Despite advances in technology, the theater ballistic missile threat has changed little in the 50 years from V-2 to Scud. Spending a fortune defending against such a limited threat may be counterproductive.
Ballistic missiles have been operational for the last 50 years, and anti-ballistic missile systems (ABM) have been in service for more than two decades. Studies into Field Army Ballistic Missile Defense Systems led to the specifications for the Patriot missile system in 1965, a tactical air defense system with a limited capability against short-range missiles. The impetus to develop an effective theater ballistic missile defense grew only after the Gulf War where the U.S. military was unable to provide complete theater defense against Iraq's Scud missiles. Since then, the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) has directed more than $14 billion toward developing the technology to resolve this perceived deficiency.