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7/22/2014 - Smoking Gun

MDAA Alert: 

  Smoking Gun  

July 22, 2014

 A Russian Buk Air Defense Unit, with two interceptors missing, leaving eastern Ukraine. (footage released July 18, 2014)

Dear Members and Friends, 


The tragedy of 298 innocent victims and destruction of Air Malaysia Flight 17 is directly tied to the use of a sophisticated military air defense artillery system developed and provided by Russia. Information gathered by U.S. sensors used for missile defense and early warning of ballistic missiles indicate that a Russian-made SA-11 Buk Air Defense System in eastern Ukraine was used to locate and destroy the Malaysian aircraft. These strategic and regional sensors used for U.S. national security are highly accurate, and can identify and track missiles fired around the world 24-hours a day.


This Russian made SA-11 Buk Air Defense System is similar in concept and design to the American-made Patriot Air Defense system. Both systems were developed and deployed at the peak of the Cold War in the early 1980s to defend against sophisticated and air breathing threats at high altitudes. They each use a separate acquisition radar to target the air threat, and both have a series of launchers that carry fragmentation interceptors which are guided to their targets by that radar. These systems also have a fire control command center, with an overall commander in charge of when to release the integrated complex air defense system and fire any of its interceptors. 


These three components, radar, interceptors, and command and control, are operated by platoons of soldiers that specialize in one of the three platforms. These troops require highly specific training to be qualified to operate these platforms. Both Russia and the United States have sold these air defense systems to their respective allies and friends, provided them with this specialized training at their military air defense schools, and manufacturing representatives to help support these systems in their deployments.


Due to the complexity of air operations in the zone 1,000 feet above a combat region, where both friendly and enemy aircraft may be operating, there is a high-ranking general officer that has full command of the air sector, including air defense. Because of the automation and sophisticated technology of the air defense batteries and risk of friendly-fire, there are many command controls and a rigorous chain of command in place for identifying targets to prevent shooting down friendly aircraft. In regions where there are high military tensions, such as eastern Ukraine, the need for firm centralized control of air defense systems is even more crucial. Both the United States, Russia and Ukraine have air operations centers that oversee the Ukrainian region which are commanded by high-ranking general officers. 


It would be very difficult to believe that in an environment such as this, the rebels could be armed with a complex air defense system and enabled to shoot down a civilian airliner without Russian support or control. 


It is absolutely inexcusable for Russia to provide complex air defense assets to these rebels with the capability to shoot down civilian or military aircraft. Video footage of a Buk mobile air defense platform, with two missing missiles, heading towards the Russian border soon after the shoot down of Flight MH17 is further validation of Russian involvement.  It is also inexcusable to play down the seriousness of what has really taken place by placing the blame on a single individual or group taking unauthorized action on their own in an attempt to deescalate tensions.


Today, and likely into the near future, the skies above eastern Ukraine remain clear of any aircraft that will not bear the risk of being shot down. Russia and the rebels now have total control of the airspace over eastern Ukraine, and this is the direct consequence of the destruction of an innocent civilian aircraft, regardless of world condemnation and outcry.


American and NATO leadership, at minimum, should demand that Russia remove these air defense systems deployed in eastern Ukraine as an immediate response. If Russia does not withdraw the Buks, the United States should provide Ukraine with intelligence on the locations of these systems, and supply it with the necessary military support, including sophisticated anti-radar and anti-air defense missiles to destroy these systems.


If world leadership does not stand up to Russia now over this incident, the international community will move down a dangerous path of appeasement in the face of Russian aggression, aggression which could be prevented by standing strong together to enforce direct consequences on Russia.

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2/6/2004 Missile Defense Sparks the Palmetto State!
2/3/2004 Ellison Responds to DoD's Limited Deployment Announcement
1/29/2004 Survey: Likely Democratic Voters Support a Missile Defense System
1/22/2004 Fox News Article - Shooting Down Missiles And Arrogance
1/20/2004 New Hampshire Trip - Making Missile Defense a Part of the Debate
1/12/2004 New Hampshire Voters Want Missile Defense
7/17/2003 Boost-phase technology has great potential
6/25/2003 Senator Lieberman understands
6/13/2003 Iran is building up its nuclear arsenal
6/4/2003 Missile Defense - a public safety issue for Japan
5/28/2003 Nevada testimonials in support of Senate Joint Resolution 7
5/21/2003 North Korean threats
5/15/2003 When regimes change, weapons remain
5/7/2003 The enemies of freedom are not idle..
4/30/2003 We've got nukes. We can't dismantle them.
4/9/2003 A system that does not kill people
4/2/2003 The grimmest day this nation has ever seen
3/27/2003 Last week, Congress discussed missile defense in hearings