The student newspaper of, by, and for Ames High School.

The WEB

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The student newspaper of, by, and for Ames High School.

The WEB

The student newspaper of, by, and for Ames High School.

The WEB

Star Wars Return of the missiles

Hearing the words “star wars,” most people tend to think of the science fiction movies directed by George Lucas. Short of light sabers, Knights, and the force, there is another, more realistic “star wars.” Originally envisioned by President Ronald Reagan during the Cold War, Star Wars was supposed to be an anti-missile system that was positioned in space. Satellites would detect and shoot down any Inter-Continental Ballistic Missiles (ICBMs) on their way from Russia to the U.S. However, Reagan’s dream died soon after due to the impracticability of such a system. Despite its end, many more ideas were spawned from the uproar created by the original idea. Nearly all of the ideas were as absurd or impossible as the first, and little or no action followed. Regardless, Star Wars has returned with a new name and a brand new look. Son of Star Wars is the name that the new system has been given. Pre-warning radar network stations are being built in several countries, the most recent of which will be either Great Britain or Poland. Both countries provide a tactical advantage in detecting missiles launched from the Middle East, which is the main concern of the Bush administration. Although this system plans to increase national security for the United States, as well as much of Europe, international tensions have risen as a result. The Russian government is angered at the threat that the system may cause their country’s safety. If successful, it would render all of Russia’s missiles useless. Their government has stated that this could leave them helpless to defend themselves against a missile strike from other countries. The U.S. is not alone in the pursuit of this kind of technology. Recently, China developed and successfully tested a missile system that can destroy satellites from the ground. “With everyone trying to build a missile based defense system, another arms race is a reasonable consequence,” senior Aaron Mostrom said. “This could eventually lead to a standoff not unlike the Cold War.” Regardless of what happens next, it is likely that Son of Star Wars and similar systems will be in public view for years to come. If history has shown us anything, it is that the policies that bring this form of technology forward are often the same as those that take the military path before the diplomatic one. With all the tension and threat of nuclear war, there might be truth in what Reagan once said. “The missiles are flying.”

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