Missile Defense: A Wicked-Hard Challenge

Rogue nations possessing ballistic missiles armed with WMD are one of the most vexing and wicked-hard challenges the United States must deal with today. For some, it is a new challenge. But for the U.S. Navy, dealing with air and missile threats has been something it has been dealing with for seven decades. And in many ways, the U.S. Navy has been a leader in evolving effective responses to air and missile threats.

For anyone younger than those of the baby boomer generation, it is impossible to fully understand the urgency the Cold War brought to building and deploying the U.S. Navy’s missile fleet.  Once the Berlin Wall went up and the spectre of the Soviet Empire crushing the West – and especially the United States – began to sink in during the early 1950s, spending on defense became a compelling urgency.  Few can forget the phrase famously attributed to Soviet premier Nikita Khrushchev while addressing Western ambassadors at a reception at the Polish embassy in Moscow on Nov. 18, 1956, “We will bury you!”

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