Because we thought Reagan smartly triggered the CCCP1.0 to go for an arm race.
SDI program triggered the soviet program and since russian were «intoxicated» with news of the over performing results of the system, they set their economy full throttle to try to counter USA's ghost program and since it was all smoke, they diverted so much resources from their real economy that they collapsed.
Why do I say it was a ghost program?
ICMB interception program was based on a simple technology called tomography (using n 2D pictures to reconstruct a 3D scenery like used in MOCAP), and prediction of trajectory.
The reason why tomography was doomed since the beginning in this context, is the reason why patriot missiles failed to protect Israel from the scud missile in the 90's (Koweit war probably). Scud engineering was bad: the mass was not evenly distributed, thus creating a precession movement, thus, in term of trajectory making it unpredictable, and making dynamic tomography a nightmare. Thus patriots fully loaded with fuel failed to intercept the harmless scud (they had no more fuel and almost no explosives) and killed the civilians it was supposed to protect. So patriots had not «bugs» as said in american scientifics newspaper of this time, but a design bug. It was made to intercept well engineered missiles. SDI, was also based on this technology.
Now, 15 years later, I think USA was not smart to trigger this fake arm's race, but as Roosevelt would have said, the USA are dominated by the military industrial context. They believed against all evidence this program could work.
And someone wise stopped it. Unlile any frenchs that should have stopped the rafale program a long time ago.
During Cold war, Europa (England, RFA, Poland, France) were scared like shit to take by mistake a nuclear ogive on the corner of the head. So they tried to deflate the «fear bubble» by playing a double game of transmitting info on each sides so that they were not overstating the power of each others. Basically, European countries were either under USA or Soviet domination and were betraying selectively each sides, and trying to get the situation to cool down.
Why am I speaking of Cold war?
It is hard to tell, but my guts of the old men I am, tell me we are back in cold war: I recognize in Putin's way, some ways of the KGB, and I also recognize some of them in the USA.
Wait, wut! I said USA make me thing of KGB?
Sorry, but, KGB was well known for his intensive program of spying on his own citizens with very invasive technic. For instance, when you hanged up your phone, the microphone was still open. This way KGB could listen to everyone.
Doesn't it looks like familiar? Like NSA program?
The only difference is the «good guys» are now doing it for the same noble reasons the KGB was doing it: identifying threats against the nations that share a common interest in defending noble ideals and power structures (apparatchiks or 1% it is all the same). The finality justify the means they said.
Sorry to tell you, this was KGB's justifications and they were as legitimate as the NSA's actual one. At least USA does not torture people, do they?
Now, NSA program is exponentially costly an inefficient. They forgot the basics of physics once again.
Since I cannot find the content of «old» signal processing first lesson, let me use my memory instead of wikipedia and google:
When we were designing measure system in SP we before everything had to fill two matrices: one for the probability of right/false positive/negative then we had to put a price tag on all events:
|Positive||aiming for 1.0||aiming for 0.0|
|Negative||aiming for 0.0||aiming for 0.0|
|cost or impact||True||False|
|Positive||aiming for 1.0|
|aiming for 0.0|
|Negative||aiming for 0.0||aiming for 0.0|
At least the detection system costs had to be sustainable (fixed operational costs per month was cool, or sometimes 0).
The problem with NSA's technology is not their obvious capacity in detecting true positive, but the fact it has too much false negative and false positive, plus the cost of the system is exponentially raising over time.
Let me put real examples in front of the concepts:
False negative: the cost of not detecting a threat (9/11, ukrainian invasion?, MH370?, London bombing 10 years ago...)
False positive: misc people reporting they cannot take a plane because they are an homonym with a terrorist or having to justify to the secret services why they went on a website for buying a backpack and then on a site to buy fertilizers... (globally all normal citizen harassed on false assumptions of being terrorist or because of identity mistakes)
The cost: in distributed systems we have a diminishing returns system. If you have a hard drive locally, you x2 its size you have x2 data. On the cloud for redundancy reasons it is much more x2 size = x 1.3 data (because of redundancy, fault tolerance, strafing). The data are an integral over time of the flux, they cumulate. So cost are cumulating with a more than linear law.
All the money that DARPA/NSA/government put in research for their weapon tends to percolate in real economy. The «cloud», «big data», «k clustering» technics are the new DARPA net. The first Darpa net was a success in having real time signal coming from all the radars across USA to track potential soviet bombers.
Here, all the economy is intoxicated with a system that encourage scaling with systems based on diminishing returns. So it is an integral of integral of people using resources more than linearly. This integral is divergent and is explosive over time (unless you are using string theory (why do I have difficulties with string theory?)).
As a result this time, it is not sure Russia or whatever country is gonna collapse its economy in the arm race, but USA is sure doomed.
Will Russia or CCCP2.0 win?
Russia has also another problem. Their wealth comes from USA/Europe using too much resources. And their country is blatantly a tinge more corrupted than «occidental», thus they also have to spend more and more resources to extract/access the resources they provide (add Hubbert law).
So will Europa wins? We all are part of a big negative feedback loop.
There is another possibility: I think we are entering a Peloponesian war case.
All of the nations taking part in the potential newcoming cold or hot wars are ready to trade their civilizational values to win. As Sparta/Russia (the dictature that was protecting the weakest) and Athena/USA (the democracy that became an imperialistic power) did.
Just for the record the issue of Peloponesian war is that after that war neither Sparta nor Athena where once again a major power.
The philosophical gain from liberalism, communism, socialism, capitalism all alike was a major breakthrough from the previous political philosophies: we stopped saying homo homini lupus est. These are the first ideologies to say mankind may not be good but we can make it good. So basically we trust citizens and mankind. Anyway, if we don't we cannot face the changing future.
Whatever USA, Russia, European countries, Muslim countries ... are saying they are not anymore following any of these philosophies. They are back to the XVII century where small elits (call them appartchik, 1%, «l'élite», the pure... or whatever) basically distrust the citizens, and are willing to provoke huge conflicts as in early XXth century.
That is a major problem: no future is possible neither without hope, nor without resources. The problem of the actual situation is we are disregarding the resources we are destroying that are necessary for living. The wealthiest don't care anyway, they might think poor people need to die to make a more sustainable planet anyway and they are preserved.
I do find the idea appealing, but... well, a society that kills its production capacity may not have wealthy people for long.
And the more all countries' elits disregard the people, the more we are destroying our civilizations.
So, let's hope we are only facing a cold war 2.0, but given the states of the economies (russian, USA, China...) and the exponential diversion of resources for non productive goals, I guess we pretty much are headed toward a collapse of our civilization.
And if you are interested, I can develop my conclusion and show the root of the problem is Socratic philosophy. Athenians were right to trial him to death even if it was too late to heal the society.