Strategic Missle Defense Program Essay

2995 words - 12 pages

An Ambiguous Plan To Protect The U.S.Since the creation of the catapult in the medieval times, the proposal of long range attacks have been very popular amongst military leaders. From the creation of cannons, to missiles, to the now feared nuclear warhead, the strategy has always been to cause massive destruction. Many countries throughout the world have access to nuclear warheads, which puts a lot of pressure on smaller enemy countries. Any country that can put an immensely destructive missile in the air at the touch of a button poses a threat to the rest of the world. Due to this, during the arms race in the seventies, a theory referred to as MAD was developed. MAD stood for mutual assured destruction, meaning that if one country ever fired missiles at a second country there would be retaliations one after another until both countries were destroyed. As soon as MAD became fully understood, the public and government felt it was time to take the next step. That step being an older theory that stated the best offense is a good defense. The idea of a strategic missile defense program was brought up amongst the American government and given serious consideration. Again the strong, libertarian personality of the United States of America stood tall and clear, taking it's problem head on for, "All the right reasons (LaFeber 529)." When in hindsight the defense plans should have been replaced with more peace talks and more efforts to reach military agreements. When creating a missile defense program, one is saying they can't be touched, which is just as much threatening as one having the most powerful weapons in the world. The concept of a strategic missile defense plan may be decades old, but the actual implementation of the plan is drawing near, which will only bring on negative repercussions.A look back to the originators of the missile defense theories could help lead to answers about current questions of who, where, why and when the concern of long-range missiles began. The discussion concerning the capability and prevention of aerial missile attacks began in the Roosevelt era, with the appearance of the first operational ballistic missile, the German V-2, late in World War II (Kaplan). When Germany first created their type of ballistic missile, it was very basic and often times inaccurate. Although the V-2 missile could not be heavily counted on, it presented the world with an entirely new approach to warfare. In hand to hand combat, the grenade provided the ability for the attacker to stay hidden and still be able to surprise, confuse and cause destruction to the enemy, while having the safety of not being directly involved. Having the technology to put a ballistic missile in one's arsenal gave them the same abilities as a hand grenade, just on a much larger scale. Within a year of the World War II's end, the Pentagon launched two programs to explore ways to counter the threat of ballistic missiles, but the programs were eventually dropped in...

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