The End of the MX
"It was a defining symbol of an era," says John Pike, director of GlobalSecurity.org. "For its supporters, it was 'peace through strength.' For its opponents, it was 'the mad momentum of the arms race.' Both sides cared about it so much. Now it's going out, and nobody even notices."
It was the biggest intercontinental ballistic missile the United States ever built - 71 feet long, 7 feet, 8 inches in diameter, 195,000 pounds, tipped with 10 nuclear warheads, each sufficiently powerful and accurate (at least in theory) to blast apart a concrete-hardened Soviet missile silo. (Its predecessor, the Minuteman III, held only three, less potent warheads.)
In the mid-1970's, the Air Force saw a growing threat from Moscow. The Soviets were deploying their own monster missile, the SS-18, which could fling 10 large warheads at separate targets. Many worried that enough SS-18's could destroy all our ICBM's in a first strike. With the MX, we could pose the same threat to their ICBM's.
comments powered by Disqus
William Richard Cron - 9/21/2005
Don't let the silo door hit you on the way out...
- Hull of Confederate Submarine H.L. Hunley Found 150 Years Later
- U.S. Textbook Skews History, Prime Minister of Japan Says
- Recalling a Film From the Liberation of the Camps
- Skull Fossil Offers New Clues on Human Journey From Africa
- Are crude conspiracies right? Research shows nations really do go to war over oil
- Ronald Suny says historians have shied away from exploring the roots of the Armenian genocide for fear of taking attention away from the victims
- Columbia University professors Eric Foner, Alan Brinkley, and Alice Kessler-Harris to retire
- A powerhouse appropriations subcommittee is now headed by a historian: Republican Rep. Tom Cole (OK)
- Slavic scholars divided over a scholarship sponsored (and withdrawn) by Stephen F. Cohen
- Claire Strom to Step Down as Editor of Agricultural History