25 Years of the Other Star Wars

Not so long ago, right here in our Galaxy, Emperor Ronald Reagan announced the other Star Wars, the Strategic Defense Initiative which started the last phase of the Cold War with the Soviet Union (whom, funnily enough, El Presidente called the Evil Empire.) In these 25 years since his March 23 speech, calling the scientific community to give the "means of rendering nuclear weapons impotent and obsolete," the SDI has morphed into various projects and technologies, like the Aegis interception system which took down the evil spy satellite last February, as you can see in this official Department of Defense video. Here's the story of the SDI program and how it evolved:

Illustration for article titled 25 Years of the Other Star Wars

El Presidente saying words during his SDI speeh

• 1984. The Strategic Defense Initiative Organization is established. Reagan puts Lt. General James Alan Abrahamson from the USAF in charge, a past Director of the NASA Space Shuttle program. On retrospective, not a good sign.

• 1987. The SDIO develops the idea of the Strategic Defense System Phase I Architecture, a system that included ground and space based sensors and weapons, all controlled from a central location. This is a concept that still works today.

• 1991. George Bush Sr. changes Reagan's tune and changes the focus of SDI to a more limited, more regional oriented. The Global Protection Against Limited Strikes is born.

• On 18 January 1991 a Patriot interceptor missile is reported to have engaged a SCUD missile over Saudi Arabia during the Persian Gulf War. Later, it was found to be just a computer glitch. No SCUD ever launched on that day. The accuracy of Patriots was close to zero, according to analysis after the war. The success rate during the war was claimed to be 97% by George Bush Sr. (reportedly, the Israelis were so dissatisfied with the system they planed to retaliate against Iraq on their own.)

• 1993. Bill Clinton closes the SDIO and forms the Ballistic Missile Defense Organization.

• During the George Bush Jr. administration the concept has been revived, forming the National Missile Defense and Ground-based Midcourse Defense.

• 20 February 2008. An Aegis missile successfully intercepts a defunct spy satellite the size of a bus falling down to Earth.



@JonAcheson: The opposition as you call them would simply have to smuggle their nuclear weapons into the United States and detonate them there.

How would they do that you ask? Simple, they would hide them insides bales of marijuana.

The counter measures to to SDI do not include making more missiles, although that is an option. The countermeasures mean making balloons, which last time I checked were not very expensive.

What exactly is "puerile" about this article? Bias? What bias? Do you contend that the Patriot worked? It did not.

Besides, who is this opposition of which you speak? MAD is still in effect at all times. The Russians know this. The Chinese know this,.and despite all the paranoia about North Korea, Kim Jong-Il knows this.

The other purpose of SDI is the militarization of space. SDI is being used to develop space based weapons platforms which are illegal under international law as they are so incredibly destabilizing.