U.S. missile defense tries to keep ahead of North Korea and Iran

A U.S. ballistic missile interceptor is test-launched from Vandenberg air base in California
May 30, 2017: A U.S. interceptor is launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California to destroy a ballistic missile test-fired from Kwajalein Atoll in the Pacific (source: dpa)
  • U.S. strategists still debate the strategic virtues and drawbacks of missile defense
  • But Congress strongly backs the idea amid threats from North Korea and Iran
  • The Trump administration is reviewing its missile-defense options now
  • Most likely, it will boost funding to move ahead on several promising systems

The progress of the United States’ strategic missile defense program tends to wax and wane, speeding up under Republican administrations and slowing down as Democratic presidents show more restraint. This trend seems to be holding. President Donald Trump’s administration is poised to put renewed emphasis on missile defense as a cornerstone of its defensive strategy. Look for the administration and Congress to place a higher priority on defending the homeland against attack by nuclear-tipped ballistic missiles.

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