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The Aegis BMD Global Enterprise: A High End Maritime Partnership

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Journal Article

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Naval War College Newport United States

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For more than three decades, beginning soon after the end of World War II, the United States and the Soviet Union faced off against each other. The concept of mutual assured destructionMAD, the U.S. threat of massive retaliation to a Soviet first strikebecame Americas Cold War de facto strategic defense policy. In March 1983, however, President Ronald Reagan asked whether ballistic missiles could be destroyed before they reached the United States or its allies, thus catalyzing efforts for a national ballistic-missile-defense program that would undermine the need for MAD. That same year, the U.S. Navy commissioned USS Ticonderoga CG 47, the first of what is to become a fleet of more than eighty Aegis warships. In 2012, these trends have converged, and Aegis ballistic-missile defense BMD is an increasingly important component of a robust national BMD System BMDS.

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