recommended reading

U.S. missile defense strategy is flawed, panel finds

A missile defense test is conducted in Alaska.

A missile defense test is conducted in Alaska. // AP/Missile Defense Agency

The nation’s defenses against missile attacks have fallen short and left the U.S. vulnerable to some long-range strikes, according to a study chartered by Congress and reported by the New York Times.

Domestic defenses could handle crude missiles but nothing more sophisticated, the report said. The assessment is a blow to President Obama’s strategy of playing down long-range defenses inherited from George W. Bush to focus instead on defenses against shorter-range missiles.

While Bush in 2002 deployed a limited system designed to protect the U.S. from missile attacks, Obama in 2009 switched the focus from protecting the continent to defending Europe and the Middle East from short- and medium-range Iranian missiles.

The study was undertaken by the National Research Council, an arm of the National Academy of Sciences, composed of scientists, engineers and weapons experts.

The council called for domestic defenses to be bolstered, recommending a base in Maine or upstate New York from which interceptors could be fired, in addition to the two existing bases in California and Alaska. The report recommended a new generation of smaller interceptor rockets and five new radars at existing early warning sites. 

Threatwatch Alert

Thousands of cyber attacks occur each day

See the latest threats


Close [ x ] More from Nextgov

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Featured Content from RSA Conference: Dissed by NIST

    Learn more about the latest draft of the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology guidance document on authentication and lifecycle management.

  • PIV- I And Multifactor Authentication: The Best Defense for Federal Government Contractors

    This white paper explores NIST SP 800-171 and why compliance is critical to federal government contractors, especially those that work with the Department of Defense, as well as how leveraging PIV-I credentialing with multifactor authentication can be used as a defense against cyberattacks

  • Toward A More Innovative Government

    This research study aims to understand how state and local leaders regard their agency’s innovation efforts and what they are doing to overcome the challenges they face in successfully implementing these efforts.

  • From Volume to Value: UK’s NHS Digital Provides U.S. Healthcare Agencies A Roadmap For Value-Based Payment Models

    The U.S. healthcare industry is rapidly moving away from traditional fee-for-service models and towards value-based purchasing that reimburses physicians for quality of care in place of frequency of care.

  • GBC Flash Poll: Is Your Agency Safe?

    Federal leaders weigh in on the state of information security

  • Data-Centric Security vs. Database-Level Security

    Database-level encryption had its origins in the 1990s and early 2000s in response to very basic risks which largely revolved around the theft of servers, backup tapes and other physical-layer assets. As noted in Verizon’s 2014, Data Breach Investigations Report (DBIR)1, threats today are far more advanced and dangerous.


When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.