Should The U.S. Build A National Missile Defense System?

3292 words - 13 pages

Should the U.S. build a National Missile Defense System?

“What if free people could live secure in the knowledge that their security didn’t depend upon the threat of instant U.S. retaliation to deter an enemy attack?”
Ronald Reagan; 1983

In his speech of March 23, 1983, President Reagan presented his vision of a future where a Nation’s security did not rest upon the threat of nuclear retaliation, but on the ability to protect and defend against such attacks. The Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI) research program was designed to tell whether, and how, advanced defense technologies could contribute to the feasibility of this vision. What is a national missile defense (NMD)? A NMD is in theory “a technological shield that could destroy all incoming missiles” (Cirincione and Von Hippel 1). A NMD would most likely employ ground-based missiles that would intercept and destroy incoming intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBM). ICBMs are missiles that are capable of hitting targets thousands of miles away from their launch site. The National Missile Defense Act “calls for developing a missile-defense system that could protect the United States from an attack by a handful of nuclear armed ballistic missiles” (Ballistic Missile Defenses). It is important to realize the proposed NMD would not be designed to protect against an all out nuclear attack featuring hundreds of missiles. Is a NMD a good thing for the United States? I believe the United States should not develop and deploy a NMD system.
How does the NMD work? According to the Federation of American Scientists at, there are five elements involved in the missile defense system. The first rudiment is the Ground Based Interceptors (GBI). These are the weapons of the system. Their job is to intercept ballistic missile warheads and through the force of impact, destroy them. The GBI includes the interceptor, its launch and support equipment, missile silos, and personnel. The missile is make of an EKV and boosters, and the GBI sites would be capable of holding 20 missiles with eventual upgrade to 100. The next part of the system is called the Battle Management Command and Control (BMC2). This is the brains of the system and it controls and operates the missile defense system. It provides decisive support systems, battle management systems and displays, and also situation awareness information. Satellites and radar would feed their information into this. The next part of the system works hand in hand with the BMC2. It consists of a collection of sensor satellites that would obtain and track the missiles during their trajectory path, giving the BMC2 the earliest trajectory estimate.
The third element is called the In-flight Interceptor Communications System. This is the strategically located ground system that links to the GBI for in-flight targeting. Up to seven pairs of these stations would be created. The next part, X-band/Ground-Based Radar, performs tracking, discrimination, and kill...

Find Another Essay On Should the U.S. build a National Missile Defense System?

The Missile Defense System of the United States

3508 words - 14 pages was impossible to build, so the program was dropped, but the idea to defend the country against a missile attack stuck around. Today, the U. S. Government is trying to build a new, more realistic missile defense system. However, not all the problems have been worked out, and the U. S. Government should not deploy their missile defense system without conducting further tests. Purpose of Missile Defense      Imagine that one morning there is

The Dwight D. Eisenhower National System of Interstate and Defense Highways

1270 words - 5 pages wasn’t until national defense became a concern that the plans for his vision began to take place. An increase in drivers after World War Two made safe and reliable roads in the U.S. a serious concern. Data showed that 36,000 deaths occurred due to automobile accidents annually. By 1955 the Cold War presented the fear of nuclear attacks and that the existing highways were inadequate for the evacuations of major cities. President Eisenhower greatly

National Defense: A Political Perspective

851 words - 3 pages for democracy, liberals still feel that U.S. citizens should come first.      All of the information presented for this paper war primarily written before the World Trade center bombing, as to give a better view of both political spectrums true beliefs on the issues involved with the defense of our nation.      In closing, liberal and conservative viewpoints differ in many areas, but in National

The U.S. National Debt

1080 words - 4 pages is actually our "nation's debt", although the federal government got us there, we the American people will have to pay it back.At its current rate of spending, the federal government will soon build up $1 trillion of new debt each year. The issue is simply that congress almost always spends more then the IRS is able to collect in revenues. Over the past three years there has been a huge rise in federal spending, to the extent that the debt has

The National Identification System

1614 words - 7 pages National identity cards definition and how it is used National Identification System which I call NIS is a form of identification card that is a “portable document, typically a plasticized card with digitally-embedded information” (Rouse, 2010). Most of us carry around a form of NIS which confirms our identity, like our drivers licenses. The National Identification System (NIS) card uses a type of biometric system like the iris to help to

The U.S. Welfare System

865 words - 3 pages The welfare system first came into action during the Great Depression of the 1930s. Unemployed citizens needed federal assistance to escape the reality of severe poverty. The welfare system supplies families with services such as: food stamps, medicaid, and housing among others. The welfare system has played a vital role in the US, in controlling the amount of poverty to a certain level. Sadly, the system has been abused and taken for

A Case for the National Adoption of the Metric System

1900 words - 8 pages America is on the cutting edge of almost everything, except for basic units of measurement. Every nation on earth has adopted the International System of Units, or metric system, as their official system of weights and measures, with the exception of Myanmar, Liberia, and the United States of America (“CIA World Fact Book,” n.d.). Throughout history, the metric system has proven itself as a reliable, and simple to use, decimal based system of

The U.S National World War II Memorial

1426 words - 6 pages Veterans Memorial. A very good start. The U.S National World War II Memorial is a national memorial to honor and remember the sixteen million people who served in the armed forces of the United States and also the people at home during World War II. It is also a monument to the spirit, sacrifice, and commitment of the American people (National). The memorial is located on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., on the former site of the Rainbow Pool

Who Owns the U.S. National Debt?

980 words - 4 pages "Blessed are the young for they shall inherit the national debt." -- Herbert Hoover A recent topic for political debate, and one that is usually included in most political rhetoric, is the national debt, and the debt ceiling crisis. I believe that there are many misconceptions about this issue, and that politicians use and promote these misconceptions for the purpose of making political arguments. The example of this that sticks out for me

The United States Coast Guard and National Defense

3019 words - 12 pages a very different mission than their DOD counterparts in times of peace. This paper will shed light on the Coast Guard’s accomplishments and its sacrifices in its National Defense mission. The legal basis for the Coast Guard to operate as a military force is Title 14 of the United States Code, which states: "The Coast Guard as established January 28, 1915, shall be a military service and a branch of the armed forces of the United States at

Should we have a National ID?

763 words - 4 pages than having to shred credit cards and documents with important information on them. The national ID would include a picture, fingerprint, criminal and health records, and signature as a minimum. However, you should be able to chose what other options go on you national ID when you turn 18. Other features for your national ID could include credit, organization memberships like AAA, and other personal information that would make life simpler and

Similar Essays

The Debate Of The National Missile Defense System

755 words - 3 pages United States can build a limited NMD without disrupting the delicate world military balance.On the other hand the supporters of a National Missile Defense System need to acknowledge that NMD is not a deterrent for the full spectrum of threats from Terrorist supported rogue states"”that long-range ballistic missiles are only one of the many options available to those states to strike America. NMD will not provide protection against terrorist

The United States Does Not Need A New National Missile Defense System

933 words - 4 pages The United States Does Not Need a New National Missile Defense System The development of an accurately working national missile defense system would be ineffective and counterproductive. Currently our system used to deter a nuclear missile attack has always been, that any country that would take such a hostile action towards the United States would suffer a complete and total annihilation with our counter attack. This policy has been able to

National Missile Defense Essay

4347 words - 17 pages National Missile Defense Historical Perspective On March 23, 1983, through a nationally televised address to the nation, then President Ronald Reagan envisioned a ”Star Wars” defense system to replace the existing element of mutual deterrence between the two Cold War superpowers. The system calls for a high-tech impenetrable ballistic missile shield for the United States. The speech marks the birth of the Strategic Defense Initiative1

The Need For A National Missile Defense Program In The United States

1483 words - 6 pages miles from the site of the launch, showing that North Korea has the ability to target Alaska and possibly America's west coast, admitted Walpole. "Clearly if you can put something into orbit, you get awfully close to ICBM capability."(Timmerman) During the Cold War the United States and Russia both rushed to stockpile as many nuclear missiles as possible, thus prompting each other to build a missile defense system. The very first interceptor