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President Xi Jinping speaking on June 22, 2022. Photo Credits: The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People's Republic of China.

Twenty years ago, our national security turned upside down, and a new focus on homeland defense was made. In direct response to the 9/11 terrorist attacks and North Korea’s ballistic missile launches over Japan, our leadership made the decision to defend the homeland against ballistic missiles and cruise missiles. With this long-term vision, the United States withdrew from the ABM Treaty, created NORTHCOM, and formed the MDA. Our organization, MDAA, was founded to advocate from outside government. With a sense of urgency applied on a national scale, government and industry unified to develop and deploy missile defense systems rapidly. Three years later, in 2005, the military deployed our first ground-based interceptors (GBI) for the defense of all 50 states and deployed a 360-degree cruise missile defense of the National Capital Region using National Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile Systems (NASAMS).

This year, in 2022, our world order has again been shaken and directly challenged with an unprovoked attack by a nuclear-armed, authoritarian government in Russia against a democratic Ukraine. As part of this invasion, the world has witnessed a massive integrated ballistic, cruise, and hypersonic missile campaign over six months. These attacks over the past six months are consistent with a surge in missile attacks we have tracked starting two years ago and have diligently examined this explosive proliferation and use of cruise and ballistic missiles for power projection, threatening of civilians, demonstration, and testing to change the world order.

Click here to view MDAA’s Global Missile Tracker

We must ask ourselves and our leadership in the Department of Defense, Congress, and the White House: are we still in a position to develop game-changing missile defense capabilities and operationally deploy them within 3 years, much as we did 20 years ago? If we cannot do this, we have to make a serious change to ensure we can. 

“While Russia remains the acute threat, the near-term threat, the PRC remains our greatest long-term strategic competitor. They’re continuing, they’re working this pretty hard. Pursuit of a world-class military by 2030 and the military capabilities to seize Taiwan by force if they choose to by 2027, five years from now.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has to be viewed in a global context, and it has profound implications for deterrence assurance and non-proliferation. Moscow is using both implicit and explicit nuclear coercion. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and nuclear threats to NATO have fundamentally altered the security environment. We don’t have the luxury, or certainly, I don’t have the luxury of assuming these threats are empty.”

Admiral Charles “Chas” A. Richard, STRATCOM Commander, at the 2022 Space & Missile Defense Symposium

During its invasion of Ukraine, Russia has launched over 3,000 missiles, hitting military and civilian targets, and killed over 5,514 civilians and unknown numbers of military personnel with these attacks. Russia made use of short-range ballistic missiles (SRBMs) like the Iskander-M and Tochka/SS-21 Scarab, cruise missiles such as the Iskander-K 9M728, 3M14 Kalibr, Kh-555, Kh-101, and Kh-22, and the Kinzhal hypersonic missile. Ukrainians’ lives, critical infrastructure, and nation remain threatened by the onslaught of Russia’s missile arsenal, and all of Europe remains threatened by Russia’s nuclear arsenal.

In 2021, North Korea tested 2 new long-range ballistic missiles (LRBM), 2 KN-23SRBMs, 1 new SRBM, 1 new submarine-launched ballistic missile, 1 new “hypersonic” weapon, and 2 unknown cruise missiles. In 2022, North Korea has conducted 3 intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBMs) tests, as well as tested 2 MaRV ballistic missiles, 2 KN-23 SRBMs, 2 KN-24 SRBMs, 2 cruise missiles, 1 Hwasong-12 intermediate-range ballistic missile (IRBM), 1 Hwasong-17 ICBM, and 7 unknown ballistic missiles. 

Iran’s continual acceleration of missile system fielding, nuclear program developments, missile proliferation to proxies, and new system testing all present risks to of our world order. 

The urgency to develop, field, and deploy missile defense capabilities is absolute. The United States, its allies, and its partners must rapidly deploy their existing missile defense capabilities across the globe today and demand rapid development of new systems with more efficient and more cost-effective capabilities that all must scale up to deter and defeat China and Russia.

To realize our strategic imperative for comprehensive Missile Defense and Deterrence, America will need to invest more resources wisely and quickly. In fact, the systematic degradation of resources applied to Missile Defense over the past 30 years has increased unacceptable strategic risk to the homeland. The DOD Budget requires a culture shift and realignment toward Missile Defense. 

“The global security environment is now today, a three-party nuclear peer reality, where the PRC and Russia are stressing and undermining the rules based international order.

We need new missile defenses starting with missile warning. That’s the number one thing I need, missile warning, so I know what to do on how to posture and dispose my forces … it’s due to these rapidly expanding and evolving threats: hypersonic weapons, cruise missiles potentially with intercontinental range, unmanned aerial systems, proliferation of shorter-range ballistic missiles, and several novel weapon systems.

We absolutely have to have responsive, persistent, resilient, and cost effective joint integrated missile defense sensor capabilities, integrated command and control, new sensor architecture, launched impact tracking on these threats.”

Admiral Charles “Chas” A. Richard, STRATCOM Commander, at the 2022 Space & Missile Defense Symposium

With urgency, with priority, and with a change of culture, we must “break glass,” rapidly deploy, and develop our missile defense capabilities across the world. The fate of our world order depends on it. 

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.