To defend allies against nuclear-armed nations we must become able to protect ourselves against missile attack. Our missile defense programs are not serious about that and cannot lead to that. To avoid defending ourselves, we defend allies badly. The United States has shelved the technologies that make for seriousness in missile defense: launching surface-based interceptors on the basis of data from orbit and striking missiles as they rise into space with orbit-based lasers. Taking these technologies off our shelf before others develop them is essential if our guarantees are to safeguard rather than endanger all concerned.