Conventional hypersonic strike weapons may undermine deterrence by complicating early-warning and increasing the vulnerability of forward-based forces to surprise attack below the nuclear threshold. Nevertheless, history shows that adaptation to strategically disruptive technologies is possible.
About the Author
Ian Williams is a fellow in the International Security Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) and deputy director of the Missile Defense Project, where he specializes in missile defense and strategic forces, missile proliferation, and deterrence. He is also managing editor of the CSIS website Missile Threat, an online clearinghouse for information and analysis on missile proliferation and missile defense systems. In 2017, Ian co-authored the major CSIS study Missile Defense 2020, an extensive analysis of U.S. homeland missile defense. He has written extensively on Iranian and North Korean missile programs, Chinese strategic forces and military strategy, and NATO’s missile defense architecture. Ian has made numerous appearances on global news programs, including ABC, NBC, CNN, NPR, and the BBC. His commentary has appeared in newspapers such as the New York Times, Washington Post, USA Today, Newsweek, and others. Prior to joining CSIS, he was director of advocacy at the Missile Defense Advocacy Alliance. During his graduate studies, Ian interned at the Center for the Study of Weapons of Mass Destruction at National Defense University, the Arms Control Association, and Wikistrat, an online consultancy firm. He holds a B.A. from Southern Illinois University and an M.S. in defense and strategic studies from Missouri State University, where he studied arms control, WMD proliferation, missile defense, and nuclear strategy. In 2014, Ian completed his master’s thesis, “Future Directions for the Proliferation Security Initiative.” Before entering the field of security studies, Ian worked in international education, living for extensive periods in Russia, Korea, and the United Arab Emirates. He also served for six years as an engineer in the U.S. Army Reserve.
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