I grew up in the days of “Duck & Cover”. At Three Bridges Elementary School in rural New Jersey we were shown films and had chances to practice. One day there was an air raid siren. We knew what to do! All us kids ducked under our desks and covered our heads. This was to protect us in case of nuclear war between the United States and the Soviet Union. Looking back I’m not sure how a child’s school desk is equivalent to a nuclear fall-out shelter.
Kids today may need to start practicing “duck and cover” again. China has confirmed it is developing a “super missile” capable of carrying multiple nuclear warheads. These could defeat the US missile protection shield and land anywhere in the United States. Look out, Three Bridges Elementary School!
This has the USA planning an increase in missile defence investments across South East Asia. In the press releases they say it’s to protect against North Korea. But in practical reality the announcement of a Chinese “super missile” is also a motivating factor:
“The focus of our rhetoric is North Korea,” said Steven Hildreth, a missile-defense expert with the Congressional Research Service, an advisory arm of Congress. “The reality is that we’re also looking longer term at the elephant in the room, which is China.” (Source: The Wall Street Journal)
The escalation of spending on missiles and defence is a heady reminder of the last Cold War. Then arch-enemies the United States and the Soviet Union played one-upmanship until the Soviet Union collapsed into bankruptcy. Today China has deep pockets and is awash in foreign currency reserves. The nation’s ability to arm itself is not constrained by any budget.
Looking at the smaller Dongfeng-4 below, I feel greatly reassured. The roof of the Three Bridges School was very steady and my desk was really solid. And if worse came to worse, we could deploy Mrs Rudy. Armed with her whistle she terrorised us kids in the lunchroom. I don’t doubt she could have turned back a nuclear warhead.
RANGE - 7,500 MILES WARHEAD - SINGLE 500 KILOTON MARV EVADER WARHEAD ENGINE - THREE STAGE SOLID PROPELLANT GUIDANCE - INERTIAL/FIBER OPTIC C.E.P. - LESS THAN 100 METERS NUMBER DEPLOYED CHINA = (DEVELOPMENT) Source: Softwar