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Axios Dec 24
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Trump admin. to expand flawed ​missile defense system

A truck carrying parts of U.S. missile launchers and other equipment. Photo provided by U.S. forces in Korea via Getty Images

"Citing North Korea's ... threat, the Trump administration is moving to vastly expand the problem-plagued homeland missile defense system despite warnings that the planned upgrades may not succeed," the L.A. Times reports in its lead story:

Why it matters: "[G]overnment reports and interviews with technical experts suggest the planned upgrades ... are unlikely to protect the United States from a limited-scale ballistic missile attack ... One concern is the administration's rush to expand the system."

  • "Immediate plans call for building two $1-billion radar installations and adding 20 rocket interceptors to the 44 already deployed in underground silos at Ft. Greely in Alaska and at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California."
  • "The expected cost is about $10.2 billion over five years, on top of more than $40 billion already spent for the system."

P.S. "The Marine Corps commandant told about 300 Marines in Norway [Thursday] that they should be prepared for a 'bigass fight' to come," the WashPost reports, citing Military.com:

  • Gen. Robert Neller told the Marines: "I hope I'm wrong, but there's a war coming."
  • "[H]is spokesman later said [the comments] were not in reference to any specific adversary but rather intended to inspire the troops."