Is it time to revive SDI?

On March 23, 1983, the then United States President Ronald Reagan addressed the nation on Defense and National Security, in which he announced his signature Strategic Defense Initiative, stating, “I call upon the scientific community who gave us nuclear weapons to turn their great talents to the cause of mankind and world peace: to give […]

On March 23, 1983, the then United States President Ronald Reagan addressed the nation on Defense and National Security, in which he announced his signature Strategic Defense Initiative, stating, “I call upon the scientific community who gave us nuclear weapons to turn their great talents to the cause of mankind and world peace: to give us the means of rendering these nuclear weapons impotent and obsolete.”

This program, however, proved to be a massive failure, as not only was it too expensive to maintain, but there were several failed test sites, as a lot of the technology that Ronald Reagan wanted into the Strategic Defense Initiative simply did not exist. In the end, it was ultimately disbanded.

However, ever since that point in time, technology and the weapons of war have changed substantially. Currently, the major world powers are in an arms race in the development of hypersonic missiles, weapons that can bypass modern air defense systems and effective render all defensive strategies obsolete. Furthermore, geographic barriers prevent the United States from ever gaining an advantage.

There is no way to defend from this new kind of weapon, at least nothing that is currently practical. However, many of the technologies that are being considered and currently being experimented on, such as direct energy weapons and other types of laser beam weapons and particle beam weapons, were an integral part of the Strategic Defense Initiative.

This ultimately brings up the question: Should the Strategic Defense Initiative Program be revived? While many would say no, the rise of hypersonic cruise missiles may force there. In fact, one possible reason as to why Donald Trump established a Space Force was to revive the Strategic Defense Initiative in the hopes of counteracting hypersonic cruise missiles.

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