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Growing Missile Threat Needs Robust Defenses, Official Says

By Lisa Daniel
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, March 27, 2012 – The United States is well protected against the current threat from limited intercontinental ballistic missile attacks, but the threat is growing, underscoring the need for a robust and flexible defense system, a senior Pentagon official said here yesterday.

Development and deployment of the Ground-based Midcourse Defense System protects the United States against the current threats posed by nations such as North Korea and Iran, Madelyn R. Creedon, assistant secretary of defense for global strategic affairs, said at the 10th Annual U.S. Missile Defense Conference.

With 30 ground-based interceptors in place, the United States is well protected against the current threat, she said at the conference, sponsored by the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics.

"Maintaining this advantageous position is essential," she added. "As the threat matures — and it will — we will continued to improve the GMD system, including enhanced performance by the [interceptors] and the deployment of new sensors."

Creedon outlined the Defense Department’s ballistic missile defense plans and priorities as part of the military strategic guidance President Barack Obama issued in January. She detailed U.S. progress in sustaining a strong homeland defense, strengthening regional missile defense, and fostering increased international cooperation.

Obama’s fiscal 2013 budget request to Congress includes $9.7 billion

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