Two of the most enduring vital national interests are the protection of U.S. citizens and our territory. Driven by these interests, the United States began testing a limited national missile defense system intended to protect the country from missile attacks by "rogue" states. By the summer of 2000, missile testing for the national missile defense (NMD) proved inconclusive. This forced President Clinton to defer the deployment decision to the next administration. Given the wide political support for the defense system, however, the president authorized further missile tests.