US Unprepared for Ballistic Missile Attacks, Says Reagan’s Star Wars Man
By: Jim Kouri, CPP
Last Tuesday, as most of America celebrated Independence Day, North Korea launched six missiles in the early hours of Wednesday, their time. One of them was the Taepodong 2, which has a range of over 6,000 miles.That missile crashed within 40 seconds of its launch, but it set alarm bells ringing across the globe.To show it cared less, the Koreans fired another one later in the day.
Coincidentally, a new report was released regarding the United States’ defenses against missile attacks and a symposium was taking place in Washington, DC to discuss the subject. North Korea was mentioned more than a few times during the sessions and speeches.
For example, former Reagan Administration Ambassador Henry Cooper discussed the findings of a four-year study by the Institute for Foreign Policy Analysis about US missile defenses that details the vulnerabilities of the the United States and its interests around the world against ballistic missile attacks by terrorist countries such as North Korea.
Among its many recommendations, the study strongly suggests the implementation of security measures and strategic weaponry, including space-based defenses, by the United States.
Cooper gained his experience hands-on as Ronald Reagan’s Director of the Strategic Defense Initiative or the “Star Wars” program. Later, under President Reagan, he served as Ambassador and Negotiator with the now defunct Soviet Union on defense and space issues.
Cooper spoke at the Trident Research Center of the South Carolina Research Association, which hosted this event. He is quick to remind everyone that he is speaking as a private citizen who is concerned by what he sees as the vulnerability of the United States from missiles such as those being tested by the North Koreans.
“Most important of our observations is that the United States has no effective defense against ballistic missile attack — and absolutely none against terrorists who might purchase short-range ballistic missiles and launch them from ships in international water off our coasts at cities where 75 percent of Americans live,” Cooper said.
“Our ground-based Patriot defenses against short-range missiles are not deployed to protect our coastal regions and ports. Even if they were, they could not be deployed in
sufficient numbers to provide any significant capability,” he warned.
Cooper cited North Korea’s successful ballistic missile tests during the last week to demonstrate the vulnerability of the United States. Although the long-range missile test was a failure, Cooper believes it’s the seven successful missiles on which we should focus.
“There is a bigger story associated with North Korea’s successful tests of seven short-to-medium range missiles, one of which could have reached Alaska. In addition to launching missiles, North Korea sells these short-and middle-range missiles to anyone with money — and they are precisely the missiles terrorists could buy and [use to] threaten more than 75 percent of US citizens who live within 200 miles of our coasts,” Cooper said.
Among many commendations, the study primarily recommends:
- Deployment of a multilayered missile defense system as an urgent national priority.
- Development of broad, public recognition that electromagnetic pulse resulting from nuclear detonations could have devastating consequences.
- Limitations of further development of ground-based missile defense (GMD) deployments.
- Expansion of sea-based defenses, based on the US Navy’s Aegis Vertical Launch System (VLS) and Standard Missile (SM) program and acceleration of the US-Japan SM-3 Block 2 missile program.
- Development and deployment of space-based defenses in the next 3-5years.
- Strengthening of missile defense collaboration with allies, and;
- Creation of a vigorous, innovative and sustainable science and technology workforce.
Citing the nation’s fourth largest port in Charleston, SC, Cooper said American ports could be choked by sea-based missile launches by terrorists hundreds of miles offshore. Port security efforts by the Homeland Security Department to cease loading of threatening cargo abroad, to monitor traffic at sea and to improve inspections at US ports still will not counter missiles launched at sea. Based on the flow rate of containers, the Charleston port is the second largest among ports along the East Coast.
Up to eight million containers enter US ports each year, of which only two percent on average are physically inspected. A SCUD-B or Cruise Missile fits into a 40-foot-long shipping container, and terrorists have demonstrated how to launch theses missiles from sea, Cooper said. These missiles could deliver a 270-pound weapon of mass destruction (WMD) from 200 miles off East Coast. This doesn’t necessarily mean nuclear warheads, either. Missile warheads may contain bio-chemical weapons.
Missiles launched from as far as 350 miles offshore could reach most coastal cities in the United States, Cooper said, citing North Korean tests on July 4 involving four ballistic missiles launch in the 300-to-600-mile range.
(Special thanks to SCRA for the valuable information provided, and to Jim Gordon, Asst. Executive Director of the National Association of Chiefs of Police, for providing data for this article.)
Jim Kouri, CPP is currently fifth vice-president of the National Association of Chiefs of Police and he’s a staff writer for the New Media Alliance (thenma.org). He’s former chief at a New York City housing project in Washington Heights nicknamed “Crack City” by reporters covering the drug war in the 1980s. In addition, he served as director of public safety at a New Jersey university and director of security for several major organizations. He’s also served on the National Drug Task Force and trained police and security officers throughout the country. Kouri writes for many police and security magazines including Chief of Police, Police Times, The Narc Officer and others. He’s a news writer for TheConservativeVoice.Com. He’s also a columnist for AmericanDaily.Com, MensNewsDaily.Com, MichNews.Com, and he’s syndicated by AXcessNews.Com. He’s appeared as on-air commentator for over 100 TV and radio news and talk shows including Oprah, McLaughlin Report, CNN Headline News, MTV, Fox News, etc. His book Assume The Position is available at Amazon.Com. Kouri’s own website is located at http://jimkouri.us
Jim Kouri, CPP is currently fifth vice-president of the National Association of Chiefs of Police and he's a columnist for The Examiner (examiner.com) and New Media Alliance (thenma.org). In addition, he's a blogger for the Cheyenne, Wyoming Fox News Radio affiliate KGAB (www.kgab.com). Kouri also serves as political advisor for Emmy and Golden Globe winning actor Michael Moriarty. He's former chief at a New York City housing project in Washington Heights nicknamed "Crack City" by reporters covering the drug war in the 1980s. In addition, he served as director of public safety at a New Jersey university and director of security for several major organizations. He's also served on the National Drug Task Force and trained police and security officers throughout the country. Kouri writes for many police and security magazines including Chief of Police, Police Times, The Narc Officer and others. He's a news writer and columnist for AmericanDaily.Com, MensNewsDaily.Com, MichNews.Com, and he's syndicated by AXcessNews.Com. Kouri appears regularly as on-air commentator for over 100 TV and radio news and talk shows including Fox News Channel, Oprah, McLaughlin Report, CNN Headline News, MTV, etc. To subscribe to Kouri's newsletter write to COPmagazine@aol.com and write "Subscription" on the subject line.