When President Reagan announced his plan to build an anti-missile defense, the Left went on the attack, calling it Star Wars and denying that it was possible to knock out an incoming missile in space, a feat often described as hitting bullet with bullet. Nobody any longer argues that an anti-missile defense doesn't work, and the United States has had over 50 successes in its missile defense testing.
Israel proved the effectiveness and efficiency of anti-missile defense with its Iron Dome system, which by November 2012 had intercepted more than 400 rockets aimed at Israel's population. Israel's system is designed to intercept and destroy short-range rockets and artillery shells fired from distances up to 70 kilometers, and it accomplished its assigned task.
The United States has some missile defense interceptors in place, but almost none to protect the eastern seaboard of our country. The United States needs to be equally protected and defended, from Alaska and Hawaii to our East Coast.
The United States spends about $700 billion annually on national defense, of which only 1 percent is spent on missile defense development and acquisition. We should strive for 2 percent of our defense budget in order to give anti-missile defense the priority and resources we so urgently need and to start a realistic modernization program.
The American people must be educated about the fact that a single nuclear weapon exploded 100 miles above the United States could create electromagnetic pulse effects, thereby bringing our entire economy to a standstill. We could lose for many months all our electric power, our communications, transportation, banking and other critical infrastructure systems.
That would be like a return to the 18th century. But we no longer have the agrarian society that supported Americans in those olden days because we now import the majority of our food.
Because of the growing missile threat from hostile states and terrorists, the first duty of our government is to make deployment of a multi-layered missile defense system to protect the entire United States our urgent national priority.
Phyllis Schlafly is a national leader of the pro-family movement, a nationally syndicated columnist and author of Feminist Fantasies.
TOWNHALL DAILY: Be the first to read Phyllis Schlafly‘s column. Sign up today and receive Townhall.com daily lineup delivered each morning to your inbox.