Week 4 Post

During the Cold War, the need for the development of Intercontinental ballistic missiles was very high. If nuclear war was to break out between the United States and the Soviet Union, the United States needed to be ready to strike back right away. The United States created nuclear silos located in 7 different states: Montana, Wyoming, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Colorado, and Missouri, where “Minute Men” would stand by 24 hours a day to launch the missiles when given the order. The reason that these “Minute Men Missile Launch sites” were located in these states was that it made it very hard for the Soviet Union to attack because it was inland, and away from the ocean. The Missle Sites were created due to the Cold War Economy. The Cold War economy was that the budget of the United States had to be balanced between military spending and keeping a healthy economy. The sitting president of this time was former military general Dwight D. Eisenhower. During his presidency, the interstate highway systems were created for Americans to travel across the United States more efficiently, but there was also the creation of the Dwight D. Eisenhower system of interstate and defense highways. This highway system was created to transport a large number of military personnel across the United States, but was also used to transport and create these “ Minutes Man Silos”. The underground missile silos helped out the Cold War economy because it was cheaper to build them underground than above ground even with increased spending opportunities from congress. The creation of these Launch facilities was also well-embraced by the residents and helped the local economy. According to the article, “the project promised $60 million in construction contracts alone”(Heefner,2007). This was huge for the economy in the Rapid City area because there were few organic jobs there for the residents. 

After the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, the tensions between the United States and the Soviet Union died down. The need for these “Minute Man Missle Silos” died out too. The next question was how to get rid of this missile without causing too many issues. The START treaty was created to give specific guidelines to deactivate and destroy these silos. The silos were to be destroyed to a depth of 8 meters by either explosion or excavation. The nose cone was to be left open for satellite purposes. On the other hand, the joint force of the National Park Service and the Air Force wanted to create these locations as historic sites. The reason that they wanted to create this historic site was “to preserve, protect and interpret the Minuteman II system, its historical role as part of “America’s strategic commitment to preserving world peace”(Heefner,2007).

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