North Korea has announced its intention to shoot a satellite over Japan’s airspace without Japanese approval. Everyone believes this is actually a missile, not a satellite. In any case, shooting any rocket like this into the airspace of another country is an act of war. North Korean did this once before, during the Clinton administration. This did not result in open warfare. However, it could have. This is an issue that you go to war over. Let’s take a different example. The U.S. announces that we are conducting air-defense tests with our aircraft in North Korean airspace. As long as we give them plenty of notice, we can go ahead even if they say NO? We should expect our aircraft to be attacked, and justifiably so. If the U.S. and Japan have the capability and desire, we should shoot it down. That is also an act of war. I find this possibility unlikely.
President Obama has a great reluctance to confront aggression. I find it interesting that one of his first foreign policy tests could be of a system that he feels the U.S. can do without. During the election campaigning, he stated numerous times that he wants to not only cease expansion of the system, but to dismantle it altogether and stop any new research and development. President Obama must feel that this system will actually increase the likelihood of nuclear conflict. With the system in place, an enemy must build more nukes in order to be certain that at least some of them hit the targets. This logic is sound, but I disagree that it makes nuclear conflict more likely.
I don’t believe that having or not having a missile defense system will deter anyone from launching a nuclear weapon at the U.S. nor anyone else. If an effective missile shield can be built and deployed, all it will do is reduce the amount of damage that the world will have to endure if and when any are launched. This effective missile shield will require any enemy to build numerous weapons to be more certain of getting them through to the targets. I am not so fearful of countries like Russia and China. They already posses enough weapons to overwhelm any missile system that we are designing. What I am concerned about is a group of Islamic terrorists who are able to obtain a nuclear weapon with a missile. The defense shield can make them decide to obtain more than one. This will buy us time at a point where time could be the difference between a conventional war and another war involving WMD. Even a massive conventional war is much desired over a war involving nuclear weapons and/or other effective WMD. Of course, you would have to be willing to engage in that conventional war before it was to late.