National Missile Defense
The most current acronym for National Missile Defense employed by the U.S. Department of Defense is Ground-based Midcourse Defense System, which is "presently under the aegis of the Missile Defense Agency." 
"Pentagon spokesperson Larry Di Rita stated that the Ground-based Midcourse Missile Defense System being deployed in Alaska and California has, at best, a 'nascent operational capability.' It is unclear what he meant by this, as 'operational capability' has a very specific meaning for Pentagon weapons programs: in order to reach this level of development, they must have passed very explicit testing milestones. According to Di Rita, 'We haven't made a declaration that we are now hereby operational. I don't know that such a declaration will ever be made,' and, instead, there will be a 'focus on testing and evaluation of the system.' This comes on the heels of a flight test failure in December 2004. Di Rita explained the Pentagon’s attitude toward missile defense: 'The system is what it is, and it will get better over time.'," reported Defense Daily, January 18, 2005. 
- 1 Objective of NMD
- 2 Quotes
- 3 History
- 4 Ground Based Interceptor
- 5 National Missile Defense Contractors
- 6 Related SourceWatch Resources
- 7 External links
Objective of NMD
"The objective of the National Missile Defense (NMD) program is to develop and maintain the option to deploy a cost effective, operationally effective, and Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty (ABM) compliant system that will protect the United States against limited ballistic missile threats, including accidental or unauthorized launches or Third World threats.
"The primary mission of National Missile Defense is defense of the United States (all 50 states) against a threat of a limited strategic ballistic missile attack from a rogue nation. Such a system would also provide some capability against a small accidental or unauthorized launch of strategic ballistic missiles from more nuclear capable states. The means to accomplish the NMD mission are as follows:
- Field an NMD system that meets the ballistic missile threat at the time of a deployment decision.
- Detect the launch of enemy ballistic missile(s) and track.
- Continue tracking of ballistic missile(s) using ground based radars.
- Engage and destroy the ballistic missile warhead above the earth’s atmosphere by force of impact."
- "The NMD is a unilateral, one-country plan and not multi-lateral. Because it violates the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty between Russia and the USA, I fear that other non-proliferation agreements may fall as well. And then we will be back in a very dangerous Cold War situation again, except with many more players eager to join this new race." --Aqqaluk Lynge, President, Inuit Circumpolar Conference 
"The National Missile Defense Program was originally a technology development effort. In 1996, at the direction of the Secretary of Defense, NMD was designated a Major Defense Acquisition Program and transitioned to an acquisition effort. Concurrently, BMDO was tasked with developing a deployable system within three years. This three-year development period culminated in 2000, and the Department of Defense began a Deployment Readiness Review [see below] in June 2000. Using that review, President Clinton was to make a deployment decision based on four criteria: the potential ICBM threat to the United States; the technical readiness of the NMD system; the projected cost of the NMD system; and potential environmental impact of the NMD system. Rather than make a decision, President Clinton deferred the deployment decision to his successor. The White House in choosing this action cited several factors. Among them were the lack of test under realistic conditions, the absence of testing of the booster rocket, and lingering questions over the system's ability to deal with countermeasures. The deployment decision now rests with President George W. Bush, who is reexamining the Clinton NMD system along with a variety of other proposals. In the meantime, work is continuing on technology development for the NMD system."
Ground Based Interceptor
"The Ground Based Interceptor (GBI) is the weapon of the National Missile Defense (NMD) system. Its mission is to intercept incoming ballistic missile warheads outside the earth’s atmosphere (exo-atmospheric) and destroy them by force of the impact. During flight, the GBI receives information from the NMD Battle Management, Command, Control, and Communications (BMC3) to update the location of the incoming ballistic missile, enabling the GBI onboard sensor system to identify and home in on the target. The GBI would consist of a multi-stage solid propellant booster and an exoatmospheric kill vehicle. No nuclear weapons would be used as part of the NMD system." 
"Since 1999, MDA has conducted seven hit-to-kill tests. Five have been successful. The most recent was on October 14, 2002, when a GBI from the Reagan Test Site in the central Pacific Ocean tracked and destroyed a target vehicle launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California at an altitude of 140 miles and a closing speed in excess of 15,000 miles per hour. MDA plans to perform approximately 17 more hit-to-kill intercepts over the next several years.
"Due to these successes, the GBI program has received enthusiastic support from the Bush Administration and the Republican-controlled Congress. MDA is currently installing six GBI missiles at Fort Greely in Alaska, and four at Vandenberg Air Force Base Over 20 interceptors are scheduled for deployment over the next two years." 
Related SourceWatch Resources
- Cuban Missile Crisis
- Defense Science Board
- Framework Memorandum of Understanding on Ballistic Missile Defence
- Global Security and Non-Proliferation APPG
- National Missile Defense - the role of the UK
- nuclear weapons
- Proliferation Security Initiative
- Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI) a.k.a. "Star Wars"
- weaponization of space
- weapons of mass destruction
- American Foreign Policy Council website.
- Arms Control Association and Arms Control Today website: Documents, etc., 1998 to present.
- British American Security Information Council website.
- DefenseTech.org website; links to current articles.
- Missile Defense Advocacy Alliance website.
- Missile Defense Agency: "Making Missile Defense a Reality" website.
- MissileThreat.com website; a project of the Claremont Institute.
- "National Missile Defense: The Arctic Dimension" and "Fort Greely, Alaska, and National Missile Defense," arcticcircle.uconn.edu, accessed May 28, 2005.
- "Weapons Development," Kirsch Foundation, accessed May 29, 2005. Information and links are current. Sections on "Missile Defense," "Space Weaponization," and "New Nuclear Weapons" (including "Background on New Nukes – A Timeline").
- "Ballistic Missile Defence Timeline (2005-1945)," CBC News (Canada).
- "Ballistic Missile Defense," NuclearFiles.org website.
- "Ground Based Interceptor (GBI)," Federation of American Scientists, last updated August 5, 2000.
- Issues 2004: "Missile Defense," Heritage Foundation website.
- Missile Defense News on spacewar.com website.
- "Missile Defense Timeline 1944-2002," PBS Frontline News website.
- "National Missile Defense" in the Wikipedia.
- "National Missile Defense," Global Security, orginally posted on Federation of American Scientists (FAS) website; accessed May 28, 2005.
- Proliferation News and Resources, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace website.
Articles & Commentary
- "Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) in Northeast Asia: An Annotated Chronology, 1990-Present," Center for Non-Proliferation Studies, March 13, 2003 (last update).
- "Indian Nuclear Delivery Systems," Center for Defense Information website; Compiled by Ted Flaherty, December 1996; Updated by Ben Friedman, CDI Research Assistant, May 16, 2002.
- Lisbeth Gronlund and David Wright, "Missile Defense: The Sequel," Technology Review, May/June 1997.
- "National Missile Defense: What's new? What's not? And, most important, does it make sense?" Union of Concerned Scientists, February 1999.
- "Pentagon Panel Urges National Missile Defense Delay," Council For A Livable World Education Fund Analysis, November 19, 1999.
- John E. Pike, "National Missile Defense: Rushing to Failure," FAS, November/December 1999.
- Charles D. Ferguson, "Bait and Switch: Is Anti-North Korean Missile Defense Designed for China?" FAS, November/December 1999.
- George Lewis, Lisbeth Gronlund, and David Wright, "National Missile Defense: An Indefensible System," Foreign Policy, Winter 1999.
- Keith B. Payne, "The Case for a National Missile Defense," Orbis, Spring 2000 (Payne is President of the National Institute for Public Policy located in Fairfax, VA).
- William D. Hartung and Michelle Ciarrocca, "Tangled Web: The Marketing of Missile Defense 1994-2000," World Policy Institute, May 2000.
- John Deutch, Harold Brown, and John P. White, "National Missile Defense: Is There Another Way?," Foreign Policy, Summer 2000.
- "National Missile Defense: Policy Issues and Technological Capabilities," IFPA.org, July 2000.
- Wiliam D. Hartung and Michelle Ciarrocca, "Nuclear Missile Deception: Corruption and Conflicts of Interest in the National Missile Defense (NMD) Test Program," World Policy Institute, July 17, 2000 (update).
- Kim R. Holmes, Ph.D., Testimony: "National Missile Defense," Heritage Foundation, September 8, 2000.
- James M. Lindsay and Michael O'Hanlon, "Rapid Deployment on Missile Defense Is a Bad Idea," International Herald Tribune, December 27, 2000.
- "Rationale and Requirements for U.S. Nuclear Forces and Arms Control. Volume I. Executive Report," National Institute for Public Policy, January 2001.
- Wade Boese, "Bush Assembles Pro-Missile Defense National Security Team," Arms Control Today, January/February 2001.
- Philip H. Gordon, "Bush, Missile Defence and the Atlantic Alliance," Brookings Institution, February 16, 2001.
- "President Bush's National Missile Defense Plan. Too much, too little, or just right?" Brookings Institution, May 2, 2001.
- George Will, "Bush and Missile Defense," TownHall.com, May 10, 2001.
- Robert Wright, "How Missile Defense Would Help Terrorists," Slate, September 13, 2001.
- "An Assessment: Ground-Based Midcourse Missile Defense System," Union of Concerned Scientists, November 2001.
- Philip Coyle, "Rhetoric or Reality? Missile Defense Under Bush," Arms Control Today, May 2002.
- William D. Hartung, with Jonathan Reingold, "About Face: The Role of the Arms Lobby In the Bush Administration's Radical Reversal of Two Decades of U.S. Nuclear Policy," World Policy Institute, May 2002.
- Michelle Ciarrocca and William D. Hartung, "Axis Of Influence: Behind the Bush Administration's Missile Defense Revival," World Policy Institute, July 2002.
- Fred Kaplan, "Bombs Away. Bush's indefensible missile-defense plan," Slate, December 17, 2002.
- Devon Chaffee, "Deploy First. Develop Later? Why Bush's Plan to Deploy Flawed Missile Defense Meets Little Resistance," Waging Peace, December 20, 2002.
- Frida Berrigan, "Critique of 'Star Wars': Missile Defense Deployment: Still Dangerous, Costly, and Irrelevant to Present Threat," Baltimore Chronicle, January 2003. [Note: "Frida Berrigan, a Baltimore native and daughter of the late anti-war and anti-nuclear weapons activist Philip Berrigan, is a Senior Research Associate at the World Policy Institute in New York."]
- "Senator Feinstein Raises Concerns About Plans to Allow Deployment of Missile Defense System Without Full Testing," Office of Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), February 21, 2003: "Feinstein Believes Real-World Testing Should be Completed Before Any Missile Defense System is Deployed."
- Joseph Cirincione, "Declining Ballistic Missile Threat," Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, April 23, 2003 (Taken from Project Director Joseph Cirincione's presentation before the Danish Parliament - The Folketing.)
- "Missile Defense Test Fails," CBS/AP, June 19, 2003.
- Peter Coyle, "Is Missile Defense on Target?" Arms Control Today, October 2003.
- "Raytheon Delivers Deployment STANDARD Missile-3 Rounds to Missile Defense Agency," PR Newswire, October 22, 2004.
- Missile Defence Update British American Security Information Council, November 10, 2003.
- Dennis M. Gormley, "Missile Defence Myopia: Lessons from the Iraq War," Survival, Winter 2003/2004.
- Missile Defence Update British American Security Information Council, December 16, 2003.
- Randy Barrett, "Missile Defense Tests Slip But Deployment Schedule Holds," Space News, December 23, 2003.
- "CDI Missile Defense Update #1.2004," Center for Defense Information, January 16, 2004: "With the Oct. 2004 deadline for initial missile deployment rapidly approaching, it is helpful to understand where the various missile defense programs actually are in their development cycles."
- "Bush's Budget Includes Boost for Missile Defense," AP, February 2, 2004.
- Missile Defence Update British American Security Information Council, February 19, 2004.
- Fred Kaplan, "Bush's Latest Missile-Defense Folly. Why spend billions on a system that might never work?" Slate, March 12, 2004.
- Ilan Berman, ed., Missile Defense Briefing Report No. 138: "Taking Stock of the Initial Deployment," American Foreign Policy Council, March 22, 2004.
- Missile Defence Update British American Security Information Council, April 2, 2004.
- Paul Waldman, "Incoming! The Bush administration's faith-based belief in missile defense," The Gadflyer, April 6, 2004.
- "Briefing Book on Ballistic Missile Defense," Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation, May 2004.
- "Technical Realities: An Analysis of the 2004 Deployment of a U.S. National Missile Defense System," Union of Concerned Scientists, May 2004: (executive summary from the May 2004 UCS report Technical Realities: An Analysis of the 2004 Deployment of a U.S. National Missile Defense System.) Note: There are numerous other related article links on the righthand side of the page.
- "On Eve of Key Defense Authorization Vote, 31 Former Government Officials Call Missile Defense Deployment 'Sham'," Center for Defense Information, May 7, 2004.
- Missile Defence Update British American Security Information Council, May 17, 2004.
- Missile Defence Update British American Security Information Council, July 1, 2004.
- Robert G. Gard (Ret. Lt.Gen.), "No-Value Missile Defense," Tom Paine.Common Sense, July 8, 2004.
- Wade Boese, "U.S. Eyes Missile Defense Site in Europe," Arms Control Today, July/August 2004.
- Missile Defence Update British American Security Information Council, August 1, 2004.
- Brad DeLong, "Faith-Based Missile Defense," Tom Paine.Common Sense, August 20, 2004.
- "Mission Not Accomplished. Missile Defense Slated for 2004 Deployment Ignores Technical Reality," Union of Concerned Scientists, September 2004.
- Wade Boese, "Missile Defense: Deploying a Work in Progress," Arms Control Today, September 2004.
- Missile Defence Update British American Security Information Council, September 6, 2004.
- Baker Spring, "The Operational Missile Defense Capability: A Historic Advance for the Defense of the American People," Heritage Foundation, September 22, 2004.
- Bradley Graham, "Interceptor System Set, But Doubts Remain. Network Hasn't Undergone Realistic Testing," Washington Post, September 29, 2004.
- Nicole E. Evans, "Missile defense: Winning minds, not hearts," Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, September/October 2004: "The U.S. plan to build a global missile defense has been gaining international support, but not because other governments believe it will make their countries safer."
- Michelle Ciarrocca, "Missile Defense All Over Again," Foreign Policy In Focus, October 2004.
- "Missile Defence Update," British American Security Information Council, October 8, 2004.
- "Ballistic Missile Defense System Draft Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement: Missile Defense Agency Fails to Adequately Address Dangers of Orbital Debris to Objects and People in Space, in the Air and on the Ground. Ballistic Missile Defense System Draft Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement," Center for Defense Information, October 18, 2004.
- Randy Barrett, "Missile Defense Deployment, Criticism Continue in Parallel," Space News, October 18, 2004.
- "SM-3 INITIAL DEPLOYMENT CEREMONY: Raytheon delivers deployment STANDARD Missile-3 rounds to Missile Defense Agency," raytheon.com, October 22, 2004: "SM-3 is a key element of the Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense System and builds on the existing fleet of Aegis cruisers and destroyers."
- Richard L. Garwin, "Holes in the Missile Shield. The national missile defense now being deployed by the U.S. should be replaced with a more effective system," Scientific American, October 25, 2004.
- Andrew Peterson, "Missile Defense Deployment Delayed," Peacework Magazine, November 2004.
- "CDI Missile Defense Update #2004.13," Center for Defense Information, November 4, 2004. Links for earlier CDI updates to June 20, 2003.
- Missile Defence Update British American Security Information Council, November 11, 2004.
- "CDI Missile Defense Updates #14.2004," Center for Defense Information, December 2, 2004.
- "Ka-boom or bust: The U.S. missile defence system," CBC News (Canada), December 6, 2004.
- Bill Getz, "Deployment generates interest, little opposition," Washington Times, December 12, 2004.
- Kevin Drum, "Missile Defense Update," Washington Monthly, December 15, 2004: "And for the record, they've already had several failures this month. In fact, this was the first time they were even able to conduct the test at all. Too bad the interceptor failed to launch, let alone shoot anything down."
- "Missile Defence Update," British American Security Information Council, December 17, 2004.
- Ivan Eland, "Kill Missile Defense Now," antiwar.com, December 21, 2004.
- "CDI Missile Defense Updates #1.2005," Center for Defense Information, January 21, 2005.
- Joseph Cirincione, "The Declining Ballistic Missile Threat, 2005," Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, February 2005.
- "CDI Missile Defense Update #2.2005," Center for Defense Information, February 16, 2005.
- "Missile Defence Update," British American Security Information Council, February 17, 2005.
- Leyla Kattan and Nigel Chamberlain, "The Missile Defence Debate Gap in Britain: As Wide As Ever in 2004," British American Security Information Council, February 24, 2005.
- Bradley Graham, "Missile Defense Director Moves to End Test Glitches. Equipment Review Ordered; Admiral to Oversee Preparations," Washington Post, March 10, 2005.
- "Missile Defence Update," British American Security Information Council, March 17, 2005.
- "CDI Missile Defense Updates #3.2005," Center for Defense Information, March 21, 2005.
- Press Release: "NAVY Frigate Starts Deployment With Missile Firing," New Zealand Defence Force, March 22, 2005.
- Peter Huessy, "Defending missile defense," Washington Times, March 22, 2005.
- Walter Pincus, "Plans by U.S. to Dominate Space Raising Concerns. Arms Experts Worried at Pentagon Push for Superiority," Washington Post, March 29, 2005.
- Jeff Kueter, "Build missile defense before it's too late," Boston Globe, March 29, 2005.
- "Top US scientists urge halt to funding for missile defense deployment," infowars.com, April 7, 2005; Published April 8, 2005 by the Agence France Presse.
- "Missile Defense Flight Tests," Center for Defense Information, May 5, 2005.
- "Flight Tests for Ground-based Midcourse Missile Defense's Boost Vehicle," Center for Defense Information, May 5, 2005.
- "CDI Missile Defense Updates #4.2005," Center for Defense Information, May 6, 2005.
- Taylor Dinerman, "The Bush Administration and space weapons," The Space Review, May 9, 2005.
- Baker Spring, "Slipping the Surly Bonds of the Real World: The Unworkable Effort to Prevent the Weaponization of Space," Heritage Foundation, May 10, 2005.
- Editorial: "Star Wars," National Review Online, May 20, 2005.
- James T. Hackett, "Keeping an eye on the goal," Washington Times, May 25, 2005.