Reagan’s ‘Star Wars’ Missile Defense System Becomes Reality
Ronald Reagan is owed an apology.
In 1983, President Reagan gave a speech in which he called for the development of a missile-defense system. The project was called the Strategic Defense Initiative, but Democrats and their media cheerleaders mocked it as “Star Wars,” its announcement coming, as it did, shortly after Reagan’s equally detested “Evil Empire” speech. Reagan laid out a broad vision for a long-term investment in technological development, possibly involving everything from satellites to lasers.
Reagan’s critics especially hated the lasers. They thought he was just a goofy old man who’d spent too much time in the movies.
In a recently authored memo, the Pentagon’s chief weapons-tester (the acting director of Operational Test and Evaluation), upgraded our current missile-defense system from “limited capability” to “demonstrated capability.” This followed a successful test of the system, in which it was used to intercept and destroy a dummy intercontinental ballistic missile. The small change in wording represents a big change in confidence.