission has estimated that after such an attack, the United States could support life for about 30 million people. The report makes for interesting reading: http://www.empcommission.org/docs/empc_exec_rpt.pdf b. Such an attack requires that that a warhead be exploded in the high atmosphere, rather than reentering as in a missile attack. The Iranians have twice practiced such an attack in the Caspian Sea, exploding a dummy warhead in the high atmosphere to simulate a pulse bomb. How difficult would it be for them to position a ship off our coast? c. We do not currently have a missile defense to counter these weapons. The American people should be informed of this. 3. China is openly anti-American, and write in their military journals about the use of unrestricted warfare using a combination of military warfare, economic warfare, cyberwarfare, atomic war, and terrorism. They have shown a desire to improve landbased and space based military options. a. China Deploys Worlds First Long-Range, Land-Based Carrier Killer DF-21D Anti-Ship Ballistic Missile (ASBM) China Deploys World?s First Long-Range, Land-Based ?Carrier Killer?: DF-21D Anti-Ship Ballistic Missile (ASBM) Reaches ?Initial Operational Capability? (IOC)|Andrew S. Erickson We do not have a missile defense against this. b. The Soviets succeeded: by developing several supersonic anti-ship missiles, one of which, the SS-N-22 Sunburn, has been called "the most lethal missile in the world today." The Sunburn - Iran's Awesome Nuclear Anti-Ship Missile This missile has been deployed by the Chinese and the Iranians, and presents a problem due to its Mach-3 speed. c. The subject of the intent of the Chinese should include a discussion of the Red-Guard generation of generals, 55-60 years old, having grown up during the Cultural Revolution, and who will not be satisfied with China as a secondary power. Lt. Gen. Xiong Guang Kai, a senior Chinese official, made an implicit nuclear threat against the U.S., warning our government not to interfere because Americans "care more about Los Angeles than they do Taipei." The Claremont Institute - Protecting Our Nation:The Urgent Need for Ballistic Missile Defense 4. Americans have been raised to misread superpower conflicts. Policy leaders have taught that we must understand a balance of power between the US and Russia, and that if we seek strategic superiority over other nations, we will create strategic instability. This is the view propounded by universities, think tanks, and schools of foreign service. President Obama: "no single nation should pick and choose which nation holds nuclear weapons " a. And there are those who hold the view that America is hardly worth defending, or, that our military power is fundamentally suspect. b. Conservatives seem to feel that it was good enough to have won the Cold War...but fail to appreciate that we did not disarm the Russians of their nuclear arsenal, nor curtail their active efforts to undermine the US and the West, nor create a democracy in Russia. We have not tested a nuclear weapon since 1992, nor created more tactical nuclear weapons. And the new START treaty? The new treaty came at the time of Obama's new nuclear posture statement which promised America won't perform nuclear tests or build new nuclear weapons. Jed Babbin: Inside the Obama Doctrine for American decline | Washington Examiner 5. Our economic problems limit our ability to face these problems, so deficits become a national security issue. How much should we spend on defense? The answer: what ever is necessary to protect the United States. It is as simple as that.