Theater Ballistic Missile Defense Policy, Missions and Programs: Current Status [June 10,1993]   [open pdf - 2MB]

"Theater missile defenses (TMD) increasingly are an important national security priority. But interest in TMD is not a recent development. Throughout the 1980s, Congress urged the executive branch to pursue a vigorous program to counter the threat of Soviet short range missiles in Europe. The result was mixed, and generally not to the satisfaction of Congress. The end of the Cold War and the rise of new challenges brought new emphasis to U.S. TMD efforts. This new effort is focused on addressing the threat arising from the global proliferation of missiles and weapons of mass destruction. The military services have identified several TMD requirements: active defenses, passive defenses, counterforce operations, and command control communications and intelligence. These requirements form the four main elements of the TMD program. The Ballistic Missile Defense Organization (BMDO), formerly the Strategic Defense Initiative Organization (SDIO), is in charge of the entire TMD effort. The military services and other defense agencies largely fill a supporting role. Most of the current TMD program is focused on developing active defense systems. Each of the four military services is pursuing interceptor programs designed for deployment in the near and far term. The immediate objective is to acquire some limited capabilities for addressing potential missile threats over the next several years. Additional, advanced TMD capabilities will be acquired later in this decade and beyond. Unexpected dramatic increases in the TMD budget and the surfeit of TMD programs suggest a critical review. Such a review might lead to significant budget savings."

Report Number:
CRS Report for Congress, 93-585
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