No Silver Bullet

Preparing for future salvo competitions will require a “system of systems” approach, Bryan Clark, a senior fellow at the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments, said Friday in Washington, D.C. “There is no one silver bullet that is going to solve the missile defense challenge” the US is facing, Clark said. Defeating large precision-guided missile salvos will require kinetic defenses, non-kinetic defenses, and battle management systems, Clark and co-author Mark Gunzinger said in a report called, “Winning the Salvo Competition: Rebalancing America’s Air and Missile Defenses.” However, outdated assumptions, a bias for long-range missile interceptors, a “strategic bias toward ballistic missile defense,” budget pressure, and unclear responsibilities all stand in the way of change, the report states. “Change is hard. We all know that,” Gunzinger said. However, looking at the budget, “we found it very interesting to note there is a significant increase” in interceptor procurement funding in recent years, but now it seems to be on the downslope, Gunzinger said. The US is “spending billions of dollars” to make platforms in the sea and in the air more survivable, “but frankly, we’re not putting the kind of money we need to make our [forward] bases survivable,” he said.