Missile Defense Rides Again

Science  16 Apr 1999:
Vol. 284, Issue 5413, pp. 416-420
DOI: 10.1126/science.284.5413.416

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A new push to erect a ballistic missile shield is technologically more plausible than the 1980s "Star Wars" program, shunning ambitious technologies in favor of existing know-how. To skeptics, however, the effort remains futile and dangerous. They argue that any system deployed nationally could alarm adversaries that the United States could launch a first strike and then parry a counterattack, and that no matter how good, the system would be vulnerable to crude countermeasures such as decoys.