Reports Fault U.S. Anti-Missile Approach

By Wade Boese

Two recent reports found that U.S. anti-missile systems are being developed and fielded largely without long-term arrangements to operate them or sufficient input from the military services. Unless current practices change, the reports indicate existing and future systems might not be supported or maintained over time.

In an unclassified report sent to Congress, a panel with the private Institute for Defense Analyses (IDA) concluded that the approach taken by the Missile Defense Agency (MDA) to meet President George W. Bush’s goal to swiftly deploy anti-missile systems “has been less successful in fostering the planning and preparation needed to adequately address future operations of deployed systems and follow-on procurement and sustainment.” The 20-member panel also noted that the military services designated to operate the systems “have not been heavily involved” in preparing for that responsibility, including specifying weapons requirements.

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