US Missile Defense Agency In the Public Eye
The stated mission of the Missile Defense Agency is to field a layered missile defense system that integrates land, sea, and air-based missile defenses to protect the U.S. homeland, deployed troops, and America’s friends and allies. They seek to create systems that will defend against all types of ballistic missiles in their boost phase; during their mid-course flight, normally outside of the Earth’s atmosphere; and as they descend toward their target. The goal is to have several cracks at shooting down enemy missiles in various stages of flight, as well as to hedge against an accidental ballistic missile launch.
The MDA recently had something of a public event in which it showed reporters et. al. some of its systems, explained its mission, and ran a simulation at the 4th Annual U.S. Missile Defense Conference here March 20, 2006. Having said that, the Project On Government Oversight notes that the Department of Defense Inspector General is having problems auditing the $10 billion a year program because MDA has been flouting DOD policies on document access.