Countering Missile Threats Means Addressing the Present While Planning for the Future

Photo Credit: Petty Officer 1st Class Dominique A. Pineiro/U.S. Defense Department

In 2017, I helped author the CSIS report “Missile Defense 2020,” a broad look at the history, status and future of the U.S. homeland missile defense system known as Ground-based Midcourse Defense. The report argued that the establishment of GMD had put the United States in an advantageous position relative to the North Korean missile threat, but this advantage would be short-lived if the United States failed to improve GMD through incremental milestones and regular testing. GMD has had some notable achievements with this strategy. The Pentagon, however, seems to be moving away from this proven approach to GMD, attempting great leaps rather than manageable steps. This riskier approach could make the United States less secure over the near and long term.

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