The Phantom Defense: America's Pursuit of the Star Wars Illusion

Couverture

In the past four decades, the United States has spent $85 billion pursuing the fantasy of an effective missile defense system to shield our nation against the threat of a nuclear attack. Recent public tests, while less exotic than some of the original Star Wars proposals, were spectacular failures and call into question the whole program's rationale. Neither the land-based system proposed by the Clinton administration, nor the alternatives proposed by earlier administrations, would ever work--regardless of how much R&D money is channeled into the project. Rather than enhancing national security, these doomed efforts would provoke a new arms race and alienate key allies. The authors apply their extensive insiders' expertise to argue that thoughtful diplomacy is the only real answer to meet America's national security goals.

Like President Reagan with his Star Wars program, President Bush has again made national missile defense (NMD) a national priority at a cost which may exceed $150 billion in the next ten years. Defense experts Eisendrath, Goodman, and Marsh contend that recent tests give little confidence that any of the systems under consideration--land-based, boost-phase, or laser-driven--have any chance of effective deployment within decades. The interests of the military-industrial complex and the unilateralist views of the Bush administration are driving NMD, not a desire to promote national security.

Rather than increase U.S. security, the plans of the current administration, if implemented, will erode it. NMD will heighten the threat from China and Russia, alienate key allies, and provoke a new arms race and the proliferation of nuclear weapons, all in response to a greatly exaggerated threat from so-called rogue states, such as North Korea and Iran. Thoughtful diplomacy, not a misguided foreign policy based on a hopeless dream of a Fortress America, is the real answer to meeting Americas security goals. Designed to stimulate interest and debate among the public and policy-makers, The Phantom Defense provides solid facts and combines scientific, geopolitical, historical, and strategic analysis to critique the delusion of national missile defense, while suggesting a more effective alternative.

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Pages sélectionnées

Table des matières

Deja Vu All Over Again A Short History of Star Wars
3
AntiMissile Defense and the Political Maze
29
Two Views of the World
43
The Exaggerated Threat of Ballistic Missiles
65
Why National Missile Defense Wont Work
81
Other Proposed National Missile Defense Systems
103
Geopolitical Implications of National Missile Defense
121
Arms Control and Policy Alternatives
141
Countermeasures
159
Waste Fraud and Abuse
165
The Center for International Policy
183
Index
185
Droits d'auteur

Expressions et termes fréquents

Fréquemment cités

Page 13 - What if free people could live secure in the knowledge that their security did not rest upon the threat of instant US retaliation to deter a Soviet attack, that we could intercept and destroy strategic ballistic missiles before they reached our own soil or that of our allies?
Page 43 - England: for wee must Consider that wee shall be as a Citty upon a Hill, the eies of all people are uppon us...
Page 55 - I call upon the scientific community in our country, those who gave us nuclear weapons, to turn their great talents now to the cause of mankind and world peace, to give us the means of rendering these nuclear weapons impotent and obsolete.
Page 45 - I dread our own power and our own ambition; I dread our being too much dreaded.
Page 7 - Each Party undertakes not to develop, test, or deploy ABM systems or components which are sea-based, air-based, space-based, or mobile landbased.
Page 81 - He thought he saw an Argument That proved he was the Pope : He looked again, and found it was A Bar of Mottled Soap.
Page 53 - Organization of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, constitute the immediate military staff of the Secretary of Defense. The Joint Chiefs of Staff are the principal military advisers to the President, the National Security Council, and the Secretary of Defense.
Page 67 - We project that during the next 15 years the United States most likely will face ICBM threats from Russia, China, and North Korea, probably from Iran, and possibly from Iraq.
Page 67 - SLV could deliver a light payload to the United States. In these cases, about two-thirds of the payload mass would be required for the reentry vehicle structure. The remaining mass is probably too light for an early generation nuclear weapon but could deliver biological or chemical (BW/CW) warfare agent. • Most analysts believe that North Korea probably will test a Taepo Dong-2 this year, unless delayed for political reasons.
Page 13 - I am directing a comprehensive and intensive effort to define a long-term research and development program to begin to achieve our ultimate goal of eliminating the threat posed by strategic nuclear missiles.

À propos de l'auteur (2001)

CRAIG EISENDRATH is Senior Fellow with the Center for International Policy, a foreign policy institute in Washington, D.C., and a former U.S. Foreign Service Officer with expertise in nuclear and outer space issues. His articles and commentary on foreign affairs have appeared recently in the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, The Philadelphia Inquirer, The Baltimore Sun and other publications. He is the editor of National Insecurity: U.S. Intelligence After the Cold War (2000).

MELVIN A. GOODMAN is Professor of National Security at the National War College and Senior Fellow at the Center for International Policy. He is also an adjunct professor at American University and Johns Hopkins University. He was a senior Soviet analyst at the Central Intelligence Agency and the State Department from 1966 to 1986. He has authored three books on Russian foreign policy and is editor of Lessons Learned: The Cold War (2001).

GERALD E. MARSH, a physicist at Argonne National Laboratory, was a consultant to the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations on strategic nuclear policy and technology for many years. He also served with the U.S. START delegation in Geneva and is on the editorial board of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists. He is a Fellow of the American Physical Society and has published widely in the areas of weapons technology and foreign policy.

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