This hard-hitting analysis of the U.S. missile defense program explains the system's limitations and argues that it is not nearly as effective as Americans have been led to believe.
Is it possible to defend against cruise missiles or offshore ballistic missiles? Are international missile defense cooperative efforts viable? How can the international community handle the proliferation of short-range ballistic missiles? Are there non-military responses to ballistic missile proliferation? These questions must be answered if America is to remain secure.
Missile defense has been trumpeted as a way to protect the United States from a massive missile attack, but the reality, this book argues, is that our missile defense is not nearly as effective nor developed as people have been led to believe. In American Missile Defense: A Guide to the Issues Victoria Samson brings a decade of experience to bear in an in-depth examination of missile defense as it has been envisioned and as it is actually being developed, clarifying misconceptions and laying out what a missile defense system can and cannot do.
Perhaps more important, she describes how the George W. Bush administration artificially sped up the deployment of the system, choosing, for political reasons, to develop missile defense instead of other more effective programs or policies. The result is a defense program run amok, freed from oversight and many of the reporting and funding requirements all other weapon systems must fulfill. In fact, maintains the author, our focus on missile defense risks re-starting the Cold War.
Features • Glossary • Dictionary of acronyms
Highlights • Provides a history of the various actions proposed for missile defense, from the first attempts to thwart the German V-2 missiles during World War II to the current efforts of the United States to create a ballistic-missile defense system • Examines in detail the ballistic-missile defense system set in motion by former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, explaining how the Pentagon is creating a "layered" system that will be able to shoot down ballistic missiles during different phases of flight • Explains that the current development process is redundant in the sense that the Missile Defense Agency (MDA) is creating and testing nine different systems simultaneously • Discusses the future of missile defense and poses questions that remain to be answered
Victoria Samson is a research analyst at the Center for Defense Information, Washington, D.C., a nonpartisan think tank that focuses on military and security issues. She is also an instructor in the Graduate International Relations program at St. Mary's University.
Reviews "...an in-depth, authoritative account of U.S. missile defense programs from the early 1950s to the present."—Arms Control Today