In response to my Stanley Kurtz post, I've been getting a lot of e-mails like this.
Weigel has not explained how he would propose to "stop" a ballistic
missile from JihadLand to NYC. Only a ballistic missile has a 6000-mile
trajectory, and as far as I know, there is no operational ballistic
missile defense for the east coast of the USA against a transatlantic
attack. [There _is_ a nominal BMD on the USA west coast.]
From Navy Times:
By the end of the year, the Navy will have a total of six warships capable of tracking and shooting down ballistic missiles.
Three cruisers—Shiloh, Lake Erie and Port Royal—already have the capability to track ballistic missiles with upgraded Aegis radar. They also have the ability to hit a ballistic missile with an SM-3 missile, shot out of standard Navy vertical launch system tubes.
By year's end, the destroyers Stethem, Decatur and Curtis Wilbur will also have ballistic-missile defense capability, according to Lt. Tommy Crosby, a Navy spokesman at the Pentagon.
The ships patrol the Pacific right now, but I have no trouble believing they'd be redeployed to the Atlantic if we found ourselves in Kurtz's future world, where Iran flings around nukes willy-nilly and soylent green is made out of people. Remember that Kurtz's nightmare scenario—the one more dangerous than the Cold War—involved a rogue power firing a single nuke at the United States. I doubt we'll soon develop the sort of missile defense that could have neutralized a MAD-style situation with thousands of nukes. But one nuke?