Missiles and Missile Defense

Our experts weigh in on security issues with U.S. national missile defense and nuclear weapons around the world.


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Latest Missiles and Missile Defense Posts

Congress Forcing MDA to Choose Missile Defense Site It Does Not Want

, senior scientist

Sometime in early 2017, and it could be any day now, one of the communities on the map below (designated by red dots) will get big news from the Missile Defense Agency (MDA). Congress mandated the MDA to choose a preferred location in case the United States decides to build an additional deployment site for the Ground-based Midcourse (GMD) System missile defense. Read more >

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Is North Korea Planning a Long-Range Missile Launch?

, co-director and senior scientist

A press story from South Korea reports that the North may be preparing for a missile test launch, possibly in the next few days. Some suggest this could be intended as fireworks for Donald Trump’s inauguration.

While this story talks about the test being of a long-range missile (an intercontinental range ballistic missile (ICBM)) the few details that have been made public don’t seem to support that—although not much is known at this point. Read more >

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An Upcoming Missile Launch by North Korea?

, co-director and senior scientist

Press reports are saying that North Korea is likely to try another test launch in the next few days of a new missile it is developing. But there is some controversy about which missile that may be.

Based on reports from two recent failed tests, most people assume the upcoming test will be of the intermediate-range Musudan missile, which North Korea has tested either six or eight times this year. But others see evidence that suggests it could be the mysterious long-range KN-08 missile. Read more >

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North Korea’s New Rocket Engine Test: What Does It Mean?

, co-director and senior scientist

North Korea announced on Tuesday that it had successfully tested a new, larger rocket engine. It says the engine will allow it build a more capable satellite launcher—a “rocket for the geo-stationary satellite.”

Many outside North Korea, however, see its satellite launch program as a way of developing technologies that it could use to build long-range military missiles.

What do we know about the new engine, and what might its implications be? Read more >

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The United States, China, and Anti-Satellite Weapons

, China project manager and senior analyst

Many US observers believe anti-satellite (ASAT) attacks could be China’s trump card in a major military confrontation with the United States. But the reality may be exactly the opposite. The United States could have more to gain, and China more to lose, from taking the fight to outer space. A US presidential decision to pursue this advantage would make the United States, not China, the protagonist in a new space arms race that would undermine the security of both nations. Read more >

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