Missiles are not just ballistic anymore, even many of the ones that are called ballistic. We need to evolve accordingly. Using old classifications, we risk mischaracterizing the threats missiles pose and pursuing incorrect and ineffective ways to mitigate them. The new approach offers a more holistic, integrated, and adaptive way of understanding this rapidly and continuously evolving ecosystem. This approach to characterizing the missile environment can help us grasp the limitations of our capabilities. It can spur new technological solutions to address the threat and help identify those challenges that cannot be solved by technology. As such, the taxonomy has bearing on decisions for early warning, missile defense, and arms control, as well as broader strategic policy. To respond to the missile environment, we must first understand it.
The Center for Space Policy and Strategy provides nonpartisan research and strategic analysis to decision-makers in the space enterprise.