Senate NDAA Would Mandate Work on Missile Defenses in Space

June 8, 2018

Roll Call:

The Senate Armed Services Committee voted behind closed doors on May 23 to require the Pentagon to start developing missile-killing interceptors for deployment in space — whether or not the Pentagon agrees. The provision, by Texas Republican Ted Cruz, has become part of the defense authorization bill being debated now and into next week on the Senate floor.

If the language in the bill were to be enacted into law, it would be the first congressional mandate to develop a space weapon that has long sparked fierce debate, largely because it could cost scores of billions of dollars. And it’s unclear whether the military would even recommend it.

If the development effort were to begin, it would be the first such research effort since the Strategic Defense Initiative program launched by President Ronald Reagan in the 1980s, an effort often called “Star Wars” and that ended with the presidency of his successor George Bush.

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