Jeffrey LewisLife Imitates Art: Another Missile Defense Test Failure

In the popular television program Sex and the City, Trey MacDougal, the husband of a principal character, has a little problem, um, performing under pressure.

The Missile Defense Agency’s own Trey, Henry “Trey” Obering III, seems to be having a little trouble getting the old missile up and on course, himself.

For the second time in two months, a missile defense interceptor failed to launch from Kwajalein in the Pacific Ocean.

Again, the target, perhaps representing a North Korean ICBM hurtling toward a U.S. city, performed flawlessly.

MDA spokesman Rick Lehner said the early indications pointed to a malfunction with the ground support equipment, not the missile itself.

That’s usually the excuse in these situations, huh?


  1. Arrigo (History)

    If it wasn’t that it is definitely the American military this is worthy of the worst Italian “pass the hot potato” mentality.

    It must be terribly irritating not to be able to blame the driver as is the often the case with train/airplane/bus accidents, especially when sadly perished and unable to defend himself.

    As a long-time Bulletin reader (and via their blog now a faithful reader of Arms Control Wonk) I truly wonder what they hope to achieve with this KEI as they accumulate failure after failure, would it not be time to switch to something different?

    The old idea of exploding a suitably sized nuke in the air close enough to blow up or significantly damage the incoming missile is surely much more trivial not to mention a rather more palatable excuse to restart nuclear weapon development (“they will defend the people against rogue terrorist states!”). The details about the fallout over allied territory is surely but a footnote in such an illuminated plan.

    How expensive is it to retro-fit the Minuteman to explode its warhead in mid-air?

    [Normally a line like “Italian hot potato mentality wouldn’t make it through the moderator, but since Arrigo actually is Italian, well …, ACW]

  2. Kevin Parkin (History)

    We abandoned the ABM treaty for this?

    If you’re going to make the world a less stable place you’d better make damn well sure you do it for a system that works.

  3. EARL (History)

    No radars, no c&c system, no communications, no backup…..I must say it seems like money well spent to me….can we go for double or nothing???