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article imageOp-Ed: Ahmadinejad and asteroids — The case for U.S. defense spending

By Michael Krebs     Mar 4, 2012 in World
With the unfortunate array of threats facing the United States, its allies, and the planet itself, it is a mistake to believe that the American government will - or even should - reduce its defense investments meaningfully.
American innovation in defense technology is the byproduct of a federal government that is unbound to fiscal discipline. And while there are a cacophony of voices calling for budgetary order and demanding that national defense investments be scaled back to accommodate the monetary demands of entitlement programs, the threats to American and to global stability unfortunately do require that forward-looking investments in U.S. defense technology remain vibrant.
The most obvious and pressing case for high technology defense spending can be found in Iran's nuclear brinkmanship. Regardless of the history that has delivered Iran to this precipice, the notion now of open warfare with Iran is moving rapidly from ideation to full scale planning - and, as the CATO Institute is addressing publicly in an upcoming event this month, the rumination on the possibilities of failed diplomacy with Iran is the leading headline on the matter.
President Obama amplified the possibility of war with Iran on Friday, claiming with his best mustered testosterone that he does not "bluff," as ABC News reported.
The prospect of war with Iran offers a guarantee on healthy defense spending and a potential showcase for the latest innovations coming from the American private sector, including a new generation of unmanned weaponry and the possibility of delivering on laser defense technologies, like those detailed by Northrop Grumman and Boeing.
However, while war with Iran certainly undermines global stability, the threat of a 60-meter asteroid colliding with earth in just 11 months, as RT reported on Saturday, may be the ultimate demand for technological innovation in the defense sector. Space defense systems remain embryonic, but the promise of lasers and of electro-magnetic "rail" guns mounted on satellites or other militaristic space vehicles may provide the needed strike that saves the planet.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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