U.S. needs more effective defensive capabilities to deal with regional nuclear-armed adversaries
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All of this points to the need for much more effective capabilities for preventing nuclear weapons from being used—in particular, to some combination of counterforce capability and wide-area defenses against the most important means of delivering nuclear weapons. Both tasks—finding and neutralizing nuclear weapons and intercepting their delivery vehicles—pose daunting technical and operational challenges. Seriously pursuing these capabilities will require major investments—requirements that will be seen as threats to a host of other budgetary priorities. But without such capabilities, the United States and its allies will find themselves compelled to live with new limits on their freedom of action when it comes to confronting nucleararmed regional adversaries.