Reversing years of Bush administration policy, the White House announced that it has scrapped plans for an Eastern European component of the intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) shield. Instead of placing radar and interceptors in Poland and the Czech Republic, the Obama Administration will instead deploy anti-missile capable warships in southern Europe and/or Turkey.
In addition to reorienting from a Russian threat to an Iranian missile threat, the move also means a shift from speculative, advanced anti-missile technology to older, proven systems.
Thanks to threats from North Korea, an experimental missile shield and radar system may be deployed to Hawaii before testing has been completed. After North Korea's recent nuclear test and vague threats of launching another Taepodong-2 missile towards Hawaii, the Pentagon has decided to rush the still-in-development Army Terminal High-Altitude Air Defense missile systems and the SBX x-band radar into action. Although the technology has existed for many years it may finally get its first test in real-world conditions.
While dirty bombs and bioweapons steal headlines, the Pentagon is plowing ahead with a 21-year-old plan to silence a more traditional weapon of mass destruction: the intercontinental ballistic missile. Despite widespread criticism, this summer the Missile Defense Agency will deploy the humble beginnings of a nationwide missile defense shield.