Wednesday, December 06, 2017

The Augury is Unclear

Is this missile defense news an indication that America will try to deter North Korea rather than attack, misdirection to make a pending attack look unlikely, or pressure on China to solve North Koerea which doesn't want American missile defenses to degrade their relatively small nuclear arsenal's deterrence value?

The U.S. agency tasked with protecting the country from missile attacks is scouting the West Coast for places to deploy new anti-missile defenses, two Congressmen said on Saturday, as North Korea’s missile tests raise concerns about how the United States would defend itself from an attack.

A new site wouldn't be in place for years, keep in mind. And North Korea's threat to nuke America seems likely to be real in less time than that.

And it seems odd that the site "would likely include" THAAD. But THAAD is for shorter range missiles, and not ICBMs. Would a site also include the BMD missiles mostly based in Alaska to cover ICBMs with the THAAD handling shorter-range sub-launched missiles?

But I have no idea what this means given the valid reasons that initially came to mind (and there are others, including simple inertia from past work that only seems significant because of the crisis with North Korea).

UPDATE: The story doesn't seem to be accurate, with the inability of the THAAD to intercept ICBMs just one part.

And the Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) missiles I referenced are called GMD--Ground-based Missile Defense.