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The United States Has Ushered in the 'Missile Defense Age'

Friday, Feb. 22, 2008

A U.S. warship prowling the Pacific Ocean has officially ushered in the Missile Defense Age, firing an SM-3 missile-killing rocket to destroy a satellite tumbling toward Earth. "The intercept occurred, and we're very confident we hit the satellite," Gen. James Cartwright, vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, calmly reported.

Like the Rocket Age, which terrified Americans when Sputnik orbited the globe and then transfixed the world when Armstrong took his giant leap on the lunar surface; like the Jet Age, which turned the skies over Korea into a killing field and then opened the way to inexpensive, high-speed global travel; like the Nuclear Age, which ended a war by erasing two cities, put Armageddon within man's grasp and then provided boundless supplies of energy; this new epoch promises to bring both highs and lows, worry and wonder. ...

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