|Today (September 19, 2005) the US Air Force is deactivating the last of what is arguable one of the most effective and controversial strategic nuclear deterrent, the MX Peacekeeper (LGM-118) Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) [I would argue the Trident II D5 SLBM/Ohio-class SSBN is more effective and survivable, but that's just me]. The development and deployment of this system during the 1970s and 1980s was troubled by congressional infighting on defense priorities, as well as varied perceptions, trust, and interpretations of the Soviet threat and arms control intentions. Though taken out of service after less then 20 years, the missiles will not be destroyed; rather they will be stored for spacelaunch, target vehicles, or emergency redeployment. While the US still has 500 of the older and less effective Minuteman III ICBMs in its inventory, the 50 Peacekeepers alone potentially provided more capability then the remaining force. Whether viewed as a necessary evil or the sum of American imperialism (as some would argue), the MX provided an unmatched deterrent in a time when strength was needed to keep the peace and hasten the end of the Cold War.