Star Wars And National Missile Defense: Essay, Research PaperStar Wars and National Missile Defense:Unnecessary Yesterday, Unnecessary TodayEver since atomic arms of mass devastation have existed, people have been trying to make ways to forestall a war that would convey about a world-wide Arma-geddon. Many of today? s top armed forces and authorities functionaries have been analyzing ways in which the United States can protect itself from a atomic missile onslaught. What they have come up with is the National Missile Defense plan, or NMD. The NMD would dwell of a web of orbiters, early-warning devices, and missiles pro-grammed to descry an incoming atomic missile. When a atomic missile is detected, the NMD would automatically establish the computer-guided interceptor missiles to seek out and destruct the incoming atomic missile. This plan, nevertheless, should non be im-plemented or researched any farther. There are a few factors to back up this claim.
First, the NMD plan is really dearly-won. Harmonizing to the web site of the Federation of American Scientists, the jutting sum costs by the twelvemonth 2005 will be near to $ 14 bil-lion dollars, evidently a big sum of money that could be good spent elsewhere. Second, the NMD plan is uneffective. There are many ways for a rouge province or a terrorist group with atomic capablenesss to acquire around the NMD. Third, an American development of a NMD plan would be a misdemeanor one of the most of import inter-national atomic arms understandings of the atomic age: the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty ( ABM ) .
During the tallness of the cold war, the menace of a atomic onslaught was existent. Many citizens were afraid that an enemy province, most likely the Soviet Union, would establish atomic missiles at the US. This fright was about realized during the Cuban Missile cri-sis in 1962. Fortunately, that crisis passed without any atomic missiles launched.
The fright of an onslaught, nevertheless, stayed with many people. It became the end of the United States to carry arms, to utilize in the event of a atomic onslaught from the Soviet Un-ion or other atomic super-power. A few old ages subsequently, during the Nixon Presidency in 1968, the United States, USSR, and a figure of other provinces signed the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty. The NPT was designed to forestall the spread of atomic arms and engineering from the super-power provinces to the still-developing provinces. ( Winkler 1999, 182 )In 1972, four old ages after NPT was signed and ten old ages after the Cuban missile crisis, the United States, in concurrence with the USSR, signed the ABM Treaty. The ABM pact was designed to modulate the figure of anti-ballistic missile systems, or defence shields, of both the United States and the Soviet Union to two, and subsequently agree-ments brought that figure down to one. ( Winkler 1999, 187 ) It did nil, nevertheless, to modulate the figure of missiles a province could possess.During all this clip, nevertheless, US-Soviet dealingss remained tense.
The Ameri-can authorities taught the American people to populate in fright of a possible preemptive atomic work stoppage by the Soviets. Harmonizing to writer Allan Winkler, this is when then-President Ronald Reagan began to plan his Strategic Defense Initiative ( SDI ) pro-gram, or Star Wars, as many people referred to it as. ( 204 ) There were a figure of early proposals for how the Star Wars plan would work. A few of them include:1. Using chemical optical masers that would breathe? infrared radiation that could so be amplified and aimed at enemy targets. ? ( Winkler 1999, 205 )2. The physicist Edward Teller, one of the Godheads of the H bomb, proposed a plan titled? Excalibur, ? which would be an X-ray optical maser powered by a atomic bomb.
( Winkler 1999, 204, 205 )3. Particle beams dwelling of? watercourses of atomic or subatomic atoms, ? which would be used to? strike hard out incoming targets. ? ( Winkler 1999, 205 )4. Scientist Gerald Yonas? proposed plan entitled? Jedi Concept, ? which would dwell of? plasma ball, made up of energized karyon and electrons. ? These would be fired into infinite at the velocity of light towards enemy missiles. ( Winkler 1999, 205 )While all of these plans sound hi-tech and interesting, this is precisely the job that was faced.
The engineering to make such plans had non been perfected or in some instances, such as Yonas? and Teller? s proposals, had non even been developed. The chief job with all of these plans, nevertheless, is that non a individual 1 would be 100 percent successful. Supporters argued that this was better than nil, but many, in-cluding world-renowned scientist Carl Sagan, was bitterly opposed to this. He likened the SDI plan to that of a human prophylactic device. He wrote:? A prophylactic shield that deters 90 per centum of 200million sperm cells is by and large considered worthless?20 million sperm cells perforating the shield are morethan plenty.
Such a shield is non better than nil ; itis worse than nil, because it might good breeda false sense of security, conveying on the really event itwas designed to forestall. The same is true for the leakyshield of Star Wars. ? ( Winkler 1999, 205-206 )Even the scientist Edward Teller makes a similar statement in his book, ? Better a Shield than a Sword: Positions on Defense and Technology. ? He states:? Any individual with a humane point of position should beopposed to aggression, but why be opposed to defence?The most popular statement is that defence againstatomic missiles is useless unless it is 100 per centumeffectual? the harm would be tremendous if merely a fewof the projectiles penetrated the defence. The statementsis right, but it is an statement against defence, nonagainst war. ? ( Teller 1987, 8 )Acerate leaf to state, President Reagan? s program ne’er rather got the support it needed to acquire past the research and development stages.
There were far more critics and oppo-nents of his program than there were protagonists. Some of the largest oppositions of this pro-gram were, evidently, the Soviets. Harmonizing to Teller, Soviet General Secretary An-dropov? criticized the Strategic Defense Initiative as an attempt to? militarise space. ? ? ( Teller 1987, 7 ) By the terminal of Reagan? s presidential term, support and enthusiasm for SDI had about wholly faded off, and Americans were? ambivalent about Reagan? s vision, and political support began to decline.
? ( Winker 1999, 207 ) It was besides much subsequently discovered that Edward Teller had misled President Reagan and the remainder of the state into believing his thought, that an X-ray optical maser could be an anti-missile arm, was even possible. ( Winkler 1999, 207 ) When President George H. W. Bush took office in 1989, SDI was all but merely a memory. The Americans and the Soviets were close to striking a trade on atomic missile decrease, and President Bush began scaling down funding for SDI research. Additionally, the Cold War was coming to an terminal, and Americans and Soviets no longer felt as threatened by each other? s military capablenesss as they had before.However, support for a new type of defence plan returned with the Clinton disposal.
There was a new fright of possible atomic onslaughts from rouge provinces or terrorist groups. In 1999, Congress and the President passed and signed the National Missile Defense Act of 1999. Unlike Reagan? s futuristic program to hold optical masers or X ray? s stoping incoming arms, Clinton? s National Missile Defense plan ( NMD ) would dwell of a figure of orbiters, hi-tech computing machine systems, and a complex se-ries of missile establishing sites in Hawai? I, Alaska, and North Dakota. ( Hitchens and Samuels, 2000 ) When George W.
Bush took office after President Clinton completed his 2nd term, he decided to force frontward with the NMD plan. This has many NATO and other European provinces worried. This is because both Bush appointees De-fense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and Secretary of State Colin Powell? have suggested that the 1972 ABM pact, which governs defences against assailing missiles, be scrapped. ? ( Knickerbocker 2001 ) Harmonizing to Knockerbocker, in Rumsfeld? s Senate verification hearings, the Secretary referred to the ABM Treaty as? antediluvian history. ? So why is this a job for other NATO members? Harmonizing to Knockerbocker:? European states in the 19-member NATO concernthat this could arouse another weaponries race in a post-cold-war epoch that has become more complex.
There? sbesides concern that a one-sided move by the US toconcept a national missile defence could? uncouple?the US from its European Alliess, weakening a organic structurethat has helped protect much of the universe for half acentury. ? ( Knickerbocker 2001 )The European NATO members fear that a US backdown from the ABM Treaty could do another arms build-up race between the United States and another nuclear-capable province such as Russia, Iran, or North Korea. Why would a development of a Na-tional Missile Defense system do a 2nd major weaponries race? It is because? defence becomes offense when your antagonist can? t be certain of his ability to revenge against a atomic first work stoppage.
Stability depends on both sides being vulnerable? ? ( Schorr 2001 )There are a figure of grounds why the National Missile Defense plan should be abandoned. First, the plan is much excessively dearly-won. Since 1962, as of 1999, the United States has spent over $ 99 billion dollars on ballistic missile defence systems. ( Cirincione and Von Hippel 1999, 2 ) After subscribing the NMD act of 1999, President Clinton ordered another $ 6.6 billion dollars to be set aside for NMD plan research. Harmonizing to Jack Mendelsohn, another $ 28 billion of the taxpayers? money will necessitate to be spent by the twelvemonth 2006 to hold one NMD site set up and operational.
( Mendel-sohn 1999 ) This totals about $ 134 billion dollars in missile defence entirely.The 2nd mistake of the NMD system is its ineffectualness. Advocates of an NMD system argue that a shield is necessary to protect the United States from possible missile onslaughts from rouge provinces or terrorist groups. The job with this theory is that its is rather expensive to get, keep, and fire Inter-continental Ballistic Mis-siles, or ICBMs, which are necessary to present the atomic payloads to their marks.
Additionally, if a terrorist group was inexorable about doing devastation in the United States, it could easy explode a atomic payload from a stationary point in a crowded country, similar to the bombardment onslaughts on the World Trade Center in New York City and the Federal Building in Oklahoma City. As Congressman Chat Edwards stated, ? build-ing an NMD is like seting a $ 5000 burglar dismay on the front door of your house, while go forthing the back door unlocked. ? ( Mendelsohn 1999, 30 ) The United States has three times tested their Missile Defense system, and twice out of those three times, the mis-siles launched have failed to hit their targeted entrance missiles. With merely a 33 per-cent success rate, it is obvious that the US is nowhere nigh ready to implement a NMD plan on any large-scale.The 3rd mistake of the NMD plan is that it is in misdemeanor the ABM pact. First, one must look at the Anti Ballistic Missile Treaty, or ABM pact and see merely what precisely it protects, or prevents. As was stated earlier, the ABM pact was de-signed to restrict the figure of missile-defense systems that the United States and the USSR could develop to one. The NMD plan, nevertheless, consists of building a figure of establishing sites for these anti-missile missiles.
Having more than one site would evidently be in misdemeanor of ABM. Curiously plenty, when the ABM pact was ne-gotiated, the Soviets decided to put their anti-missile defence system outside of Mos-cow, protecting the people populating at that place and the place of the Soviet authorities. The US, on the other manus, decided to put their defence missiles in North Dakota Why in North Dakota, one may inquire? The missiles there are protecting the remainder of their atomic armory. ( Teller 1987, 20 ) Why does the USA non merely fade out or draw out of its association with the ABM pact? This is because the ABM is an of import colony, a? basis of strategic stableness, ? as South Korean President Kim Dae Jung described it. ( Knicker-bocker 2001 ) ABM kept both the United States and the Soviets from firing on each Other, because of the cognition that this would convey on what Robert McNamara coined? reciprocally assured devastation, ? or MAD. ( Teller 1987, 20 ) A major concern that all people should hold if the United States reneges on its pledge to the ABM, is the possible dislocation of all Russo-American atomic policies. Harmonizing to an column by William D.
Hartung in the March 12, 2001 edition of The Nation,? Russian President Vladimir Putin has categorically statedthat a US breakout from the pact would name thefull web of US-Russian weaponries understandings intoquestion. ? ( Vol. 272 No.10, 4 )A concluding ground why NMD should be scrapped is the fact that other provinces may be compelled to carry atomic arms in response to the United States being more imperviable to an enemy onslaught. The equation and logic of this is simple. The more mis-siles it takes to perforate a defence shield, the more the enemy is traveling to fabricate. This would be a hurt to Arms Race Stability, which is? the state of affairs where the armament determinations of one side does non supply inducement for the other side to intensify its weaponries acquisitions.
? ( Hulme 1999 ) As an illustration of this statement, look at Russia. If the United States were to successfully develop a NMD plan, Russia will either hold to construct up its violative atomic missiles even more, or develop a missile shield similar to the NMD. This would be a ceaseless rhythm. As better missiles are built, better shields will be built, doing better missiles to be built, and so on.The truth is that the ABM pact must stay in topographic point.
What so, is the United States to make for its self-defense? Alternatively of working towards a method that uses danger-ous and possible uneffective arms against unsafe, powerful, destructive atomic missiles, both the Russians and the Americans must work towards a different attack to keeping universe peace. The obvious solution to this would be to go on to work towards the Bush and Clinton Administrations? START I, START II, and START III policies. The START pacts, or Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty, is, evidently, an understanding between the Russians and the United States to restrict the figure of violative atomic arms each province could possess. It is a continuance of the SALT, or Strategic Arms Limitation Talks, that were negotiated during the Nixon and Ford Presidencies.State Before START START I( 7/31/1991 ) START IIa( 1/03/1993 ) START IIb( 2003 ) START IIIRussia 10,780 10,682 3,800-4,250 3,100 2,000-2,500U.S.
A. 12,720 11,080 3,800-4,250 3,500 2,000-2,500Sums: 23,500 21,762 7,600-8,500 6,600 4,000-5,000Alternatively of merely restricting the figure of atomic arms that each province would be allowed to possess, START really worked towards cut downing the figure of missiles. That is, each province would get down a procedure of disassembling and acquiring rid of their current stock-pile of atomic arms ( see table 1 ) . ( Winkler 1999, 185 )Table 1Beginning: Nolan 1999, 33The United States and the Russians both, nevertheless, must be certain that in no point dur-ing the dismantlement of their arms that they violate the NPT, Nuclear Nonprolifera-tion Treaty.
This could happen if one of the non-nuclear provinces, forbidden by NPT from geting atomic capablenesss, someway got clasp of the demolished pieces of the US or Russian missiles. Misdemeanors of this pact, nevertheless, are non uncommon, and sometimes travel unpunished. This is because, harmonizing to Glenn Chafetz, the provinces of the atomic non-proliferation government tend to disregard misdemeanors committed by? broad democratic provinces, ? who together make up the? broad security community, ? or LSC, and punish those who are non associated with the LSC. ( Chafetz 1995, 745 ) For illustration, harmonizing to Chafetz:? ? The LSC has systematically ignored grounds ofIsraeli misdemeanors while it imposes an economicboycott, threatened and used military force, and beganthe most noticeable arms reviews in history inresponse to Iraq? s breach of non-proliferation obligations.
? ( Chafetz 1999, 745 )This does non discredit the NPT, it merely shows that better control and leading should take control over those who govern its authorization.A 2nd option for an alternate method of self-defence is to go on its at-tempt to enfold the universe within the US domain of influence. As President Clinton stated in 1993:? In a new epoch of hazard and chance, our overrulingintent must be to spread out and beef up the universe? scommunity of market-based democracies. During theCold War, we sought to incorporate a menace to endurance offree establishments.
Now we seek to enlarge the circle ofstates that live under those free establishments, for ourdream is of a twenty-four hours when the sentiments and energies ofevery individual in the universe will be given fulllook in a universe of booming democracies thatcooperate within each other and unrecorded in peace. ?( Kissinger 1994, 805 )It is true that this is rather an idealistic manner of thought. However, it is besides really true.
If a bulk of the universe were to be allied with each other, so no non-aligned province would make bold to assail one of these democracies. This theory does, nevertheless, have its false beliefs, harmonizing to Henry Kissinger. If there is? an absence of both an paramount ideological or strategic menace, ? so single provinces are allowed to prosecute foreign policy? based progressively on their ain immediate national interest. ? ( Kissinger 1994, 805 ) If all of these democratic provinces work towards foreign policy that is merely in their ain opportunism, so one time once more the universe could make a type of base off similar to that of the Cold War. While it might non needfully be a atomic draw, or even military related, it could do tensenesss to indurate one time once more. However, every bit long as every one of these democracies, who are merely working in for their ain national involvement, recognize that build-ing a atomic arm is non in anybody? s involvement, the universe can take a breath easy because cipher will desire to get atomic arms. Why is it non in a province? s ego involvement to construct a atomic device? Won? T that give it power over others? The truth is, as we have already seen, if one province has atomic capablenesss, so all the other provinces will work to-wards this every bit good, one time once more go forthing the fright of Mutually Assured Destruction as the footing of experiencing safe. If cipher has atomic capablenesss, nevertheless, so each province has perfectly nil to worry approximately.
One free democratic province would non make bold to occupy another. Not merely is this morally wrong, but it besides is a misdemeanor of the United Na-tions Charter. Article 2, paragraph 3 of the charter provinces:? All members shall settle their international differencesby peaceable agencies in such a mode that internationalpeace and security, and justness, are non violated. ?( UN Charter, Article 2.3 )And paragraph 4 provinces:? All members shall forbear in their internationaldealingss from the menace or usage of force against theterritorial unity or political independency of anyprovince, or in any mode inconsistent with thePurposes of the United Nations.
? ( UN Charter, Article 2.4 )Although democratising the full Earth may be a long manner off, it is most surely an effectual manner of keeping universe peace and security.Supporters of a National Missile Defense system have a few statements that they use to endorse the constitution of the NMD plan. First, they argue, we need the NMD plan non to protect ourselves from the atomic armory of Russia or China, but instead from one of the smaller possible nuclear-capable paint provinces and from terrorist groups. They argue that paint provinces that get ICBMs and atomic payloads could utilize their engineering for? coercive intents? against the United States. ( Krepon 1999, 31 ) Realis-tically, could these coercion techniques truly be effectual against the US? Not probably, because a paint province, even a larger one such as Iraq or Iran, could non of all time conceivably have adequate fire-power to fit that of the US, Great Britain, Russia, or other atomic world power. It is imaginable, nevertheless, for a terrorist group to obtain the tools neces-sary to construct and fire a atomic missile.
Harmonizing to writer Cindy Combs:? The engineering and the stuffs are available toterrorists today. While the devices may be hardto industry, it is non impossible to make so, andthey could be stolen, purchased, or supplied by aback uping state. ? ( Combs 2000, 124 )However, the likeliness of this occurring is doubtless little. As was stated before, it would be much easier for a terrorist group to present a atomic payload via a vehicle such as a auto, truck, or new wave, or conceal it on an aeroplane, train, or coach.If the US does non necessitate this complex NMD plan, so are at that place any alterna-tives to guaranting our national security? Most decidedly, there are. For case the US can go on to try a duologue with those provinces that are considered to be? dangers? to national security. The US could besides work to keep it? s current defence shield.
Or, we could make nil at all. However, this is likely non the best option for keeping universe peace and security.In decision, it is apparent that the United States has no usage for a National Mis-sile Defense system. As survey has shown, it will profit cipher to develop and construct one, and it will merely impede universe peace and stableness in the long tally. Jacques Chirac stated in 1999:& # 8220 ; If you look at universe history, of all time since work forces beganengaging war, you will see that there & # 8217 ; s a lastingrace between blade and shield. The blade everwins.
The more betterments that are made to theshield, the more betterments are made to the blade.We think that with these [ anti-missile ] systems, weare merely traveling to spur swordmakers to escalate theirefforts. & # 8221 ; ( Council for A Livable World, web site )If even powerful world-leaders fear that the constitution of NMD would merely increase the power of onslaught arms, Then there must be some cogency to the thought. To guarantee universe peace and stableness, NMD plan must therefore cease.BibliographyChafetz, Glenn.
1995. ? The Political Psychology of the Nuclear NonproliferationRegime. ? The Journal of Politics 57:743-75.Cirincoine, Joseph, and Frank Von Hippel. 1999. The Last 15 Minutes: Ballistic Missile Defense in Perspective. Washington, DC: Alliance to Reduce Nuclear Dangers.Combs, Cindy C.
1999. Terrorism in the Twenty-first Century. 2nd erectile dysfunction. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.Hartung, William D.
2001? Bush? s Nuclear Revival. ? The State, March 12.Hulme, Derick. ? Weaponries Control. ? World Problems and Conflict ( category notes, via Brian Somers ) Alma College, Alma, MI. 17 November.Kissinger, Henry. 1994.
Diplomacy. New York: Simon and Schuster.Knickerbocker, Brad. ? Allies Keep Balking at Missile Defense.
? Christian Science Monitor, 9 March 2001.Krepon, Michael. 1999. ? Missile Defense: Not Such A Bad Idea. ? Bulletin of Atomin Scientists. May/June 31-33.
Mendelsohn, Jack. 1999. ? Missile Defense: and it Still Won? T Work. ? Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists. May/June 29-31.Nolan, Janne E.
1999. An Elusive Consensus: Nuclear Weapons and American Security After the Cold War. Washington, DC: Brookings Institute Press.Schorr, Daniel. ? Decoding Defense Speak.
? Christian Science Monitor, 16 February 2001.Teller, Edward. 1987. Better a Shield than a Sword: Positions on Defense and Technology.
New York: The Free Press.United Nations. 1945. ? Charter of the United Nations? 3 Bevans 1153 26 June.
Winkler, Allan M. 1999. Life Under a Cloud: American Anxiety About the Atom. Urbana, IL: University of Illinois Press.Mendelsohn, Jack. 1999. ? Missile Defense: and it Still Won? T Work.
? Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists. May/June 29-31.