Our Constitution says, "Congress shall have power to provide for the
common defense." If that's Congress' job, then why are Americans
unnecessarily naked to attack with weapons of mass destruction by
adversaries such as China, Korea, rogue nations and terrorists?
The short answer is that it's a deliberate policy decision chosen by
the White House and Congress. "Hold it, Williams," you say, "you're
skating close to accusing the nation's leadership of treasonous
dereliction!" Let's look at it.
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According to the 1998 bipartisan Commission to Assess the Ballistic
Missile Threat to United States headed by former Secretary of Defense
Donald Rumsfeld, nations hostile to the United States are acquiring
sophisticated ballistic missile technology. Nations currently lacking
missile technology can acquire it in five years and would be able to
inflict major damage on the United States. It has become increasingly
possible to conceal important elements of ballistic development,
including those armed with biological and chemical agents. Finally, the
United States might have little or no warning of rogue states'
development or deployment of missiles capable of major damage.
"Oh c'mon, Williams," you say, "why to worry; the Soviet Union has
collapsed. Our defense worries are over." Consider these threats: Last
year, North Korean Defense officials publicly stated that "the Korean
people are ready to annihilate U.S. imperialists," that North Korea
"would plunge the damned U.S. territory into a sea of flame" and "blow
up the U.S. territory as a whole." A couple of weeks ago, the People's
Republic of China threatened that if we came to the defense of Taiwan it
might mean nuclear annihilation of Los Angeles.
Adversaries make these threats because we haven't deployed any kind
of missile defense. But we have several anti-ballistic missile systems,
though by no means perfect, capable of offering some protection against
threats from China, Korea, rogue nations and terrorists. The main reason
we're completely defenseless against missile attack is because neither
Congress nor the White House is willing to abrogate the 1972 Treaty on
the Limitation of Anti-Ballistic Missile Systems. Since the Defense
Department disallows anti-ballistic missile development that's not "ABM
treaty compliant," our defense against missile attack is stifled. The
Soviet Union no longer exists. Legal scholars conclude that the ABM
treaty expired along with its signatory, the Soviet Union.
Rumsfeld warns that Americans can't wait for an "event" and then
worry about defense -- it will be too late. Last year's Rudman-Hart
Commission on National Security in the 21st Century reported that within
the next 25 years, "America will become increasingly vulnerable to
hostile attack on our homeland. ... Americans will likely die on
American soil, possibly in large numbers." In other words, we could see
millions of lives in large metropolitan areas like New York City
destroyed. We'd probably annihilate the adversary, but small good that
would do for the millions of dead and injured New Yorkers.
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Americans must face several realities. As of this moment, we could
not wage a Gulf War, much less a two-theater major conflict. During the
Clinton years, through budget cuts, social experimentation, adventurism
and a dishonorable commander in chief, what was once a proud military a
decade ago is going to shambles. We must develop and deploy a missile
defense system. We start by invoking Article XV of the ABM treaty to
announce that we are no longer bound by the treaty.
We should cease the lunacy of seeking Russian permission to defend
ourselves and allies against missile attack. Finally, in the wake of
China's recent saber-rattling, we should put them on notice that the
United States will come to the military assistance of Taiwan.