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While North Korea reportedly achieved another milestone in developing a nuclear-tipped ballistic missile capable of reaching the U.S. homeland, The Heritage Foundation visited the annual Space and Missile Defense Symposium in Huntsville, Alabama, a city that lives and breathes ballistic missile defense.
The conference is a gathering for policy experts, the military, industry representatives, on all issues related to space and missile defense policy.
Gen - John - Hyten - Commander - US
Gen. John Hyten, commander of the U.S. Strategic Command, set the tone for the conference when he argued for the need to change the overly risk-averse culture of the space and missile defense acquisition community, particularly since the U.S. is at risk of being outpaced by its adversaries.
He emphasized the need to learn from program failures so that the United States is better able to address problems in its test program, since the whole point is to ensure the country’s strategic defense system works when it counts—for example, when North Korea succeeds in weaponizing its long-range ballistic missiles.
Theme - Speakers - Participants - Concern - Threats
A common theme across all speakers and participants was increased concern over threats that the United States will face in the near future.
Maj. Gen. Robert Dyess, director of the Army Capabilities Integration Center, argued that not only are adversaries making advances in their capabilities, but also that in a conflict with the United States, they would use them to disrupt the ability of the U.S. and its allies to integrate defense measures across domains.
Everyone - United - States - Domains
Everyone accepted that the United States will be contested in all domains, perhaps simultaneously.
The conference offered a great opportunity to expand the discussion about U.S. ballistic missile defense capabilities. Much work remains to be done if the United States is to get ahead of the ballistic...
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