It is the current policy of the federal government not to deploy active defenses of the American homeland against a major nuclear attack. Eventually the policy will change as politicians and policymakers come to appreciate the fragility of offensively-based deterrence. When that day comes, the most important question will be how to construct a resilient radar network that can reliably detect, track and discriminate large numbers of incoming warheads. The current patchwork of sensors supporting a thin defense against North Korean attacks would be quickly overwhelmed by a large-scale attack. In terms of building something better, the most survivable, capable option is a new class of missile-defense warships based on the LPD-17 amphibious-warfare vessel. A warship of that size could host a much larger radar and magazine of interceptors than current Aegis destroyers, which are better suited to regional defense against slower-moving missiles. LPD-17 can be easily moved in response to threat conditions, and has active and passive defenses enabling it to operate in the absence of escorts. It is the most resilient, versatile and affordable option for upgrading national missile defenses against the one threat that could destroy our civilization. I have written a commentary for Forbes here.
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