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Ronald Reagan's dream of space-based lasers shielding the United States from ICBMs will not come to fruition in the near future, despite the Trump administration's focus on space.
President Donald Trump is expected to release the Defense Department's latest Missile Defense Review on Thursday at the Pentagon.
While the review looked into putting more sensors into space to provide early warnings of ballistic missiles launches, it does not include any recommendations about deploying space-based missiles or lasers that can destroy boost-phase missiles, a senior administration official told reporters on Wednesday.
"The MDR [Missile Defense Review] as far as interceptors or directed energy calls for further study on both of those concepts but does not direct that the fielding of them or the developing of anything specific," the official said. "That's an area that we are studying, but not one that we've made a concrete decision on whether or not to deploy yet."
When Task & Purpose asked if it was a distinct possibility that space-bases lasers could ultimately become part of the U.S. military's missile defenses, the official replied with a definite maybe.
"We're going to examine directed energy as well," the official said. "That's something we discussed in the Missile Defense Review. Another one of the advanced capabilities that we think is worth looking into, examining the feasibility of. Wherever it makes sense to deploy them, posture them, if that's in space, that's something we will study."
The official stressed that adding sensors into space is not automatically the first step toward deploying space-based weapons. The Defense Department still needs to look at the cost-effectiveness and feasibility of such a missile shield.
"I would reject the idea that there is a natural or inherent progression in any capabilities," the official said. "I don't think there is anything inherent in doing one that requires that we do the other."
WATCH NEXT: Air Force Experiments With Directed Energy
Editor's Note: This article originally appeared on Radio Free Europe/Radio Free Liberty.
NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg has called on the security alliance's allies to maintain and strengthen their "unity," saying the organization is "the only guarantor of European and transatlantic security."
Stoltenberg told reporters on November 19 that NATO "has only grown stronger over the last 70 years" despite "differences" among the allies on issues such as trade, climate, the Iran nuclear deal, and the situation in northeastern Syria.
He was speaking at the alliance's headquarters in Brussels on the eve of a NATO foreign ministers meeting aimed at finalizing preparations for next month's summit in London.
WASHINGTON — More than $35 million of the roughly $400 million in aid to Ukraine that President Donald Trump delayed, sparking the impeachment inquiry, has not been released to the country, according to a Pentagon spending document obtained by the Los Angeles Times.
Instead, the defense funding for Ukraine remains in U.S. accounts, according to the document. It's not clear why the money hasn't been released, and members of Congress are demanding answers.
The admiral in charge of Navy special operators will decide whether to revoke the tridents for Eddie Gallagher and other SEALs involved in the Navy's failed attempt to prosecute Gallagher for murder, a defense official said Tuesday.
The New York Times' David Philipps first reported on Tuesday that the Navy could revoke the SEAL tridents for Gallagher as well as his former platoon commander Lt. Jacob Portier and two other SEALs: Lt. Cmdr. Robert Breisch and Lt. Thomas MacNeil.
The four SEALs will soon receive a letter that they have to appear before a board that will consider whether their tridents should be revoked, a defense official told Task & Purpose on condition of anonymity.
‘It’s Lt. Col. Vindman’ — Active-duty witness in Trump impeachment inquiry sharply corrects congressman
Army Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman made sure to take the time to correct a Congressman on Tuesday while testifying before Congress, requesting that he be addressed by his officer rank and not "Mr."
'What happens after that is out of their control' — Former military leaders and lawyers react to Trump's war crimes pardons
On Friday, President Donald Trump intervened in the cases of three U.S. service members accused of war crimes, granting pardons to two Army soldiers accused of murder in Afghanistan and restoring the rank of a Navy SEAL found guilty of wrongdoing in Iraq.
While the statements coming out of the Pentagon regarding Trump's actions have been understandably measured, comments from former military leaders and other knowledgable veterans help paint a picture as to why the president's Friday actions are so controversial.