War in Space pp 107-120 | Cite as

The Cold War and Missile Defense

  • Linda Dawson
Part of the Springer Praxis Books book series (PRAXIS)


The Cold War (1945–1991) was a nontraditional conflict between two conflicting ideologies—communism and democracy. The Soviet bloc countries (USSR) were pitted against the US-led Western powers. Rather than manifesting as a traditional conflict waged through extensive use of weapons, the Cold War was conducted using propaganda, political hostility, and threats. America’s free-market capitalism was used as a powerful positive force against communism, a form of socialism. Most importantly, the two superpowers leading the charge both possessed weapons of mass destruction. Many major crises occurred during the Cold War decades, a few bringing the world to the brink of nuclear war.


Missile interceptors Ground-based Midcourse Defense Defense Support Program (DSP) Early warning system The Missile Defense Alarm System (MIDAS) DSP satellites The Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI) Ronald Reagan Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty (ABM Treaty) SDI scientific concepts Boost Surveillance and Tracking System (BSTS) The Space-Based Laser (SBL) The Ground-Based Laser (GBL) Global Protection Against Limited Strikes (GPALS) Brilliant Pebbles 

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Linda Dawson
    • 1
  1. 1.Senior Lecturer EmeritusUniversity of WashingtonTacomaUSA

Personalised recommendations