Raising the stakes in NE Asia: Opinion

(From the Korea Times)

By Donald Kirk

The stakes are escalating in the contest for Northeast Asia. North Korea’s got nukes and lots of missiles, most recently maybe the SLBM for submarine-launched ballistic missile. The U.S. has glistening new hardware too. THAAD, Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense, the missile system for Star Wars, is capable, they say, of knocking out an incoming missile 150 kilometers over the Earth’s surface. No, it would not always hit its target, but at a few hundred million dollars a shot you’ve got to believe it wouldn’t be a total waste.

Before we declare Star Wars, however, think of all the stuff that’s likely to go into the inventory of the U.S. Armed Forces, and its allies, in the next few years. The U.S. Marines on Okinawa already have Osprey helicopters. These ungainly looking birds take off like helicopters, their twin rotors beating like those of outdated Chinooks, and then level off horizontally so they look like two huge propellers an on old-style non-jet transport plane. Read more



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