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    Missile Defense

Technology has always found its greatest consumer in a nation's war and defense efforts. Since the last attempts at a "Star Wars" defense system, has technology changed considerably enough to make the latest Missile Defense initiatives more successful? Can such an application of science be successful? Is a militarized space inevitable, necessary or impossible?

Read Debates, a new Web-only feature culled from Readers' Opinions, published every Thursday.

Earliest Messages Previous Messages Recent Messages Outline (74 previous messages)

johnberndt - 09:26pm Jun 9, 2000 EST (#75 of 11858)

canaryx - 08:24pm Jun 9, 2000 EDT (#74 of 74)

ABM is stupid because it can't accomplish its mission -- which I assume is to prevent a missile attack from causing great harm. I worked in the defense business where ABM was viewed as impractical but a nice source of research funding. Why is ABM a bad idea? 1) Accuracy problems -- we won't be able to knock off many incoming missiles. 2) Detection problems -- it's easy to confuse an ABM with chaff and decoys. 3) Fallout problems -- if we do hit any incoming missiles, what will happen to those below the debris? 4) Proliferation issues -- since a few won't do the job, we'll want to keep throwing good money after bad, fielding more and more ABM systems in different locations. 5) Cost -- it's going to cost A LOT OF MONEY -- which we could spend on real deterrents such as diplomacy and well-trained and equipped military forces. Furthermore, ABM gives us a false sense of security and diverts us from the true US mission need: to strengthen our world relationships so we are at less risk of being attacked in the first place.

Then the Chinese and Russians should be happy about it. We are obviously wasting money on something that is useless instead of building up a real threat for them. :)

harddaysworker - 02:42am Jun 12, 2000 EST (#76 of 11858)

Your average rogue state or terrorist isn't going to have the ability to design dummy warheads that can fool a missle defense system. In all likelyhood, a missle launched at the US will be from a small group that managed to get one or two passed all of our other security measures. Contrary to popular belief, intercontinental ballistic missles (with MIRV's aren't widely available on the black market and can't be easily moved.

This project isn't designed to shoot down volleys of Russian missles. it's going to be designed to shoot down a small number of incoming by some mentally unstable terrorist group.

The alternative is to leave retaliation to the president or NORAD if such an attack occurs. I can assure you, any retaliation would be nuclear.

nilent - 10:58pm Jun 12, 2000 EST (#77 of 11858)
"If this were a dictatorship; it'd be a heck of a lot easier......just so long as I'm the dictator". 12.18.00 THIEF IN CHIEF: BUSH (trying to make a "funny")

The rich corrupt s o b's that run the Military Industrial Complex are hoping and praying that Iraq Korea...etc etc somehow get the capacity to launch ICBM's at the US. They want/need this to happen to justify their continuing to rip off/rape the US economy/taxpayer.

Unfortunately, for them, these countries can barely feed their own people....and, I dare say, should we EVER detect that Hussein or Kim were getting anywhwere NEAR the capacity to launch ANY nuclear tipped would be in the national security interests of the US to pre-emptively DESTROY the offending potential before it was built.

The threat of a "suitcase bomb" is a FAR more credible one...and a trillion bucks worth of hardware in orbit won't do s**t about that!

Let's face it...this is a massive boondoggle for the benefit of people who are already filthy rich and don't give a rats ass about what's good for the American citizen/taxpayer.

In fact it's in their interest for more and more "technology transfers" of more and more sophisticated weaponry to flood the this way WE have to spend TRILLIONS more to keep up with the "threat".

Follow the money. These merchants of death have the bucks to buy/bribe/lobby the Congress and to pay any amount it takes to create a PR/public perception of paranoia.

Are there real threats to our interests? Yes, of SDI or "Star Wars" or this latest nonsense a solution? No way.

Our foreign policy has the short and long term peace, stability, prosperity, and freedom of the worlds peoples as it's LAST regard. When we start REALLY standing for those things; we won't need such an overwhelming global MI Complex WASTING our rescources. Our foreign policy is ALL about money and the short term profitability of a few large "players".

As it stands now; the MI Complex is little more than organised crime "legally" scamming us.

The following articles from todays Times only serve to buttress my points.

I recall reading a lengthy Scientific American article in the early eighties exposing the absurdities of's the same c rapola all over again.

I wish the Dems had the guts to call the Repubs on this idiocy; but theiy are, evidently, bought and paid for by the same interests.

It's a dirty rotten shame.

nilent - 11:13pm Jun 12, 2000 EST (#78 of 11858)
"If this were a dictatorship; it'd be a heck of a lot easier......just so long as I'm the dictator". 12.18.00 THIEF IN CHIEF: BUSH (trying to make a "funny")

eurvater - 08:02am Jun 9, 2000 EDT (#48 of 77)

Both Clinton's "limited" missile defense program, and George W.'s mega missile defense proposal are not essentially different from Reagan's original SDI. They are multi-billion dollar boondoggles whose only function is to provide risk-free subsidies to high-tech defense industries and huge payoffs to stock holders of these industries. It is a sad sight to witness our political leaders squandering huge sums on science fiction while lying to the public about these system's abilities to "defend" us against nuclear war. To be sure, spend enough money and we might be able to "pull something off." But what we would "pull off" would be a dismally flawed system, easily circumvented by decoys, suitcase bombs, bombs on ships, and the like. The world will be a more dangerous, not a safer place. And we will continue to waste our discretionary funds to keep our ever-expanding high-tech military industries afloat, as our own civilian infrastructure continues to rot for lack of funds.


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