How to: risk World War III, and blow billions doing it

At Wired, Noah Shachtman writes:

The Pentagon’s plan to fire ballistic missiles at terrorists isn’t just a nuclear Armageddon risk. It’s a ludicrously expensive way to accidentally start World War III: each weapon could cost anywhere from a few hundred million to $1 billion.

The Defense Department wants to spend about $240 million next year on the controversial “prompt global strike” project. Eventually, it could lead to weapons that could strike virtually anywhere in the planet within an hour or two. But that quarter-billion would be the tiniest of down payments.

“There are no accurate cost estimates for the program, largely because the technology is unproven,” writes Joe Cirincione at ForeignPolicy.com. His back-of-the-envelope calculation: $10 billion for 10 conventionally-armed Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles, meant to strike at terrorists on the move. “Each missile with its tiny payload could easily go over $1 billion each.”

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1 thought on “How to: risk World War III, and blow billions doing it

  1. Christopher Hoare

    How does one tell the inmates from the attendants in the Pentagon? Is there no limit to the xenophobia that burdens the US?
    Are the people who live in the rest of the world expected to welcome this idiocy? I’m sure we’re all supposed to sit around on our patios and wait for the Hellfire missiles.

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