Defending the USA’s Anti-Ballistic Missile Program

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Michael Jones, University of Hawaii professor, has written another lengthy editorial in the Honolulu Star-Bulletin condemning the Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) program. To quote the greatest supporter of the ABM program, Ronald Reagan, “There you go again!”

Jones has listed many “facts and statistics” that purport to show the program doesn’t work, can’t work, has not been properly tested, and is a waste of money.


However, his own statistics show that the system ”’does”’ work, with many successful tests already completed. Sure, some failures have occurred. That is why they are called “tests.” …

I am an engineer, and in the early ’60s, working on Kwajalein in the Marshall Islands, I personally saw (and photographically documented) many successful intercepts of Inter-Continental Ballistic Missiles (ICBM’s) by ABM’s. The “interceptor” missiles were guided to their target by computers that used vacuum tubes, and were so cumbersome that they had to be housed in air conditioned gymnasium-sized buildings. They had much less capability and were far slower than the laptop computer being used for this letter. Considerable technical progress in computers and “rocket science” has been made since then, so it’s now possible to “hit a bullet with a bullet”… a description that has often been used by the politically motivated opposition to make the task seem impossible.

Recent tests show conclusively that it ”’is”’ possible to “hit the bullet,” but it would be a far simpler task if the politicians would allow the use of an explosive warhead. The “hit-to-kill” political restriction makes an intercept more difficult. For example, imagine if our soldiers were required to use non-exploding hand grenades that had to hit the enemy on the head to damage him! But, that’s another problem.

An improved Patriot system is being sent to the middle east to protect our friends, and they are happy to receive it. Even if it’s not “perfect,” it certainly will help. Just compare the ABM system to a policemen’s flak jacket. Sure, he can still be injured by a bullet, but he will be far safer than if he was only wearing an Aloha shirt!

As I have stated before, most opponents of the ABM are politically motivated, and have used the “It won’t work” argument for many years. Now that it does work, they have been forced to change their tactics. Now they say that even though it works, it’s too expensive to “waste money” by deploying it. Are flak jackets too expensive? I don’t think so. …

”’Bud Weisbrod is a Honolulu resident. His career included being a Photo-Optics Supervisor, Kwajalein, Marshall Islands from 1961-1964 and a former Chief Photographic Engineer at Edwards Air Force Base, among other things. He can be reached via email at”’