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Confronting the Real Missile Threat: Iran or North Korea

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Research paper

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Despite the official end of combat operations in Iraq and the approaching end of operations in Afghanistan, U.S. Air Defense Artillery ADA units remain deployed throughout countries in the Middle East. These ADA units remain on alert in Qatar, Bahrain, and the United Arab Emirates UAE in response to Irans provocative rhetoric and ballistic missile threats. Similarly, the Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea DPRK also has engaged in provocative rhetoric regarding the use of its ballistic missile inventory. The major difference between the two nations threats is that DPRKs provocations have resulted in loss of life and property for a U.S. ally, the Republic of Korea ROK. The DPRK has engaged in three provocative acts since 2009 that nearly resulted in a renewal of hostilities between the two Koreas. These provocations, coupled with its ballistic missile inventory, the recent death of Kim Jong Il, and the inexperience and uncertainty surrounding his son and successor Kim Jong Un, should prompt the United States to deploy more of its limited number of missile defense units to Northeast Asia versus the Middle East. Currently, the United States considers Iran a greater threat to U.S. vital interests than the DPRK based on the number of ballistic missile defense assets deployed to the Middle East. There are currently more U.S. PATRIOT batteries and early warning radars deployed in the U.S. Central Command USCENTCOM Area of Responsibility AOR than the U.S. Pacific Command USPACOM AOR. The purpose of this paper is to provide facts and cited information that will show that the United States is focusing its missile defense policy and assets on the less dangerous of these two threats. The paper concludes with five possible options to deter andor defend U.S. interests from both DPRK and Iranian ballistic missile threats.

Subject Categories:

  • Government and Political Science
  • Antimissile Defense Systems
  • Guided Missiles

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