EAST COAST, SOUTH KOREA - JULY 05: In this handout photo released by the South Korean Defense Ministry, U.S. M270 Multiple Launch Rocket System firing an MGM-140 Army Tactical Missile during a U.S. and South Korea joint missile drill aimed to counter North Korea's intercontinental ballistic missile test on July 5, 2017 in East Coast, South Korea. The U.S. Army and South Korean military responded to North Korea's missile launch with a combined ballistic missile exercise on Wednesday, into South Korean waters along the country's eastern coastline. (Photo by South Korean Defense Ministry via Getty Images)

Tens of billions of dollars spent over three decades have still left the Pentagon with no reliable way to shoot down nuclear-tipped missiles approaching the U.S. homeland — a vulnerability that has taken on sharp new urgency after North Korea’s Independence Day test of its first ICBM.
Instead, the missile defense system designed to shield the United States from an intercontinental ballistic missile — a diverse network of sensors, radars, and interceptor missiles based in Alaska and California — has failed three of its five tests, military leaders acknowledge. Even the two successful ones were heavily scripted.
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“If the North Koreans fired everything they had at us, and we fired at all of the missiles, we’d probably get most of them,” said Jeffrey Lewis, the director of the East Asia nonproliferation program at the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies. “But is ‘probably get most’ a good day …
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