I have a new article
up over a the mothership on the latest setback for the Ground Based Midcourse Defense (GMD) system. Here's how it starts:
America’s troubled national ballistic missile defense system just found more trouble.
For the first time, the Pentagon’s Director of Operational Test and Evaluation, Dr. Michael Gilmore, has determined that this system, known as Ground Based Midcourse Defense (GMD), may be too flawed to save.
In his Fiscal Year (FY) 2013 report to Congress, Dr. Gilmore states that the design of the two types of “kill vehicles” that sit atop our 30 long-range interceptors in Alaska and California are of questionable “robustness” and that the Pentagon should consider redesigning them. Translation: the system as currently configured – which has cost the American taxpayer roughly $40 billion – can’t be relied upon to perform its intended mission of protecting the U.S. homeland against even rudimentary long-range missiles launched from North Korea or Iran.
Dr. Gilmore’s report is but the latest in a long list of setbacks for the GMD system, all of which cast serious doubts over the wisdom of the Pentagon’s plan to spend $1 billion to deploy 14 additional ground based interceptors in Alaska with the existing flawed kill vehicles – to say nothing about building a third site for the system in the eastern half of the country, as proposed by some Republicans in Congress.
to read the whole piece.