A Strategic Conversation about National Missile Defense (Strategic Studies Quarterly, Winter 2008)
DEPARTMENT OF THE AIR FORCE WASHINGTON DC
Pagination or Media Count:
As the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan continue, as instability rises in Pakistan, as we face off with Russian interventionism, and as China delivers the Olympics, the future of US national security strategy becomes more and more tenuous. These collective events represent just a few trends and potential threats across a very broad spectrum. As American policy makers determine the course of our grand strategy, it becomes necessary to engage in a critically important conversation. In the face of difficult economic times and dynamic geopolitics, we must be willing to ask the tough questions, and we must also demand the tougher answers. Such a conversation is underway at this very moment with regards to national missile defense NMD and the related strategic imperatives of America and her allies. While there are many sides to this conversation, some questions will simply need to be addressed. First, one must consider the threat spectrum. Is there a convergence between states potentially pursuing intercontinental ballistic missile ICBM capabilities and states with intent to do us harm Second, what degree of real progress has been made in testing and proving the current system Third, would an NMD system be a stabilizing or destabilizing element in the current geopolitical order By approaching and answering these questions honestly, we can determine the best course of action for the United States, both as a global superpower and as one actor on a very large stage.
- Defense Systems
- Guided Missiles