This section contains resources for legal aspects of ballistic missile defense. For thirty years, the ABM Treaty (1972-2002) was the primary obstacle to missile defense. Information on its significance, history, and demise is contained here, along with other treaties related to missile defense, laws passed by the United States Congress, and resolutions by state legislatures.
The Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty
The ABM Treaty enshrined the doctrine of Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD) and made it illegal to provide for the common defense against even limited attacks by ballistic missiles. The long awaited withdrawal from the treaty in 2002 heralded a return to thinking seriously about the defense of our country.
Missile defense is not only the right thing to do, but it is also official policy of the United States, articulated in legislation passed by Congress and signed by the President.
Treaties relating to disarmament, proliferation of ballistic missile technology, and missile launch notification have been instrumental in the current offensive state of American ballistic missile arsenal.
To date, ten states have passed resolutions calling upon the national government to deploy missile defense system as soon as possible. No state has passed a resolution opposing deployment.