Implementing Missile Defense

  • Kerry M. Kartchner
Part of the Initiatives in Strategic Studies: Issues and Policies book series (ISSIP)


On December 17, 2002, President George W. Bush directed Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld “to proceed with fielding an initial set of missile defense capabilities” to protect the United States and its allies.1 Once fully deployed, this system will be composed of: (1) ground-, air-, sea-, and space-based sensors to provide early warning, characterization, and tracking of missile launches anywhere in the world; (2) ground-, air-, and sea-based interceptors to destroy enemy missiles or their warheads on impact; and (3) redundant fire control centers for battle management, command, and control. Missile defense will represent the most significant milestone achieved so far in implementing the third leg of the new triad introduced in the 2001 Nuclear Posture Review (NPR).


North Atlantic Treaty Organization Ballistic Missile Missile Attack Missile Defense Missile Launch 
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  1. 16.
    David Pilling, “Japan and U.S. Set for Joint Work on Missiles,” London Financial Times, December 19, 2003.Google Scholar
  2. 22.
    Erin Emery, “Missile Defense Soldiers Deploy,” Denver Post, October 17, 2003.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© James J. Wirtz and Jeffrey A. Larsen 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kerry M. Kartchner

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