The Pentagon and its contractors still haven’t figured out how to reliably shoot down an intercontinental ballistic missile like the one recently tested by North Korea.
Tens of billions of dollars spent over three decades have still left the Pentagon with no reliable way to shoot down nuclear-tipped missiles approaching the U.S. homeland — a vulnerability that has taken on sharp new urgency after North Korea’s Independence Day test of its first ICBM.
Instead, the missile defense system designed to shield the United States from an intercontinental ballistic missile — a diverse network of sensors, radars, and interceptor missiles based in Alaska and California — has failed three of its five tests, military leaders acknowledge. Even the two successful ones were heavily scripted.
“If the North Koreans fired everything they had at us, and we fired at all of the missiles, we’d probably get most of them,” said