ASPEN, Colo.—China’s advanced cruise and ballistic missiles pose a significant threat in future conflict with the United States, the chief of naval operations (CNO) warned last week.
Of course they do. Although not nearly as big a threat as Russian missile forces pose.
But thanks to GHW Bush, who began the strangulation of the Strategic Missile Defense Initiative, which if robustly pursue might have, by now, provided us with a workable shield against ICBMs, we lay naked to the vagaries of MAD.
Here’s Angelo Codevilla (always worth a read) on the matter:
Politicians who proclaim eagerness to defend Ukraine from Russia but who are not even thinking of protecting the American people from Russia’s nuclear-tipped missiles combine “the unbridled tongue and the unready hand” — Theodore Roosevelt’s definition of ultimate stupidity in foreign policy.
Russia, China or any capable of firing a significant number of such missiles at us can mount a geopolitical challenge to our vital interests confident that, after bluster and impotent measures, any U.S. president will back down rather than risk a missile strike that America cannot stop.
The U.S. government can’t defend America against more than a small handful of missiles — most likely only if they come from North Korea — because doing only that while remaining vulnerable to serious attacks has remained government policy since the days of Robert McNamara a half-century ago. Symbolic announcements and heated rhetoric about missile defense, plus billions of misspent dollars, have only blurred that fact.
So strong has been the American ruling class’ pervasive opposition to missile defense, so thoroughly and for so long has it restricted the horizons of U.S. programs, that virtually no one now in a position of authority on national security knows why our programs cannot defend America, or what we could do to defend ourselves if we were to try. That includes military officials, immersed as they are in current, expensive, dead-end programs.
We have promised never to launch on them. We have created a situation where we cannot defend ourselves if they launch on us.
Everything is dependent on the notion of MAD. And MAD is dependent on that middle letter – A, for “Assured.”
We are coming to a point where we won’t be able to assure that we can destroy an aggressor that possesses a robust missile defense (and you know both Russia and China are working on such things, no matter what they say for public (read: gullible and naive) consumption. And when that day comes, we will see the true watershed moment for American geopolitical power.