Laura Grego and David Wright’s article "Security Broken Shield" in the Scientific American June issue discusses how the development and deployment of missiles designed to destroy incoming nuclear warheads has led to overconfidence in its effectiveness by politicians and some military people.
Russia and China are currently increasing their offensive military missile capacity to overwhelm any defensive capacity. Grego and Wright argue the best option would be to negotiate a limit on offensive missile capacity with any adversary and reinstate the anti-ballistic missile treaty to avoid an escalating arms race.
Over the last 15 years the United States has spent an estimated $400 billion on the missile defense program. While this has been beneficial to the defense contractors and engineers, it has shifted funds from replacing our aging infrastructure and aging schools in many areas.
It is estimated that the costs of continuing a missile defense program could exceed a trillion dollars with little likelihood of success.
Instead of extending the arms race into space, we need to reorient our priorities to decreasing the risks of nuclear war, while improving the lives of people in the United States and abroad so conflicts over water and land do not lead to wars.
We will need to put resources into reducing the danger of climate change and the built-in changes that are already happening.