The "Fresh Ideas" column by Abby Johnson slamming a missile defense system was neither an idea nor was it fresh. Her diatribe denouncing our ability to create an effective system, while stating that the money would be better spent on "food and medicine," ignores that long term success our country has enjoyed at keeping our enemies from invading us by maintaining advanced defense systems.
Her view that the "military industrial complex" is nothing more than a greedy capitalistic monster is an outright lie. The vast majority of individuals working for companies engaged in defense truly believe they are helping to keep our country safe. These are mostly people with advanced educations who are not easily duped.
Putting a man on the moon was a more formidable task than the proposed missile defense system. As with that effort, there will certainly be failures during the development process but these usually result in designs that will create a more robust system.
Johnson continued her diatribe with our building and selling war planes, supposedly done to keep the greedy complex in money. However, by continuing to build and sell the most advanced military hardware, our country makes it very difficult for most other countries to justify having their own development programs.
This means our country always had the most effective defense while the rest of the world is unable to catch up. Federal dollars spent keeping hundreds of millions of our citizens safe allows us to grow more food and develop better medicines because we are in little danger of losing all that we have worked for to someone like Hitler.