Missile Defense and the ABM Treaty

The suicide attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon seem to have strengthened as opposed to weakened the prospects for the American missile defense plan. Although it would not have prevented the kind of assaults that occurred in New York and Washington on September 11, 2001, the United States appear to adhere to ballistic missile defense as a centerpiece of American national security planning. The Bush administration intends to proceed with missile defense deployment as soon as technologically possible, while arms control advocates dismiss the whole idea as dangerous, non-effective and costly. After the tens of billions of dollars spend since the 1980s, missile defense is still a question-ridden response to the threat of a long-range ballistic missile attack against the U.S. homeland. 

  • Introduction
    Outlines the main course since the missile defense revival, starting with President Reagan's controversial Strategic Defense Initiative.
  • The Missile Threat
    Threat analyses from U.S. intelligence and Pentagon sources, independent panel reports, including the 1998 Rumsfeld-Report, and Congressional documents.
  • Missile Defense Technology and Costs
    The Welch Panel reports, Annual Defense Reports, BMDO documents, Deployment Readiness Review; National Defense Authorization Acts, Missile Defense Resolutions and Committee reports; CBO and GAO technical and budgetary assessments; the Postol letters.
  • Political Impact
    Includes subsections on international responses, the ABM Treaty and consequences of the U.S. missile defense plans on other arms control treaties.
  • Links
    Official and non-governmental Internet sources on missile defense.