Limitations on ballistic missile defense—past and possibly future

By George Lewis, Frank von Hippel, June 28, 2018

Decoys as simple as balloons can often fool current missile defense systems.Decoys as simple as balloons can often fool current missile defense systems.

The ABM Treaty is unlikely to be revived any time soon. But it is possible that restraints on US deployment of ballistic missile defenses could make them seem less threatening to the effectiveness of Russia’s and China’s nuclear deterrents and set the stage for discussions about ways to preserve and even advance nuclear arms control. The proposed restraints are on systems designed to intercept warheads outside the atmosphere. Such systems are of little value in any case because they can be easily deceived by decoys and other countermeasures.

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