Today marks the ninth anniversary of the beginning of the Strategic Defense Initiative. The men and women of the SDI program have accomplished a great deal. They have proven repeatedly that we can intercept warheads in space. They have made great advances in smaller, cheaper, more sophisticated interceptors. In short, they have pushed back the frontiers of science and engineering.
Moreover, the events of the past several years have proven the critical importance of missile defenses. Last year in the Gulf war, our Patriot system defended our troops and allies from Saddam Hussein's Scud missiles. Today, the Russians join us in recognizing the value of missile defenses and have expressed interest in a global ballistic missile defense system. With the development of the GPALS missile defense system, the United States will be able to confront successfully the growing dangers of instability and missile proliferation.
With the passage of the Missile Defense Act in 1991, the Congress joined the administration commitment to fielding ballistic missile defenses. With continuing support from Congress we can achieve our goal and remove the threat of limited ballistic missile strikes for the American people and our friends and allies.