The Cruise Missile Threat and its Proliferation

Whereas the threat posed by ballistic missiles, such as those in the arsenals of North Korea and Iran, tends to attract major news headlines, the emerging threat to the United States from cruise missiles gets much less publicity, though it warrants it also. Even a single cruise missile, with a design either obsolescent or obsolete and its price relatively inexpensive, can wreak horrific harm upon a civilian target, especially if armed with a chemical, biological, radiological, or nuclear (CBRN) payload. If launched from a deceptively innocent-looking platform, a civilian ship or airplane for instance, a cruise missile with even only a short range capability can hit any of several U.S. ports and cities at risk. Weapons similar to cruise missiles, such as unmanned armed drones, likewise pose a homeland threat.

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