Defending America:The Case for Limited National Missile by James M. Lindsay

By James M. Lindsay

Written for a common viewers, this booklet analyzes the missile-defence debate. It assesses the present and sure destiny missile possibility to the U.S., examines correct applied sciences and indicates how America's acquaintances and foes may react to a choice to construct a countrywide missile defence.

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Additional resources for Defending America:The Case for Limited National Missile Defense

Sample text

If hostile countries such as Iraq felt they could threaten the United States, and thereby deter it from defending its allies and global interests, these countries might feel less constrained about threatening or attacking their neighbors. Moreover, vulnerability to long-range ballistic missile attacks could cause America’s friends and allies to doubt its willingness to stand by its security commitments, thereby weakening support for the United States around the world. Both sides in the NMD debate make valid points.

It is also the realistic extent DEFENDING AMERICA 23 of what defense technology will permit over that same period. Above all, the system should be designed to minimize the threat it poses to the Chinese and Russian nuclear deterrents, keeping only a capability against a small, accidental or unauthorized launch from their arsenals. And the United States should continue a vigorous missile defense research program, to keep open the possibility of deploying a more ambitious NMD system if the evolution of the threat warrants it and the advance of technology permits it.

A Modest Proposal The fundamental purpose of any American NMD effort at this point should be to build a system that can defend the United States and its allies against attack by hostile emerging ballistic missile states, which in practical terms means small attacks of no more than a couple dozen missiles lacking sophisticated countermeasures. This is the extent of the clearly identifiable missile threat that North Korea and, possibly, Iran or Iraq could pose over the next ten to fifteen years. It is also the realistic extent DEFENDING AMERICA 23 of what defense technology will permit over that same period.

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