The US Defense Ministry is engaged in developing a high-energy laser that may become one of the NMD system’s elements. This news has come from Russian military sources. According to their data, the costs needed for this weapon are not recoupable because of the laser’s low efficiency. Given clouds and a number of other atmospheric phenomena, the possibility for the laser to hit aerial and space targets becomes minimal, according to the RIA Novosti news agency.
However, “conducting such work may serve as an impetus to a new arms race in countries that will have to react to raising of the military-and-technical security “jumping height” on the part of the USA,” the sources say. “Extremists and potential aggressors will not be stopped by the move but will be urged to develop and use new technologies of mass destruction,” according to the sources.
The sources also say that in 2002, the USA is planning to allocate some $8 billion for research and development work, which virtually doubles this year’s expenses. Yet, technical problems do not allow the USA to create a basis for a new NMD system before 2008-2010. To strengthen peace and international mutual understanding, it is necessary to take the NMD issue to the level of an international project on the basis of one of international organizations, Russian experts say. Before a new political, legal, and efficient military-and-technical basis is created, the main principals of the existing system of international agreements in the NMD field should remain in place.
Read the original in Russian: http://www.pravda.ru/main/2001/11/13/33764.html