Missile technology is proliferating. It remains unclear how quickly foes like Iran and North Korea could develop a capability to reach the United States with missiles, but the U.S. says Iran is already able to hit allies in Europe.
The United States is spending nearly $10 billion a year on missile defense when military budgets are stretched. But the programs have yet to prove that they can reliably knock long-range missiles out of the sky.
The U.S. is deploying missile interceptors not only on home soil, but in Europe and Asia, drawing complaints from Russia and China. Moscow has said it will resist plans backed by both Obama and Romney. Romney has said he will not compromise with Russia on U.S. missile defense capabilities. And he opposes a missile-defense spending cut favored by Obama.
Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.