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If Necessary, Strike and Destroy

Stephanie

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North Korea Cannot Be Allowed to Test This Missile

By Ashton B. Carter and William J. Perry
Thursday, June 22, 2006; Page A29

North Korean technicians are reportedly in the final stages of fueling a long-range ballistic missile that some experts estimate can deliver a deadly payload to the United States. The last time North Korea tested such a missile, in 1998, it sent a shock wave around the world, but especially to the United States and Japan, both of which North Korea regards as archenemies. They recognized immediately that a missile of this type makes no sense as a weapon unless it is intended for delivery of a nuclear warhead.

A year later North Korea agreed to a moratorium on further launches, which it upheld -- until now. But there is a critical difference between now and 1998. Today North Korea openly boasts of its nuclear deterrent, has obtained six to eight bombs' worth of plutonium since 2003 and is plunging ahead to make more in its Yongbyon reactor. The six-party talks aimed at containing North Korea's weapons of mass destruction have collapsed.

Should the United States allow a country openly hostile to it and armed with nuclear weapons to perfect an intercontinental ballistic missile capable of delivering nuclear weapons to U.S. soil? We believe not. The Bush administration has unwisely ballyhooed the doctrine of "preemption," which all previous presidents have sustained as an option rather than a dogma. It has applied the doctrine to Iraq, where the intelligence pointed to a threat from weapons of mass destruction that was much smaller than the risk North Korea poses. (The actual threat from Saddam Hussein was, we now know, even smaller than believed at the time of the invasion.):talk2: COLOR="Red"] But intervening before mortal threats to U.S. security can develop is surely a prudent policy. :eek: Therefore, if North Korea persists in its launch preparations, the United States should immediately make clear its intention to strike and destroy the North Korean Taepodong missile before it can be launched. This could be accomplished, for example, by a cruise missile launched from a submarine carrying a high-explosive warhead. The blast would be similar to the one that killed terrorist leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi in Iraq. But the effect on the Taepodong would be devastating. The multi-story, thin-skinned missile filled with high-energy fuel is itself explosive -- the U.S. airstrike would puncture the missile and probably cause it to explode. The carefully engineered test bed for North Korea's nascent nuclear missile force would be destroyed, and its attempt to retrogress to Cold War threats thwarted. There would be no damage to North Korea outside the immediate vicinity of the missile gantry.

The U.S. military has announced that it has placed some of the new missile defense interceptors deployed in Alaska and California on alert. In theory, the antiballistic missile system might succeed in smashing into the Taepodong payload as it hurtled through space after the missile booster burned out. But waiting until North Korea's ICBM is launched to interdict it is risky. First, by the time the payload was intercepted, North Korean engineers would already have obtained much of the precious flight test data they are seeking, which they could use to make a whole arsenal of missiles, hiding and protecting them from more U.S. strikes in the maze of tunnels they have dug throughout their mountainous country. Second, the U.S. defensive interceptor could reach the target only if it was flying on a test trajectory that took it into the range of the U.S. defense. Third, the U.S. system is unproven against North Korean missiles and has had an uneven record in its flight tests. A failed attempt at interception could undermine whatever deterrent value our missile defense may have.

We should not conceal our determination to strike the Taepodong if North Korea refuses to drain the fuel out and take it back to the warehouse. When they learn of it, our South Korean allies will surely not support this ultimatum -- indeed they will vigorously oppose it. The United States should accordingly make clear to the North that the South will play no role in the attack, which can be carried out entirely with U.S. forces and without use of South Korean territory. South Korea has worked hard to counter North Korea's 50-year menacing of its own country, through both military defense and negotiations, and the United States has stood with the South throughout. South Koreans should understand that U.S. territory is now also being threatened, and we must respond. Japan is likely to welcome the action but will also not lend open support or assistance. China and Russia will be shocked that North Korea's recklessness and the failure of the six-party talks have brought things to such a pass, but they will not defend North Korea.

In addition to warning our allies and partners of our determination to take out the Taepodong before it can be launched, we should warn the North Koreans. There is nothing they could do with such warning to defend the bulky, vulnerable missile on its launch pad, but they could evacuate personnel who might otherwise be harmed. The United States should emphasize that the strike, if mounted, would not be an attack on the entire country, or even its military, but only on the missile that North Korea pledged not to launch -- one designed to carry nuclear weapons. We should sharply warn North Korea against further escalation.

North Korea could respond to U.S. resolve by taking the drastic step of threatening all-out war on the Korean Peninsula. But it is unlikely to act on that threat. Why attack South Korea, which has been working to improve North-South relations (sometimes at odds with the United States) and which was openly opposing the U.S. action? An invasion of South Korea would bring about the certain end of Kim Jong Il's regime within a few bloody weeks of war, as surely he knows. Though war is unlikely, it would be prudent for the United States to enhance deterrence by introducing U.S. air and naval forces into the region at the same time it made its threat to strike the Taepodong. If North Korea opted for such a suicidal course, these extra forces would make its defeat swifter and less costly in lives -- American, South Korean and North Korean.

This is a hard measure for President Bush to take. It undoubtedly carries risk. But the risk of continuing inaction in the face of North Korea's race to threaten this country would be greater. Creative diplomacy might have avoided the need to choose between these two unattractive alternatives. Indeed, in earlier years the two of us were directly involved in negotiations with North Korea, coupled with military planning, to prevent just such an outcome. We believe diplomacy might have precluded the current situation. But diplomacy has failed, and we cannot sit by and let this deadly threat mature. A successful Taepodong launch, unopposed by the United States, its intended victim, would only embolden North Korea even further. The result would be more nuclear warheads atop more and more missiles.

Ashton B. Carter was assistant secretary of defense under President Bill Clinton and William J. Perry was secretary of defense. The writers, who conducted the North Korea policy review while in government, are now professors at Harvard and Stanford, respectively.
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/06/21/AR2006062101518.html?nav=hcmodule

To bad Perry and Carter just don't come out and admitt, they failed along with Clinton on North Korea, and we could name a few more, but that would be asking a lot........
So here we are in this situation.......... Now their talking about getting tough with North Korea and hey why not, it wont be their asses on the line


I'm all for shooting the missile out of the sky.... Let North Korea we mean business..
 

theHawk

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Lets remember we are still technically at war with North Korea. An armistice was made but never a peace treaty.
We have every right to bomb the shit out of it and we should.
 

dilloduck

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theHawk said:
Lets remember we are still technically at war with North Korea. An armistice was made but never a peace treaty.
We have every right to bomb the shit out of it and we should.

We can't do that---it would make them hate us more than they already do!:laugh:
 

CSM

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dilloduck said:
We can't do that---it would make them hate us more than they already do!:laugh:
I don't know if the North Koreans woould hate us any more than they do but the libs sure would. Don't forget that the libs require a smoking city before you are allowed to take action...and then that action has to be approved by the UN and sanctioned by the Europeans.
 

dilloduck

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CSM said:
I don't know if the North Koreans woould hate us any more than they do but the libs sure would. Don't forget that the libs require a smoking city before you are allowed to take action...and then that action has to be approved by the UN and sanctioned by the Europeans.

Only because they don't think America is under any threat or has the right to defend itself or our allies. I'm sure if some kind of "real" problem ever reared it's ugly head they would have a plan to resolve it.
 

CSM

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dilloduck said:
Only because they don't think America is under any threat or has the right to defend itself or our allies. I'm sure if some kind of "real" problem ever reared it's ugly head they would have a plan to resolve it.
The thing about any plan the Dems come up with is it is based on the French philosophy....and ultimately means surrender. I suppose that does provide a resolution....
 

007

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If they do launch a missle, we'll know where it's headed within minutes. Chances are it won't be headed for the U.S.. If it is, it's a good time to find out if all the money we've spent on SDI was worth it. If not, the rest of the world better get off their ass and take notice, like China, and Russia. Put the burden of shutting down N.K. on them. It's their neighborhood. We're spread pretty thin to start shooting at someone else.
 

Annie

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Pale Rider said:
If they do launch a missle, we'll know where it's headed within minutes. Chances are it won't be headed for the U.S.. If it is, it's a good time to find out if all the money we've spent on SDI was worth it. If not, the rest of the world better get off their ass and take notice, like China, and Russia. Put the burden of shutting down N.K. on them. It's their neighborhood. We're spread pretty thin to start shooting at someone else.

http://www.blackfive.net/main/2006/06/saber_rattling_.html
Saber Rattling serves a purpose
Posted By Uncle Jimbo

Peace through superior firepower, that's what my t-shirt says. But beyond a catchy slogan lies a deeper truth. Even Kim Jong-Il doesn't really want war, he wants the bargaining power and prestige nukes give him. If he believes launching this missile will actually provoke us to action, he is much less likely to do so. Military power is the ultimate trump card in the, formal lying in formal wear, game of diplomacy. In this case a little saber rattling

VIENNA, Austria - President Bush on Wednesday won a robust endorsement from European leaders for his tough approach to nuclear standoffs with Iran and North Korea, despite trans-Atlantic differences on Iraq, Guantanamo Bay and trade.

seems to have gotten some folks attention:

North Korea said Wednesday it wants direct talks with the United States over its apparent plans to test-fire a long-range missile, a day after the country issued a bristling statement in which it declared its right to carry out the launch.

Rich Lowry points to a couple of reasons why trusting our missile defense shield to protect us from an incoming attack is hardly wise. But this overlooks a basic thing about missile defense. Shooting them down right after launch is not that hard, but once they get way up there and are hurtling back to earth at insane speeds it gets ridiculously tough.

Right after launch the missile is burning huge amounts of fuel and is low and slow. It is very easy to track and we have a number of weapons that could take it out at this phase, especially if we know where it will launch from.

Now the other end of the equation is needing to intercept it once it has reached it's peak, gone ballistic and is now screaming back at earth like a giant, cold, lawn dart. Since we don't know where it is going immediately we have to cover everywhere and the target is smaller, colder and going insanely fast.

Nk_skeet

Well in this case we know exactly where it will come from and we can place our interceptors right in it's path, ready to launch at the huge fireball lollygagging up into the sky. Heck if need be we ought to be able to swarm it a la Independence Day with every heat-seeking weapon we have.

God-willing and the creek don't rise, Kim will realize he loses all his juice if we swat his rocket down like a naughty child's toy. He and the rest of the world probably figure we can do it, heck we're the Americans FFS, we can do anything. Our juice grows if the threat of a shootdown stops this, and if he launches then we do too. I bet we hit it, but even if not that's a technical problem, at least we will have shown the will to defend ourselves and everybody else against nuts with nukes.


Posted by Uncle Jimbo | June 21, 2006 |
 

Bullypulpit

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Actually, allowing the missile test to go forward to a sucessful conclusion could give a big boost to Dubbyuh's, thus far unsuccessful in live fire tests, missile defense system. Billions could be given to defense contractors to spend on further tests of this failed system, on top of what has already been pissed down that particular rathole.
 

007

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Bullypulpit said:
Actually, allowing the missile test to go forward to a sucessful conclusion could give a big boost to Dubbyuh's, thus far unsuccessful in live fire tests, missile defense system. Billions could be given to defense contractors to spend on further tests of this failed system, on top of what has already been pissed down that particular rathole.

At least we're trying. I'd rather see my tax money go to that than giving it to a few million wetbacks. Oh wait... they're doing that already.
 

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