Magazine article Joint Force Quarterly

Regional Missile Defense from a Global Perspective

Magazine article Joint Force Quarterly

Regional Missile Defense from a Global Perspective

Article excerpt

Regional Missile Defense from a Global Perspective

Edited by Catherine McArdle Kelleher and Peter Dombrowski Stanford University Press, 2015

328 pp. $29.95

ISBN: 978-0804796354

In Regional Missile Defense from a Global Perspective, Catherine M. Kelleher and Peter Dombrowski analyze the history of missile defense, U.S. policy debates, the resulting acquisition programs, and challenges and opportunities of the past, present, and future. The genesis of the volume was two workshops on the topic held at the Naval War College during 2011 and 2012. While seemingly dated, the work remains timely given the elevation of regional missile defense in the U.S. National Security Strategy and Russia's provocations in the Baltics and Ukraine. The anthology should prove useful to policymakers, scholars, and students interested in the complexities of missile defense around the globe.

The editors' objective is simple: "to explain the origins, the evolution, and the implications of the regional approach to missile defense that has emerged since the presidency of George H.W. Bush." Kelleher and Dombrowski assemble an impressive array of international subject matter experts to contribute to the volume, organizing their resulting work into 14 chapters. To structure these, they divide the volume into three parts, in turn examining U.S. policies and programs, regional dynamics, and critical global analyses. The various contributors employ an extensive array of sources: government documents, scientific reports, policy papers, and intelligence estimates, as well as relevant interviews, speeches, addresses, and statements by key policymakers.

The first five chapters examine missile threats to the United States, the dichotomy between national and theater missile defense, technology, and the role of Congress. But the bulk of the work resides in the second part, which gives extensive coverage to the questions, prospects, and consequences of missile defense in such specific regions and countries as Europe, Russia, Israel, the Arabian Gulf nations, South Asia, China, and Japan. The last two chapters consider the positives and negatives of missile defense in terms of grand strategy and costs. Throughout the work, the contributors pay particular attention to President Barack Obama's European Phased Adaptive Approach.

While focused on missile defense, the book also offers cogent considerations of far-reaching concepts, including an evenhanded evaluation of the trials and benefits of collective defense and the role of technology as an enabler and limiter of grand strategy. …

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