The High Cost of Another Failed Star Wars Test

The president’s proposed budget increases military spending, while crucial “discretionary” spending is effectively cut. Among those sacrosanct military programs is the unending development of an anti-missile system, designed to stop long-range ballistic missiles.

While this effort puts tens of billions into the “defense industry’s” coffers every year, its failure to produce a workable system is now in the 27th year.

What failure? Every year there are rigged “tests” of the system, half of which fail to deliver on the mission of shooting down attacking ICBMs. Another one of these occurred Sunday, Jan. 31.

You didn’t see it on the nightly TV news or read about it in the New York Times?

That’s surprising, when you consider that each of those tests costs on the order of $150 million (1) – enough to pay a year’s salary for about 3,000 workers, currently unemployed.

Or enough to feed 40,000 children in poverty for a year.

Or enough to pay the health insurance costs for 100,000 uninsured citizens.

Nevertheless, workable or not (2), this military welfare system helps feed the insatiable appetite of the Defense Industry while it provides excuses for exerting pressure to build more US bases anywhere and everywhere in the world – bases that threaten neighboring countries with missile weaponry.

It is very befitting for a nation always at war.

Notes.

1. See: http://www.neurope.eu/articles/
2. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/8492677.stm

Gary Goldstein is a theoretical physicist at Tufts University with a longstanding interest in the control and ultimate abolition of nuclear weapons, and in science and peace education. He can be reached at: gary.goldstein@tufts.edu

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