Ballistic Missile Defense and the Future of American Security: Agendas, Perceptions, Technology, and Policy

By Roger Handberg | Go to book overview

Acknowledgments

All projects have roots in the past. This one is no different since my professional training took place against the background of the original debate over national missile defense and whether to deploy a system and if so, in what configuration. My interests were different at that time, but the issue has intrigued me intellectually since the crossover back and forth from science to government policy was so clear as scientists put themselves on the line over the question of deployment.

In this new generation, the issue draws less visibility despite the fact that the Cold War has ended and the United States is, comparatively speaking, at peace. The puzzle becomes, Why does the issue draw such fervent support from certain groups when there exist larger defense policy questions that are more immediate and pressing? The answer is that you find the interaction between traditional American views regarding technology and the expression of worldviews regarding the state of the world as a hostile, or a more benign, place within which the United States must live now and in the future. American views are very optimistic with regard to the ability of technology to solve hard problems, but many perceive the world outside American shores as alien and threatening. These attitudes persist despite the alleged effects of globalization upon what states do. That essentially economic concept has been expanded to encompass a world of peace and order although several benighted areas still exist; however, their future will be one of increasing pacifism with regard to the use of force against other states.

On a personal level, I wish to thank Bob Bledsoe for his support and the use of his library, which he has accumulated over the years. Jess Nakaska and Anastasia Theodoridou provided bibliographic and organizational support while Stewart French was a major help in tracking down references and generating additional ones, all of which I appreciated. Mary Ann Parker provided her usual efficient, though on occasion caustic, assistance for which I am grateful. Also, I appreciate the “girls” (Raven, Rahab, Rachel, Becky, and Priscilla) and their

-vii-

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Ballistic Missile Defense and the Future of American Security: Agendas, Perceptions, Technology, and Policy
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Acknowledgments vii
  • Abbreviations ix
  • 1 - Introduction 1
  • 2 - Ballistic Missile Defense, Still Trying After All These Years 37
  • 3 - Breakdown of the Old Verities 75
  • 4 - Why Missile Defense? 109
  • 5 - Agreeing on Nmd or Not? 143
  • Notes 167
  • 6 - Deployment Options or Guessing About the Shape of Things to Come 169
  • 7 - Pursuing Future Policy or Taking Counsel of One's Worst Fears 207
  • Selected References 241
  • Index 247
  • About the Author 255
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