As we debate transgender bathrooms and creating “safe spaces” on college campuses to protect students from ideas they don’t like, real threats exist that should be taken seriously.
The United States is vulnerable to future attack by hypersonic missiles from China and Russia and is falling behind in the technology race to develop both defensive and offensive high-speed maneuvering arms, according to a new Air Force study.
“The People’s Republic of China and the Russian Federation are already flight-testing high-speed maneuvering weapons (HSMWs) that may endanger both forward deployed U.S. forces and even the continental United States itself,” an executive summary of the report says.
“These weapons appear to operate in regimes of speed and altitude, with maneuverability that could frustrate existing missile defense constructs and weapon capabilities.”
Hypersonic missiles are ultra-high speed weapons that travel along the edge of the earth’s atmosphere at speeds above Mach 5, or five times the speed of sound. The missiles also can maneuver to avoid current missile defenses—all of which were developed to hit ballistic missiles with predictable flight paths.
Hypersonic missiles can be developed for both strategic nuclear weapons and conventional rapid strike systems. They’re a new class of weapons that effectively combine speed, maneuverability, and altitude. They have both offense and defense capability which might tempt some into believing that the cold war strategy of “mutually assured destruction” will suffice as all the defense we need. That strategy may offer a false promise in a world of government sponsored fanaticism. A hypersonic missle could be delivered from within China (or North Korea) to Chicago within 20-45 minutes at a glide altitude of 18-35 miles above sea level.