Project and proposals
The proposal was sharply criticized for its potential costs, doubts that it would be technologically feasible and afford complete protection against all delivery systems, concerns that it would violate the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) Treaty and the Outer Space Treaty and destabilize the nuclear balance of power.
The research was controlled by the Strategic Defense Initiative Office, an agency of the Department of Defense until 1993, when it was renamed the Ballistic Missile Defense Organization. Department of Defense cost estimates for SDI-related spending during fiscal years 1984-1994 amounted to US$32.6 billion. An independent report by the Congressional Research Service arrived at a much higher figure of US$70.7 billion 1.
The project was repeatedly scaled back, renamed Global Protection Against Limited Strikes (GPALS, dubbed "Son of Star Wars") in 1991, and refocused on protection from smaller attacks. GPALS was based on a ground system of rocket-launched interceptors aimed at preventing small scale launches by "rogue states" (apparently North Korea, Libya, Iraq or Iran) from impacting on the US.
President Bill Clinton almost halted the program, but it has regained momentum under President George W. Bush, whose version is called the National Missile Defense (NMD).
...well let's see, two to three hours for the targeting system to lock onto a missile at any given point, and about 30 minutes for that missile to hit its target...(and yes I have a source on this, someone who wrote the guidance program for SDI)
*obviously a very effective, and certianly real, non-made-up, program, not an excuse for embesselment(**sarcasm**)
-SDI relied on non-existant technology and computer systems that didn't yet exist
...The National Missile Defense, under GeorgeW., is not SDI, and in fact has no connection to it at all. It is a much more realistic approach to grounding incoming balistic missiles, that relies soley on ground based missiles, similar to the patriot missiles. Despite its complete lack of success in intercepting missiles, it is a much more convincing method of embesselment. And while the only succesful test was fixed, it is a promissing tool, that can at somepoint in the distant future, be used to counter the true threat to National Security in the modern world, the Evil Soviet Union (*no wait*) (*that doesn't exist anymore*)