I found this article by Amb. Cooper, who formerly ran the Pentagon missile program. and many jobs associated with missile defense to be interesting.
He said like I thought, that US can shoot down ballistic missiles in the launch phase, in addition to the terminal phase. In fact, we can several shots on them as they travel across the Pacific. It appears that most Aegis-equipped destroyers and cruiser have the capability, include a few owned by Japan and South Korea.
We don’t have enough to make a difference in Russia nuclear strike, nor probably a Chinese strike.
I will say that when several of my friends were working on Star Wars at Lockheed Missile and Space, during the mid-80s there biggest barrier was not enough computational resource to track the target and discriminate against decoys. Given computing, power has increased by more than one million-fold in the last 30 years, that shouldn’t be an issue.
Assuming we have line of sight and reaction time, which means ships offshore probably, and close offshore? That is, it might be possible with good intel and everything going perfectly in the case of a NK launch. I’m not betting the farm on that. Well, I don’t have to; the poor bastards in Guam or whatever do.
I mean an Aegis could if it was close enough, but you’d be firing missiles over another nation, which would be an act of war, especially when it crashes back onto the ground and kills someone (even if it didn’t NK would say it did).
I mean if an actual war starts, which apparently it’s going to because Trump wants to distract from Russia and PR, their capabilities will hopefully be fairly easy to shut down. Between airstrikes on launchers/launch sites and missile defense, not much is too likely to get to it’s target. Then again, it only really takes one to create the greatest disaster the world has ever seen (assuming it’s nuclear armed).
I would expect there’s a tiny slice of years in which we can shoot down North Korean missiles, after which they either build vastly cheaper countermeasures, or just make more missiles. So it’s probably the only state which it might be possible to shoot them down but it won’t last long.
Goodness knows I don’t have an answer on what to do, but if our plan is to not do anything and maintain the status quo, in 5 years they’ll have 80 warheads (if you inlclude their currently estimated 20). In 10 years they’ll have 140, and will be well on their way to reaching Chinese levels (Chinese nukes estimated in the mid 200’s). At that point any measures which can deter North Korea will also be reaching the point where they also might deter China.
Well, we already “deter” China, the same way we “deter” other nuclear powers. We all agree we can mess each other up, but that the bar for doing so is astronomically high. Therefore, we talk about stuff rather than threaten to lob missiles at each other.
A better question is whether, over time, North Korea can get to a point where it’s feasible for us to have the same sort of deterrence/detente relationship as we have with Russia or China. So far, Pyongyang has not demonstrated much liking for behaving in that way, though. That’s what makes this thing so dangerous. The mere presence of nukes is much less important than the relationships we have with the owners.
The problem DPRK has is that it has nothing to offer the world.
China realized they could get rich and elevate everyone if they started playing ball. It took them a while, but they did it.
DPRK is built on keeping people so poor and hungry they can rebel and telling them from birth that Americans want to literally rape their babies and kill them to a man. There isn’t any opening for normalization. The entire nation is built on the myth of America the Monster, it’s the glue that holds everything together.
Yup, even a .1% increase in nuclear war/per year dwarfs everything else the guy does. Now how that translates into making a Trump a 'domestic enemy" is a bit of stretch for most people, but not for me.
And the worst part, to me (pure speculation on my part, mind you), is that I bet he only made that Tillerson tweet because Tillerson was in the headline, and not Trump. He can’t stand to see anyone else getting attention. For that, he directly harms our national (in fact, global) security.
Trump undercutting Tillerson is still giving me anxiety. It’s hard to imagine any peaceful end to this situation after the President publicly declared he doesn’t give a shit about whatever his diplomats are negotiating. How you can possibly end this without conflict with that setup?
The North Koreans will understand not to take the tweeting seriously. He’s just throwing around the same kind of crazy threats and insults that they do all the time. The only differences are that the North Koreans actually are good at negotiating behind the scenes and they’re a lot better at insulting Hillary Clinton.