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It has been 36 years since President Ronald Reagan announced the Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI), an effort to develop technologies to counter intercontinental ballistic missiles, including orbital systems that could detect and take out ICBMs with lasers or kinetic weapons. That program, dismissively called “Star Wars” by Senator Ted Kennedy, was seen as massively destabilizing from a strategic perspective—until the Soviets stopped objecting in 1987 because they realized it would never work. SDI was officially terminated in 1993, as the US focused instead on the threat of shorter-range ballistic missiles by “rogue states” in the wake of the Gulf War.
In 2019, “Star Wars” is back. While President George W. Bush got the ball rolling in 2002 with the formation of the Missile Defense Agency (MDA) and an exit from the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty, President Donald Trump’s new missile defense strategy seeks to expand the MDA’s efforts by returning to a quest for a space-based missile shield and other weapons that could, as Trump put it in a January 17 speech, “detect and destroy any missile launched against the US from anywhere at any time.”
from Biz & IT – Ars Technica http://bit.ly/2FXafmf