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Hitting A Missile Isn’t Enough — An Opinion Piece

Well said.

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We live in difficult and dangerous times. Our nation’s missile defense program is not very high profile, yet it is protecting us right now. We need President Donald J. Trump to win this fall and to compete the promise of President Ronald Reagan to have a functioning missile defense to protect all Americans from enemies abroad.

Scientists say there are more than 18,000 artificial objects orbiting Earth, along with more than 600,000 hunks of human-made debris. Yet as NASA puts it, “with so much orbital debris, there have been surprisingly few disastrous collisions.” Space is so vast, it’s difficult to hit anything else up there.

So, if we are taking aim and actually trying to hit something in space, we better finish the job and destroy the target.

All this is to discuss the importance of the Redesigned Kill Vehicle (RKV) program that is under scrutiny right now. The RKV is a warhead that sits on the top of a Ground-based Midcourse Defense missile. The GMD program is the only technology that is able to protect the United States from intercontinental missile attack. It’s the last line of defense, and shoots down incoming missiles while they are still in space.

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The good news is that this technology works. American military members have been able to hit an incoming (test) missile with GMD technology. The bad news is that the warhead on the end of the GMD system isn’t as good as it needs to be.

“Despite numerous warnings of critical problems from experts within and outside the government over roughly 10 years, the cost to develop the now-canceled Redesigned Kill Vehicle program for homeland missile defense more than tripled, and the program’s schedule slipped by four years,” the trade publication Defense News reported last month. As of last year, the Missile Defense Agency “had spent a total of $1.21 billion on RKV development — $340 million more than the agency’s original estimate for the entire RKV development effort, including eight initial production kill vehicles.”

The Government Accountability Office explains, “DOD cancelled the RKV program in August 2019 and initiated an effort to pursue a new, more advanced interceptor, called the Next Generation Interceptor (NGI). According to MDA, NGI will provide the GMD program a cost-effective solution that is survivable across all environments, capable of defeating complex missile threats, and adaptable to address future threats.”

This isn’t an indictment of missile defense. As we said, GMD is able to hit an incoming missile, and the existing Exo-atmospheric Kill Vehicle (EKV) uses the kinetic energy from a direct hit to destroy the incoming target vehicle. It is an indictment of the proposed RKV. It doesn’t do the job, and the federal government should demand that defense contractors develop one that actually works.

It’s time to name names: the faulty RKV was being built by defense contractor Raytheon. It was ludicrously overbudget when MDA decided to pull the plug and seek new contractors. But now, having failed over years and over budget, Raytheon remains in the running to develop the still-necessary RKV.

That is a mistake. Raytheon has had its chance, and despite plenty of federal funding, its technology simply didn’t work.

The United States needs missile defense. Perhaps now more than ever. With the international economy crippled by COVID-19, a rogue nation such as North Korea or Iran could decide it’s time to launch a nuclear strike on America. We can’t let our guard down.

GMD works, and it can be made to work better. Senators want to provide the funding it needs, and House lawmakers should go along. Certainly, the Trump Administration would be on board. But the entire project revolves around a kill vehicle that works.

It’s not enough to hit a weapon in space; we need to destroy it. A better contractor can deliver a cost-effective kill vehicle that will keep our homeland safe. Let’s give President Trump the tools he needs to defend America from the many adversaries who have missiles pointed at the U.S.

Edward Woodson is a lawyer and host of “The Edward Woodson Show,” which airs weekdays on WZAB Miami, streaming online at EdwardWoodson.com.

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PUTIN POKES THE BEAR: Russian Troops Move Toward Ukraine as World Warns

There may be no peaceful end to this situation.

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While it has long been understood that Vladimir Putin is a figure representing chaos on the world’s stage, (whether covertly or proudly), the sort of trouble that he’s stirring up this week won’t likely have a peaceful end.

Putin appears hellbent on finding a way and a reason to take Ukraine back under Russian control.  The tiny nation, rich in natural gas and other resources, is far too minuscule to put up a fight, and so it will be up to the rest of the world to deter the Kremlin.

And despite a number of unmistakable warnings, Putin appears unfazed.

Russia is a sending an unspecified number of troops from the country’s far east to Belarus for major war games, officials said Tuesday, a deployment that will further beef up Russian military presence near Ukraine amid Western fears of a planned invasion.

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Amid the soaring tensions, the White House warned that Russia could attack its neighbor at “any point,” while the U.K. delivered a batch of anti-tank weapons to Ukraine.

Russia’s Deputy Defense Minister Alexander Fomin said the joint drills with Belarus would involve practicing a joint response to external threats.

Ukrainian officials have warned that Russia could launch an attack on Ukraine from several directions, including from its ally Belarus.

As for any attempts to stop the Russian invasion?  They were squashed when a well-known Putin mouthpiece announced on television that any push to keep Putin from getting what he wants could end in the opposition being turned into “radioactive dust”.

 

While it has long been understood that Vladimir Putin is a figure representing chaos on the world’s stage, (whether covertly or proudly), the sort of trouble that he’s stirring up this week won’t likely have a peaceful end. Putin appears hellbent on finding a way and a reason to take Ukraine back under Russian control.  The tiny nation, rich in natural gas and other resources, is far too minuscule to put up a fight, and so it will be up to the rest of the world to deter the Kremlin. And despite a number of unmistakable warnings, Putin appears unfazed. Russia is a sending an unspecified number of troops from the country’s far east to Belarus for major war games, officials said Tuesday, a deployment that will further beef up Russian military presence near Ukraine amid Western fears of a planned invasion. Amid the soaring tensions, the White House warned that Russia could attack its neighbor at “any point,” while the U.K. delivered a batch of anti-tank weapons to Ukraine. Russia’s Deputy Defense Minister Alexander Fomin said the joint drills with Belarus would involve practicing a joint response to external threats. Ukrainian officials have warned that Russia could launch an attack on Ukraine from several directions, including from its ally Belarus. As for any attempts to stop the Russian invasion?  They were squashed when a well-known Putin mouthpiece announced on television that any push to keep Putin from getting what he wants could end in the opposition being turned into “radioactive dust”.  

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Starbucks Bucks Biden’s Vaccine Mandate in Latest Blow to Agenda

WOW!

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Joe Biden has not been having the smoothest first year in office, that’s for certain, and things are only getting a little rougher as the days go on.

Currently, one of the largest failures that the administration is dealing with comes from the constitutionality of their vaccine mandate.  Or, rather, it’s lack of constitutionality, as determined by the Supreme Court of the US.

And now, even one of the “wokest” companies in the nation can’t back the plan.

Employees at Starbucks are no longer required to be vaccinated against COVID-19.

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Roughly a week after the Supreme Court reversed President’s Biden workplace vaccine mandate, the coffee chain is following suit, according to The Associated Press.

“We respect the Court’s ruling and will comply,” Starbucks Chief Operating Officer John Culver wrote in a memo to employees.

Last week, the Supreme Court issued mixed rulings in a pair of cases challenging Biden administration COVID-19 vaccine mandates, allowing the requirement for certain health care workers to go into effect while blocking enforcement of a mandate for businesses with 100 or more employees.

Then came the lip service.

“I want to emphasize that we continue to believe strongly in the spirit and intent of the mandate,” Culver added. “Thank you to the more than 90 percent of partners who have already disclosed their vaccination status, and to the vast majority who are now fully vaccinated.”

With Starbucks opting out, there are no doubt other mega-corporations who will be following suit.

Joe Biden has not been having the smoothest first year in office, that’s for certain, and things are only getting a little rougher as the days go on. Currently, one of the largest failures that the administration is dealing with comes from the constitutionality of their vaccine mandate.  Or, rather, it’s lack of constitutionality, as determined by the Supreme Court of the US. And now, even one of the “wokest” companies in the nation can’t back the plan. Employees at Starbucks are no longer required to be vaccinated against COVID-19. Roughly a week after the Supreme Court reversed President’s Biden workplace vaccine mandate, the coffee chain is following suit, according to The Associated Press. “We respect the Court’s ruling and will comply,” Starbucks Chief Operating Officer John Culver wrote in a memo to employees. Last week, the Supreme Court issued mixed rulings in a pair of cases challenging Biden administration COVID-19 vaccine mandates, allowing the requirement for certain health care workers to go into effect while blocking enforcement of a mandate for businesses with 100 or more employees. Then came the lip service. “I want to emphasize that we continue to believe strongly in the spirit and intent of the mandate,” Culver added. “Thank you to the more than 90 percent of partners who have already disclosed their vaccination status, and to the vast majority who are now fully vaccinated.” With Starbucks opting out, there are no doubt other mega-corporations who will be following suit.

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