The United States needs to pursue a stronger missile defense policy as the threat looms of Iran acquiring nuclear weapons, said Rep. Trent Franks (R-Ariz.), House Armed Services Committee member, in a Capitol Hill speech on Thursday. “Iran is so desperately dangerous to the world because if they do gain this nuclear capability, it rewrites” the balance of power in the Middle East, said Franks during his talk, which AFA sponsored, along with the National Defense Industrial Association, and Reserve Officers Association. Franks said Iran’s relationship with North Korea is troubling because he contends there is nothing really preventing Iran from buying nuclear warheads from North Korea. “Is it that implausible?” he asked. Iran probably will have a fully capable ICBM by 2015, said Franks. Yet, the United States has not had a successful intercept test of its system designed to protect the US homeland from long-range missile attack since December 2008, he said, referencing the most recent failed attempt on July 5. Missile defense technology is “something we are going to have to master, or it will master us, unfortunately,” said Franks during the July 18 event. (See also Miller Defense Missile Defense Policy.)
Three B-1B Lancers from the 7th Bomb Wing flew over the Indo-Pacific alongside F-16s from the Japanese Air Self Defense Force recently, as part of a joint large force exercise. The mission began and ended in the continental U.S., as the bombers flew 31 hours and landed Jan. 11.