A Maginot Line for the 21st century

Currently there are talks to build a Missile defense shield to protect the USA from attacks from evil wrongdoers around the globe. Even Europe might get one! How funny… evil Wrongdoers are usually small or middle sized countries that have oil, not comparable to the economic or military scale of the United states or the EU… Part of the Missile defense shield goes back to plans once dreamed up by the Reagan administration, a project called “Star Wars”, which included laser guns up in space, destroying any missile heading towards American soil. The project was arguable the product of public fear of an equal powerful Soviet Union attacking America with nuclear, chemical or biological weapons. As we all know, there is a different ending to the story, and today Russia and the USA are “allies” in the so called “war on terrorism”.

With Russia and China being becoming more important trading partners these days, some might wonder why there is a need to spend Billions of Dollars on a system that is built on a assumption of threat that dose not even exist anymore. My guess would be that the Military needs to justify to spend money on developing new and more powerful weapons and therefore “creates” public fear and a sense of danger.

History has shown that spending a fortune on building a bigger and better defense system doesn’t necessarily mean to be prepared to deal with your enemies.

A good example can be found in France. The Maginot Line was a line of concrete fortifications, tank obstacles, machine gun posts and other defenses which France constructed along its borders with Germany and with Italy between World War I and II. It was built at an astonishing budget of around 3 billion french francs, probably comparable to what the US military is willing to spend on their latest gadget.

While the Maginot line would have been able to fence of the Germans, it was simply bypassed by the German Army and became useless once the government surrendered. So what if the Missile defense system is somehow “bypassed”? Billions spend one one project means that Billions are not spend somewhere else – for example alternative engergy suplies…

Even if someone shots missiles at the USA, the retaliation would be devastating for that country. While there are countries that still try to develop a nuclear weapon, the USA itself has uncountable of them hidden in bunkers, loaded on plans, submarines and who knows where. Still, they have to spend more money on protecting themselves from a mysteries “superpower”.

I suppose that we will look back in 30 to 40 years and say – remember that Missile Defense System the came up with in the early 21st century? Stupid idiots, made the same mistake the French did in the early 20th century… Wishful thinking, but maybe we have learned the lesson by then…