Monday 27 Jun 2022 | 07:46 | SYDNEY
Monday 27 Jun 2022 | 07:46 | SYDNEY

The continuing failure of US missile defence


Sam Roggeveen


13 June 2008 16:15

Defense Tech reports that the system designed to protect the US homeland from intercontinental ballistic missile strikes has not been flight tested in over a year. Officials also admit there has been too little realistic testing of the system against decoys and countermeasures.

As Bradley Graham notes in his history of US missile defence, Hit to Kill, missile defence advocates have run out of excuses after seven years of the Bush Administration. These advocates argued that the ABM Treaty constrained US missile defence testing; Bush ditched the treaty. They said missile defence was underfunded; Bush increased the budget. They said the bar for declaring an initial missile defence system operational was set too high; Bush lowered it.

The next president would do well to ditch national missile defence and focus on the elements of the system that really work, particularly the ship-based SM-3 system for shooting down short- and medium-range ballistic missiles. Since that is the system Australia is most likely to invest in, that would be good news for us too.