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Yemen Missiles

Houthi Cruise Missile Came Within Seconds of Hitting USS Gravely

Houthi Cruise Missile Came Within Seconds of Hitting USS Gravely
“We can’t afford to sit here and play catch indefinitely”
By Daniel Greenfield

Instead of ending Houthi capabilities to terrorize the Red Sea, Biden carried out some light air strikes and promised to impose sanctions in 30 days.

This is the result.

A cruise missile launched by the Houthis into the Red Sea on Tuesday night came within a mile of a US destroyer before it was shot down, four US officials told CNN, the closest a Houthi attack has come to a US warship.

In the past, these missiles have been intercepted by US destroyers in the area at a range of eight miles or more, the officials said. But the USS Gravely had to use its Close-In Weapon System (CIWS) for the first time since the US began intercepting the Houthi missiles late last year, which ultimately succeeded in downing the missile, officials said.

The CIWS, an automated machine gun designed for close-range intercepts, is one of the final defensive lines the ship has to shoot down an incoming missile when other layers of defense have failed to intercept it…

Tom Karako, the director of the Missile Defense Project at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, said it was “concerning” that the Houthi missile managed to get so close to a US warship.

“If it’s going at a pretty good clip, one mile translates to not very long in terms of time,” Karako said.

The Houthis acquire much of their weapons technology from Iran, Karako said. Even slower cruise missiles could cover a mile within a matter of seconds, and the decision time for the commanders of warships is compressed because of the narrow waterways in the Red Sea.

This is what acting defensively means, as I wrote earlier.

The problem, as the unnamed White House officially unintentionally admitted, is that “we have acted defensively.”

US Navy ships can have as little as 30 seconds in which to shoot down incoming Houthi missiles.

That’s what acting “defensively” means.

The lives of our sailors and those on the container ships are measured in those 30 seconds. Until now, the US Navy and its allies have managed to stop every single attack. But whether it’s 9/11 or Oct 7, eventually the day comes when the terrorists get lucky and their attack succeeds.

The Houthis have gotten luckier than usual and let’s not forget that we’re spending a fortune on defense here.

The challenge facing air defense, Karako said, is a “capacity problem,” since US warships have a finite supply of interceptor missiles to use. “We can’t afford to sit here and play catch indefinitely,” he said.

The Houthis have continued to launch missiles and drones at vessels in the Red Sea, however, and on Wednesday morning were preparing to launch a surface-to-air missile that posed a risk to US aircraft operating in the region, according to US Central Command.

As I wrote, “Playing defense also means that we’re using $2 million missiles to stop $2,000 Houthi drones, draining our wealth and the weapons stockpiles we would need to fight Iran or China. We have the bigger defense industry, but in a contest between who can make more drones or ship missiles, the Houthis will eventually win because theirs are cheaper and faster to make.”

Iran also gets to test our weapons and defensive capabilities in preparation for an actual war. Iran hasn’t forgotten the battles of 1988. It intends to ensure a different outcome this time around.

Original Article

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