Missile Miss Is Military Mess

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Hitting a bullet with a bullet is never easy, but when you’ve spent $15 billion trying, you might expect better than a 0-5 success rate. The military today recorded the fifth consecutive miss in testing of the costly THAAD anti-missile system. A booster rocket failure resulted in the Lockheed-built Theater High Altitude Area Defense missile's failing to intercept a Hera test missile.

The military could eventually feel the damage on Capitol Hill: “To many legislators it looks like an awful lot of money to spend on a small problem,” says TIME Pentagon correspondent Mark Thompson. “A major deterrent against incoming missiles is that they carry a return address -- fire a missile at the U.S. and we will incinerate your country shortly thereafter.”

The military’s spin doctors appeared to do no better than their expensive anti-missile missile today. Choice item from the Pentagon statement on the THAAD failure: “The target worked fine.”