The Cold War, which produced tens of thousands of nuclear weapons capable of blowing up the Earth several times over, ended in
the early 1990s. Prior to the end of that war, President Reagan started work on the Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI), a
research program designed to construct an anti-nuclear defense system. Some of the system would be space-based; it would be
designed to lock onto a target and destroy it before it hit the ground. By admission of former Russian President Gorbachev, the
fear of American technology advances and the exorbitant cost of trying to match Reagan's defense spending both led to the
downfall of the Soviet Union.
The highly controversial project was discontinued by President Clinton while he was in office, but President Bush revived the program.
President Obama and most Democrats would like to end the program. With the Cold War over, the controversy has grown. In an age of terrorism, do the security
benefits justify the massive cost, which will likely reach into the hundreds of billions?