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JSPES, Vol. 29, No. 3 (Fall 2004)
pp. 327-337

President G.W. Bush and Missile Defense in the Aftermath of 9/11

Matthew Mowthorpe, Centre for Security Studies, University of Hull, U.K.

This article examines the issue of missile defense as a protective shield. The issue of missile defense is not new, but has ebbed and flowed from the political consciousness during the Cold War. The events of September 11th added impetus to missile defense, in that it raised public awareness that the United States was not defended from ballistic missile attack, even more so when those very missiles could be fitted with chemical, biological and nuclear warheads. In this chapter the issue of missile defense is examined in the context of the Cold War with the Strategic Defense Initiative through its metamorphosis into the Global Protection Against Limited Strikes during President Bush's administration. To its eventual formulation into the Ground-Based Missile Defense system developed under President G.W. Bush, and led to the politically sensitive decision to withdraw from the ABM Treaty in December 2001. The protective shield that missile defense promises appears finally to being achieved in Alaska.