Star Wars: Practice Makes Perfect

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The nation has spent more than $100 billion on missile defense since President Reagan heralded it as the way to render nuclear-tipped missiles “impotent and obsolete” in 1983. But the mission is so complex and challenging, sometimes small elements can slip through the cracks, as the Government Accountability Office reported Monday:

Defending against ballistic missile attacks requires quick responses and an integrating training strategy is important to connect seams where commands, tiers, or elements must work together. However, there are no DOD requirements and standards for integrating training across and among all of the tiers…As a result, the department runs the risk that personnel may have had limited opportunities to interact across the training tiers and elements under realistic conditions prior to an actual ballistic missile defense engagement.