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17 Mar, 2009 08:56

U.S. wastes hundreds of billions on missile defense?

The U.S. government has spent more than two decades and over $100 billion to develop a US missile defense system, but is it all worth it?

A number of recent independent reports conclude that these systems could still fail, prompting some US officials to reconsider spending so much American taxpayers’ money developing and maintaining it.

Critics of the defense shield include David Wright of the Union of Concerned Scientists. He claims that independent analysis shows that Iran could easily fool the system by using countermeasures, such as balloons.

“Do I believe with any confidence that this system would be able to stop a nuclear attack? The answer is no,” he said.

Former Pentagon testing chief Phillip Coyle is also a sceptic. He said that the ‘successful’ tests “have all been scripted for success…It's a little bit like comparing the results of students doing open book exams.”

Richard Garwin, who helped design the hydrogen bomb, believes the proposed missile defense system for Europe is “useless” and “not worth deploying.”

The issue has been the source of much tension between the United States and Russia. The US is now attempting to press the ‘reset’ button on relations with Moscow, which deteriorated under the Bush administration.

Many experts agree that Obama’s decision on whether or not to continue implementing this shield will eventually determine whether relations between these two nations will improve or whether they will continue to worsen.

The Obama Administration must also consider the current economic crisis and whether voters will consider it necessary to spend so much money abroad when so many Americans are suffering financially at home.

Dina Gusovsky, RT