Missile Defense!

The most compelling threat to the United States today is the treat of missile attack. Nations like China and Russia who harbor enmity towards the United States have massive numbers of intercontinental ballistic missiles armed with weapons of mass destruction. It is an existential threat to all of us.

And increasingly, rogue nations such as North Korea and Iran are acquiring the means to deliver intercontinental ballistic missiles armed with WMD.

But this is not a new threat! And the United States Navy has been working on missile defense for generations. Today the Navy is in the lead to prevent missile attacks on the United States or on our interests. It has been a long journey and understanding how we got here will also help understand where we are going in the future.

For anyone younger than those of the baby boomer generation, it is impossible to fully understand the urgency the Cold War brought to building and deploying the U.S. Navy’s missile fleet.  Once the Berlin Wall went up and the spectre of the Soviet Empire crushing the West – and especially the United States – began to sink in during the early 1950s, spending on defense became a compelling urgency.  Few can forget the phrase famously attributed to Soviet premier Nikita Khrushchev while addressing Western ambassadors at a reception at the Polish embassy in Moscow on Nov. 18, 1956, “We will bury you!”

Read more about the future in my post on the Defense Media Network website here

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