SDI: Defense against a Lunatic in N. Korea ? … Does Trump have it backwards ?

Posted: October 13, 2017 in America, Guest Commentary, North Korea, President Trump
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Captain Rick: I am pleased to announce that Thomas C. Patterson, past Arizona state legislator and guest journalist on Atridim News Journal since 2013, will present a series of reports on subjects of great importance to America and our world. The first in the series is about the Strategic Defense Initiative and the explosive situation in North Korea.  

I asked Tom why he is presenting his voice on ANJ. His reply: “I write it because I don’t want to be part of the generation that let liberty die out on our watch or at least I want to know that I did what I could to prevent it. I would like some of the good things about America to be there for my grand-children. I always love it when you carry my stuff. Let me know if I can be of further help in your efforts to promote the good and the true.”

ATRIDIM NEWS JOURNAL

Guest Commentary

by

Thomas C. Patterson

image

ABOUT: Thomas C. Patterson is a graduate of Yale University and the University of Nebraska. He was elected to the Arizona State Senate in 1989, serving as minority leader from 1991 to 1992 and majority leader from 1993 to 1996. Patterson was the author of legislation creating Arizona’s charter school system and welfare reform program. Until 1998, he was a practicing physician and president of Emergency Physicians, Inc.. Patterson also served as president of the Arizona chapter of the American College of Emergency Physicians. In 2000 he became chairman of the Goldwater Institute. In 2013 he became a guest journalist on Atridim News Journal. Thomas is a resident of Chandler, Arizona.

SDI: Defense against a Lunatic in N. Korea ? …
Does Trump have it backwards ?


Americans are finally finding out what it takes for the Left to support antimissile defense in a nuclearized world. The answer: an immediate existential danger from a crazed dictator with nothing to lose from terrorizing us.

Now we’re faced with a lunatic who has the capability of obliterating parts of our mainland, an achievement which has made him a player on the world stage. The current crisis has been predictable for a long time. As nuclear capability gradually became within the technical reach of rogue states and terrorists everywhere, our leaders studiously ignored the signs of danger.

The first antimissile defense was the Strategic Defense Initiative, conceptualized by President Reagan and ridiculed as "Star Wars" by his political adversaries. Even when it proved effective in halting the end of the Cold War, opponents still followed a strategy of repeatedly under funding and undermining the technology, then complaining about the lack of progress achieved.

Barack Obama was a prominent opposition leader, helping to stall the program and then as president pronouncing it “unproven”. He canceled previously negotiated antimissile installations in Poland and Czech Republic. Later he was caught on a hot mic telling a Soviet official that he would later be "flexible with Vladimir" with respect to missile defense.

We are now in a dangerously vulnerable situation. Experts say it would take up to three years to implement a system that would fully protect us from North Korea and eliminate China’s first-strike capability.

Still, our inability to protect ourselves wouldn’t be such a big deal now if not for the weak diplomatic efforts that failed to contain the North Korean menace. After North Korea first begin developing nuclear capability, President Clinton in 1994 struck a deal in which North Korea agreed to come clean and pursue only nonmilitary uses of nuclear power.

But the Commies negotiated harder and smarter than we did, preserving multiple loopholes and avoiding effective compliance checks. The treaty probably did more to facilitate North Korea’s missile program than to hobble it.

Unfortunately, George W. Bush did nothing to end the dithering and confront reality. Obama, for his part, raised appeasement to an art form around the world. He complained about wasting money "making some version of this Cold War daydream into reality" as one pundit put it. In the end, Obama finally had a change of heart when his truculence had put our country in obvious danger and only then authorized anti-missile bases in the West.

The lessons of history are clear. Diplomacy only succeeds when practiced from a position of strength. Appeasement doesn’t stop aggressors. When tyrants show you who they are, believe them. Unfortunately, our leaders have kicked the can down the road until there’s no more road, as Charles Krauthammer said.

Now that our mortal enemies have well-developed nuclear capabilities, our options are limited. Israeli forces in 1981 attacked the Iranian nuclear base Dosirak and were able to inflict telling damage but most observers agree that approach today would produce unacceptable consequences.

Russia and especially China, North Korea’s main patron and trading partner, should both be urged in the strongest terms to help convince North Korea to stand down. The hard truth is that a nuclear North Korea, hostile to the US, is in the strategic interests of both, so it’s unlikely we can win them over.

Teddy Roosevelt’s foreign-policy advice was to "speak softly and carry a big stick". President Trump seems to have it backwards, issuing bellicose threats, like he has so often, without seeming to realize that he must be willing and able to carry out the threats for them to have effect.

That leaves missile defense, the best of the bad options out there. We need to bear down and pour all the resources we can into this national emergency. Fortunately, missile-defense doesn’t have to be perfect to be effective as we found in the Cold War. Just the credible prospect of an anti-missile strike degrades the value of the enemy’s nuclear arsenal and greatly reduces the possibility of a first strike.

But we never would have come to this perilous point if our leaders had put America’s security interests above politics.

Tom’s previous reports in ANJ Guest Commentary

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Comments
  1. atridim says:

    Your comment is appreciated!

  2. I’m not sure what Trump can do differently. We’re now at a point, it would seem, of destroying Kim Jong In and North Korea if they don’t give up their nuclear weapons or Kim gets rid of nukes and agrees with the position of the U.S. I don’t think we have any third way any more. Kim has forced us into a kill us or we kill them. Obama and Clinton have created the damage and now Trump is forced into trying to undo the damage and preventing Kim from nuking the U.S. or nuking the grid (Former Rep. Allan West suggested). I heard 90% of Americans would be killed if grid is attacked by Kim.

    • atridim says:

      Richard, as an ‘Award of Excellence’ member of my World Think Tank on Facebook, I sincerely appreciate your comment. I hope you will become a frequent voice here on ANJ on WordPress.
      Captain Rick

  3. atridim says:

    Sincere appreciation for your reblog.
    I hope you will comment about SDI and this post to project your voice in this important discussion.
    Captain Rick

  4. atridim says:

    As an ‘Award of Excellence’ member of my World Think Tank on Facebook, I sincerely appreciate your comment which was stated with excellence.
    Captain Rick

  5. atridim says:

    As an ‘Award of Excellence’ member of my World Think Tank on Facebook, I sincerely appreciate your comment which was stated with excellence. Thanks for energizing this important discussion.
    Captain Rick

  6. June says:

    This was a really good read. The only protection for America that is reliable and true, is God, whom they are trying to remove from our nation. Nevertheless, God will take care of His own.

    • atridim says:

      June, sincere appreciation for contributing your comment.
      Captain Rick

    • atridim says:

      June, as one of my longest social media photo friends dating way back to the early 2000s on Webshots, its really great to see your voice here on my blog. I have worked diligently to make it a safe place you and others to do so. Thanks for contributing your voice.
      Captain Rick

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