"The Proliferation of ballistic missiles... compels the United States to at least evaluate their impact on US security interests throughout the world. First, one must briefly look at the systems that pose a potential threat to the United States. However, we aren't so much worried about the systems, but rather, how they will be used against the United States or US interests. So, there is a need to peer into a crystal ball to predict "the next war." With this as background, then one can appraise the threat of ballistic missiles and likely implications of the threat. Most important, though is the need to create an appropriate response to the threat. Thus, this paper will address the critical characteristics of a ballistic missile defense system designed to meet the needs of the United States for pursuit of its interests. To begin, one must examine the ballistic missile capabilities that the United States may face."