In the 1980s, then-President Ronald Reagan approved funding for a space-based missile defense concept that was nicknamed “Star Wars” by critics, after the famous movie franchise.
Derided by critics as too expensive and Democrats as unnecessarily provocative towards the Soviet Union, the concept, formally called the Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI) and announced by Reagan in 1983, envisioned a space-based defense network capable of intercepting ICBMs well before they reached their targets.
SDI never became a reality and was abandoned after the Soviet Union disintegrated in 1991. However, the project did produce research which was utilized in current missile defense systems deployed with advanced militaries around the world.
However, a new threat has emerged — hypersonic missiles — that will make current ground-based missile defense systems obsolete. And as such, the current president of the United States, Donald Trump, will seek to revive a Reagan-era concept to meet this emerging threat.
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