One of the very first scholars of the Claremont Institute, Dr. Harold Rood, once wrote in a famous essay that, "the central strategic objective of the United States is — as it has always been — the prevention of direct attack upon the United States." Dr. Rood was articulating a very simple principle that had guided earlier American strategists but had been forgotten by policymakers in the late 1960s. It was then that the U.S. abandoned the idea that it would defend itself from nuclear missile attack and adopted instead the idea of mutually assured destruction.
That changed with the adoption of a new strategy by Ronald Reagan in a speech given 17 years ago, today. Reagan, in describing his Strategic Defense Initiative, laid down the moral foundation of how the United States should deal with nuclear attack. Reagan believed that it was far preferable to prevent nuclear attack than to retaliate to one. He believed that no president should have as his only option the destruction of another country and the assured destruction of the United States.
Unfortunately, America today does not have a national missile defense. The United States cannot stop a single enemy missile despite the fact that nuclear missiles are no longer the possession of Russia and China alone but are, or are soon to be, in the hands of North Korea, Iran, and Iraq. The dream that was Reagan's — a dream that helped fell the Soviet Union — was never built.
Precepts readers know well that for the past three years, the Claremont Institute has had a project to inform its countrymen of this fact. Today, we are unveiling a new website that will be an important part of this project. At MissileThreat.com you will be able to view an interactive website that describes the ballistic missile threat to the United States, where the United States is vulnerable, how a national missile defense would work, and what treaties and policies are keeping the United States defenseless.
On MissileThreat.com there are animated QuickTime movies that show a ballistic missile launch, various methods of destroying an enemy missile, and an extensive library of articles and frequently asked questions about missile defense. It will be an important resource for both citizens and policymakers to learn more about this critical component of America's national defense. We have provided on the site e-mail postcards so that you can let your friends and elected officials know about it.