The idea of Reagan’s “Strategic defense initiative” can be resuscitated. It fully meets the views of trump, as well as the positions of the new head of the Pentagon and of the presidential adviser on space issues. The motive for the new “star wars” can serve the fight against ISIS. In any case, it is a challenge for Russia.
The assumption that the “star wars” may again become a reality, now seems highly unlikely. Those who remember the first half of 1980-ies or familiar with this period of history textbooks and novels, you know that “Strategic defense initiative” (SDI) proposed by President Ronald Reagan in 1983, became, on the one hand, a symbol of uncompromising struggle of America against the “evil Empire”, and with another – culminating in countering the Soviet military threat from the United States.
“A key element of the renewed system will be the so-called rods of God”
SOI provided for the creation of combat lasers ground-based and space-based for the destruction of Soviet ballistic missiles, means of observation, placed on land, in the air and in space, as well as interceptors of enemy ICBMs. Many scientists opposed this idea, saying it was too futuristic and too expensive. The end of the cold war combined with the growing cost of implementing the SDI program resulted in the actual closure in the early 1990-ies.
President-elect Donald trump is set to improve relations with Russia does not consider it an “evil Empire” and intends to cooperate with Moscow on a number of fronts, in particular in the field of combating international terrorism. Thus, the reason for playing the Reagan “star wars” at first glance, no. However, a number of peculiarities of the contemporary geopolitical situation, and approaches the newly elected President to solve international problems can revive the idea of a cosmic “batons”, which will become military and economic foreign policy tool of the White house.
Its creation will facilitate increased technical compared to the early 1980-ies missile and nuclear threat posed by Russia and particularly China, which trump intends to conduct a dialogue in “harsh tones”. Beyond that, the emergence of countries that already possess nuclear weapons and means of delivery (North Korea) or are able to get both of those in the foreseeable future (Iran).
As noted by American experts, in order to cause the United States severe economic damage, not even necessarily to hit any goal in their territory. Enough to detonate a powerful nuclear warhead in the skies over America, through electromagnetic influence to bring down all its modern high-tech infrastructure and drop in quality of life virtually in the eighteenth century.
With only 40 interceptors in Alaska and four in California, USA is poorly protected from such a scenario. Therefore, the administration trump, emphasize all the same experts, should revive Reagan’s program “star wars” involving the destruction of the ICBM immediately after launch – the most vulnerable phase of their flight. A key element of the renewed system will be the so-called rods of God – run from the space of metal bars moving at a speed of 11 kilometers per second and can at the expense of kinetic energy to vaporize any object with a simple touch.
The location of many of these interceptors in orbit under the conditional name “the diamond pavé” was provided by Reagan’s SDI program. But the active involvement of the private sector in the provision of launch services, should substantially reduce the cost of removing such equipment into orbit.
US military strategy does not exclude the use of such weapons against ISIL*. So, according to Robert Walker, former Chairman of the Committee on science, space and technology of the lower house of Congress and the current adviser to trump on space issues, the development of space weapons is the best fit to the foreign policy doctrine of the trump called “the world from a position of strength.”
The future head of the Pentagon, General James Mattis, nicknamed Mad Dog, at the congressional hearings on his candidacy has already urged the U.S. government to invest in offensive capabilities in space. In this case, he expressed his own opinion, but now he will have many opportunities to bring it to trump. What similar projects have now secured at least a careful study and a “weighting”, obviously.
Creating space “batons” can have an impact on a potential enemy not only through the use or threat of use of weapons. One of the main ways to kill the “evil Empire” that Reagan chose, was, according to The Wall Street Journal, “to break the already seriously undermined the Soviet economy”, including “by increasing the military budget of the United States and the surge of the budget of the Union expenditures on the arms race”.
SOY has played in achieving this goal key role. According to the memoirs of Tyrus Cobb, former special assistant to Reagan for national security, many employees of the presidential administration, including defense Minister Caspar Weinberger, supported the SOYBEAN because of the devastating impact this program could have on the Soviet economy.
It has long been known that trump intends to significantly increase military spending and believes that the economy is the most important tool of foreign policy. This may occur in a single formula military pressure on a country, forcing it to spend money on balancing the growing American military power. A key component of this growth could be just “star wars”, especially because trump is looking to space activities as a crucial stimulant to the development of science and technology of the United States – a function that is fairly successfully completed and not implemented SOY.
* Organization in respect of which the court accepted entered into legal force decision on liquidation or ban the activities on the grounds stipulated by the Federal law “On countering extremist activity”