Researchers Target Flaws in Ballistic Missile Defense Plan

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Science  16 Jun 2000:
Vol. 288, Issue 5473, pp. 1940-1941
DOI: 10.1126/science.288.5473.1940

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More than three dozen scientists journeyed to Washington, D.C., this week to warn lawmakers that a proposed $60 billion U.S. missile defense system, designed to knock incoming warheads out of the sky, is technically flawed because it can't pick out real warheads from decoys. Pentagon officials heatedly deny a new report by one scientist that contractors have rigged trials to hide the problem, although they admit that some tests were simplified to save time. In the wake of these events, a leading Democrat is urging President Bill Clinton to delay a pending decision on building the system.