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 an essential part of U.S. defense policy and strategy, and their importance shows no sign of diminishing.

During the campaign, President-elect Donald Trump pledged to “develop a state of the art missile defense system.” Several means to a more effective, robust, and layered missile defense include increased capacity and capability, new concepts of operation, more expectations of allies and partners, a space sensor layer, and next generation technologies. These and others will require a budgetary correction away from the downward trend of the past decade, during which the Missile Defense Agency (MDA) budget declined by nearly a quarter, from $11 billion in 2007 to $8.4 billion in 2016 (2017 dollars).

“We propose to rebuild the key tools of missile defense.” - President-elect Donald Trump – September 7, 2016

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Tom Karako
Senior Fellow, International Security Program and Director, Missile Defense Project