Pentagon plans hard look at missile defense programs

By Andrea Shalal WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Defense Department has launched a major review of missile defense programs and capabilities, after military commanders called the current strategy “unsustainable” given tough budget pressures and rising threats around the world. Former Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel described the review in a Feb. 4 memo to top officers in the U.S. Army and Navy, a copy of which was obtained by Reuters. This year’s review would also cover regional ballistic missile defense issues, the global reach of the U.S. Patriot missile defense system, and U.S. power projection capabilities. Hagel said a strategic review by top Pentagon officials last fall had concluded the current ballistic missile defense policy was sound, but recommended an update of a 2011 joint study to help shape the Pentagon’s fiscal 2017 budget process.

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