Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Charles Krauthammer on Iran ICBM Threat

It looks like we're back to an estimate of 2015, which is roughly what the Bush administration had said, that Iran would go intercontinental by 2012 to 2015.

What's remarkable is that 11 months ago the Obama administration issued a National Intelligence Estimate in which all of a sudden it revised the assessment and said the old one in the Bush administration was too alarmist. This is not going to happen until the second half of the decade, 2015 to 2020.

And it was that rationale of the administration then used, the president then used when he unilaterally and abruptly canceled the agreement we had with the Poles and the Czechs to build a missile defense system that would precisely be designed to shoot down an intercontinental rocket from Iran headed over to the United States.

So that rationale now collapses. It looks as if the Iranians are on a faster track. And the rocket test you showed, the one in February where Iran put up a rocket and satellite in space that had a mouse on it. You remember at the time, I pointed out that Iran is not exactly the leader in rodent research. It was showing its reach in being able to hit any country on earth.

That was a two-stage rocket, intercontinental. You need a three stage if you want to hit the United States. But that is coming, and we know it's coming. Why the administration would cancel a system in Europe that would help us, why it's reducing the number of ground space launches in Alaska that would shoot down a Korean rocket, and why it canceled the airborne laze, the single most prominent technology for shooting a rocket on its way up, which is much better than shooting it on the way down where it can deploy chaff and a lot of multiple warheads, is incomprehensible to me.

Read the whole thing here.