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Research paper example essay prompt: Nuclear Weapons And Defense - 1032 words

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Nuclear Weapons and Defense A third world country is producing nuclear weapons. The country is the same that has given the United States trouble in the past. It is Iraq. Shortly after the U.S finds this out, we are being attacked by a nuclear strike from Iraq. U.S.

cities are being destroyed one by one. We declare a full scale nuclear retaliation against Iraq. Huge devastation occurs throughout the world as allies join into the war. Nuclear winter starts to develop. Over half of the worlds population has been eliminated. Water and food is contaminated from the radiation.

The few survivors of the nuclear war are eating dead animals and people. There are no hospitals available for the sick, no electricity, no hot water, and no warm clothing. The land is barren and covered with ruble in the areas that were once called cities. The sky is painted with dark gray clouds. Lack of sunlight causes the temperature to drop by 50 degrees.

The wind picks up and is seldom below 15 miles per hour. The ! survivors' offspring, if they are not mutated in some way, will have no schools to attend. They will grow up like primitive people. The world is forever changed. The Strategic Initiative would benefit the U.S.

because it would deter nuclear attacks on the U.S. The Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI) is a research and development program designed to create an effective space-based defense against nuclear missile attack, and may provoke other nations to put the same system into space above their own skies. The media labeled the system "Star Wars" because of the high-tech space aspect of the system. Once nuclear missiles are launched, there is no way to stop them once they are airborne. The system would be a layered weapon shield that could intercept large numbers of oncoming intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs), submarine launched ballistic missiles (SLBMs), and their warhead projectiles in any phase of flight.

The idea of stopping ballistic missiles enroute is not new. The United States and the USSR have deployed Antiballistic Missiles (ABMs) in limited numbers. It is known, however, that such missiles can be overwhelmed by thousands of warheads coming from many directions at once. In a nationally televised address in March 1983, U.S. President Ronald Reagan called for the long term development of a space- based defense system that would render nuclear missiles "impotent and obsolete.'' The result of his appeal was SDI, with a planned spending level of $30 billion over five years. One reason for this was because it would only take 30 minutes for a nuclear warhead to reach the U.S.

after it was launched. Once the stuff of science fiction, sophisticated missile defense systems employing satellite or ground based laser weapons, particle beam accelerators, "smart" interceptor projectiles, and other computer integrated space technologies may represent the next era in strategic milita! ry doctrine and the U.S. Soviet arms competition. As currently envisioned, the system uses a "layered" defense in which enemy missiles would come under continuous attack from the time they are launched to just before they reach their targets, a total of about 30 minutes. Surveillance satellites would register the heat given off by the rising missiles; satellite or ground-based lasers would strike at the missiles during the boost phase, before they disgorge their many warheads.

X-ray or particle beam weapons would attack surviving missiles in space. A scientist working on the project stated that "A single X-ray laser module the size of an school desk which applied this technology could potentially shoot down the entire Soviet land based missile force, if it were to be launched into the modules field of view." The system could be managed only by super computers whose infinitely complex programs would have to be written by other computers. Most decisions would be taken out of human hands. Since 1983, space tests of many experimental SDI devices have been made. Nevertheless, intensive studies by such organizations as the U.S.

Office of Technology Assessment (OTA) and the Federation of American Scientists (FAS) are pessimistic about the possibility of developing reliable SDI weapons. They also question whether the Pentagon has fully understood the possible range of countermeasures that the Soviets might take. These groups and others have expressed concern that SDI could suffer "catastrophic failure" in wartime and that deployment and even testing violates the 1972 Anti- Ballistic Treaty The administration was careful to note, and scientists quickly confirmed, the technical difficulties in the new concept. If the space defense system is feasible, it probably will employ several advanced technologies in combination and take several decades to develop. Among the systems it might employ are homing interceptor missiles fired from the ground or satellites, nonexplosive pellets guided by heat sensors, ground based laser weapons aimed at space mirrors which redirect the beam toward oncoming missiles, and low orbit satellites that generate and aim laser or particle beams at oncoming missiles. Each of these systems might or might not be effected in several different ways. The final shape of "Star Wars" and the stages of implementation would depend on which technologies can be achieved and when.

The complexity of tracking enemy missiles, aiming and firing at them in an integrated, multi-layered space defense system would require a tremendous amount of computer syst! ems. President Reagan's call for an advanced missile defense system represented a major shift in the four decades of nuclear strategy of deterrence based on the threat of retaliation, the principle of Mutual Assured Destruction (MAD). The Soviet Union and domestic critics, however, reject the characterization of "Star Wars" as defensive. Its effect, they say, would be to render Soviet retaliatory forces ineffectual and thereby leave the USSR open to a first strike. The logical Soviet reaction would be to build up its offensive capability even more, setting off a new arms spiral.

It is widely believed in the West, however, that the Soviet Union is developing its own space weapons system. Negations on U.S. and Soviet central strategic systems, renamed the Strategic Arms Reduction Talks (START) by President Ronald Reagan's administration, resumed during the summer of 1982. Through the remainder of Reagan's presidency the two sides reached consensu ...

Related: missile defense, nuclear, nuclear weapons, strategic defense initiative, weapons

Research paper topics, free essay prompts, sample research papers on Nuclear Weapons And Defense