Focus Point - Missile Defense

Commentary by Pete du Pont

I'm Pete du Pont with the National Center for Policy Analysis. Having lost the use of "it won't work," opponents of a Missile Defense System are now trotting out, "We don't need it any more." Really?

Twenty countries have, or aspire to have, the capacity to hit us from long range. China has bragged it could incinerate San Francisco. North Korea can hit Hawaii. Lybia, Iraq and Syria are potential players.

The Navy says there's no technological obstacle to deploying a sea-based anti-missile system now. An improved system to knock down long range ballistic missiles could be up and running by 2003 for $5 billion; it could take out missiles at their most vulnerable point, shortly after lift-off.

But the Clinton administration drags its feet, embracing the outdated notion of mutually assured destruction so as to maintain good relations with Russia. The next administration will be hit by a jolt of clear thinking before we get his by something else.

Those are my ideas, and at the NCPA we know ideas can change the world. I'm Pete du Pont. Next time, clearing the air.