Particle Beam Energy as Weapon
Considerable debate has been stirred by President Reagan’s recent suggestion that the United States embark on a program that would use advanced-technology weaponry to produce an effective defense against Soviet ICBMS. On the one hand, critics argue that the idea of a defensive system that would neutralize the ICBM threat is naive and, at best, would require large expenditures in the development of a very-“high-risk” technology. Furthermore, they suggest that even if such a system could be developed, it would be too costly and would also be vulnerable to simple and cheap countermeasures. On the other hand, others argue that we must continue to explore such high-technology options until they have been either proved scientifically unachievable or developed into effective systems. If it were possible to build and effectively deploy such weapons, the payoff in terms of national security would be tremendous. In addition, certainly, if this weaponry is achievable, it must be the United States, not the Soviet Union, that first develops it.