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Ballistic missile defence: How soon, how significant, and what should Australia's policy be?

By Andrew Davies and Rod Lyon

The issue of ballistic missile defence (BMD) was a controversial one when US President Reagan first advocated a strategic-level system in the early 1980s. It remains so today.

What’s Australia’s interest? We live a long way away from most current ballistic missile arsenals. But the ADF frequently deploys within range of ballistic missile systems, especially in Northeast Asia or the Middle East, and those systems might proliferate more widely in the future.

The paper considers the two questions we need to decide. The first is the priority for enhancing the ADF’s own BMD capabilities. The second is whether it makes sense for us to participate in a cooperative arrangement with the US or other partners.