However, the victory that the U.S. achieved in the Cold War is by no means permanent if we’re unwilling to construct the missile shield President Reagan envisioned. We have a rudimentary system in place today -- some long-range, land-based interceptors and shorter-range ones mounted on ships at sea. But it’s nothing like the comprehensive, multi-layered system we would need to take down a missile at almost any stage of flight.
Unfortunately, the Obama administration is chronically underfunding missile defense. Indeed, it should increase overall funding for the missile-defense program in the next fiscal year to $11 billion. That’s a lot of money, to be sure. But what can be more important than making sure our national defenses are as capable as possible? Especially when countries such as Iran, China and North Korea are busily expanding their nuclear-missile capabilities.
Today, a full decade after we ditched the shackles of the ABM Treaty, we should be much further along in developing the kind of land-, sea- and space-based missile defense needed to keep ourselves safe against modern threats.
The era of MAD is long over. It’s time to pursue whole-heartedly the sanity of comprehensive missile defense.