Analysis on the Impact of the 1972 ABM Treaty and Its Affect on the Procurement of a National Missile Defense System   [open pdf - 224KB]

"For the last thirty years, many strategists have considered the 1972 Anti-ballistic Missile (ABM) Treaty as the foundation for arms control. Others have insisted that its existence perpetuates American vulnerability to a ballistic missile attack. Since its inception, the ABM Treaty has been amended only once, but the geopolitical structure of the world has changed dramatically. The Cold War has ended and many new threats have emerged. The once bipolar world, which is reflected in the treaty, has transformed into a multithreat domain of instability. In response to these new threats, President George W. Bush has indicated that he strongly desires to procure a national missile defense (NMD) system. The terrorist attacks on the Pentagon and World Trade Center indicated that the United States has indeed become a target to extremists who are willing to use weapons of mass destruction (WMD) to harm American citizens. These events also strengthened President Bush's resolve to deploy a NMD system. However, the ABM Treaty acts as a roadblock. This thesis examines the impact of the ABM Treaty on the procurement of a NMD system and investigates the treaty's current utility."

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