Nearly 30 years and $150 billion into its development, the U.S. ballistic missile defense system is reaching its adolescence. Advocates say the global collection of sensors, fire-control systems and interceptors is slowly inching closer to a never-before-realized level of integration and, eventually, efficiency and maturity. But it is not here today—indicated by the failed July 5 Ground-Based Missile Defense (GMD) intercept attempt. Missile defense officials are getting ever closer to ...

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