Ultimately, the real rationale for missile defense is to protect U.S. forces so they can engage in military intervention throughout the world to enforce a Pax Americana–a strategy of empire by another name. But such a strategy is simply the old Cold War strategy run amok and without a Soviet enemy. And it ignores the obvious: the result will be increased resentment of and animosity toward what is perceived by the rest of the world as an imperialist America.
A better alternative–especially given the post‐September 11, 2001, realities of the al‐Qaeda terrorist threat–is for the United States to adopt a more restrained foreign policy. A more prudent security strategy would recognize that U.S. security would be better served by not engaging in unnecessary military deployments and interventions that fuel the flames of vehement anti‐American sentiment.
Given such a strategy, a limited land‐based ballistic missile defense system designed to protect the U.S. homeland makes sense. After all, that is the primary responsibility of the federal government.