Readings and activities to help students consider and debate the pros and cons.
by Alan Shapiro
- protection from attack
- North Korea
- nuclear bombs
- will it work?
Student Reading 1:
The Missile Defense Issue
- Huge leaps in the power of explosives, especially nuclear bombs. Even one such bomb is capable to destroying a city and killing millions of people.
- Huge leaps in the speed and distance weapons of mass destruction can travel via ballistic missiles. These missiles can cover 8,000 miles at a speed of 15,000 miles per hour.
- the revolutionary changes in warfare
- the purpose of the ABM Treaty
- why the U.S. withdrew from it
- the nature of the limited Bush missile defense plan
- why the missile defense issue is so important
- the workability of missile defense
- the cost of missile defense
- the purposes of missile defense plans
- Which, if any, of the questions in your notebook does the article answer?
- What questions, if any, does each article raise for you? Be prepared to ask these questions in class.
Student Reading 2:
The Pros and Cons of Missile Defense
- Do you support building a missile defense system to defend Americans against nuclear attack?
- Do you support continuing to try to build a missile defense system even though the expenditure of billions of dollars has not produced anything yet?
- Do you support efforts to build a missile defense system that Pentagon experts believe will defend Americans against an attack?
- Do you support efforts to build a missile defense system even though many scientists do not believe that one will ever work?
- Will respondents understand the complexity of a missile defense system?
- Should the questions in the survey be preceded by a brief explanation of some of the ingredients in it?
- How fair is the wording? Will words like "defend Americans" and "billions of dollars has not produced anything yet" evoke emotional rather than reasoned responses?
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