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Why America's Nuclear Attack Defense Must Evolve

Bill Gortney

Security, Americas


U.S. security is at stake.

Key point: Washington needs to keep changing and improving its defenses against a nuclear attack.

The world's nuclear arsenal is growing ever larger, and with real threats of attack from a rogue nation on our homeland, it's not the right time to let down our guard on missile defense capability. The current Administration has wisely and consistently requested increased budgets for Department of Defense spending to maintain the missile defense systems we currently have deployed as well as bolster new technologies. The U.S. already has a highly capable and technologically advanced system, and we should do more to keep a step ahead of threats. In fact, during his remarks on a visit to the Pentagon earlier this year for the rollout of the 2019 Missile Defense Review, President Trump highlighted the top priority of defending the U.S. Homeland:

“First, we will prioritize the defense of the American people above all else. Our review calls for 20 new ground-based interceptors at Fort Greely, Alaska, and new radars and sensors to immediately detect foreign missiles launched against our great nation. We are committed to establishing a missile defense program that can shield every city in the United States.”

The 20 additional interceptors mentioned by the President were mandated by Congress and necessary to hedge against increasing threat developments. In his testimony before Congress, the NORTHCOM Commander, Gen. Terrence O’Shaughnessy, indicated his confidence in the system but recognized that the threat does not stand still; nor should the capabilities delivered to the Warfighter to defend our nation:

“I am confident in the ability of the Ground-based Midcourse Defense System to defend the United States against ICBMs fired from North Korea or Iran, if Iran develops an ICBM, but that confidence is contingent on our continued pursuit of system-wide enhancements to outpace our adversaries’ rapid technological advancements.”

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