Missile Defense?

Speaking of missile defense (as I was last week), the saga continues:

WASHINGTON – A test of the national missile defense system failed Monday when an interceptor missile did not launch from its island base in the Pacific Ocean, the military said. It was the second failure in months for the experimental program.

Certainly all new defense programs go through setbacks before acheiving successes. But the technical hurdles still to be overcome by this missile defense system are obviously still enormous, particularly for a system that the Bush administration said would be declared operational by the end of 2004. Given its current failings, the discussion about exactly what is meant by the term “operational” is ongoing.