Missile Defense

October 7, 1998
When President Ronald Reagan left the famous Iceland summit in 1987, he did something rare in diplomatic circles. He walked away from the deal on the table. At the time, Mikhail Gorbachev and President Reagan agreed to reduce U.S. and Soviet arsenals. But the sticking point was that Mr. Gorbachev insisted that the U.S. halt development of a ballistic missile system. President Reagan said no and walked away from the deal.

Now fast forward a decade, and you can see the wisdom of Ronald Reagan. He would not give away America's right to defend itself. The Clinton Administration's refusal to deploy an anti-ballistic missile system has compromised our ability to defend ourselves from terrorists and rogue nations.

Unfortunately, part of the problem goes back to President Reagan. His steadfast support of a strategic defense system (often called Star Wars) probably convinced the average American citizen that we have such a system. We don't. Yet poll after poll shows that most Americans believe we have the ability to defend ourselves against enemy missiles. They would support building such a system, but aren't clamoring for one because they mistakenly believe we have one.

Recently, Joint Chiefs Chairman General Henry Shelton reiterated administration policy that delays deployment of such a system at a time when terrorists like Osama bin Laden are running loose and when India, Pakistan, and other countries are testing nuclear weapons.

A report from the Ballistic Missile Threat Commission makes the case for common sense. The U.S. has the technology to shoot down missiles and needs to deploy it immediately. The report flatly contradicts administration policy and warns that current decisions to delay deployment are based on bad information and jeopardize national security.

It is past time for the U.S. to deploy a system to protect us from a missile attack. Congress must act to reverse the current Clinton administration policy.

I'm Kerby Anderson of Probe Ministries, and that's my opinion.

© 1998 Probe Ministries International