The U.S. has already spent over $100 billion on missile defenses
with little to show; why throw good money after bad?

To date, the U.S. has spent over $100 billion for a variety of national
and theater missile systems.  Even with this expenditure, the U.S. was
able to destroy only a small proportion of crude Iraqi scud missiles in
the Persian Gulf War.  After more than 40 years, the U.S. should have
learned that expensive defensive missile deployment (as opposed to
research) is a dubious proposition.

Past Costs of U.S. Ballistic Missile Defense Programs 

$   1.5 billion - estimated pre-1962 spending

$   3.2 billion - Nike-Zeus (1962 - 1965)

$   9.2 billion - Nike-X (1962 - 1969)

$ 21.3 billion - Safeguard (1968 - 1978)

$ 13.8 billion - Other missile defense programs (1962 -1996)

$ 59.0 billion -Strategic Defense Initiative/National Missile 		

                     Defense/Theater Missile Defense (1983 - 1998)

Total -- $108 billion

(Figures in billions of fiscal 1996 dollars).

Source: Atomic Audit: The Costs and Consequences of U.S. Nuclear Weapons
since 1940 (Brookings Institution Press, forthcoming).  Estimate does not
include any costs associated with R&D, testing, or production of nuclear
warheads (for example, those for the Sprint and Spartan missiles for

"Voters were livid upon learning that $99 billion has been spent on
ballistic missile defense, with little to show for the investment.  Many
asked "Where the hell is all the money going?" Nearly all participants
were of the opinion that if we were not able to develop a system after
spending $99 billion, then we better give up.  "It's pretty hopeless,"
said one woman.  "We haven't found something to do it with $99 billion,
we're not going to," added another.  As another woman summed it up,
"Enough is enough." Mellman poll, May 1996


John Isaacs
Council for a Livable World
110 Maryland Ave. NE #409
Washington, DC 20002
p:(202) 543-4100 f:(202)543-6297