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Earth from Orbit. (Photo credits: NASA)

On June 19, 2022, China executed a successful space intercept of an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) target. The success of China’s missile defense test sent a clear message to all of the Western world: China can—and it will—defend its nation against American, Indian, British, and French ballistic missiles. This is another demonstration of the Chinese commitment to develop and evolve its missile defense capabilities in space, as it has done in 2021, 2018, 2014, 2013, and 2010.

China is intent on going to space to best defend its nation from the West. The Chinese will likely evolve from these expensive ground-based ICBM interceptors, which are cost-prohibitive, into space-based interceptors with directed energy that is a fraction of the cost of today’s ICBM interceptors. China will most assuredly make the investment to lead and evolve these effectors into space and help cement its ambition to be the world’s dominant power.

The world faces the impending reality of space-based lasers and systems that can place ICBM arsenals at risk.

There are no ratified treaties between China and the United States that limit missile defenses in any domain—including land, sea, air, and space. There are also no agreements or ratified treaties between the United States and China to limit anti-satellite (ASAT) missile testing.

In April 2022, Vice President Kamala Harris announced that the United States would unilaterally enact a ban on ASAT missile tests in hope of China following the precedent. This self-imposed ban on ASAT missile tests will unnecessarily restrict the U.S. while China is left unconstrained to develop and test its anti-satellite capabilities in space.

The United States and its Allies must recognize the intent of these Chinese demonstrations and the threat China poses in a changing world order.

Now is the time to strengthen our strategic posture. We have to lead the world in the development and deployment of missile defense systems and anti-satellite systems in space. The U.S. has to set the conditions and lead the world.

Mission Statement

MDAA’s mission is to make the world safer by advocating for the development and deployment of missile defense systems to defend the United States, its armed forces and its allies against missile threats.

MDAA is the only organization in existence whose primary mission is to educate the American public about missile defense issues and to recruit, organize, and mobilize proponents to advocate for the critical need of missile defense. We are a non-partisan membership-based and membership-funded organization that does not advocate on behalf of any specific system, technology, architecture or entity.