ALL THE anti-defense crows said it couldn't be done. Preposterous, they said. A waste of taxpayer dollars. You'll never be able to hit a speeding bullet with a bullet.
That was one of the big arguments against Defense Department tests of a critical element of the proposed new national missile defense system. And this crowd crowed with every test failure. Of course they overlooked the fact that the development of new technology always begins with failure. The first airplanes didn't fly, either.
But now the bullet has hit its target. The military last week shot down an intercontinental ballistic missile. A prototype interceptor fired from Kwajalein atoll in the Marshall Islands smashed a dummy warhead 144 miles above the Pacific Ocean. The target, released from an intercontinental ballistic missile that had been launched 29 minutes earlier from Vandenburg Air Force Base in California, was moving at 4.5 miles a second when the direct hit was made.
The launch site was 5,000 miles away from Kwajalein. It was a perfect test of what the U.S. might one day face from a nuclear warhead launched toward an American city.
So despite the naysayers, you can hit a bullet with a bullet. It can be done and must be done if the U.S. is to craft a protective shield in defense of American soil.
Many more tests are to come. And there will be more failures along the way toward developing a fail-safe system. But there can no longer be doubt that the technology for missile defense is being developed to meet our national needs.
The peaceniks and the greenies are all atwitter. They stand with the Kremlin in opposing a U.S. defense program. And so, sadly, do some Democratic congressional leaders who probably, deep in their hearts, don't object to national defense but only to any program advocated by President Bush. What a pitiful way to form policy for the public good.
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