A Special Panel Discussion on Ballistic Missile Defense

Wednesday, February 1, 2012
4:00pm to 6:00pm

The administration of George W. Bush withdrew unilaterally from the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty in the interest of national security, then deployed partially tested anti-ballistic missiles in Alaska in anticipation of a nuclear threat from North Korea, then proposed a "third site" for missile defense based in Europe in anticipation of an Iranian threat, which antagonized Russia. The Obama administration has made changes in anti-missile policy, but in certain ways has continued on a similar path.

The leading issues confronting these policies will be discussed by Michael Nacht of the University of California (Berkeley), Dean Wilkening of the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, and Theodore Postol of MIT. Among the pressing questions are:

What is the Obama BMD approach and how does it differ from the Bush policy?

Is the current US BMD strategy based on sound technology fundamentals?

What are the likely international ramifications of the Obama Administration's approach to missile defense, particularly in Europe?