Missile Defense Essay, Research Paper
“Star Wars” was an idea for the future. It was an idea that was set into motion by Ronald Regan and at the time seemed almost like an impossibility. That future is now. Now what seemed impossible is possible with today’s technology and the technology to come in the upcoming years. George W. Bush is quickly picking up with where Ronald Regan left off. There is a plan in affect for a Missile Defense System. This system will be capable of shooting down ballistic missiles, that have been launched by another state or actor, that are directed at the United States or its allies. However, with this plan for Missile Defense that George W. Bush is pushing for comes great international hostility. Many of the other states are asking the US to stop this project. However though this opposition the President is pushing on, not allowing other counties to compel him to change his mind. The Missile Defense project however controversial it may be on the national and international scale must go on for the sake of the security of our nation.
Ever since 1950’s the United States has been trying to pursue a ballistic missile system. In that time with the limited technology that was possessed it was not possible to produce an effective defense missile system. However now technology is available to gives to several different options to a missile defense. To understand with these options are we must first understand what missile defense is. Right now the United States is currently developing several components for a missile defense system. The idea this system is to take out in coming ballistic missiles. This system is used to protect the United States and its allies from ballistic missiles launched by other states or terrorist groups. There are three types missile defense that United States is currently working on to defend America and its allies. The first of these is a ground-based system. This system is called the ground-based interceptor. Plans are already in action have them built in the North Dakota in Alaska. The National Missile Defense is heading this system up. The Ground-Based Interceptors’, or GBI mission is to intercept incoming ballistic missiles outside the Earth’s atmosphere and destroy them solely by the impact of the missile. The GBI will carry no explosives on it of any kind. It will take out the ballistic missile solely by its speed. Ground infrared lasers and space satellites will direct it. The next idea that has been proposed is a laser system. For this system the government has contracted a private company called TRW Inc. the goal of this company is to produce a tactical high-energy laser, or THEL. The reason many people think that this will be more effective in protecting America and its allies is due to its effectiveness against short-range weapons. Theater threats-short range cruise missiles that do not leave the earth’s atmosphere cannot be shot down by a GBI. However, the THEL can shoot down short-range weapons as well as medium -range. This was scene in 1996 when a THEL prototype shot down a short-range rocket in flight on its first try. As well as working on THEL, TRW Inc. is working with the U.S. Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center in order to create a satellite laser system. This system will be capable of taking out intercontinental ballistic missiles. . The third option and perhaps the most viable one is one of a mobile missile defense system. This system will be attached to either submarines or battleships. The system will be similar to the GBI, however it will be able to shoot missiles down over international waters before they even approach American soil. One of the questions on many people’s minds now is in light of the events of September 11th what good it is a missile defense system. Many people longer see the need for any of these three types of missile defenses. Since the collapse of the Soviet Union and the end of the Cold War there seems to be no threat of a massive new nuclear attack against United States or its allies. So the real question is now why build this defense system. Who are we defending against?
The threat against the United States is no longer a threat from any superpower or any of the first world nations. The threat of ballistic missiles is now thought to be from the Third World nations, or “Rouge States.” in a statement given by the Deputy Secretary of Defense, Paul D. Wolffowitz, to the Senate of the Armed Service Committee, he said “Imagine, if you will, the following scenario: A rogue state with a vastly inferior military, but armed with ballistic missiles and weapons of mass destruction, commits an act of aggression against a neighboring country. As President Bush sends U.S. forces into theater to respond, the country`s genocidal dictator threatens our allies and deployed forces with ballistic missile attack. Suddenly, almost without warning, missiles rain down on our troops, and pound into the densely populated residential neighborhoods of allied capitals. Panic breaks out. Sirens wail, as rescue crews in protective gear race to search the rubble for bodies and rush the injured to hospitals. Reporters, mumbling through their gas masks, attempt to describe the destruction, as pictures of the carnage are instantaneously broadcast across the world. Mr. Chairman, the scene I have described is not science fiction. It is not a future conflict scenario dreamed up by creative Pentagon planners. It is a description of events that took place ten years ago – during the Persian Gulf War. ” As mentioned earlier are a threat is no longer against a superpower or a single Nation it is again, it is against rouge states or fundamentalist groups. In a speech given by President Bush to this to the students and faculty at the National Defense University, he stated, ” Unlike the Cold War, today’s most urgent threat stems not from thousands of ballistic missiles in the Soviet hands, but from a small number of missiles in the hands of these states, states for whom terror and blackmail are a way of life. They seek weapons of mass destruction to intimidate their neighbors, and to keep the United States and other responsible nations from helping allies and friends in strategic parts of the world. Just because on September 11th the terrorist did not use ballistic missiles does not mean that they will not in the future. By implementing the defense missile system this is an act of deterrence. The defense missile system is not meant to be hostile at all. It is meant to the security and defense of our nation and our allies. It is meant as a defense against fundamentalist groups or rouge states. It is also it defense against other nations such as China. China may have already 300 + nuclear weapons deployed on intercontinental ballistic missiles. On September 2, 1999 contest fired an ICBM that consisted of a 5,000 mi. range. It is also working on an ICBM that would be capable of firing 7,500 mi, and being able to be deployed on a submarine. China has used these ICBM is as leverage in dealing with Taiwan. China is a friend of United States, but also it is seen as a potential threat. Another friend but potential threat United States is Russia. It is the fact that Russia has over 6000 nuclear warheads attached to intercontinental ballistic missiles, as of July 1999. This is a real threat the United States does not want to overlook. The fact that there are these weapons in Russia and that Russia is still unstable America…
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