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The PJ Tatler

by
Bridget Johnson

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July 5, 2013 - 8:01 pm

A day after Independence Day, and as global crises were knocking at the administration’s door, the Pentagon announced that it failed to stop a test missile over the Pacific.

The Missile Defense Agency, U.S. Air Force 30th Space Wing, Joint Functional Component Command, Integrated Missile Defense (JFCC IMD) and U.S. Northern Command conducted  an integrated exercise and flight test of the Ground-based Midcourse Defense (GMD) element of the nation’s Ballistic Missile Defense System, the Defense Department said this evening.

“Although a primary objective was the intercept of a long-range ballistic missile target launched from the U.S. Army’s Reagan Test Site on Kwajalein Atoll, Republic of the Marshall Islands, an intercept was not achieved,” said the Pentagon.

The interceptor missile was launched from Vandenberg AFB, Calif.

“Program officials will conduct an extensive review to determine the cause or causes of any anomalies which may have prevented a successful intercept,” the Pentagon continued.

It’s unknown if Kim Jong-un is celebrating in reaction to the news — a recent Defense Department report to Congress on security developments in North Korea warned that the country is pulling closer to its “stated objective of being able to strike the U.S. homeland.”

“North Korea’s continued pursuit of nuclear technology and capabilities and development of long-range ballistic missile programs, as reflected in the December 2012 Taepo Dong 2 missile launch and April 2012 display of a new road-mobile intercontinental ballistic missile, underscores the threat to regional stability and U.S. national security posed by North Korea,” the report stated.

Bridget Johnson is a career journalist whose news articles and opinion columns have run in dozens of news outlets across the globe. Bridget first came to Washington to be online editor at The Hill, where she wrote The World from The Hill column on foreign policy. Previously she was an opinion writer and editorial board member at the Rocky Mountain News and nation/world news columnist at the Los Angeles Daily News. She has contributed to USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, National Review Online, Politico and more, and has myriad television and radio credits as a commentator. Bridget is Washington Editor for PJ Media.

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Top Rated Comments   
I work at Vandenberg.

This is a new technology and in Vietnam the AIM-9 Sidewinder Missile had a 81% Failure Rate.

Give it 20 years and it has a 99% Kill Rate.

So it is with the ICBM killers.

It only took30 years from Kitty Hawk to the Mitsubishi Zero.

So 30 years from now do you want to see Los Angeles Incinerated from a North Korean 50s Type 10 Megaton ICBM.

Just because Hey, That primitive thing could NEVER shoot down a WWII Zero.

The counter weapons get better if you let them.
40 weeks ago
40 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (29)
All Comments   (29)
Sort: Newest Oldest Top Rated
I support "trial and error".
40 weeks ago
40 weeks ago Link To Comment
Not to worry - if that pissant dictator fires off a real nuke that manages to hit American soil we'll make an island out of S. Korea.
40 weeks ago
40 weeks ago Link To Comment
Really? Who is "we"?

Did you forget who is President? Will THIS Commander in Chief ask Congress for a declaration of war? Will he launch a counterstrike on his own? Will he do anything at all of significance?

Our military power is currently at the mercy of an America-hating Marxist. If Korea nukes Seattle or Los Angeles America will do NOTHING.


And all the patriotic chest thumping in the world won't change that.
40 weeks ago
40 weeks ago Link To Comment
So goes engineering. That's why we test things before and after deployment. No major military system has ever been fully debugged inside of 10 years.
40 weeks ago
40 weeks ago Link To Comment
This was a test of a land based system. The currently deployed systems are sea based aboard U S Navy destroyers http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RIM-161_Standard_Missile_3
40 weeks ago
40 weeks ago Link To Comment
Yes. the land-based interceptors have a much longer range and intercept higher up. Very tricky problem.
40 weeks ago
40 weeks ago Link To Comment
Who was watching the interceptor missile failure over Pacific Ocean? Interceptor missile from Vandenberg AFB,CA and the incoming long-range ballistic missile fired from Army Base on Kwajakin Atoll,Republic of Marshall Islands. Chinese and Russians,Iranians and some EU countries (whom Russia and China are courting/wooing to the hilt) reported this before US DoD. Apparently DoD had to acknowledge the failure since it was taped (by non US sources).
40 weeks ago
40 weeks ago Link To Comment
Everybody was watching it.
40 weeks ago
40 weeks ago Link To Comment
The real surprise? That someone in charge actually told the truth!! Or, wait.... DID they tell the truth?? Hmmmmmm......
40 weeks ago
40 weeks ago Link To Comment
The military usually does.
40 weeks ago
40 weeks ago Link To Comment
I fail to see the need for a long-range ground-based interceptor. Orbiting interceptors----think Dan Graham's Brillant Pebbles-------are a superior way of going after ballistic missles from launch through ren-entry. Ground-based only for those warheads that sucessfully run that gauntlet.

Plus the fact that each Brillant Pebble can be directed to go all the way to the ocean surface, arriving at 7 miles per second. One hit at that speed and there will be no farther worries about Chinese aircraft carriers.
40 weeks ago
40 weeks ago Link To Comment
"I fail to see the need for a long-range ground-based interceptor."

Look up "defense in depth".

See also, "eggs in one basket".
40 weeks ago
40 weeks ago Link To Comment
The ground-based interceptors are in hardened silos. Orbital interceptors (aside from any space-based weapons treaties) are themselves vulnerable to anti-satellite weaponry. Since we're trying to intercept warheads aimed at a specific target (us) we know where they're going to land.

As for the second point, the interceptors are made to function in near-space, they won't survive the atmosphere close to the ground.
40 weeks ago
40 weeks ago Link To Comment
I work at Vandenberg.

This is a new technology and in Vietnam the AIM-9 Sidewinder Missile had a 81% Failure Rate.

Give it 20 years and it has a 99% Kill Rate.

So it is with the ICBM killers.

It only took30 years from Kitty Hawk to the Mitsubishi Zero.

So 30 years from now do you want to see Los Angeles Incinerated from a North Korean 50s Type 10 Megaton ICBM.

Just because Hey, That primitive thing could NEVER shoot down a WWII Zero.

The counter weapons get better if you let them.
40 weeks ago
40 weeks ago Link To Comment
I used to work in that business too (Hanscom AFB)

FYI, we don't have 20 years to prove out the technology.

North Korea is threatening the Pacific right now.

And if we learn anything from history, it's that the offense always outpaces the defense.

Never in military history has any kind of ground-based defense ever stopped an air or ballistic missile attack; it only made them more expensive to carry out.

Because while the defense is struggling to intercept the existing offense, the offense is already designing the next-generation offense.

In less than 20 years, North Korean ICBMs will be MRVed or even MIRVed.
40 weeks ago
40 weeks ago Link To Comment
Didn't we do a nuclear forces treaty with the Russians in which we agreed to de-MIRV and reduce the absolute number of our nuclear strike missiles? Uncle Sam is now wearing a "Kick Me!" sign on his behind.
40 weeks ago
40 weeks ago Link To Comment
Right, which is why the most effective military in history completely eschews things like entrenchments, armored vehicles, and point defense weapons. You're an idiot.

If North Korea develops MRV's all we have to do it start building Aegis systems near major cities. Much like the old Nike-Ajax system, but without the issues that come from planning on a high-altitude nuclear explosion over your own cities.
40 weeks ago
40 weeks ago Link To Comment
There were three Nike sites here in Anchorage to protect Elmendorf AFB and Ft. Richardson. One is still pretty much intact and visible from town another was in an area that is now a popular park and you can still see foundations, concrete bunkers, etc. The part they never talked about was how many soldiers and civilians were going to die if they had to launch those Nikes to protect that runway and all the materiel. A lot of the Cold War stuff has been cleaned up now, but thirty years ago there was a lot still here. The old DEW Line sites looked like the troops had just gotten up and walked away just leaving everything where it lay. Places like Bethel, AK or Tin City, AK are remote even today with jet service at least as far as Bethel or Nome, but that must have been some tough duty back in the '50s and '60s. There was a whole town out at Adak, complete with a McDonalds. The military walked away from Adak maybe ten years ago and turned everything over to a Native Corporation, but Adak's not good for much but a military base since it is so far from anywhere. Well, far from anywhere except Russia, China, Korea, and Japan. I think it is actually farther from Anchorage to Adak than from ANC to Seattle and it would be on the other side of the International Date Line had the line not been drawn around it to keep in on the same day as the rest of Alaska.
40 weeks ago
40 weeks ago Link To Comment
Thank you for being the voice of sweet reason!
40 weeks ago
40 weeks ago Link To Comment
He's not the voice of sweet reason. He's the voice of wishful thinking.

The best defense was, is, and always be, a good offense.
40 weeks ago
40 weeks ago Link To Comment
Riiiiight.

Let me see if I get this straight. Now right off the bat I'm giving you this...I'm not the brightest bulb on the tree.
We are looking a new technology, so far other tests have been successful. This test was not, so that means....?
Forget the whole right? Because that is what I see you saying.
Ever look at the early history of gunpowder weapons? Not very effective (this is what is known as an understatement), but as time went along......know what I mean?
40 weeks ago
40 weeks ago Link To Comment
Would this be your linky?
http://www.hawaiinewsnow.com/story/22770863/missile

No more detail, I was wondering if it was a near miss, a mile, or a thousand.
40 weeks ago
40 weeks ago Link To Comment
Let's put it this way: when the objective is to knock the U.S. down a peg or two, there are more ways than one to elicit said results. And having 2 sons who are EE professionals (MIT & Caltech educated), I know that missile defense requires more than well trained engineers. Tinkering with the allocated budget can also cause many problems.
The point being, if one is allergic to victory, then bellicose regimes become that much stronger, and this is no conspiracy theory - http://adinakutnicki.com/2013/04/07/the-potuss-miscalculations-are-driving-n-korean-iranian-bellicosity-almost-to-the-brink-commentary-by-adina-kutnicki/

The U.S. is in for a hell of a ride. The free world too.

Adina Kutnicki, Israel http://adinakutnicki.com/about/
40 weeks ago
40 weeks ago Link To Comment
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