A September 10 article in the WSJ hits all the marks on missile defense. In typical Russian fashion, the Kremlin promised their response to a U.S. missile shield in Poland would go “beyond” diplomacy, even though the system is clearly ineffective against an onslaught of Russian ICBM’s. Until recently, this was tired rhetoric.
On August 28, Forbes reported that the Russians tested the latest version of the Topol RS-12M ICBM, modified to zig and zag its way past missile interceptor systems.
On September 10, the AP reported that Russia may be willing to aim ballistic rockets at the proposed U.S. base in Poland.
Yet, some members of Congress are showing the sort of resolve needed to counter Russian rhetoric. In the next few days, Rep. Mark Kirk (R-Il) will introduce an amendment to the Defense Appropriations bill to re-introduce funding for the European missile sites it Poland and the Czech Republic. This must be done, and quickly, as Heritage expert Mackenzie Eaglen argues in order for Congress to pass a 2009 Defense Authorization bill this year.
There are still those doubters out there, namely Rep. Ellen Tauscher, chair of the House Strategic Forces Subcommittee. Tauscher and others have continued to stall-out missile defense, claiming the systems have not been thoroughly tested (Judge for yourself… See the full test record.) Also, they say the Iranian threat has not yet fully materialized (Judge for yourself…See the threat blast off!)
This is all very distressing, considering that Polish leaders are trying to push the signed missile site agreement through their Parliament. Even if they do so, they will undoubtedly be worried about the next U.S. administration’s plans to curtail it.
Plainly put, some in Congress don’t get what the American people have understood for some time. Recently, a poll by the Opinion Research Corporation revealed that an astounding 87% of Americans support having a missile defense system to protect Americans. Although polls since the 1990’s have shown that the majority of Americans support missile defense, this latest poll has rocketed to new heights. The voice of the American people is loud and clear and should be ringing in the ears of those opposed to missile defense in Congress.