On strategic defense

by Wm. Robert Johnston
31 March 1992

The recent articles "Star Wars Hasn't Stopped a Missile Yet--Or Its Critics" and "The Pentagon Scams the Heavens" are misrepresentations of SDI and contain false statements. Only 15 months after Reagan started SDI in 1983 to develop defenses against nuclear attack, an interceptor destroyed a mock nuclear warhead in flight. Dozens of dramatic technological advances have been made, progressively overcoming obstacles flaunted by SDI's opponents. In January 1991 an ERIS interceptor successfully destroyed a mock nuclear warhead after distinguishing it from two balloon decoys in space.

Since 1983, SDI's planners have envisioned defending us from nuclear attack with missile interceptors in the near future, and early in the next century with beam weapons. The collapse of the Soviet Union has left Soviet strategic missiles in the hands of three fledgling states that can't even control their own militaries, while four terrorist-sponsoring nations in the third world are trying to develop nuclear-armed missiles. Because of this, support from Democrats in Congress has increased 70%; even the leader of Russia has now asked us to deploy SDI.

It is SDI's opponents who keep changing their rhetoric as they are progressively proven wrong. They have had to misrepresent the performance of the Patriot missile in the Gulf War. They argue that since a perfect defense is impossible, the U.S. should be completely undefended from nuclear attack. They want to waste tax money on their projects, but then say that less than half of one percent of the federal budget is too much to prepare defenses against nuclear attack.

© 1992, 2008 by Wm. Robert Johnston.
Last modified 27 January 2008.
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