Heritage fellow James Carafano writes in the DC Examiner:

No issue carries greater potential for crisis than the growing threat of missile attack. Last week, Iran launched its first homemade satellite into space. Foreign Ministry spokesman Hassan Qashqavi assured an alarmed world that “Iran’s space advancement serves no military purpose.”

He is probably right… today. But Americans should be worried today, for the same reason they worried when the Soviets launched Sputnik in 1957: the launch demonstrates the increasing sophistication of a hostile nation’s ballistic missile program.

Layer that on top of Iran’s rapidly progressing nuclear program (which they also claim has no military purpose), and you have to wonder when Iran will drop the other shoe—a “surprise” test of its first nuclear weapon.

The surest way for the administration to set itself up for a colossal crisis is to abandon missile defense. To do so in the face of provocative actions by tinhorn tyrants in Iran and North Korea—or in response to mere complaints from Russia—is to look weak and inept. And that would invite disaster.

To paraphrase Lt. Gen. Henry “Trey” Obering, the recently retired director of the Missile Defense Agency: “When all else fails—when all the negotiations have broken down—you must be able to destroy a missile in the air. Otherwise, all you can do is apologize to those who died.”

In matters of life-and-death import, like missile defense, “I screwed up” won’t cut it.