Which Countries Can Defend Against Nuclear Missiles?

In 2016, the United States angered Russia by activating a missile defense system in Romania to defend US allies Few countries around the world have the means to implement their own missile defense system, so which ones do? Well, missile defense is incredibly complex and expensive, and has been described as trying to “hit a bullet with another bullet”

Originally it was actually a byproduct of the Cold War As Russia and the US squared off with their nuclear weapon stockpiles, the threat of attack kept both from actually using any But it was clear that whichever side perfected their defensive technology would have the upper hand, and in a strange twist, better defense actually increased the risk of nuclear war So in 1972, the two signed the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty, which limited their missile defense to cover just the country capitals, Washington DC and Moscow, as well as their missile launch sites But just ten years after it was signed, the United States announced the disastrous Strategic Defense Initiative, nicknamed Star Wars

This system was part of President Ronald Reagan's attempts to end the doctrine of mutually assured destruction, and worked, basically by shooting lasers from space The leader of Russia’s Communist Party called the plan “insane”, and so did many of Reagan’s critics After 30 billion dollars in spending, Star Wars was eventually shut down and transformed into America’s National Missile Defense program, which relies on radar and satellite tracking to take down incoming missiles Since 1985, the US has spent roughly $180 billion dollars on missile defense alone In 2002 the US withdrew from the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty, and placed anti-ballistic missiles on Navy ships patrolling around the world, as well as in the Black Sea near Russia, citing security concerns from rogue states and terrorists

Another country heavily reliant on missile defense is Israel The program, called The Arrow, was built and funded in collaboration with the United States The Arrow was introduced when it was revealed that a number of neighboring Middle Eastern states had acquired long range, surface-to-surface missiles But Israel also sees a large number of short-range rocket attacks from Hamas in the Gaza Strip To combat that problem, the country also has what they call “the Iron Dome”, which uses faster and smaller missiles, and has a reported success rate of about 90% While 31 countries have ballistic missiles, only five countries have their own form of missile defense

Besides the US, Israel, and Russia, missile defense systems are also operated by India as well as France, which shares its technology with Italy and the UK But despite the huge cost and significance of defending against potential nuclear missiles, the reality of these systems is that they frequently miss their targets in testing, and may not be nearly as reliable as they need to be for protection We couldn’t make fascinating episodes like this without our sponsor, DOMAIN DOT COM If you’re an entrepreneur, innovator, or building a small business, DOMAIN DOT COM is the place to go when that next great idea hits you Join millions of others online with your DOT COM or DOT NET domain name

Be recognized with the world’s premier web addresses And our friends at DOMAIN DOT COM are giving Seeker fans 20% off domain names and web hosting when you use coupon code SEEKER at checkout Since defense systems mainly work to stop nuclear attacks, it's pretty important to know who actually has the capability to launch one So, which countries have nuclear weapons? Thanks for watching, don’t forget to subscribe to Seeker Daily for more videos every day

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