It is a fact that any nuclear detonation would result in many non-combatant deaths. It could be used as a deterrent threat against civilian populations rather than a known military target. All destruction and lingering radiation violates any representation of a “just war”. The answer is so simple that few have realized it gives it gives everything one should want. Archbishop Edwin F. O’Brien [OSV | Our Sunday Visitor August 23, 2009 | No nukes] likely knows.
O’Brien realizes if all nuclear missiles are eliminated, mutual destruction becomes a non-issue. Residual radiation, prolonged death, possibility of a second or third response, terrorist or rogue states using stolen technology–everything becomes a thing of the past.
The US currently has the technology to shoot down a missile fired anywhere on the earth, and has the ability to hit a spot on the proverbial bullet with a bullet. The Navy has been trying to keep pace with missile defense by having 73 Aegis ships around the world armed with missile defense capabilities [North Korea, China, U.S., Japan: Missiles, Missile Defense, Naval …]. They’re mobile, they’re more numerous than ground-based missiles, but have a particular weakness that ground-based missiles don’t have.
The US also has an airborne laser system (ABL). Even though the ABL is considered highly advanced, it is far from science fiction. In actuality the ABL has a proven history of continuous testing achievement. Later this year it will to complete a lethal shoot down of a missile during the boost phase (immediate after launch).
The ABL is also cost effective. As few as seven ABL’s could provide a highly mobile and stunningly high tech defense against missile attack. Even with the cutting edge technology that it employs, the annual cost of the ABL is comparable with other large military jets (i.e., AWACS and B-1).
Incredibly no one is killed or injured with the shoot-down of a missile by either method. Any weapon of mass destruction—nuclear, gas, or toxin–can be destroyed before it reaches its destination. We will have the delivering address from the exact trajectory, however. It is known that ~30 countries have missile systems that can be used for any desired purpose.
Other nation states, rogue states, and potential terrorist attackers would know that America can shoot down any missile threat at will. No people dead. No one held hostage.
No one will want to spend millions, or billions, on any kind of system that can be blotted from the sky long before it reaches its target destination.
Countries have already asked for assistance from the US for some sort of missile shield. Those countries include Poland, the Czech Republic, Israel, United Arab Emirates (UAE), Japan, and a number of others.
After a successful destruction of a launched missile, countries will likely pay for US technology without having to pay billions for a self-devised system that may not work at all.
According to the Global Security Newswire, the US allegedly has a backlog of 4200 nuclear warheads slated for dismantlement. Include any warheads scheduled for dismantling by the Obama administration, and that job will take a minimum of 15 years. Without a clear price tag, this project could take billions to complete once started.
Already in Defense Secretary Robert Gates’ proposed 2010 budget, there are plans for the 44 interceptors in Alaska and California to be reduced to 30 [North Korea’s Nuclear Program]. That includes $1.2 billion worth of cuts in missile defense in just 2010. The ABL system is not even on the expenditure radar screen for the current administration.
If the current administration realizes that the present systems will work better than expected, then sharing this technology could eliminate the possibility of missile attack by anyone, anytime.
Trying to determine why a country would not want a “missile shield” against any marauding nation, that no person would be injured or killed, that defense expenditures would likely decrease, that any missiles would likely be sent to the dustbin of history, that more humans could eat more food with the money disappearing for “nukes”, that man would take the next step towards a missile-free world, that the clock ticking towards nuclear annihilation would be destroyed—must be too much to fathom for the present administration.
As Pope Benedict XVI said about governments that count on nuclear weapons for national security, “One can state that this point of view is not only baneful but completely fallacious. In a nuclear war, there would be no victors, only victims.”
Fr. O’Brien’s dreams could become a reality. Unfortunately a slight majority actually voted for rule by Obama. This sounds exactly like the answer to nuclear Armageddon, but it can’t wait another twenty years.
Kevin Roeten can be reached at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.