From 2021, The Missile Defense Agency has plans for an elaborate layered homeland missile defense system but questions abound. (Illustration by the Missile Defense Agency) NOTE: Trump's plans go way beyond ground based systems.

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In two speeches, one in Orlando on Saturday and then, again on Wednesday night in Hialeah, Florida, President Donald Trump pledged to meet the threat of civilizational war now stalking the planet by building, at long last, President Reagan’s Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI) when he is re-elected. Although he hasn’t elaborated his program, his promise to launch a renewed SDI, capable of eliminating incoming missiles and bombs, based on new technologies, portends a potential life-saving shift in America’s strategic and economic doctrine.

President Reagan initiated what became known as the SDI in a nationwide address on March 23, 1983, to the great shock of the defense and intelligence establishments which had tried to control him.  He called upon “the scientific community in our country, those who gave us nuclear weapons, to turn their great talents now to the cause of mankind and world peace, to give us the means of rendering these nuclear weapons impotent and obsolete.”

The conceptual framework for Reagan’s program was created by Lyndon LaRouche over the preceding 5 years. LaRouche’s concept was broader than simply a new type of weapons system. LaRouche conceived of missile defense as an economic science driver, which in conjunction with a robust space program, would create and spin-off new technologies to the broader economy, creating a scientific and manufacturing renaissance. 

LaRouche also conceived the SDI as a strategic shift away from the insanity of Mutually Assured Destruction and regional proxy wars to a regime of  “Mutually Assured Survival.”  The latter term, coined by Dr. Edward Teller, fully captured Ronald Reagan’s long held belief that MAD was, indeed, insane and would ultimately result in a nuclear war which would destroy the planet.  Reagan, Teller and LaRouche all proposed sharing the SDI technology with the Soviets as a way of assuring mutual defense and laying the basis for economic cooperation.

Reagan’s proposal was opposed and sabotaged by his own Vice-President George H.W. Bush, the Neo-Cons, the Democratic Party, and the British and Soviet governments. Bush, the British and the Soviet leadership worked hand-in-hand to sabotage the SDI in favor of maintaining the strategic regime of MAD, regional proxy wars and the military-industrial money-making machine. At the famous Reykjavik summit between Gorbachev and Reagan, the Soviet leader rejected Reagan’s offer of joint missile defense. At the same time, Neocons in the Department of Justice, at the direction of the British government, launched a legal witch hunt against LaRouche, that presaged the lawfare being waged today against President Trump.

With the ascension of Bush to the Presidency in 1988 and LaRouche railroaded to prison at the same time, the SDI was completely abandoned and the disastrous regime of forever wars that cost trillions of dollars and millions of lives dominated for more than 25 years until President Trump ended that policy, much to the lasting enmity of the opponents of the SDI.

Now President Trump has pledged to revive this policy, stating, “Ronald Reagan wanted to do it, but at that time they really didn't have the technology," Trump said. "The concept was good, but we have unbelievable technology: You can shoot a needle out of the air; it's incredible.”

Experts consulted by LPAC have pointed to new developments in lasers and sensing technology that make the development of missile defense feasible. Even more important, shifting America’s military orientation away from the bloated military-industrial complex that focuses on expensive weapons for forever wars that make lots of money for the defense industry but are virtually useless for actually preventing wars and defending the U.S. would be a major benefit to American security. Further, the new advanced technologies developed by a full program for continental missile defense would spin-off these new technologies to yet unknown economic applications. Combined with the Artemis program, this science driver effect would surpass the massive benefits of the Apollo project and the 1970’s and 1980’s military research that spun-off the fundamental technologies, such as miniaturized electronics, lasers, etc. on which the economy has been relying ever since.

Trump’s SDI commitment could fire the necessary leap we must have to produce our way out of the dire economic and strategic straits in which we find ourselves.  His recognition of this fact puts him far above any other candidate for president in 2024 and way ahead of any U.S. president after Ronald Reagan.