Launch of a missile defense interceptor from Vandenburg Air Force Base in California.

US Ground-based midcourse missile defense: Expensive and unreliable

The Trump administration is seeking a significant expansion in the Ground-based Midcourse Defense program – a missile defense system on which the United States has already spent some 67 billion. Since the Ground-based Midcourse Defense system was declared, more than 15 years ago, to have achieved initial operational capability, tests of the system have failed more … Continued

The Russian S-400 anti-aircraft system, pictured in 2017.. Source: Соколрус, via Wikimedia

The vicissitudes of Russian missile defense

The Russian vision of ballistic missile defense has reflected the specifics of the Russian/Soviet political system and decision-making mechanisms, and it is entangled with Moscow’s peculiar perceptions of external military threats, nuclear deterrence, and conventional warfighting. In this article, the author attempts to answer three basic questions about that vision: What is Russia’s long-term aim … Continued