The technical core of the U.S. missile defense program is in tatters. Two heavyweight studies in the past 16 months have raised fundamental questions about the science underlying the program.
India's defensive missile program continues to move forward with a successful launch at the end of last year and a test of a new interceptor planned for early this year.
As the United States expands missile defense capabilities in Asia, the Middle East, and Europe to counter developing missile programs in Iran and North Korea, China and Russia say this expansion could be a threat to their strategic forces.
Arguing that the U.S.-based ballistic missile interceptor system is “very expensive” but has “limited effectiveness” against potential attacks from Iran, a September report by the independent National Research Council recommends replacing the current system with a revamped but largely similar system and expanding it by adding a new site in an East Coast state.
NATO now has an “interim capability” for its U.S.-built missile interceptor system, the alliance announced at its May 20-21 summit in Chicago, but the future of NATO-Russian cooperation on missile defense remains uncertain.
(Washington, D.C.) At the May 20-21 NATO summit in Chicago, the alliance is expected to approve and release its Deterrence and Defense Posture Review (DDPR) report. The DDPR was launched following the previous NATO summit to determine the proper mix of nuclear, conventional and missile defense assets for the alliance.
As part of a broader U.S. effort to focus on Middle Eastern security, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said March 31 that “it is a U.S. priority” to help Persian Gulf states build regional missile interceptor systems to counter missiles from Iran.