Ballistic Missile Defense and the Future of American Security: Agendas, Perceptions, Technology, and Policy

By Roger Handberg | Go to book overview

6

Deployment Options or Guessing about the Shape of Things to Come

INTRODUCTION

Decisions whether to deploy a national missile defense (NMD) are not simply yes or no choices but incorporate within their parameters related choices as to which specific deployment configurations to pursue. A building block or modular choice has been suggested—allowing speeding up or delaying deployment although, at a certain point, one is committed to a particular arrangement. The political realities over the past decade or so have temporarily converged upon one national missile defense profile as most likely to be deployed initially. However, this original choice has already expanded several times since its original delineation. In fact the immediate decision as to future direction will be determined after the completion of this volume by the George W. Bush administration. The exact arrangement chosen and the rapidity of deployment will reflect that particular administration's view of the situation. Blind acceptance of the Clinton design choice will not occur as testing continues.

The reality is that the ultimate placement of NMD interceptors remains unclear as even more elaborate options are proposed, reflecting shifting political and technical judgments. President Clinton provided one benchmark against which other deployment choices can be evaluated. That particular deployment

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Ballistic Missile Defense and the Future of American Security: Agendas, Perceptions, Technology, and Policy
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Acknowledgments vii
  • Abbreviations ix
  • 1 - Introduction 1
  • 2 - Ballistic Missile Defense, Still Trying After All These Years 37
  • 3 - Breakdown of the Old Verities 75
  • 4 - Why Missile Defense? 109
  • 5 - Agreeing on Nmd or Not? 143
  • Notes 167
  • 6 - Deployment Options or Guessing About the Shape of Things to Come 169
  • 7 - Pursuing Future Policy or Taking Counsel of One's Worst Fears 207
  • Selected References 241
  • Index 247
  • About the Author 255
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