Vol. 26, No. 1 (Spring
A Relook at Ballistic
E. Fox & S. Orman
The different views
of Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) are examined to explain the
lack of response to an ever-growing missile threat. The Clinton
administration, having declared the ABM treaty a cornerstone
of its international security policy, attempted to work with
the Russians to modify the treaty. Because these efforts were
unsuccessful, the Clinton administration only endorsed a development
scheme and did not commit itself to the deployment of a National
Missile Defense (NMD). Instead, it established a series of gates
that must be passed before system deployment is possible. This
paper advocates the creation of an NMD program with growth potential,
recognizing that it could lead to withdrawal from the ABM treaty.
However, because the closeness of the 2000 presidential election,
it may prove difficult to get an agreement for rapid major changes
of the treaty, or in the initial architecture of an NMD system.
The authors recommend a course of action to take advantage of
the additional time that will become available. The objective
will be to ensure that the United States is well equipped to
implement a deployment when the opportunity occurs.