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Massachusetts Institute of Technology • Program in Science, Technology and Society

Science, Technology and Global Security Working Group








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Fall 2006 Courses

STS.073 The Science, Technology, and Politics of Weapons Systems Procurement
(Subject meets with STS.421)
Examines the technical factors that make weapons and military forces effective and the increasingly countervailing influence of political, economic, and bureaucratic forces that often lead to weapons of both greater cost and lower effectiveness. Case studies of weapon systems include the MX long-range ballistic missile; the B-2 strategic bomber; missile defense systems from the 1980s to the present; laser weapons including the Mid Infrared Laser (MIRACL), space based (SBL) and airborne laser (ABL) systems; the Future Combat System; and the Bradley Fighting Vehicle. Students choose and analyze their own case studies.
T. Postol, S. Ghoshroy

STS.076J Technology and Policy of Weapons Systems
Same subject as 17.477J)
Examines in detail the technology of nuclear weapons systems. Topics include nuclear weapons design, effects, targeting, and delivery; ballistic and air breathing missile propulsion and guidance; communications and early warning techniques and systems; and anti-missile, air, and submarine systems. Combines the discussion of technical materials with the national security policy issues raised by the capabilities of these technologies. Considers security issues from the distinct and often conflicting perspectives of technologists, military planners, and political leaders. Subject fulfills the undergraduate public policy requirement in the Political Science major and minor.
T. Postol

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Last modified: 30 April 2009