« affiliateB-fc2 | トップページ | 社説:鳩山VS岡田 勝敗は政見で決せよ »

2009年5月16日 (土)

北ミサイル報告 「敵基地攻撃」は冷静に議論せよ

The Yomiuri Shimbun(May. 16, 2009)
Calm debate over having strike capability needed
北ミサイル報告 「敵基地攻撃」は冷静に議論せよ(5月16日付・読売社説)

Study into possessing the capability to strike enemy bases could be significant if it is deemed that missile defense systems are an inadequate form of protection. However, it is important that this issue be discussed in a calm manner.

The Defense Ministry on Friday released a report on North Korea's April missile launch. It said the launch helped Pyongyang extend the range of its Taepodong ballistic missiles, stating that the second and third stages--if North Korea's claim of a third stage is true--apparently flew 3,150 kilometers to 3,200 kilometers from a launch site in Musudan-ri in northeastern North Korea.

The report also pointed out that the test-firing of a long-range missile helps in extending the range of its shorter-range missiles, increasing its warhead capacities and enhancing the accuracy of its missiles.

Indeed, in terms of national security, we should not be as worried about the increased range of Taepodong missiles, which pass over Japan, as we should be about the enhanced ability of Rodong medium-range missiles, which could strike Japan.

The government should steadily promote the deployment of two missile defense systems--one using interceptors launched from Aegis-equipped destroyers and the other using ground-based interceptor missiles.


Options require U.S. support

If a number of ballistic missiles were fired at one time, however, it would be extremely difficult for a missile defense system, no matter its form, to intercept all of them.

Under its strictly defensive defense policy, Japan has its Self-Defense Forces focus on defensive operations while relying on the U.S. forces for retaliatory strikes. Military deterrent can basically be maintained under this current division of roles between the SDF and U.S. forces, as long as the Japan-U.S. security alliance functions as intended.

However, the option to allow the SDF certain strike capabilities to complement the current setup should not be dismissed.

The means to strike enemy bases roughly come in two delivery systems--cruise missile strikes such as by the Tomahawk of the United States, and strikes using bombing aircraft.

It is difficult for cruise missiles to engage Rodong missiles because precise target locations are needed, and Rodongs are launched from mobile platforms.

Bombing aircraft, meanwhile, need to break through an enemy's air defense network to deliver air strikes, requiring air force units comprising support fighters to secure air supremacy, electronic air warfare aircraft with jamming capabilities, air tankers and other assistance.

Either scenario requires close coordination with U.S. forces.


SDF role should be clarified

Detecting a sign of a missile launch and identifying its intended target makes indispensible the cooperation of U.S. forces in providing such information to the SDF. Striking all enemy missile bases solely using the SDF is unrealistic considering the huge costs and time involved.

How and under what conditions, then, could the SDF effectively complement U.S. attack capabilities? We hope a comprehensive study of this matter is made based on realistic unit operation conditions.

To ensure that the Japan-U.S. security alliance functions effectively, it is necessary to enable Japan to exercise its right of collective self-defense, which is currently banned by the government's interpretation of the Constitution. The alliance could be shaken if Japan remains barred under the Constitution from intercepting missiles heading toward the United States.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, May 16, 2009)
(2009年5月16日01時27分  読売新聞)


« affiliateB-fc2 | トップページ | 社説:鳩山VS岡田 勝敗は政見で決せよ »





« affiliateB-fc2 | トップページ | 社説:鳩山VS岡田 勝敗は政見で決せよ »