Deploying Missile Defense: Major Operational Challenges
Strategic Forum no. 209
NATIONAL DEFENSE UNIV WASHINGTON DC INST FOR NATIONAL STRATEGIC STUDIES
Pagination or Media Count:
By October 2004, the United States will have begun initial deployment of a missile defense capability albeit a modest, limited, and not completely proven one to defend the homeland against a limited ballistic missile attack. The gradual phase-in of ballistic missile defense deployments will mark an important change in the policy context of the missile defense issue. Past debate focused on whether missile defenses should be deployed and whether they would work. These issues will now share the limelight with another pressing question how would missile defenses actually be used Operating a missile defense system presents seven challenges to whom weapons release authority should be delegated how limited missile defense assets should be allocated what roles the President and Secretary of Defense should play during intercept operations how strike options should be coordinated with defenses which U.S. command should be responsible for conducting missile defense operations how testing and operational requirements should best be balanced what arrangements are needed to notify Russia when the United States launches missile defense interceptors, to reduce possible miscalculation by Moscow. To manage the transition to defense, policy guidance to address these challenges will have to be somewhat flexible it will likely evolve over time, based on the evolution of the system as well as operational experience and future testing using varied assumptions and scenarios.
- Antimissile Defense Systems