I would like to share a different concern regarding the national missile defense system with letter writer Wm. Dudson Bacon, M.D., who commented in his Dec. 12 letter (“ABM treaty: Russia already violated it”) that “some American liberals worry that our deployment of such a defensive system will antagonize the Russians to stop their build-down of nuclear missiles and encourage China to boost production of theirs.”
My concern is that such a system would cost U.S. taxpayers more than a trillion dollars and for the development of technology that does not exist. Scientists researching the deployability of such a system acknowledged that it would be incapable of stopping all incoming ICBMs. Many would still get through. The system would be ineffective against sub-launched low flying cruise missiles just miles off our coastlines, or cruise missile outfitted supersonic enemy bombers flying below radar coverage. It will be virtually useless against nuclear devices introduced by terrorist action.
The extremely high cost does not justify the continued development of an unproven and admittedly unreliable system. My last concern is one that I’m surprised the good doctor failed to raise. How safe will we be in the United States if we are successful in detecting and detonating some 25,000 nuclear warheads over Russia? Recall the fallout from the Chernobyl reactor disaster left a path of death and destruction for hundreds of miles, and ash from Mount St. Helen’s circled the earth. Where do these people think the radioactive fallout will go from thousands of warheads going off all at once?
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