NATO's Anti-Tactical Ballistic Missile Requirements and Their Relationship to the Strategic Defense Initiative

by David Rubenson, James Bonomo


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This report attempts to structure the broad range of issues affecting the potential development of anti-tactical ballistic missile (ATBM) systems by evaluating the relationship among NATO's potential needs for ATBMs, the technologies under development in the Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI) program, and the political constraints in the Federal Republic of Germany (FRG), where ATBMs would be deployed. The authors conclude that planners attempting to improve NATO's air defenses and those attempting to advance SDI research goals are faced with distinctly different problems. Since NATO's requirements have little connection to SDI, an ATBM system intended to advance SDI goals must be based almost entirely on SDI objectives and could cause controversy in the FRG. Conversely, the limited systems of most interest to NATO stand outside the political debate.

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