Op-ed: Congress Wants a Space-Based Missile Defense System. That’s a Colossally Bad Idea

Executive Director John Tierney and Senior Science Fellow Philip Coyle wrote an op-ed for Defense One explaining why the proposed space-based missile defense system is a bad idea.

In March 1983, President Ronald Reagan delivered an Oval Office speech to announce his Strategic Defense Initiative — or as it was dubbed by critics, “Star Wars.” He proposed a space-based missile defense program that would have placed infrastructure featuring high-powered lasers, beams of atomic particles, and rocket interceptors in orbit to shoot down enemy missiles before they reached the United States.

The program, infeasible from the start, never came to fruition. That was for the best, because it would have only incentivized the Soviet Union to simply build more missiles to overwhelm U.S.defenses. In other words: a much bigger arms race. Read more