Ryan Mauro, an intelligence analyst with the Asymmetric Warfare and Intelligence Center, flags this new video by the Russian company Concern Morinformsystem-Agat selling its Club-K Container Missile System. Mauro reports:
The system allows a weak nation to strike the land and sea targets of a superior force by placing cruise missiles into any type of 40 foot container. The video uses a ship, truck and train as examples of potential launching platforms. This means that once this weapon is sold, any of these transportation vehicles have to be seen as missile pads.
these vehicles can cross borders, making it more difficult to identify the perpetrator of an attack and impossible to predict where an attack might come from. The missiles might from a shipping vessel off the coast or a truck that crossed via the Mexican border. With a range of 220 kilometers, or about 136 miles, they can either be fired from a safe distance from the border or the distance can be minimized by getting close to the target by being hidden.
This game-changing new threat is not new to conservatives, but the Obama administration has chosen to completely ignore it thus leaving our nation vulnerable to attack. Heritage fellow Baker Spring explains:
The [Ballistic Missile Defense Review Report's] assessment of the projected expansion of ballistic missile capabilities suffers from a central contradiction and several errors of omission. The report’s central contradiction is that, while pointing to the increasing range of missile inventories around the world, it downplays the capabilities to attack the U.S. homeland.
In fact, justifying the distinction between capabilities to attack the U.S. homeland and regional threats is difficult on two grounds. First, missile development programs do not pursue shorter-range and long-range missile technology independently of each of other. For example, Iran has already fielded a number of different shorter-range missiles and has launched a satellite, which demonstrates an inherent capability to field longer-range missiles capable of carrying light warheads. Second, states with shorter-range missiles could pursue alternative deployment options to give them the ability to attack the U.S. homeland. The most obvious option is to place short-range missiles and launchers on cargo vessels off the U.S. coast.
And what could the U.S. possibly deploy to protect against such a weapon? The Airborne Laser. Problem is, since the Obama administration decided to ignore the threat from short-range missiles like the Club K, President Obama decided to kill the program. Heritage fellow James Carafano explains the consequences:
If Iran has one missile and nuclear weapon, it might have two. It could detonate one over New York in a low-altitude air burst that would kill up to a half-million and cripple Manhattan forever.
Iran could fire a second at high altitude over the mid-Atlantic states, creating an electro-magnetic pulse that would take down a large portion of the national grid and plunge Washington, D.C., into permanent darkness.
America would be crippled in a flash, with no obvious enemy at which to shoot back.
An ABL could help neutralize this threat, and others. Advancing the technology alone will give the U.S. a dramatic advantage over potential adversaries.
But if the administration has its way, we’ll see the ABL in the Smithsonian, rather than defending our coasts.