Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Missile Defense Test Canceled Due to Clouds

There was a test of a Ground-Based Interceptor, part of the US missile defense system, scheduled for this morning up the road at Vandenberg Air Force Base. Near the end of the four hour launch window, Vandenberg announced that the test would be delayed until tomorrow because of bad weather. The test can't happen because of fog? Memo to "rogue" states: if you want to launch missiles at the US, do it when it's cloudy on the California Coast.

This test, estimated to cost $120 million, is the latest in a long series of failed and questionable tests of the US missile defense system. While many tests have resulted in outright un-spinnable failure, others have seen "success" through rigging the incoming missile with a homing device. Regardless of the result of any individual test, the missile defense program is a failure for the United States and a massive waste of resources.

 Back in 1986, Mikhail Gorbachev and Ronald Regan met in Reykjavik, Iceland and were on the brink of agreeing to abolish all nuclear weapons. The agreement fell apart, however, when President Reagan refused to give up US missile defense plans, which the Soviet Union (and now Russia) viewed as highly provocative.

The situation is much the same today. Russia has threatened a new arms race if we go ahead with provocative missile defense installations in Eastern Europe. We are still spending billions of dollars on missile defense with no indication that it will be operationally effective at any point in the future.

While we're squandering billions of dollars on this program, education and social services face continued cuts. Why are so many politicians dead set on a missile defense program that has proven time and time again to be a failure? Defense contractors around the nation have lined their pockets - and the campaign coffers of many politicians - over decades developing this fantasy defense.

There needs to be a serious re-examination of what is worth paying for in this country. What are the short-, medium- and long-term consequences of cutting education and increasing military spending?

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...