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The United States Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) Policy states that our BMD system is intended to defend the country against a limited ballistic missile attack by "states acquiring nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction in contravention of international norms and in defiance of the international community"- in other words, against rogue states and actors. I The United States Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) Policy states that our BMD system is intended to defend the country against a limited ballistic missile attack by "states acquiring nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction in contravention of international norms and in defiance of the international community"- in other words, against rogue states and actors. It explicitly states that our capabilities are not focused on China or Russia, are not intended to affect the strategic balance with them, and are not of sufficient capacity to deal with Chinese or Russian large scale attacks. Despite the pronounced intention of U.S. policy, the overmatched capability of the US BMD System against even the most inflated assessment of North Korea ballistic missile capability upsets the strategic balance and increases tensions with China, hence complicating Asian-Pacific regional stability and U.S./allied security interests there.This compilation includes a reproduction of the 2019 Worldwide Threat Assessment of the U.S. Intelligence Community.There is no greater threat to the American people than weapons of mass destruction - so says the 2010 National Security Strategy. As part of its comprehensive strategy for Homeland Defense to mitigate this threat, the United States has committed to a Ballistic Missile Defense System (BMDS) to defend the country against a limited ballistic missile attack by "states acquiring nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction in contravention of international norms and in defiance of the international community"1, specifically Iran and North Korea. The United States Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) Policy explicitly states that its homeland missile defense capabilities are not focused on China or Russia, are not intended to affect the strategic balance with them, and are not of sufficient capacity to deal with Chinese or Russian large scale attacks. While the policy rhetoric intends to mollify concerns, the reality of overmatched United States defensive capability against even the most aggrandized rogue state threat indeed upsets the strategic balance with China, hence complicating Asian-Pacific regional stability and U.S./allied security interests there. The United States has inadvertently transmitted confusing, counterproductive signals to China and increased tensions in the Asian-Pacific region by ignoring fundamental elements of deterrent theory. China's historical contentedness to rely on a minimalist "limited retaliation" nuclear deterrent strategy has been challenged and led to massive expansion of its nuclear arsenal; its mistrust and suspicion of U.S. intent to impede China's ascendance to world-power status has deepened; and focus on anti-access/area denial (A2AD) capabilities has increased as a counter-intervention deterrent into its perceived regional affairs.U.S. Policy Background - Since the thawing of the Cold War and the relative decline of the Russian nuclear arsenal, the logic of Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD) that undergirded the United States' strategic doctrine and constrained the bipolar nuclear arms race has given way to a single hegemonic world order and U.S. nuclear primacy. The widening proliferation of nuclear weapons and missile technologies across the globe, especially to rogue states whose framework for rational behavior is questionable, has given reason to refine our strategic deterrent approach with a growing focus on complementary defensive capabilities as a sort of insurance.


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The United States Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) Policy states that our BMD system is intended to defend the country against a limited ballistic missile attack by "states acquiring nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction in contravention of international norms and in defiance of the international community"- in other words, against rogue states and actors. I The United States Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) Policy states that our BMD system is intended to defend the country against a limited ballistic missile attack by "states acquiring nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction in contravention of international norms and in defiance of the international community"- in other words, against rogue states and actors. It explicitly states that our capabilities are not focused on China or Russia, are not intended to affect the strategic balance with them, and are not of sufficient capacity to deal with Chinese or Russian large scale attacks. Despite the pronounced intention of U.S. policy, the overmatched capability of the US BMD System against even the most inflated assessment of North Korea ballistic missile capability upsets the strategic balance and increases tensions with China, hence complicating Asian-Pacific regional stability and U.S./allied security interests there.This compilation includes a reproduction of the 2019 Worldwide Threat Assessment of the U.S. Intelligence Community.There is no greater threat to the American people than weapons of mass destruction - so says the 2010 National Security Strategy. As part of its comprehensive strategy for Homeland Defense to mitigate this threat, the United States has committed to a Ballistic Missile Defense System (BMDS) to defend the country against a limited ballistic missile attack by "states acquiring nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction in contravention of international norms and in defiance of the international community"1, specifically Iran and North Korea. The United States Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) Policy explicitly states that its homeland missile defense capabilities are not focused on China or Russia, are not intended to affect the strategic balance with them, and are not of sufficient capacity to deal with Chinese or Russian large scale attacks. While the policy rhetoric intends to mollify concerns, the reality of overmatched United States defensive capability against even the most aggrandized rogue state threat indeed upsets the strategic balance with China, hence complicating Asian-Pacific regional stability and U.S./allied security interests there. The United States has inadvertently transmitted confusing, counterproductive signals to China and increased tensions in the Asian-Pacific region by ignoring fundamental elements of deterrent theory. China's historical contentedness to rely on a minimalist "limited retaliation" nuclear deterrent strategy has been challenged and led to massive expansion of its nuclear arsenal; its mistrust and suspicion of U.S. intent to impede China's ascendance to world-power status has deepened; and focus on anti-access/area denial (A2AD) capabilities has increased as a counter-intervention deterrent into its perceived regional affairs.U.S. Policy Background - Since the thawing of the Cold War and the relative decline of the Russian nuclear arsenal, the logic of Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD) that undergirded the United States' strategic doctrine and constrained the bipolar nuclear arms race has given way to a single hegemonic world order and U.S. nuclear primacy. The widening proliferation of nuclear weapons and missile technologies across the globe, especially to rogue states whose framework for rational behavior is questionable, has given reason to refine our strategic deterrent approach with a growing focus on complementary defensive capabilities as a sort of insurance.

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