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Missile Defense

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by

Todd Robinson UIUC

on 10 April 2014

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Transcript of Missile Defense

Missile Defense
What is Missile Defense & Why Should We Care?
Missile defense is both a strategy and a capability, is a way to escape the danger of MAD
Remains a point of contention between the world's powers
Does not just guard against nuclear missiles
Missile proliferation is a real concern, and the threat is increasing
The ABM Treaty
Missile defense did not start with a system, it actually started with a treaty
The ABM Treaty (signed in 1972); was to remain in force for 30 years
Restricted the use of strategic interceptors
Allowed the use of one missile defense platform per party, located at a missile facility
US signed because they feared both an ICBM arms race and a MD race, which would add to the hostility of the situation
US unilaterally withdrew in 2002
The History of Missile Defense
Research into MD began in the early 1950s
Focused on battlefield applications
First small-scale interceptors fielded in the 1960s
Research halted by the negotiation and entry into force of the US-Soviet Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty
Missile Defense Post-Star Wars
Under Clinton, Missile Defense moved from a focus on strategic weapons to Theatre-based systems
Focus on Western Europe, the Middle East, and Asia
This changed with the passing of the National Missile Defense Act of 1999, called for the institution of an "effective" defense against the treat of ballistic missiles
Led to the creation of the Missile Defense Agency (MDA)
Similar programs undertaken by Israel, Japan, and NATO
The Strategic Defense Initiative
Announced by President Reagan in 1983, called for a JFK type approach to the fielding of a comprehensive Ballistic Missile Defense capability
Controversial pronouncement, the majority of the scientific community thought that the technology did not exist and wouldn't for at least 10 years
Small faction within DOD pushed for it, made its way all the way to the President; led to pronouncement
Raised serious concerns about the weaponization of space
Some have even argued that SDI didn't need to be effective, led to the end of the Cold War

Is the Threat of Missile Attack Real?
Maybe, because missile proliferation is real.
Full transcript