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JSPES, Vol. 26, No. 1 (Spring 2001 )
pp. 259-268

The Ballistic Missile Threat: Defense and Technology

by James H. Hughes

The United States is at a crossroads. It has defined the ballistic missile threat in terms of a rogue nation, principally North Korea, which demonstrated on August 31, 1998, the ability to launch a three-stage ballistic missile capable of attacking the United States. But the ballistic missile threat has grown rapidly, going far beyond a threat from a single rogue nation. China's buildup of short, intermediate, and long-range ballistic missiles, and the proliferation of ballistic missiles to countries such as Iran, Syria, Libya, and Pakistan (the threat of war between Pakistan and India, with its broad repercussions; and China's threat to Northeastern India) have multiplied the ballistic missile threat. In this article, the author will discuss strategies and technologies against these threats.