Hitting a Bullet with a Bullet A History of Ballistic Missile Defense
AIR UNIV MAXWELL AFB AL AIRPOWER RESEARCH INST
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What can we glean from this study of ballistic missile defense initiatives As with so many other new weapons systems, missile offense took an initial lead over missile defense. Over the past 40 years this gap has grown. For, at the same time offensive ballistic missile systems have developed technically with marked advances in range, power, and reliability and spread geographically, defensive weapons have demonstrated neither reliability nor effectiveness. It is apparent that despite a need for such a defense and the appearance of various promising technologies, technical success has eluded the proponents of the system. Throughout the debate, critics of BMD have been consistent. They have certainly emphasized technical failings and the impact of enemy countermeasures. But they have also raised other issues that include the negative influence of BMD on international politics, the unproven threat, and high cost. Clearly ballistic missile defense has been a high visibility issue over the decades, a highly political and controversial affair, in both the international and domestic spheres.
- Antimissile Defense Systems