The world will never be the same again. The tragedy of September 11th, 2001, has changed everything. The streets of New York (or of any major city) will never feel as safe again; flying will never feel the same; sitting at a desk in front of your computer will never be the same. A new kind of war has broken out, with a new kind of enemy, and requiring a new kind of response. In fact, the American administration has been warning for some time about these changes. Since President Bush came to power, he has been telling the American people that the wars of the 21st century are unlikely to be like those we have seen before. His response has been to advocate a national missile defense shield, a measure that could cost anywhere between $60 billion to $200 billion, but one the administration has seen as necessary to combat the perceived threat from rogue nations armed with ballistic missiles. However, in the aftermath of September 11, debate has broken out about whether this is in fact the appropriate response. For supporters of national missile defense, the terrorist attacks are a vindication, proof that America is a target and that its enemies will not hesitate to unleash mass destruction on innocent civilians. For opponents of Bush’s missile defense program, however, the attacks represent just the opposite. They suggest that the threat is unlikely to come from easily identified external enemies, and that the dangers are as likely to be internal. If terrorists can use a commercial jetliner as a missile, say opponents of Bush’s program, then what use would a missile shield be What’s needed, they argue, is greater funding for old-fashioned intelligence and spying. As part of a series of special iPetitions-sponsored petitions, we are asking you to make your voice count on this issue. Should the US abandon the national missile program and focus instead on strengthening intelligence Or do the events of September 11th mean that the US should step up its efforts to protect the country from missile attacks The results of your feedback will be sent to President Bush and leaders of Congress at an appropriate time.
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