Former Marine Corps intelligence officer, Scott Ritter warns in The American Conservative that if Houthi rebels can fire missiles into Saudi Arabia at will, despite the Saudis’ sophisticated weaponry, any conflict with a more advanced nation such as Russia, China, Iran, or even North Korea would see mobile ballistic missiles in service throughout the hostilities. No country, including the United States, is safe from such a threat. He writes (abridged):
If a relatively unsophisticated foe such as the Houthi, using Iranian-modified Soviet and North Korean missiles derived from 40-year-old technology, can evade an enemy force using the most modern combat aircraft backed up by the most sophisticated intelligence gathering systems available, and successfully launch ballistic missiles that threaten the political and economic infrastructure of the targeted state, what does that say about the prospects of any U.S.-led coalition taking on the far more advanced mobile missile threats that exist in North Korea and Iran today?
The fact of the matter is that no military anywhere has shown the ability to successfully interdict in any meaningful way a determined opponent armed with mobile ballistic missile capability.
If the Saudi experience in Yemen is to teach us anything, it is that any military plan designed to confront nations such as North Korea, Iran and Russia that are armed with sophisticated mobile ballistic missiles had better count on those capabilities remaining intact throughout any anticipated period of hostility.
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