15 February 2018
Gen. Lori Robinson, the U.S. Northern Commander, (pictured right) said in testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee that North Korea’s successful nuclear and missile tests over the past year “represents the most immediate threat to our homeland, and therefore remains NORTHCOM’s highest priority.” (US Air Force photo by Melanie Rodgers Cox/Released)
The U.S. Air Force general who is in charge of homeland defense told Congress Thursday she is “100 percent” certain she can defend the U.S. against a ballistic missile attack from North Korea.
“I want to assure this committee today that I am confident that I can defend the United States,” said Gen. Lori Robinson, the U.S. Northern Commander, in testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee.
Robinson says North Korea’s successful nuclear and missile tests over the past year “represents the most immediate threat to our homeland, and therefore remains NORTHCOM’s highest priority.”
Robinson is one of the top commanders who would be in the loop to decide how to respond if a missile from North Korea appeared to be heading for the U.S.
While the U.S. interceptors based in Alaska are capable of shooting down a single North Korea missile, Robinson says the U.S. must continue to improve its missile shield as Kim Jong Un builds up his arsenal and could sometime in the future overwhelm the U.S. with multiple missiles or sophisticated decoys.
“He hasn’t built up capacity yet,” Robinson testified. “While I’m confident that we can defeat this threat today, it is critical that we continue to improve the ballistic missile defense enterprise, with emphasis on the development of improved sensor networks, combined with interceptor capability and capacity and reliability.”
Questioned by Nebraska Republican Sen. Deb Fischer about a recent New York Times editorial that called U.S. missiles defenses “a dangerous illusion,” Robinson doubled down on her assurance.
“I’m 100 percent confident in my ability to defend the United States of America,” Robinson replied. “I think we continue to outpace everybody, and it gives me more and more confidence — continued confidence in our ability to defend the United States.”
The Times editorial noted that last month, in a test of a new land-based version of the Navy’s ship-based Aegis system, an SM-3 missile failed to intercept a target missile off the coast of Hawaii.
Pentagon officials say the test included some new technology, and while it did not shoot down a target, it provided valuable data as the system is refined.
“You know, one of the things that I say about Kim Jong Un all the time is that he’s not afraid to fail in public,” Robinson said. “You learn as much from failure as you do from success.”
(taken from the Washington Examiner) http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/us-northern-commander-is-100-percent-certain-she-can-defend-america-from-north-korean-missiles/article/2649249