- By Brad Amburn
An "Exoatmospheric Kill Vehicle," the literal spearhead of the planned U.S. national missile defense system, collides with hostile missiles at a leisurely 16,000 miles per hour — one of the many data nuggets that discerning browsers can cull from the Ballistic Missile Defense Organization’s (BMDO) Web site.
Launched by the Pentagon in 1996 to educate (and sell) the public on ballistic missile defense, the site features fact sheets with background information on U.S. missile defense, as well as an overview of potential threats — Iraq, for instance, which according to the BMDO could have the capability to drop a several-hundred kilogram payload on the United States sometime in the next decade.
One highlight is a timeline that chronicles the historical and technological milestones in Washington’s missile defense program; it reveals, for instance, that the idea of missile defense was born in 1945, after U.S. government officials visited a decimated Europe. And a collection of photos shows missiles in action. Some of the pictures are blurry, but others, like the shot of a Patriot missile at the point of interception, are spectacular.
Kevin Baron is a national security reporter for Foreign Policy, covering defense and military issues in Washington. He is also vice president of the Pentagon Press Association. Baron previously was a national security staff writer for National Journal, covering the "business of war." Prior to that, Baron worked in the resident daily Pentagon press corps as a reporter/photographer for Stars and Stripes. For three years with Stripes, Baron covered the building and traveled overseas extensively with the secretary of defense and chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, covering official visits to Afghanistan and Iraq, the Middle East and Europe, China, Japan and South Korea, in more than a dozen countries. From 2004 to 2009, Baron was the Boston Globe Washington bureau's investigative projects reporter, covering defense, international affairs, lobbying and other issues. Before that, he muckraked at the Center for Public Integrity. Baron has reported on assignment from Asia, Africa, Australia, Europe, the Middle East and the South Pacific. He was won two Polk Awards, among other honors. He has a B.A. in international studies from the University of Richmond and M.A. in media and public affairs from George Washington University. Originally from Orlando, Fla., Baron has lived in the Washington area since 1998 and currently resides in Northern Virginia with his wife, three sons, and the family dog, The Edge.| The E-Ring |