North Korea’s test of an unprecedented number of ballistic missiles in 2022, including several types of intercontinental ballistic missiles, is the latest reminder the United States faces an increasingly perilous security environment.
U.S. adversaries continue integrating offensive missiles into their strategies to support coercion, intimidation and aggressive military behavior. While it might be tempting for the United States to throw up its hands and allocate missile defense resources elsewhere in this increasingly unpredictable missile threat environment, the U.S. should instead continue to strengthen its capabilities for effective homeland defense.
Today, the nation is defended against a limited ICBM attack on the homeland posed by the missile arsenals of “rogue states” such as North Korea and Iran (who is also continuing its pursuit of longer-range missiles and a nuclear capability). In response to North Korean and Iranian efforts, the United States is considering how to improve its missile defenses to deter possibly larger and more sophisticated missile attacks and, if deterrence fails, to reliably protect the homeland against missile attacks.
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