- - Monday, November 9, 2015

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

As North Korea moves toward testing its nuclear weapons and long-range missiles, Congress must ensure that our nation is defended by fully funding our defenses against these threats (“U.S. and South Korea formulate plan to deal with North Korea’s missiles,” Web, Nov. 4). America’s Ground-Based Midcourse Defense system (GMD) defends our homeland against long-range-missile attack and has proven itself sucessful in nine live-fire tests.

But in the decades since the Ground-Based Midcourse Defense system was first deployed, North Korea has developed advanced missiles and paired them with nuclear warheads. To keep up with these advances, the Department of Defense has asked Congress to fund additional interceptors for our current GMD bases, as well as state-of-the-art radars to better detect and track missiles. We must also update the current “kill vehicle” and start developing next-generation systems. Also, more live-fire tests are needed to ensure that the system works as intended.

For less than one five-hundredth of what we spend on our military, the Ground-Based Midcourse Defense system protects us from the “up-close, dangerous and continuing threat” that Secretary of Defense Ash Carter is warning about. Now it is up to Congress to fully fund GMD.

COL. KRIS MINEAU

U.S. Air Force (retired)

North Reading, Mass.

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