The complexity of nuclear threats posed to the U.S. homeland by North Korea is expected to grow, requiring military planners to add a second layer to the nation’s missile defense architecture. If each line of defense in a two-layer architecture can intercept 80% of the missiles seeking to penetrate it, 96% of attacking warheads will not reach their targets in America. The most readily available systems suitable for providing that second layer, which would complement the existing Ground-based Midcourse Defense, are the Navy’s sea-based Aegis system and the Army’s land-based Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD). THAAD was originally conceived as a regional defense against shorter-range missiles, but it has inherent capability against intercontinental ballistic threats, and the Missile Defense Agency is working to upgrade it. Like Aegis, THAAD is an obvious candidate to assist U.S. defenders in keeping up with a rapidly changing threat to the American homeland. I have written a commentary for Forbes here.
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