North Korea's test was a surprise to Americans, to the Obama administration and to Congress because its last couple of tests had been failures. More alarming was the fact that the launch was a surprise to our intelligence community, which didn't know the North Koreans had perfected this technology, and didn't anticipate a launch.
There should have been an immediate demand that the Obama administration fulfill its constitutional duty to "provide for the common defense." What could be a more important duty, and a more pressing need for spending our tax dollars, than to save Americans from being incinerated by nuclear bombs?
Ballistic missiles combined with nuclear or chemical weapons are the way an evil enemy country without an air force or military can project power outside of its borders and threaten the United States. Rockets and missiles are the weapons of choice for terrorists and rogue groups to project power and threaten us.
An unprecedented number of countries have now acquired or are trying to acquire ballistic missiles armed with warheads of mass destruction. North Korea has more than two nuclear weapons and over a thousand ballistic missiles, and Iran has over a thousand ballistic missiles and is working as fast as it can to get nuclear weapons.
Homeland defense should not mean merely tidying up after a hurricane or tornado, housing a few thousand people in makeshift tents and setting up food kitchens. North Korea's successful missile launch dramatizes the fact that homeland defense demands that our government do something we cannot do for ourselves: have a functioning system that will shoot down enemy missiles before they kill Americans.
An operational U.S. anti-missile defense system is not only vital to save lives, but it's the best deterrent to war and attack. We now know that Ronald Reagan won the Cold War at Reykjavik without firing a shot (as Margaret Thatcher famously said) when Reagan refused to abandon or trade away his plans for anti-missile defense.
The Nixon-Ford-Kissinger strategy for holding the giant Soviet missile threat at bay was MAD (Mutual Assured Destruction), i.e., our threat to retaliate and wipe Russia off the map. But MAD would be no deterrent to the terrorists because they are all too eager to commit suicide.
Phyllis Schlafly is a national leader of the pro-family movement, a nationally syndicated columnist and author of Feminist Fantasies.
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