28 August 2012

Asia’s New Arms Race: Missiles, Missile Defenses

Trefor Moss, Asia’s New Arms Race: Missiles, Missile Defenses,” The Diplomat, 27 August 2012.

There may or may not be an arms race in Asia, depending on your view of what an arms race involves. But in the realm of ballistic missiles and ballistic missile defense it is hard not to conclude that a race is being run. Too many countries are boosting their missile and/or their missile defense capabilities for it to be otherwise.

This is not necessarily a cause for concern: countries inevitably balance against one another’s new capabilities, and every advance in one nation is cancelled out by a similar advance in another. The danger is that these all developments proceed at different paces, leaving some countries out in front and others left feeling strategically vulnerable. Indeed, some analysts have already voiced concerns that China’s missile forces are becoming “too strong to contain,” at least in some areas. …

For full text of one of the sources linked to here, see Andrew Erickson and Gabe Collins, “China’s Ballistic Missiles: A Force to be Reckoned With,” China Real Time Report (中国事实报), Wall Street Journal, 24 August 2012.