Center for Arms Control

The Failures of Missile Defense

Published in the National Interest Online on July 26, 2012

Op-ed summary below; read the full text online.

Two recent scientific assessments of U.S. missile-defense efforts show that these programs are chasing scientific dead ends, unworkable concepts and a flawed overall architecture.

One assessment is the “Defense Science Board (DSB) Task Force Report on the Science and Technology Issues of Early Intercept Missile Defense Feasibility”; the other is a report by the National Research Council (NRC) of the National Academy of Sciences, “Making Sense of Missile Defense.”

In some cases, the gap between what the Missile Defense Agency (MDA) has been touting and the scientific facts is astonishing. For example, in an August 2011 handout, the MDA says “We will achieve early intercept capability against MRBMs, IRBMs, and ICBMs from today’s regional threats by 2020 or sooner.”

Read the rest of the op-ed here.

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