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SDI or S.D.I. abbreviation
Strategic Defense Initiative.
Strategic Defense Initiative
Strategic Defense Initiative
(SDI), United States military research program for developing an antiballistic
missile (ABM) defense system, first proposed by President Ronald Reagan
in 1983. As initially described, the system would provide the United States
with total protection against nuclear attack. This strategy was based on
the concept of deterrence through the threat of retaliation.
The goal of the SDI system was to intercept incoming missiles high above the earth using space- and ground-based nuclear X-ray lasers, subatomic particle beams, and computer-guided projectiles fired by electromagnetic rail guns- all controlled by a supercomputer. Supporting these weapons would have been a network of space-based sensors and specialized mirrors for directing the laser beams toward targets.
With the dissolution of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) in the early 1990s, the signing of arms control treaties, and the election of Bill Clinton as president in 1992, the SDI was given a lower budgetary priority. In 1993 the Ballistic Missile Defense Organization (BMDO) was established in its place. The BMDO was a less costly program using ground-based antimissile systems.
Wars, Strategic Defense Initiative, SDI
safeguard: arms, deterrent, Star Wars, SDI, weapon
arms: nuclear deterrent, Star Wars, Strategic Defense Initiative, SDI, defense
President Reagan proposes a "Strategic Defense
Initiative" to protect America and her allies with a high-tech shield against
nuclear missiles. His March 23
speech envisions flocks of satellites that will shoot down incoming missiles
with lasers, but projected costs of what Sen. Kennedy calls a "Star Wars"
program are staggering, and since it will have to be virtually 100 percent
effective, few scientists believe it is feasible at any cost. Moscow views
SDI as a move to escalate the arms war into outer space.
"PARIS -- They're calling it the 'Star Wars Mystery' -- the enigmatic deaths of 10 British scientists and technicians, all of whom worked on projects linked to President Reagan's space- based anti-missile program, the Strategic Defense Initiative.
"All of the deaths have occurred within the past 24 months, since Britain began to contribute to 'Star Wars' research.
"All took place in mysterious or violent circumstances.
"Four of the deaths were recorded as suicides and two as a result of accidents. In four other cases, coroner's juries handed down an 'open' verdict, meaning they could not determine how the victims died.
"The latest case came two weeks ago. Andrew Hall, a 33- year-old engineer with the British Aerospace company, was found suffocated in his car, a hosepipe connected to the exhaust. Verdict: suicide.
"Only a month earlier, Alistair Beckham, a senior space engineer with another major defense contractor, PLESSEY, was discovered in his garden shed, bound up in electric wires running to his house. He had been electrocuted.
"Although Beckham's death was ruled a suicide, his widow was convinced he was murdered.
"'Alistair had no personal or professional problems,' Mary Beckham said. 'He wasn't subject to depression. Murder is the sole explanation that is reasonable.'
"Member of Parliament Douglas Hoyle, who issued a call for an official investigation into the strange string of deaths even before the Beckham case, agrees that 'something sinister' appears to be going on.
"'The number of these deaths is now becoming too odd to be a coincidence any more,' he insists.
"The government has so far turned down Hoyle's demand, but last week ordered the police forces who investigated the nine deaths to 'exchange information.'
"Sources said NATO intelligence authorities in Brussels recently asked their British counterparts for a report on the affair.
"'Five of the men who died worked in sensitive posts for the same defense contractor, BRITISH MARCONI,' a NATO source said. 'Two were senior scientists at the Royal Military College of Science. We'd be remiss in our duty if we didn't take a very close look into this matter.'
"Chief Superintendent Arthur Ford, the policeman put in charge of coordinating the investigations, insists nothing has been found to link the deaths.
"Hoyle says that's 'nonsense.' He pointed out that two others, LIKE Hall, died from fumes in locked cars whose engines were running.
"Police officials continue to theorize that the deaths were attributed to personal stress to which defense industry scientists are often subjected. Marconi personnel manager John Shipley dismisses that notion.
"'We investigated each (of the five Marconi employee deaths),' he says. 'We didn't find a single instance of work stress or even suspicion of it,' he said.
"Besides Hall and Beckham, these people died:
"--Marconi scientist Ashad Sharif was found in his car with a rope tied from his neck to a nearby tree on October 1986. The car had lurched forward, choking Sharif to death. Open verdict.
"--Ministry of Defense computer specialist Richard Pugh was found with a plastic bag over his head in January 1987. Ruled an accident.
"--Royal Military College scientist John Brittan, found suffocated in his car in the same month. 'Accidental death.'
"--Marconi design engineer Victor Moore, found in February 1987 dead of an apparent drug overdose. Verdict: suicide.
"--Royal Military College scientist Peter Peapell found run over by a car the same month. Open verdict.
"--Marconi satellite project manager David Sands drove his car loaded with gasoline cans into a wall in April 1987. Open verdict.
"--Marconi weapons engineer Trevor Knight, found in a car with a hose connected to the exhaust this March. Apparent suicide.
"--Marconi scientist John Ferry, found electrocuted, in July 1988. Open verdict...."