Las Vegas Sun

September 22, 2017

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Letter to the editor:

Missile defense needs beefing up

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In a recent column, Ed Feulner had an accurate article on damage to the U.S. by an electromagnetic pulse. To bring home to the citizens of the Las Vegas Valley what a nuclear attack here would mean, a modest size nuclear warhead detonated here would kill a reasonably estimated 400,000 people — a fifth of the population.

The U.S. does not have a good missile defense system. Although the Obama administration is going to add additional missiles to the Alaska installation, it is taking funds from the Navy missile defense research program. Much research is needed to build a satisfactory system.

The current estimates are that North Korea cannot hit the lower 48 states today, but perhaps in a few years. But it takes a long time to develop and build an improved missile defense system, so we will not be more protected when North Korea can attack unless Congress and the administration really push the defense system research, development and deployment now. One would think the West Coast senators, including Harry Reid, would be strongly behind this program since their constituents would be the primary targets.

There are other ways to get a nuclear weapon into the Las Vegas Valley. North Korea could just give a weapon to al-Qaida and have the group bring it across our porous borders and detonate the weapon. Perhaps we need to solve the porous border problem also.

I personally would like to be safe instead of relying on intelligence estimates that North Korea is “unlikely” to attack.

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