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Home >> Opinion
UPDATED: 17:30, May 18, 2007
US "Anti-Missile System": protecting itself or playing with fire?
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The recent launch of US missile defense system in Poland and Czech has aroused concern globally. Russia, while raising its serious doubts on it, has stepped up military preparations accordingly. Will a potential confrontation between the U.S. and Russia be further activated?

Great ambition

The missile defense system of the United States has undergone half a century of development and evolutions since the mid 1950s. During the period of the US-Soviet nuclear confrontation in the cold war, the U.S. developed the Nike-Zeus system, the sentry system and airborne control system to cope with or confront the former Soviet Union. In the early 1970s, the nuclear forces of the U.S. and the former Soviet Union had come into a strategic balance for ensuring the destruction of the other side. But both sides felt overburdened both economically and technologically. So the two countries reached an anti-ballistic missile (ABM) treaty in 1972. In 1976, the U.S. announced to close its "sentry" missile defense system, and began researches on non-nuclear missile defense system.

After the (Ronald) Reagan administration came to power in early 1980s, it set forth the Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI)), or the Star Wars Plans in March 1983. As this plan was complex with an amazing cost and most of its technologies still in experimental stages, President George Bush moderated it as a "limited defense plan", or the "intelligent cobble" plan, which got agrounded with the collapse of the former Soviet Union.

Great readjustment

After assuming his presidency, Bill Clinton in May 1993 announced the termination of the Star War Plan and replaced it with the ballistic missile early warning system, which comprises the theater missile defense system (TMD) and the national missile defense system (NMD). Owing to a lack of confidence for technology and practical efficacy, Clinton announced he would not want to deploy the national defense system for the time being.

But substantial progress was s