with conventional weapons in as little as an hour. This capability may bolster U.S. efforts to deter
and defeat adversaries by allowing the United States to attack high-value targets or “fleeting
targets” at the start of or during a conflict. Congress has generally supported the PGS mission, but
it has restricted funding and suggested some changes in funding for specific programs.
Many analysts believe that the United States should use long-range ballistic missiles armed with
conventional warheads for the PGS mission. These weapons would not substitute for nuclear
weapons in the U.S. war plan but would, instead, provide a “niche” capability, with a small
number of weapons directed against select, critical targets, which might expand the range of U.S.
conventional options. Some analysts, however, have raised concerns about the possibility that
U.S. adversaries might misinterpret the launch of a missile with conventional warheads and
conclude that the missiles carry nuclear weapons. DOD is considering a number of systems that
might provide the United States with long-range strike capabilitie