Mr. Bush said the launching of a prototype long-range missile that tumbled into the Sea of Japan showed why missile defenses are needed, but he acknowledged that the capabilities of the unproven missiles based in Alaska and California are "modest," and he said it was "hard for me to give you a probability of success."
"I think we had a reasonable chance of shooting it down, at least that's what the military commander has told me," he said at a news conference in Chicago.
I'm really not against the idea of a missile defense. Actually, if everyone around the world could build a missile defense shield that had maybe a 90-100% chance of shooting down any missile fired at you, then we very quickly would be downsizing the collections of ICBM with nuclear-tipped warheads that exist. This missile system is not that future system, at least not yet. And it does not appear to be able to become that system in the next 25, maybe 50 years. So let's stop talking about it as if North Korea's podunk ballistic missile program is an excuse to blow another $20 billion on a missile system that won't work when we need it, and let's stop talking as if missile defense in anyway is a part of our geo-political planning. The day we let go of the fallacy that we can build a missile shield that will protect us faster than our enemies can build missiles that will get through them, is the day we start to get serious about nuclear non-proliferation (beyond Iraq and Iran that is) and downsizing the stockpiles of nuclear weapons that exist in the world.