Defense of Cities by Antiballistic Missiles*
Given a number of short-range anti-ballistic missiles (ABM), one would like to distribute them among the possible targets in such a way as to minimize the fatalities which an attacker can cause. We have solved this mini-max problem by an elementary mathematical method. We found that there is an optimal distribution of the defending missiles which remains optimal independent of the size of the attack, provided the total number of defending missiles and the number of targets are reasonably large. Calculations for the U.S. indicate that the number of fatalities can be further reduced by a factor of 4 to 7 by means of passive defense, i.e., blast shelters, similar to those under Chinese cities.
KeywordsOptimal Defense Passive Defense Stanford Research Institute Effective Attack Additional Fatality
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