Essay on American Technological Advancements and the Cold War

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American Technological Advancements and the Cold War

Many of the military technological advancements that have been made in the last 60 years can be attributed to the Cold War. Much of the technology developed during the period of the Cold War is still in use today by the military and government. Advancements in offensive technology are well known to just about everyone in the way of nuclear energy harnessed in the form of the nuclear bomb, but little is known about the battle for information during the Cold War. The Cold War produced some of the most advanced technology used in the fields of detection and reconnaissance in history. The United States’ detection and reconnaissance technology played a major role against communism
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Pinetree Line was completed in 1954 and is made up of 33 stations across southern Canada. The McGill Fence was completed in 1957 and consists of Doppler radar (for low-flying air crafts and missiles) along the 55th parallel of North America. Thanks to the DEW line system of radars, North America is given about three hours before largely populated cities are reached by aircraft or missile from the Soviet Union. On September 12, 1957 NORAD came online in Cheyenne Mountain, Colorado. NORAD played an unusual role during the Cold War.
On July 31, 1979 Ronald Reagan visited NORAD. During Reagan’s visit asked if the United States had any defense against a missile attack and was told that U.S. has no defense against nuclear attack, except for the threat of retaliation (Fitzgerald 20). Soon after taking office, Reagan “launched the largest peace-time military buildup in American history” and gave the go ahead on the Strategic Defense Initiative also known as Star War (Fitzgerald 148). Star War utilized laser and satellite technology to push Soviet missiles off course and stop them from hitting their intended targets. Although the project was scraped by the United States, both the United States and the Soviet Union put billions of dollars into the project thus contributing to the collapse of the Soviet Union and the end of the Cold War. The role that NORAD has taken to today is quite different form its earlier role during the Cold War.
In 1989 NORAD suffered from