President Bush’s National Missile Defense Plan

On Tuesday, May 1, President Bush announced his plan to create a National Missile Defense shield to protect the United States from missile attack. The proposal is likely to be highly controversial because of questions about its effectiveness and cost, and because of protests from Russia, China, and some European nations that it will initiate a new arms race.

Two senior fellows in the Brookings Foreign Policy Studies Program—Michael E. O’Hanlon, a former defense and foreign policy analyst in the national security division of the Congressional Budget Office, and James M. Lindsay, former director for global issues and multilateral affairs with the National Security Council—will analyze the pros and cons of the president’s missile defense announcement, explore related issues, and provide essential background information.

Other national security and defense experts are expected to participate in the briefing.

O’Hanlon and Lindsay are authors of a newly published book, Defending America: The Case for Limited National Missile Defense, in which they assess current and future missile threats to the United States, and examine the effectiveness of existing missile defense technologies.

In their book, O’Hanlon and Lindsay suggest that President Bush create a defense system that would protect the United States from missile attack while acknowledging technological and budgetary restraints. They argue that such a system need not mean dismantling the ABM treaty immediately or antagonizing allies, instead proposing a boost-phase defense system that would be aimed at possible missile attacks from so-called rogue states rather than from powers like Russia or China.

Agenda

Moderator

Panelists

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Philip Coyle

Senior Advisor, Center for Defense Information;Former Director of Operational Test and Evaluation, Department of Defense

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