9781586480868 / 1586480863

Hit to Kill: The New Battle Over Shielding America from Missile Attack


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Publisher:PublicAffairs, 2001



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About the book:

The definitive account of the biggest national security issue of our time: the precipitous and politically charged revival of national missile defense. The new Bush administration has wasted no time in making national missile defense the centerpiece of its national security policy and is expected to move forward with testing and eventual deployment of a system to destroy incoming missiles in flight-even though the Russians, the Chinese, and our own European allies have expressed alarm at such action. The system's defenders say that we must press forward if America is to be secure against nuclear, biological, and chemical threats in the decades to come. There's only one problem: No one has ever shown that such a system would actually work. In Hit to Kill, Bradley Graham, a longtime military and foreign affairs correspondent for The Washington Post, tells the behind-the-scenes story of how national missile defense-once considered a discredited relic of the Cold War-was revived during the 1990s to address an emerging Third World missile threat. Graham recounts the political battles surrounding national missile defense during the Clinton administration and the technological trials and tribulations of the major defense firms involved in the project. He reports on the experts who have mobilized in the last year to question the system's unworkability and examines the scientific evidence for and against it. Over the past half century, no proposed weapons system has drawn more argument or more dollars than national missile defense, and Graham explores the reasons for the enduring debate and the costs to the nation of having failed to resolve it.

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