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continued possession by counterforce operations against both the weapons themselves and the means of delivery. Note that these counterforce operations, although preemptive to launch of the enemy missiles, are not necessarily preemptive in a more strategic sense. The rogue may already be in violation of some treaty or sanction simply by the possession of such weapons.

If counterforce operations against possession fail (as surely they will to some degree), then the next barrier is to deter their use. The next barrier is to attack the missiles (cruise or ballistic) if, and after, they have been launched. The last barrier is in ''passive defense."

So, we see that active defenses play an important role in the complex dynamics of who is deterring whom:

• They play a role in limiting damage if the rogue nation employs weapons of mass destruction in retaliation because the United States responded by large-scale military actions.

• Active defenses also play a role in the decision process by the rogue government as to whether or not to launch a retaliatory attack in retaliation to the U.S. response.

• Thus, they play a role in the decision as to whether or not the United States is deterred from responding.

• Thus, they play a role in whether the rogue nation is deterred from aggression in the first place.

The remainder of this paper focuses on one aspect of active defenses: namely, intercepting ballistic missiles after launch.


One of the likely threats is a ballistic missile equipped with small canisters loaded with biological or chemical agents. There is also the possibility of missiles equipped with nuclear warheads and midcourse decoys. Further, these canisters and decoys can be dispensed once the enemy missile gains the right velocity toward the target. It is clearly not feasible to provide enough interceptors at each target we intend to defend to engage all the canisters and decoys in the inventory of the rogue nation. This argues for operational concepts that enable the United States to engage the enemy missile itself prior to the event of dispensing the submunitions or decoys. In effect, putting a "cap" over the territory of the rogue nation means no ballistic missiles can exit the territory. The "cap" ensures that the agents will fall on enemy territory and not on the territory we seek to defend.

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