Sunday, October 23, 2011

‘Star Wars’ as alternative to missile defense -- Russia's intriguing idea

In a move to overcome the Russia-US deadlock over the missile defense, Moscow has reportedly come up with a new initiative: a global system to guard against missiles – as well as asteroids and other threats from space.

According to the plan, the system would be created jointly by Russia and NATO under the control of the United Nations, reports Kommersant newspaper. As one of five permanent members of the UN Security Council, Russia has the veto right and, therefore, would be able to influence the development of the project.

The idea was put forward by Dmitry Rogozin, Moscow’s envoy to the security alliance, writes the daily, citing diplomatic sources.

The package of proposals has yet to be formalized. The idea has been nicknamed “Strategic Defense of Earth” as an allusion to “The Strategic Defense Initiative’ – better known as “Star Wars” – suggested by former US President Ronald Reagan in 1983.The costly and highly-criticized plan for ground and space-based systems intended to make America invulnerable to nuclear attacks.

The point of the Russian “Star Wars” initiative is to focus on fighting threats coming from space rather than just missiles. The Washington-backed missile defense shield is customized purely for countering missiles “launched somewhere in the Middle East,” a source told Kommersant. Moscow proposes a different approach. It would be an integration of anti-aircraft, missile and space defenses.

“Thereby, the system… would be targeted against possible threats to Earth coming from space, including asteroids, comet fragments, and other alien bodies,” the source is cited as saying. The system should be capable of both monitoring the space and destroying any dangerous objects as they approach our planet. more