Report of the New Alternatives Workshop 'GPALS and the International Security Environment Held in Fairfax, Virginia on 6-7 March 1991
NATIONAL SECURITY RESEARCH INC FAIRFAX VA
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President Bushs introduction on the GPALS concept in his State-of- the-Union Address culminated a lengthy policy review responding to perceptions that, while the potential for a Soviet ballistic missile attack is growing more remote, proliferation of ballistic missile technologies makes a Third World ballistic missile threat more immediate. Technical progress made under the SDI holds the potential for mounting effective defenses against limited, accidental or unauthorized ballistic missile attacks in the programmatically relevant future. Patriots success against Iraqi Scuds in the Gulf War and the political significance of this combat give further credence to this idea as being both technically feasible and politically sound. Affordability of wide-area defenses under the GPALS concepts depends heavily on hybrid surface- and space-basing. Development of an operational GPALS capability requires readdressing provisions of the ABM Treaty, but there is reason to believe that the Soviets, more immediately affected by the Third World ballistic missile threat than the United States, would be amenable to renegotiating treaty provisions. The present reshaping of the U.S. defense establishment in response to a changing strategic situation and tighter resource constraints should be seen as a propitious moment to pursue ExecutiveCongressional accord on GPALS.
- Antimissile Defense Systems