Thesis Title

Anti-Ballistic Missile Defense: an Overview of Major Programs and Issues of the Abm Debate Over the Past Forty-Five Years

Date of Graduation

Spring 1999


Master of Science in Defense and Strategic Studies


Defense and Strategic Studies

Committee Chair

William Van Cleave


Over the past forty-five years the United States has debated whether or not to deploy defenses against ballistic missile attack. In that time the United States grappled with a wide range of issues concerning the technical, strategic, political, and arms control merits of missile defense in the face of the Cold War, and now the post-Soviet era. The debate over ballistic missile defense within the United States is unprecedented in its scope and time span. Unlike various other U.S. weapons programs, the debate over anti-ballistic missile defense has a special quality to it. The ABM debate has seen a greater degree of participation from American society as a whole. It is interesting to note, that throughout this entire period of debate many of the core arguments used by advocates and opponents have remained the same. This thesis provides an overview of major U.S. ballistic missile defense programs and the various issues of the ABM debate since the end of the Second World War.

Subject Categories

Defense and Security Studies


© Jeritt D Soukup