Biden should guide missile defense his own way

Posted: 13th September 2021

The Biden administration has begun a review of US missile defense policy. The review is part of a broader effort to align defense strategy and posture with the president’s commitment to lead through diplomacy, repair alliances, and rebuild the American economy.

In 2019, Trump declared the “beginning of a new era” in America’s missile defense program. He envisioned an “unrivaled and unmatched” missile defense system with a “simple goal” to defend against “every type of missile attack against any American target.” This decision reversed longstanding US policy to build defenses against emerging nuclear missile threats from North Korea and Iran but not against established nuclear powers. While Trump’s ambitions did not produce immediate changes to US posture and capabilities, he made one of the biggest—and quietest—changes to US declaratory policy in the last two decades.

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