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Missile Defense Review Still Pending
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Public release of a congressionally directed missile defense review, originally mandated to be done by the end of last January, has continued to be delayed, and a final timeline for release is unclear as some Defense Department officials say the report is completed and undergoing unspecified “final deliberation.” (See ACT, May 2017.) The tentative timing for release has been repeatedly pushed off for unknown reasons. In addition to a standard procedural final review process, there may be administration concerns about the potential to disrupt negotiations between the United States and North Korea by releasing a document outlining a strategy to counter North Korea’s capabilities. In April, Deputy Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan explained that part of the postponement resulted from the delayed Senate confirmation of John Rood, who took office in January as undersecretary of defense for policy. The review has been rescheduled from a late 2017 release to February, then mid-May. On Sept. 4, Rood told an audience at the Missile Defense Advocacy Alliance that it would be out in the “next few weeks.” In early November, Pentagon spokesman Col. Rob Manning said that the report was in the final stages of staffing and that the Pentagon wants to make sure that the review is “coordinated.”—SHERVIN TAHERAN

Posted: December 1, 2018