Consequence of building the National Missile Defense.
The Bush administration states that given the growing ballistic missile industry in other countries and the current political role of the
United States in the world, and especially after the attacks of September
11, 2001, the United States government has to prepare itself for attacks of any kind. The claim is that the building of a National Missile Defense will provide more security to the people of the United States, and will in fact ensure the safety of every citizen of the United States within its territory (Handberg 13). But the proponents forget to take into account the dire consequences of building such a horrendous space weapons system.
Since the beginning of the nuclear age, both the United States and the
Union have been searching for effective ways to defend themselves against nuclear attack. In the early 1960’s, the Soviet Union’s superiority of invention in long-range ballistic missiles forced the United States to reevaluate its air-defense system. This nuclear race was a major facet of the cold war between the United States and the Soviet Union. The cold war was still fully active when president Ronald Reagan proposed the building of National Missile Defense System. Originally, this plan called for development of a space based weapons system that could detect and destroy ballistic missiles of any kind, launched against the United States from any distance, without causing harm to the people or the environment of the
United States. (Rip 3)
Currently, chances of the United States being attacked by ballistic missiles of long range are very low, or do not exist at all (Ellis 1). Even though the United States government suspects that countries like North
Korea and Iran or for that matter any Islamic state, may launch such an attack, these countries are not in possession of weapons of mass destruction with capabilities of harming the United States. In the book by
Anthony Cordesman called Strategic Threats and National Missile Defenses:
Defending the U.S. Homeland he states “No proliferant state currently has the ability to strike the United States with ballistic missiles. If threats do emerge, US conventional superiority or, if necessary, offensive nuclear forces will deter attacks on the United States” (Cordesman 87).
Up to this day Iraq was on the top list of ‘potential nuclear threat’ to the United States. The Bush administration publicly announced that they had evidence of Iraq’s possession of weapons of mass destruction. With that promise many soldiers were herded down there only to find these nuclear weapons and free the people of Iraq and secure the United States. As it turned out, this was not the case. In fact weapons of destruction of any kind, were not present in the territory of Iraq. But as the search for
“imagined” nukes went on, so did the death toll kept going up. This of course brings out an excellent question. Maybe, just maybe sources other than the Central Intelligence Agency are correct in saying that “currently there no country is capable of striking the US with ballistic missiles.”
The author of The Missile Defense Controversies, Earnest Yanarealla puts it best the US’s role as ultimate judge, as the following:
The United States sees itself as a redemptive force with a God-given responsibility to root out evil and spread goodness throughout the world either by shining moral example or, when necessary, by the swift and sure military sword of justice”(Yanarealla). Of course these assumptions do leave one to question the necessity of such extreme measures.
Although the US government is insisting on building this missile defense system, the Pentagon hasn’t thoroughly tested the system. Seven tests of hitting an airborne target were conducted. The Pentagon states that all seven were successful, and that the US government is ready to start this project. But a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of
Technology, Theodore A. Postol, in his article “Why Missile Defense Won’t
Work” explains how the tests were conducted, and how they were in fact unsuccessful. In his detailed article, he clearly explains that in the first two tests, the system failed to distinguish between the target warhead and a set of decoys that were shaped like warheads. Modern nuclear missiles all launch multiple decoys along with one or more warheads. After this failure in the first two tests, the multiple realistically-shaped decoys were replaced by a single large balloon-shaped decoy in all of the later tests. In order to make the tests appear successful, the unidentifiable decoys were removed from the test field. Dr. Postol states: