I was over at the Investor’s Business Daily website for my Michael Ramirez fix when I saw this article. The dems and a pack of RINOs forced through the latest version of the START treaty. In that treaty, the preamble alludes to blocking further anti-ballistic missile deployments. The dems and RINOs either conveniently overlooked this or said it didn’t mean what it said.
Be that as it may, consider a possible halt in ABM development with this column.
China’s Challenge: As tensions elevate on the Korean peninsula, Pyongyang’s patron deploys a weapon designed to sink the very ships we are sending to protect an ally. This does not bode well.The prospects that the Korean War, which ended in only an interminable armistice, may resume has become an increasingly real possibility in recent months.That its patron, China, without which North Korea would collapse of its own rot, now has deployed a missile designed to target and sink U.S. carrier battle groups adds a new and disturbing element to any confrontation in the region.Admiral Robert Willard, commander of the U.S. Pacific Command, told the Japanese newspaper Asahi Shimbun last Sunday that China’s touted “carrier-killer,” an anti-ship ballistic missile (ASBM) designated the Dong Feng-21D, had reached “initial operational capability.”This version of China’s land-based mobile medium-range missile is off the drawing boards and in the field.“Beijing has successfully developed, tested, and deployed the world’s first weapons system capable of targeting a moving carrier strike group from long-range, land-based, mobile launchers,” confirms Andrew Erickson, a professor at the U.S. Naval War College.Erickson says that at least one unit of China’s Second Artillery Corps is equipped with the DF-21D.Defense analysts have called the weapon a “game-changer,” as have we — one that could force U.S. carrier battle groups to keep their distance and stay away from areas of Chinese interest or territorial claims, such as Taiwan or Japan’s Shenkaku islands, both of which Beijing claims are Chinese territory.The land-based missile is designed to target and track aircraft carrier groups with the help of satellites, unmanned aerial vehicles and over-the-horizon radar. Launched into space, the DF-21D reenters the atmosphere, maneuvering at 10 times the speed of sound towards its target.Aircraft carriers and their accompanying ships would find it difficult if not impossible to defend themselves against such a threat.In September, Defense Secretary Robert Gates admitted that such an operational weapon would change the way the U.S. deploys its carriers in a crisis.Our Aegis-equipped cruisers and destroyers offer some defense, but there are not enough of them. We have only 24 Burke- and Ticonderoga-class BMD (ballistic missile defense) warships, not all of which will be available at any given time. Today, these ships are committed to defending Europe from Iranian missiles, as well as other Persian Gulf states.“The Navy has long had to fear carrier-killing capabilities,” says Patrick Cronin, a senior director at the non-partisan Center for a New American Security. “The emerging Chinese anti-ship missile capability, and in particular the DF-21D, represents the first post-Cold War capability that is both potentially capable of stopping our naval projection and is deliberately designed for that purpose.”