The other week we heard a bit of hoo-hah in the news about Presidents Obama and Medvedev signing a New START (START is an acronym derived from STrategic Arms Reduction Treaty*) treaty in Prague. (This was 8 April.)
What went totally under my radar is that “buried deep inside” the treaty is a provision that permits a new weapon called Prompt Global Strike. This system is not yet online, but permits a conventional (non-nuclear) missile that can hit a target anywhere around the globe in a matter of hours. Maybe as many as 96 hours, but still, that’s hours to hit anywhere around the globe.
NY Times authors David E. Sanger and Thom Shanker note:
Under the Obama plan, the Prompt Global Strike warhead would be mounted on a long-range missile to start its journey toward a target. It would travel through the atmosphere at several times the speed of sound, generating so much heat that it would have to be shielded with special materials to avoid melting.
Can you say: scary?
* …which means using “treaty” after the word START is redundant, but, sorry, the sentence sounds silly to me without the duplication….