In Depth Analysis, Commentary, and Publications

Dissecting the Big Missile Defense Plus-up
December 6, 2017

Dissecting the Big Missile Defense Plus-up

Thomas Karako & Wes Rumbaugh Download PDF Key Points Missile defense funds are likely to grow—a lot. In addition to a September reprogramming of an additional $249 million for the…

Why America Must Improve Its Missile Defense Systems
November 3, 2017

Why America Must Improve Its Missile Defense Systems

President Trump’s recent claim that U.S. ballistic-missile defenses are effective “97 percent of the time” has provoked much discussion about the capabilities of one U.S. defense system in particular: Ground-Based…

A Missile Defense Agenda
September 19, 2017

A Missile Defense Agenda

We must ‘rebalance’ in the right way.  In the 1990s, the U.S. intelligence community assessed that North Korea might acquire an intercontinental ballistic missile by 2015. That threat is now…

Video: Detecting a North Korean Missile Strike on Guam
September 18, 2017

Video: Detecting a North Korean Missile Strike on Guam

In early August 2017, North Korea announced plans to launch four intermediate-range ballistic missiles towards the waters surrounding Guam — perhaps 30 or 40 kilometers from the island’s coast. This…

Missile Defense and the Nuclear Posture Review
September 13, 2017

Missile Defense and the Nuclear Posture Review

As missile defense capabilities have matured, they have become widely recognized for their contribution to broad strategic objectives and the US nuclear posture. The growing significance of missile defenses has…

Iranian Missile Launches: 1988-Present
July 27, 2017

Iranian Missile Launches: 1988-Present

Despite Iran’s apparent compliance with the nuclear deal concluded in 2015, its missile programs remain a serious concern. Since 2006, the United Nations has repeatedly sanctioned Iran’s ballistic missile programs,…

Op-ed: Improve the Space-Based Sensor System
July 7, 2017

Op-ed: Improve the Space-Based Sensor System

The Pentagon’s missile defense review is now underway, incorporating mandates from both the White House and Congress. One of its considerations, at presidential direction, is whether there should be a…

North Korea’s New ICBM
July 6, 2017

North Korea’s New ICBM

CSIS Critical Questions What did North Korea launch? North Korea conducted a flight test of an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) that it has designated the Hwasong-14. During the July 3…

Aegis Intercept Test: Critical Questions
June 22, 2017

Aegis Intercept Test: Critical Questions

CSIS Critical Questions The Missile Defense Agency yesterday conducted an intercept test of the Standard Missile-3 Block IIA (SM-3 IIA), a relatively new interceptor designed for use in the Aegis Ballistic Missile…

The Future of Missile Defense in the Asia Pacific
June 6, 2017

The Future of Missile Defense in the Asia Pacific

Originally published at the Foreign Policy Initiative. Missile threats facing both the United States and its allies in the Asia-Pacific are increasing in complexity, number, and source. In response, the…

The GMD Intercept: What Does It Mean?
May 30, 2017

The GMD Intercept: What Does It Mean?

CSIS Critical Questions Today’s missile defense test was a success. What does that mean? This is a good day for homeland missile defense, and a bad day for Kim Jong-un….

Analyzing the PB 2018 Missile Defense Agency Budget
May 24, 2017

Analyzing the PB 2018 Missile Defense Agency Budget

The Trump Administration’s proposed FY2018 budget for the Missile Defense Agency was released yesterday with a topline request of $7.9 billion. The amount represents $380 million more than the budget…

Missile Maps and Infographics
April 19, 2017

Missile Maps and Infographics

Country China Iran India Russia North Korea Pakistan Yemen These graphics display the missile activity and capabilities of countries around the globe, including missile ranges, missile testing patterns, and more….

North Korea’s New Missiles on Parade
April 17, 2017

North Korea’s New Missiles on Parade

This past weekend, North Korea conducted a major military parade, an annual affair to commemorate the birth of Kim Il-sung. The event included the conspicuous display of many missiles and…

Video: Next Steps for Defending the Homeland
April 7, 2017

Video: Next Steps for Defending the Homeland

Protecting the homeland is regularly identified as the top priority of U.S. missile defense efforts. This mission is dependent upon a global network of sensors and interceptors, including the Ground-based…

Homeland Missile Defense: Illustrations
April 7, 2017

Homeland Missile Defense: Illustrations

This page provides downloadable versions of all illustrations found in Missile Defense 2020: Next Steps for Defending the Homeland. Illustrations are organized by chapter, in the order of their appearance…

Op-ed: Next Steps for Homeland Missile Defense
April 5, 2017

Op-ed: Next Steps for Homeland Missile Defense

Should North Korea fire a long-range ballistic missile in anger, America’s only line of defense is an integrated system of interceptors and sensors known as the Ground-based Midcourse Defense system…

FY 2017 Missile Defense Agency Budget Tracker
March 29, 2017

FY 2017 Missile Defense Agency Budget Tracker

This chart shows the Missile Defense Agency budget movements made by each committee in both the House and Senate. The green highlighted columns show the final totals of the authorization…

The Russia – NATO A2AD Environment
January 3, 2017

The Russia – NATO A2AD Environment

Among the concerns of the NATO alliance in the post-Crimea era is the increase in Russia’s anti-access area denial (A2AD) capabilities. A2AD forces are classified as those that contribute to…

Missile Defense: Time to Go Big
January 3, 2017

Missile Defense: Time to Go Big

Nations around the world continue to develop a growing range of ballistic and cruise missiles to asymmetrically threaten U.S. forces, allies, and the American homeland. Missile defenses have now become…

Nuclear Forces: Restore the Primacy of Deterrence
January 3, 2017

Nuclear Forces: Restore the Primacy of Deterrence

U.S. nuclear deterrent forces have long been the foundation of U.S. national security and the highest priority of the Department of Defense. As President-elect Donald Trump has observed, nuclear weapons…

Video: Midcourse Discrimination
November 23, 2016

Video: Midcourse Discrimination

Hit-to-kill ballistic missile defense is the ultimate precision guidance challenge. Many elements of a defense must come together to achieve a long range intercept. One of the most important and…

Interactive: The Missile War in Yemen
October 13, 2016

Interactive: The Missile War in Yemen

Updated October 16, 2017.  In March 2015, the Gulf Cooperation Council, led by Saudi Arabia, launched Operation Decisive Storm in order to bolster the internationally recognized Yemeni government led by…

FY17 Budget Squeezes MDA’s Research and Development
August 18, 2016

FY17 Budget Squeezes MDA’s Research and Development

The recently released $7.5 billion FY17 budget request for the Missile Defense Agency (MDA) represents an $822 million reduction from last year’s enacted budget. These cuts are essentially divided between…

Op-ed: A Space Sensor Layer for Missile Defense
August 17, 2016

Op-ed: A Space Sensor Layer for Missile Defense

Space is the place for a variety of missile defense tasks — including launch detection, tracking, discrimination, intercept, and kill assessment. Ballistic missiles travel in space, and the missile defense…

MDA and the Color of Money
August 12, 2016

MDA and the Color of Money

This study explores the growing competition for scarce dollars at the U.S. Missile Defense Agency (MDA). It traces the authorities, roles, and missions assigned to the agency and the growing…

Missile Defense Budget Trends
August 2, 2016

Missile Defense Budget Trends

Explore high resolution graphs analyzing decades of U.S. missile defense budget trends featured in the CSIS report The Missile Defense Agency and the Color of Money: Fewer Resources, More Responsibilities,…

JLENS Future Bleak, But Need for Capability Remains
April 5, 2016

JLENS Future Bleak, But Need for Capability Remains

Missile defense is not just about ballistic missiles. The wider problem of integrated air and missile defense, to include cruise missiles, has received growing attention in recent years. Last May,…

North Korea’s February 2016 Satellite Launch
February 8, 2016

North Korea’s February 2016 Satellite Launch

Q1: What did North Korea launch? A1: On the morning of February 7, North Korea launched an Unha-type rocket, headed due south. The rocket then apparently orbited an “earth observation…

Nuclear Option Weighed by ROK Lawmakers
January 7, 2016

Nuclear Option Weighed by ROK Lawmakers

North Korea’s fourth nuclear test has provoked renewed calls among leading South Korean lawmakers for South Korea to obtain its own nuclear deterrent force. Grabbing headlines most recently was the…

Distributed Lethality: Navy’s Doubling Down on Missiles
January 30, 2015

Distributed Lethality: Navy’s Doubling Down on Missiles

The Navy’s bold new “distributed lethality” (DL) concept could dramatically change naval operations both in terms of geographic dispersion and armaments of individual ships. By decreasing emphasis on manned aircraft,…

Op-Ed: Like It or Not, Containment Is What It Is
October 16, 2014

Op-Ed: Like It or Not, Containment Is What It Is

As bad as containment sounds, it may now be hard to accomplish more. Secretary of State John Kerry has emphatically denied that the United States is pursuing a containment strategy…

The Future of Homeland Missile Defense
August 18, 2014

The Future of Homeland Missile Defense

The annual Space and Missile Defense conference held August 11-14 in Huntsville, Alabama covered a wide range of topics, but the future of Ground-Based Midcourse Defense (GMD) program was among…

Ballistic and Cruise Missile Defense Advances
July 29, 2014

Ballistic and Cruise Missile Defense Advances

Several recent tests suggest progress for both ballistic and cruise missile defenses. On June 22, a Ground-based Interceptor (GBI) successfully destroyed a long-range target high above the Pacific. As the…