Missile defense test success accelerates arms race with Russia, China, program critic says

April 12, 2019

Alaska Public Media:

A prominent critic of U.S. missile defense agrees that a test of the system two weeks ago was a success. And that’s why former Assistant Secretary of Defense Philip Coyle is more concerned than ever that the system is fueling a new arms race with both Russia and China.

For decades, Coyle has called missile defense a colossal waste of money and a dangerous, destabilizing provocation for Russia – and now, China. But Coyle conceded in an interview last week that an interceptor like those based at Fort Greely did indeed destroy its target during the March 25 test.

“It was a success,” Coyle said, “in the sense that they did hit the target, with the first interceptor.”

Missile-defense supporters like Riki Ellison were much more enthusiastic in their response to the test, in which two interceptors launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California destroyed an incoming dummy missile over the South Pacific.

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International Cooperation