Charting a Path for U.S. Missile Defenses
June 1, 2000
As the time approaches for what could well be President Bill Clinton’s decision to deploy a national missile defense (NMD), we should review where the current program and policies are taking the nation. It is as important to avoid a premature deployment that would embarrass proponents as it is to move expeditiously to a useful defense. Missile defense, particularly for the U.S. homeland, has been a divisive issue since the first system was proposed some 40 years ago. It continues to be politically controversial today, even as a possible deployment decision on an NMD system approaches in the summer of 2000. Nevertheless, there is a growing consensus that the United States faces a potential threat from ballistic missiles and weapons of mass destruction (WMD) in the hands of so-called rogue states.