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A Soviet SS20 intermediate-range ballistic missile / Wikimedia

Sure we know that building a missile-defense shield is expensive, buying all those interceptors to shoot down incoming missiles from Iran and North Korea aimed at our troops or our allies (Unofficial motto: “It’s just like an umbrella — if you take it with you, it won’t rain.”) But today’s contract awarded by the Pentagon is a real eye-opener. Looks like you’re going to spend up to $1.1 billion on missiles for the missile shield.

Not to shoot down incoming missiles, mind you, but missiles that will pretend they are enemy missiles — faux foes, in other words — so that we can practice shooting them down so we’ll really be ready when the bad guys fire the real things our way. “The award is for complete `tip-to-tail’ targets,” the contract notice reads. Thank God. I’d hate to think pumping more than a billion dollars might get us tipless or tailless missiles. And these are only for intermediate-range target missiles. Long-range target missiles will be extra.