San Diego International Law Journal

Library of Congress Authority File


Document Type



This Comment will argue that National Missile Defense (NMD) is a desirable form of national defense and also compatible with international law. This Comment begins with an exploration of the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty of 1972 and its legal significance as it has evolved over time culminating with President George W. Bush's announcement on December 13, 2001 to withdraw from the Treaty. Next, it examines the past, current and future forms of missile defense, including how these forms interplay with international law. In the third section, criticisms of missile defense will be evaluated and established to be unpersuasive, especially in light of the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001. In the fourth section, the benefits and strengths of National Missile Defense will be highlighted. In this section, through the use of an innovative hypothetical, it will be demonstrated how National Missile Defense actually discourages, rather than encourages (as many critics claim) a first strike. Finally, the Comment will conclude with a discussion of National Missile Defense and its place in history, particularly given the renewed efforts amongst democracies to expand the "Rule of Law" worldwide.