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Johann Hari writes of Obama's chance to end the Star Wars programme:

One of Obama's first choices will bewhether to bring to an end one of the strangest episodes in American political history.

 

This is the tale of how a man with Alzheimer's Disease came up with a physically impossible fantasy based on a B-movie he once starred in – and how the US spent $160bn trying to make it come true. These billions succeeded only in making some defence companies very rich, and making Russia point its nukes at Poland and the UK once more. And if Obama doesn't decide to close this long-running farce now, it will make one more contribution to world history: the number of Weapons of Mass Destruction in the world will dramatically increase.

Read more.

Will Obama take the opportunity to make a dramatic shift from the policies of his predecessors? Would it be the right thing to do or would he immediately draw criticisms over the state of US security?

Comments

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princekermit wrote:
Nov. 13th, 2008 04:25 pm (UTC)
While I disagree with the Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI aka Star Wars) I'd be more concerned that if Obama cuts funding that people will beat the tired "Marxist! He's leaving us vulnerable to Russian conquest!" drum. Never mind the fact that Obama isn't Marxist and Russia is having a hard enough time in their own neighborhood, let alone come across the water. (Be on the look out, Governor Palin!)
jhubert wrote:
Nov. 13th, 2008 07:29 pm (UTC)
I recently came across a guy who was arguing that Obama might make the USA vulnerable to invasion by China...
ysabetwordsmith wrote:
Nov. 13th, 2008 08:39 pm (UTC)
Hmm...
>> Will Obama take the opportunity to make a dramatic shift from the policies of his predecessors? << I suspect so. >> Would it be the right thing to do or would he immediately draw criticisms over the state of US security?<< It would be the right thing, AND would draw criticism. However, it would make the US considerably more safe. You're always more safe when surrounded by friends than by enemies, even if you have a bigger stick than your enemies do. Obama is good at convincing people to get along; that is far better for the world and for the US than continuing the arms race.
revamike08 wrote:
Nov. 13th, 2008 08:46 pm (UTC)
still has to earn my respect..action speck louder then speeches
to me thay all phonys..not guna chance shit..thear just a new captin on the slave ship lol
yh_tac wrote:
Nov. 14th, 2008 08:35 am (UTC)
Re: still has to earn my respect..action speck louder then speeches
lol indeed.
randy_68 wrote:
Nov. 13th, 2008 09:02 pm (UTC)
Maybe Russia made the move to point at Poland in an effort to make this happen. Could it possibly be that they realize its potential and see Obama as a way of getting us to remove an advantage on our part?

I mean, so many people think this is causing/ or going to cause a crisis. Maybe it's necessary to avert a crisis?
wolfwoman2003 wrote:
Nov. 14th, 2008 07:26 am (UTC)
I remember that Star Wars thing, but I was too involved with raising a sick child to really pay much attention to it. I thought it had died long ago. I feel like a doofus for not knowing what it was, what was at stake, or how much money was pumped into it. It's really appalling.
bridgeweaver wrote:
Nov. 14th, 2008 09:15 pm (UTC)
I'm probably going to be alone on this, but I have to be cautious when someone is telling me to bet against technology. Given the ever-increasing pace of technological development (see Moore's law) it seems to me that there is no certainty that such a technology could not be developed at some point. I agree that basing U.S. foreign policy on that eventuality is also very risky, but I'm not sure that the results of erring on the side of trying to create it aren't less than the results of dismantling the program, only to have another state make the break-through.

Six months ago, I'd have said the Russians could begin the arms race again, but they are confronting an economic catastrophe possibly even bigger than we are in the West. There will be saber rattling, but I don't believe that any significant security risk will come, unless there is an actual breakthrough, at which point there would have to be some very delicate negotiation to get past the discontinuity that would occur.

I do expect the Obama administration will discontinue funding, or at least drastically reduce it, not for ideological reasons cited in this thread, but because they are going to have to find a way to increase spending on the here-and-now defense capabilities that have been degraded during the Bush administration, and SDI is going to look like a very attractive target. If he couches SDI funding cuts or elimination in those terms, he will likely mitigate the criticism he will face, except of course from the far Right, who are going to try and pummel him no matter what.

As a counter to my own first argument, where's my flying car???? *smile*
bastblack wrote:
Nov. 15th, 2008 01:58 am (UTC)
Is having a defense against Nuclear Ballistic Missiles is a good idea?
Yes! Of course!

The real question is: Is Star Wars a viable counter measure to Nuclear Ballistic Missiles?
It does not appear so. It has failed every time it's tested. Surely there is another way. Perhaps exploring new technology would be prudent.

p.s. Parking Nukes in Poland is INSANE! Provoking Russia is STUPID! Do we really want to have Russia park nukes in Cuba, Venezuela, and maybe even Iceland aimed at us?
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