March 8, 2021 Breaking News, Latest News, and Videos

Rep. Ted Lieu: “N. Korea threat makes work on game-changing missile defense technology a priority”

California’s 33rd District representative Ted Lieu made a statement on the hill, where he wrote about the threat of North Korea and the need for the U.S. to create a robust missile defense system:

“Seventy-five years ago, our nation embarked on the Manhattan Project to create weapons of mass destruction. The threat from North Korea shows we need another Manhattan Project to stop such weapons. The U.S. should harness all the resources of this nation to create a robust missile defense system that can shoot down multiple ICBMs from North Korea. For the next five years, creating such a defensive shield should be the number one priority of the Pentagon.

President Trump’s lack of a comprehensive strategy and reckless war of words with North Korea has sent the world into a panic. But all the provocative talk in the world won’t change the fact that the Hermit Kingdom is a nuclear power and will soon have the nascent capability to strike the U.S. mainland. We need to dramatically shift our thinking as to how to tackle this new reality.

For all its rapid technological advancements over the last decade, North Korea still lacks the capabilities to overwhelm U.S. missile defenses. U.S. Ground-Based Midcourse Defense system, which launches interceptor missiles to collide with an adversaries’ ICBM, will soon have 44 interceptors. However, given the pace of North Korea’s nuclear program, it is likely that over the next decade they will build enough ICBMs to exceed our defensive capabilities.

As an Air Force officer stationed in Guam in the 1990s, we trained for the North Korean threat. What we knew then remains true today: there are no good U.S. military options. The Kim regime possesses nuclear, biological and conventional weapons capable of raining destruction down on millions of civilians and tens of thousands of U.S. service members in South Korea, Japan and Guam. As Secretary of Defense Mattis testified before Congress this year, a military option would be “tragic on an unbelievable scale.” The challenge we face as a nation is how to develop alternative options to mitigate the threat.

History may provide some guidance. In 1942, the United States embarked on a massive program to create a game-changing weapon: the atomic bomb. Over the course of five years, President Roosevelt poured well-over $25 billion in today’s dollars into the Manhattan Project to put a new piece on the chess board.

Today’s threats require a new Manhattan Project: a layered missile defense system starting with high-energy lasers that can destroy ICBMs during the initial boost phase. For years, research and development programs for lasers have inched along at DARPA, the Pentagon’s emerging technology arm, and the Missile Defense Agency.

Recently, laser technology has taken dramatic leaps forward. Technological advancements in power source, power levels and beam control have propelled the field to the next level of lethality.

While the concept may sound like science fiction, it would not be the first time that missile defense innovation disproved the sceptics. The Iron Dome system, a short-range missile defense system jointly developed by the U.S. and Israel, was often dismissed during development for trying to “shoot a bullet with another bullet.” Yet today, Iron Dome is deployed throughout Israel and protects population centers from rockets with astonishing accuracy.

Despite the growing North Korean threat, the U.S. government is neglecting to adequately invest in game-changing technology. While the House of Representatives has wisely increased overall missile defense spending this year, there is no national effort; programs to fund “directed energy” projects are a small fraction of what we spent on the Manhattan Project. An amendment to the annual defense appropriations bill I passed with Rep. Jim Langevin (D-R.I.) doubles the Missile Defense Agency’s program—to a meager $20 million.

There is no silver bullet to addressing the North Korean threat, and our strategy will need to include traditional elements of diplomacy, additional economic pressure on the regime, and deterrence to raise the cost of North Korean aggression. But a strategy that is truly up to the task of meeting tomorrow’s threats requires new capabilities—and the national focus and substantive investments to get us there. When members of Congress return to D.C. in September, we need to give this issue the funding and prioritization that it deserves.

For over 20 years, we have been staring at the chess board as North Korea carved itself a queen. The smart move now is not to launch a risky offensive—but to put our own new piece on the board that can neutralize theirs.”

Rep. Ted Lieu

Related Posts

Trader Joe’s Eyes Another Santa Monica Space

March 5, 2021

March 5, 2021

Grocery store interested in space across the street from new Target By Sam Catanzaro Another major retailer may open in...

More Coastal Housing for the Westside?

March 5, 2021

March 5, 2021

More affordable housing may be coming to Westside coastal neighborhoods. Learn more in this video made possible by School of...

Edify TV: Westside High-Rise Nears Completion

March 5, 2021

March 5, 2021

A Westside high-rise checking in at over 30 stories is nearing has topped-out, the first building of this size built...

Police Union Considering Suing City of Santa Monica Over Lack of Citizen Commission Inclusion

March 4, 2021

March 4, 2021

By Toi Creel ] The City of Santa Monica’s Police union is fighting to be included in a committee meant...

Video: Indoor Dining Close to Returning in LA County?

March 4, 2021

March 4, 2021

Indoor dining could return to LA County very soon. Learn more and hear what diners have to say in this...

Santa Monica Teachers Begin Receiving COVID-19 Vaccinations Ahead of Campuses Reopening

March 2, 2021

March 2, 2021

SMMUSD partners with Providence St. John’s Health Center to vaccinate certain educators and staff By Sam Catanzaro Santa Monica-Malibu Unified...

‘Safe Camping’ at the VA is Open To All Homeless Veterans

March 1, 2021

March 1, 2021

The “safe camping” program is geared toward getting homeless Veterans off the streets and provides a way to transition from homelessness to...

Santa Monica Police Warn of Thieves Targeting Seniors Near Palisades Park

March 1, 2021

March 1, 2021

Two elderly woman robbed along Ocean Avenue recently By Sam Catanzaro Santa Monica police are investigating two thefts targeting senior...

Santa Monica’s Zero Emissions Delivery Zone Pilot Has Begun: Santa Monica Beat – March, 1, 2021

March 1, 2021

March 1, 2021

Local news and culture in under 5 minutes. * Santa Monica’s Zero Emissions Delivery Zone Pilot Has Begun * City...

Video: Closing Down Westside Oil Field?

February 26, 2021

February 26, 2021

Officials are discussing closing a Westside oil field sitting on hundreds of acres of prime coastal land. Learn more in...

Pico Neighborhood Affordable Housing Project Breaks Ground

February 26, 2021

February 26, 2021

Over 70 units of affordable housing come to area near Woodlawn Cemetery By Sam Catanzaro A 70-unit-plus affordable housing development...

Large Properties Drive-up Santa Monica Home Sales Amid Pandemic

February 26, 2021

February 26, 2021

Annual report shows single-family home sales rising By Sam Catanzaro Interest in large properties with five-bedrooms or more helped drive-up...

Santa Monica Police Arrest Parolee for Setting Stolen Car on Fire

February 25, 2021

February 25, 2021

Alex Omar Aguirre arrested by Santa Monica Police Department By Sam Catanzaro A Santa Monica resident this week watched as...