The budgetary and political environment for missile defense is cloudy. On the one hand, large cuts to the missile defense effort are expected as the new Administration and congressional leaders refashion the nation’s defense priorities. The Obama Administration’s attitudes toward missile defense are not entirely clear. During the presidential campaign, then-candidate Obama supported large cuts to its budget, suggesting that the techniques were unproven and unreliable. On the other hand, North Korea’s preparations for another round of missile tests and the recently completed space launch by Iran continue to illustrate the world’s interest in long-range ballistic missile technology and the need for a serious defense.