Missile Defense Agency's Strategic Plan Analysis

Essay by joneskUniversity, Master'sA+, January 2005

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Missile Defense Agency's Strategic Plan Analysis

It is critical that the Missile Defense Agency, MDA develop a well thought strategic plan, because a great deal of their funding and successes come from a tremendous amount of research and development. Their strategic plan has to be reviewed and approved by the Secretary of Defense and by Congress to approve their budget. The strategic plan is a classified document that discusses future systems and capabilities that MDA is conducting research and development and eventually testing and initial operations. MDA analyzes many different systems and determines which one it will fund. Strategic plans identify their mission and help them to achieve their goals.

History of MDA

Missile defense has been around for over 50 years. In the 50's missile defense was based on the nuclear tipped interceptors; that just need to get close to destroy the missile. Because of problems with the nuclear warheads this program call Safeguard ended in 1976.

It took till 1983, when President Ronald Reagan established the Strategic Defense Initiative Organization, SDIO. The goal was to develop a hit-to-kill missile that was non-nuclear in order to provide deterrence from the Soviet Union during the Cold War. There was significant progress made on the SDI when in 1989 the Soviet Union fell and the focus of SDI changed.

The new focus was to develop a system that had limited protection of the United States, but also protect our deployed troops in Theater Missile Defense, TMD. During the Gulf War our Patriot system proved to be a vital asset to troop and high value assets. In 1993, President Bill Clinton changed the name of SDIO to Ballistic Missile Defense Organization, BMDO. During the Clinton administration the focus remained on TMD, with little to no funding for National Missile Defense, NMD.