Wednesday, May 31, 2017

US Interceptors Won’t Guarantee Security
Global Times
2017/5/31 23:33:39

The Pentagon confirmed that the US military has successfully intercepted an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) on Tuesday during the first test of its ground-based interceptor system. The interceptor launched from California hit an ICBM-class target over the Pacific Ocean. The ICBM-target was launched from the Marshall Islands. Missile Defense Agency director Vice Admiral Jim Syring hailed the interception as "an incredible accomplishment."

The ground-based interceptor system is mainly designed to counter the North Korean missile threat and the test was the first to involve a simulated attack by an ICBM. North Korea launched at least three missile tests in May which Pyongyang claimed were successful.

The Pentagon's ICBM interception test appeared to be a response to Pyongyang by sending a message of its deterrence capabilities. But it will have a far more complex impact.

Though the North Korean missile threat was labeled as a target for the Pentagon's interception test, the technology can impose a threat to China and Russia's deterrence. With enormous investment in anti-missile research, Washington fancies it can have the ability to shield itself from any kind of missile attack.

Yet the development of both missile and anti-missile systems does not make any of the systems unassailable. The anti-missile system cannot guarantee the security of the US. Pyongyang won't abandon its missile program and put itself at the mercy of Washington just because of the Pentagon's successful ICBM interception test.

China and Russia will also be prompted to develop a better ICBM penetration ability that can out-compete the US' interceptor system.

The US has been trying to acquire absolute security, and pursues a military strength that can't be matched by that of China and Russia. This has misled many American people and makes their security goals far beyond reach.

Developing its anti-missile system is not a good way for the US to solve the North Korea nuclear crisis, as it will have little influence on Pyongyang's nuclear and missile programs. It will confuse Washington and Seoul over how to deal with North Korea - developing an anti-missile system or urging North Korea's nuclear disarmament.

China's military strength has developed immensely and it is not losing sleep over the US achievements in anti-missile systems. Increasing the number of ICBMs, developing nuclear strike ability, and improving the penetration technology of ICBMs are within China's ability.

The US has the most powerful military force in the world, and no country is trying to change this pattern. But the world won't allow the US to become powerful enough to launch a military strike against any country while it escapes a retaliatory attack.

The geopolitical significance of a strategic anti-missile system is far greater than its actual military significance. It will be used to enhance the deterrent power and consolidate the strategic cohesion of the US. China and Russia should show more of their advanced strategic missile technology so as to counteract the worldwide effects of the US' anti-missile propaganda. 

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