Naval War College Review


Homeland defense was pushed to the top of the national security agenda when in August 1998 North Korea's flight test of its Taep'o­ dong ballistic missile sparked a renewed debate over national missile defense. The Navy has become embroiled in that debate because its theater ballistic mis­ sile defense programs could provide a foundation for developing a sea-based national missile defense. It is seldom remembered that the Navy in the recent past took on a significant homeland defense mission-continental air defense. The Navy excelled at the continental air defense mission but found it difficult to reconcile with its other missions of sea control, power projection, and forward presence . That experience is worth examining as we contemplate our role in national defense today.