National Missial Defense

Word Count: 1867 |


In Andrew Jackson?s farewell address to the nation, he stated, ?We shall more certainly preserve peace when it is well understood that we are prepared for war,? (Political Quotations #3719). The United States has always throughout history been a major military power from the use of abnormal tactics during the Revolutionary War (1776) to the use of its technology and advanced weapons in the Persian Gulf War (1991). After World War II and the Cold War Era, the United States has been able to defend its citizens from any form of a military attack from the sea, air, and the ground on the eastern and western seaboards. With the development of the intercontinental ballistic missiles, the United States was now unable to protect the citizens from this new form of military attack a missile with a chemical or nuclear warhead. In 1983, President Ronald Reagan called upon the men and women who developed the new form of the attack, used to force Japan into signing a peace treaty, to develop a strategic defense initiative also known as ?Star Wars,? which proposed to defend the continental United States from a missile attack by intercepting it before reaching its intended target. Today seventeen years after President Ronald Reagan?s speech, the United States is still unable to intercept and destroy any incoming missiles. With the slit and financial problems of the former Soviet Union States the United States now has to worry about the Russian government selling their arsenal of nuclear and chemical weapons to other nations around the world. In order to preserve its national security from ballistic missiles, the United States should proceed with its plans for the National Missile Defense System to protect its citizens from these attacks.

The Concept of a National Missile Defense System began with President Ronald Reagan?s 1983 speech. During his speech, he called for an impenetrable shield that would protect the entire United States from a ballistic missile attack (Kitfield 111-112). Shortly after President Ronald Reagan?s speech the United States and former Soviet Union States signed the Anti Ballistic Missile Treaty, which prohibits any such systems as the National Missile Defense System. Dale Grant of the Toronto Star stated that ?Ronald Reagan sketched out a futuristic concept of a orbital defenses able to attack Inter-Continental Ballistic Missiles (ICBMs) from the moment of launch to just before impact on the target,? (D 1+). Ronald Reagan brought the concept of a national missile defense system but had no way to build it because of the lack of available technology. Then during the Persian Gulf War the Patriot Missile System was used to shoot down Iraq?s SCUD missiles flying towards other nations. (Kitfield 119-121). The system?s history started in 1983 with Ronald Reagan?s speech, but was only used during the 1991 Persian Gulf War in a reduced in the form, of the Patriot Missile system to defend nation of Israel.

The American people feel the system is unnecessary for the protection of the mainland United States. The United States is currently unable of intercepting a ballistic missile warhead once it has been deployed against the United States (Freeman 37+). Along with these threats from the former Soviet Union States the United States now has to worry about such ?Rogue nations? like North Korea, Iran and Iraq. During the 1990?s, some experts believed that it would take such ?rogue nations? at least a decade to develop intercontinental ballistic missiles capable of reaching the continental United States. (Kitfield 111-112). Paul Freeman reported ?Most Americans, however, believe that there is adequate capability of defend their homeland against a ballistic missile attack. (37+). The American people do not believe that these ?rogue nations? have the capability to destroy American cities. The threat is there the question is not there capably but their willingness to use nuclear or chemical weapons against the United States.

Along with the American people, the world?s opinion and Antiballistic Missile Treaty are holding the United States back from the development of the National Missile Defense System The government?s plans to erect a satellite controlled national missile defense system to protect against ?rogue nations? ballistic missiles in fear of inciting a Cold War in Asia. (Martinson 1.2+) Opponents of the system point to the ban of such systems by the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty. (A Correct Call to Delay Missile Defense. A6+). The Antiballistic Missile Treaty was first in a series of reduction agreements between the former Soviet Union and the United States, and also provided the global framework for gradual elimination of weapons of mass destruction. (Grant D1+, ?A Correct Call to Delay Missile Defense A6+). Nevertheless, Jane Perlez of the New York Times reported that ?Some experts argue that the Antiballistic Missile Treaty should be unilaterally scrapped if necessary,? (Perlez A9+). The Antiballistic Missile Treaty was signed during the Cold War has not gone back to the Senate for approval after the fall of the Soviet Union States. With the treaty not approved by the Senate after the fall, the treaty is invalid. With the treaty being invalid would allow the Unites States to proceed with the plans for the National Missile Defense System, and provide protection from a ballistic missile attack.

Along with the Anti Ballistic Missile Treaty, the opposition of Russia and China along with other nations around the world is strongly against the building of the National Missile Defense System. The Chinese government has gone as far to say that they will increase the missiles in their arsenal as to overwhelm the system. Along with Russia has insisted that its reduction of nuclear and chemical weapons would stop if the development goes forward with the National Missile Defense System. (?A Correct Call to Delay Missile Defense?A6).

In January 1992, Boris Yeltsin spoke in front of the United Nations General Assembly that Russia was ?Ready to work out and operate a global system of defense in place of the SDI,? (Grant D1+). Yet, the Russian Government has taken the status of protestation of America building its own National Missile Defense Program. The only way to satisfy the other governments of the world would have to involve the scraping the plans to develop a system to defend it citizens from a missile attack.

The threat of a nuclear, biological or chemical weapon attack has led the Defense Department to test a ?mock? National Missile Defense Program to protect the country from attack from ?Rouge Nations?. Paul Freeman reports that ?Eleven countries have been identified at least tentatively with developing chemical weapons with ballistic missiles, and nearly all of them have admitted to having a defensive research program.? (Freeman 37+). This would provide these nations the capable to launch an missile attack against the continental United States, and protect themselves against retaliation. From the former Soviet Union States, four have started towards research towards ICBMs (Inter Continental Ballistic Missiles) with the capable of reaching the continental United States. (Freeman 37+). During the 1990?s, the Iran and Chinese governments have signed agreements to transfer technologies of missiles plans The Chinese have also signed agreements with Iraq to transfer missile technologies. China has also signed agreements with Syria to support their missile programs. The North Korean government turned to China and Russia for assistance for their missile programs. The National Missile Defense System would provide the continental United States, form rogue nations threat posses the technology to launch an missile attack. With so many nations in agreements of transferring missile technology the need for the National Missile Defense System would benefit the American citizens

With more than eleven countries capable of reaching the continental United States with ballistic, chemical or nuclear missiles, the United States should proceed with its plans for a national missile defense system. The National Missile Defense System all started with President Ronald Reagan?s 1981 speech to defend the United States from a missile attack , be it nuclear or conventional missiles, of the former Soviet Union States origin. Calling upon the men and women who developed the weapons used upon the Japanese mainland to force them into signing a peace treaty to end the World War II. Even before the development of nuclear weapons, air warfare, and even before the development of gunpowder Cardinal Richelieu stated in 1687 ? Just as with the soldier who does not carry his sword at all times is subject to mishaps, so too the Kingdom that is not always prepared has much to fear,? (Political Quotations # 3682). Little did Cardinal Richelieu know that the world would develop a weapon capable of destroying miles of a civilization at a simple turn of a key. When Cardinal Richelieu lived the worst form of war was a man on horseback with a sword rushing another man on horseback. Today warfare is fought with computers and missiles. In 1975, Lord Louis Mountbatten stated, “If the Third World War is fought with nuclear weapons, the fourth will be fought with bows and arrows,” (Political Quotations). Except when the United States develops the National Missile Defense System.

Works Cited

Anzouin, Steven. ed. The Star Wars Debate New York: H.W. Wilson Company, 1986.

Baker, Daniel B., ed. Political Quotations Detroit: Gale Research Inc., 1990

?A Correct Call to Delay Missile Defense.? Roanoke Times and World News. 25 Sept. 2000:

A6 Platinum Periodicals. ProQuest Direct. Arch Rummel HS Lib., Metairie. 1 Nov.

2000 http://www.umi.com/proquest/.

Freeman, Paul. ?US Mainland Vulnerable to Ballistic Missile Threat.? National Defense Dec. 1997: 37+. Platinum Periodicals ProQuest Direct. Arch. Rummel HS Lib., Metairie 1 Nov. 2000 http://www.umi.com/proquest/.

Kitfield, James ?On the Brink of National Missile Defense.? Government Executive. Aug.

111-112. Platinum Periodicals ProQuest Direct. Arch. Rummel HS Lib., Metairie 1 Nov. 2000 http://www.umi.com/proquest/.

Kitfield, James. ?Building a Missile Shield.? Government Executive. Aug. 1997 119-120.

Platinum Periodicals ProQuest Direct. Arch. Rummel HS Lib., Metairie 1 Nov. 2000 http://www.umi.com/proquest/.

Martinson, June. ?Clinton Aids back Missile Shield.? The Guardian 7 Aug. 2000: 1.2+

Platinum Periodicals ProQuest Direct. Arch. Rummel HS Lib., Metairie 1 Nov. 2000 http://www.umi.com/proquest/.

Perlez June. ?Antimissile Defense: Clinton Decides to Keep US Options Open.? The New York Times. 2 Sept. 2000: A.9+ Platinum Periodicals ProQuest Direct. Arch. Rummel HS

Lib., Metairie 1 Nov. 2000 http://www.umi.com/proquest/.

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