Missile Defense


  • Members of Japan's Self-Defence Forces' airborne unit attend the annual SDF ceremony at Asaka Base in Asaka, north of Tokyo, Japan, October 14, 2018, photo by Kim Kyung-Hoon/Reuters


    Missing in Japan's Deterrence Debate

    Aug 13, 2020

    Following its decision to cancel the Aegis Ashore ballistic missile defense system, Japan is currently debating future deterrence capabilities. The debate over how Japan can defend itself is an important one, offering a major opportunity to shape the country's future defense posture.

  • Russian Mi-28N helicopters fly in formation at the Dubrovichi range near Ryazan, Russia, August 2, 2015, photo by Maxim Shemetov/Reuters


    Where Russia Markets and Sells Advanced Conventional Weapons

    Jun 11, 2021

    Russia uses arms exports to further relations with other countries, influence their political and military leaders, and further its broader foreign and defense policy goals. A series of maps show the extent of its marketing, negotiating, and sales of key weapons systems.

Explore Missile Defense

  • A precision-guided missile was fired during its first test-fire outside of the United States, near Tikrit, Iraq


    Comparing U.S. Army Systems with Foreign Counterparts

    To address possible capability gaps in its systems, the U.S. Army should examine options for countering long-range rockets, support research and development in robotics, consider approaches to lighten the loads for infantrymen, and examine the need for a new specialized manned reconnaissance aircraft.

    May 13, 2015

  • Two Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) interceptors are launched during a successful intercept test in September 2013


    South Korea's Missile-Defense System Decision: Q&A with Bruce Bennett

    What might it mean if the U.S. deploys the terminal high-altitude air defense missile system known as THAAD in South Korea? Chinese pressure on South Korea to not allow THAAD deployment has become a major regional security issue.

    Apr 3, 2015

  • A military policeman looks through binoculars before the official groundbreaking ceremony of the site for the U.S. Aegis Ashore missile defense facility east of Bucharest, October 28, 2013


    Defending Against Iranian Missile Threats Without Diluting the Russian Deterrent

    In 2013, the U.S. opted to cancel Phase 4 of its European Phased Adaptive Approach missile defense system. Russia had cited it as a threat to its nuclear deterrent. The restructured U.S. system remains capable of reaching Iranian missiles without posing a threat to Russia's missile forces.

    Feb 13, 2015

  • Report


    Cruise Missile Penaid Nonproliferation: Hindering the Spread of Countermeasures Against Cruise Missile Defenses

    An attacker's missile-borne countermeasures to cruise missile defenses are known as penetration aids, or penaids. This research recommends export controls on penaid-related items under the Missile Technology Control Regime.

    Oct 20, 2014

  • Palestinians walk past a mosque and water tower damaged by Israeli air strikes and shelling in Khuzaa, in the southern Gaza Strip


    The Grim Lessons of “Protective Edge”

    For all the attempts to find technological quick fixes or enforce a permanent settlement, Operation Protective Edge has highlighted that a war of attrition, known as a “long war,” remains the only viable strategy in the current environment.

    Sep 3, 2014

  • Report


    Penaid Nonproliferation: Hindering the Spread of Countermeasures Against Ballistic Missile Defenses

    An attacker's missile-borne countermeasures to ballistic missile defenses are known as penetration aids, or penaids. This research recommends export controls on penaid-related items under the Missile Technology Control Regime.

    Feb 26, 2014

  • Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel visited Airmen from the 90th Missile Wing to learn about the ICBM mission and the people who operate, maintain, secure, and support the Minuteman III weapon system


    America's New Missile Gap

    With the end of the Cold War, the U.S. military refocused on the non-nuclear realm. In most cases, military professionals moved seamlessly into this realm, but the land-based missileers lacked the option to shift their focus.

    Feb 25, 2014

  • Report


    Crisis Stability and Long-Range Strike: A Comparative Analysis of Fighters, Bombers, and Missiles

    In an international crisis, the United States must balance its threats with restraint while limiting its vulnerability. A RAND study sought to identify which long-range strike assets offer capabilities most conducive to stabilizing such crises.

    Jun 19, 2013

  • A Patriot missile is launched by soldiers at McGregor Range near El Paso, Texas


    Turkey Edges Toward Seeking NATO Support in Syria Crisis

    As the crisis along the border between Syria and Turkey intensifies, Turkey appears on the brink of a formal request to the North Atlantic Council that NATO deploy Patriot missiles to help defend the border, writes Christopher Chivvis.

    Nov 21, 2012

  • U.S. President Barack Obama walks out before he holds a news conference after the 2012 NATO Summit in Chicago at McCormick Place in Chicago, May 21, 2012


    NATO's Shrinking Resources

    At a time when the European Union faces mounting economic and political challenges, maintaining a strong, vibrant Atlantic alliance is more important than ever, write F. Stephen Larrabee and Peter A. Wilson.

    May 16, 2012

  • Commentary


    The Kremlin's Bold Missile Defense Gambit

    Russia's proposal for joint missile defense represents a potential game-changer for the Kremlin's relations with the West, writes Andrew Weiss.

    Jan 27, 2011

  • Brochure


    PRGS 2010 Defense Seminar Brochure

    Describes the course offerings and faculty for an intensive weeklong program offered by the Pardee RAND Graduate School in fall 2010.

    Jun 9, 2010

  • Commentary


    Biden's Task in Eastern Europe: Reassurance

    Vice President Joseph Biden's trip to eastern Europe this week provides an important opportunity to reassure Poland, the Czech Republic, and Romania that the U.S. is committed to their security. This reassurance is needed, especially in the wake of the decision to cancel the deployment of missile defense installations in the region, write F. Stephen Larrabee and Christopher S. Chivvis.

    Oct 20, 2009

  • Report


    RAND's Portfolio Analysis Tool (PAT): Theory, Methods, and Reference Manual

    PAT was designed to facilitate strategic analysis dealing with uncertainty and differences of perspective. It enables an approach to analysis oriented toward assisting high-level decisionmakers to frame their thinking about balance, to construct good multifaceted options for consideration, and to make subsequent choices.

    Oct 20, 2009

  • Commentary


    The Right Move in Europe: Improved Opportunities with NATO, Russia

    Obama's decision to alter course on missile defense was the right choice. Those who call it a capitulation to Russia are wrong, and it plays into Russia's hands to portray the decision in that manner. But the change of course will have to be complemented with more appropriate initiatives, writes Christopher S. Chivvis.

    Sep 22, 2009

  • Commentary


    Real Threats, Real Fears, Real Defenses

    Critics of the Bush administration missile defense plans for Central Europe have charged that the U.S. would be deploying defenses that did not work against a threat that did not exist. It would also defend countries not threatened by Iran, while leaving Iran's more likely victims entirely uncovered, writes James Dobbins.

    Sep 21, 2009

  • Commentary


    No Surprise in Failure to Deter North Korea

    North Korea's latest misbehavior highlights an uncomfortable truth: the failure of the United States and the international community to deter its actions. In this case, it is pretty easy to see why North Korea has not been deterred, writes Bruce Bennett.

    Jun 2, 2009

  • Commentary


    How Not to Promote American Missile Defense in Europe

    Published commentary by RAND staff: How Not to Promote American Missile Defense in Europe, in Project Syndicate--an association that distributes commentaries to 291 newspapers in 115 countries.

    Apr 27, 2007

  • Commentary


    Missile Defense: Avoiding a Crisis in Europe

    Published commentary by RAND staff: Missile Defense: Avoiding a Crisis in Europe, in International Herald Tribune.

    Mar 29, 2007

  • Report


    A Portfolio-Analysis Tool for Missile Defense (PAT-MD): Methodology and User’s Manual

    A tool to facilitate high-level discussion of program tradeoffs and adjustments in the Missile Defense Agency (MDA).

    Oct 18, 2005