Adapting NATO Missile Defense to Survive Enemy Contact

Photo Credit: NAVAL SUPPORT FACILITY DEVESELU, Romania – Air defense soldiers assigned to B Battery (THAAD), 62nd Air Defense Artillery Regiment, 69th Air Defense Artillery Brigade, 32nd Army Air and Missile Defense Command unload flooring for a Battery Command Post during a Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system emplacement at Naval Support Facility Deveselu, Romania May 17. The unit arrived in Romania in April to emplace a Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system while NATO’s Aegis Ashore Ballistic Missile Defense site undergoes a long-planned update in the upcoming months. (Photo by U.S. Navy Electronics Technician 2nd Class Jonathan Hill, Naval Support Facility Deveselu)

Tensions with Iran are once again high, making plain the risk of unexpected conflict between Iran and the United States. In the event of such a conflict, the United States would likely rely heavily on regional missile defense architectures like the European Phased Adaptive Approach, or EPAA, designed to protect NATO from ballistic missile attacks from the Middle East. Yet the EPAA is fragile, with a single point of failure that a sensible adversary like Iran could exploit. Fortunately, there are practical steps that NATO and the United States can take to make EPAA more durable.

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