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MOAA Pikes Peak Chapter

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MOAA Pikes Peak Chapter
 
President Report    
August 2015

MOAA Pike’s Peak Chapter President’s Report for August 2015

Hello, Pike’s Peak Chapter Members

On August 6, 1945, Colonel Paul W. Tibbets, pictured here right before takeoff, piloted the Enola Gay, a Boeing B-29. On that morning, the Enola Gay dropped the first atomic bomb ever used in war. Seconds later, the bomb exploded over Hiroshima, destroying more than 80 percent of its buildings and killing more than 70,000 people instantly. Three days later, the second and last atomic bomb fell on Nagasaki. Tibbets said years later that using the bomb ‘helped hasten the end of World War II. It also demonstrated the specter of atomic destruction, such that those weapons have never again been used in anger.’

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Sitting here seventy years later, at my desk in the Missile Defense Agency, I am all too aware of the nuclear threat that still looms around the world and here at home.  Since that fateful day when the Enola Gay unleashed the first weapon of mass destruction, the U.S. and its allies have diligently worked to limit the number of national and non-national actors who have access to this kind of destructive capability. The list of such actors is small, but has just been potentially increased by one. Yes, the recently negotiated Iran Nuclear Accord is an endorsement for Iran to eventually become a nuclear power. This accord represents a dramatic departure from the original intent of sanctions against Iran, which was to bring an end to Iran’s nuclear program.   I’ll leave it to you to decide if this is a good idea; to allow a nation with an untrustworthy past to proceed down the path of possessing the capability to end the world, but one thing that is certain is the increased threat it poses and the need for the U.S. to have a robust defensive capability.

The good news is that our Defense Department has been making progress in this area since Ronald Reagan gave birth to the Strategic Defense Initiative in 1983.  Research into missile defense had been conducted going back to just after WWII, but what Reagan sought was an alternative to the strategy of nuclear deterrence and mutual assured destruction that left our homeland defenseless against a nuclear attack.  Now fast forward to the present day. What is the threat from Iran, a country no known nuclear weapons today? We are talking about the nation with the largest ballistic missile arsenal in the Middle East? The threat is clear; it’s the confluence of a future nuclear capability with their ballistic missile technology. To combat this threat, our approach is to deploy and upgrade gradually our Standard Missile-3 interceptor technology in Europe supported by an evolving network of land and space-based sensors.  Source: Missile Defense: The First Seventy Years.

I just wanted you all to get a sense for the importance of our Missile Defense mission today and in the future. Unless you think countries like Iran can be trusted with weapons of mass destruction and have no ill will for the United States and its interests around the world, we must support this mission.

Thanks,

Lt Col Stewart Laing, USAF (Ret.)
2015 President

MOAA Pikes Peak Chapter
MOAA Pikes Peak Chapter
MOAA Pikes Peak Chapter
MOAA Pikes Peak Chapter

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