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Nobel Winner: Missile Defense Still Decades Away

File photo of successful missile defense flight test on January 26, 2004, launched from Meck Island in the Kwajalein Island Atoll, for the Ground-based Midcourse Defense program. Photo: Boeing.
Airlie VA (UPI) May 17, 2005
A comprehensive defense against nuclear missiles is still decades away, a Nobel Prize winning U.S. scientist said Tuesday.

"If we could turn on overnight a completely effective missile defense system, I would be completely in favor of it, even if it cost hundreds of billions of dollars," Professor Steven Weinberg, winner of the 1979 Nobel Prize for Physics, told a conference on the militarization of space Tuesday.

The two day conference held in Airlie, Va., was organized by the Nuclear Policy Research Institute.

However, Weinberg described the current system being deployed in Alaska and elsewhere by the Bush administration to defend against a limited ICBM attack as "a system which has no capability at all."

"There is no prospect" of an effective ABM system to defend the United States against ballistic missile attack for years, perhaps even decades, to come," he said.

Weinberg is a physics professor at the University of Texas in Austin.

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