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Obama's chance to end the Star Wars fantasy

15.2.2009 - Johann Hari, The Independent

The programme was dubbed "Star Wars" – which was fitting, since it was science fiction. As the years passed, the US strategic planners developed ever-more-fevered fantasies of how the shield would allow them to strike anywhere without any risk of retaliation.

By the time Reagan left office, there was a vast industry dedicated to chasing this will-o'-the-wisp. Huge defence contractors – including Boeing and Lockheed Martin – were making billions from it, and giving fat donations to politicians in both parties. In the decades since, the US has spent more and more, and asked the "shield" to do less and less.

Now they want it to just take out a single nuke – and it still doesn't work. The tests only succeed when the interceptors know where the missile is being fired from, where it is heading to, and the warhead continually broadcasts its location to the interceptor. (...)

But while the system's positive effects have failed to materialise, its negative consequences are real. America's strategic opponents (...) are preparing bigger and more nukes, to preserve their ability to punch through the shield. They are re-targeting their missiles at Poland, Britain and the Czech Republic, the countries hosting the dud-interceptors. If they believe they are being attacked, they will destroy us first, in order to destroy the "shield" and have the ability to strike back.


There is now a possibility this will end at last. After speaking to Obama on Tuesday, the Polish President Lech Kaczynski said the project was seriously in doubt.


Source (British): Hari, Johann. Obama's chance to end the fantasy that is Star Wars. The Independent, 13.11.2008
The whole article in The Independent »

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