Authors: Christopher Bolkcom and Bartholomew Elias
This report from the Congressional Research Service, the public policy research arm of Congress , focuses on the threat that terrorists with shoulder fired surface-to-air missiles (SAMs), referred to as Man-Portable Air Defense Systems (MANPADS), pose to commercial airliners. It discusses a range of options installing infrared (IR) countermeasures on aircraft; modifying flight operations and air traffic control procedures; improving airport and regional security; and strengthening missile non-proliferation efforts.
President George W. Bush made clear early in his first term his intention to deploy a national missile defense as soon as possible to counter the growing threat of weapons of mass destruction (WMD). Jan Lodal argues that much more sweeping changes must be made in U.S. policy to deal effectively with WMD.