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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?
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(119 previous messages)
- 07:22am Jul 6, 2000 EST (#120
evenbetta, I wasn't doing history, but am impressed with your
lesson- it's nice to know others have shared the idea that defense
is a better theory than offense. As for Canada being officially
neutral, I guess in that sense it isn't; but in my mind it is one of
those benign, peaceful nations that one would not expect to be the
source of a nuclear attack- ergo my use of it in that example.
Neatly packaging rational actors in a separate container from
irrational loose canons- it is precisely that type of thinking I
worry about. Given that any effective defense shield would probably
take what-10, 20 years to perfect...will that still be true? You
seem to demand that we all accept these status quo positions as
forever running parallel into the future. Since you are more
familiar with history than I, find a suitable example of the world
being caught with its pants down.
Once again it is the concept of defense over offense, the idea
that we would have response time and control of events that argue in
favor of changing our approach. And research being what it is, so
many other ideas and smaller scale inventions might come from this
change of direction, I just can't see us walking away. And now that
the idea is out and about, bet on it; other rational countries
aren't walking away either. No doubt, it's why they doth protest so
- 07:52am Jul 6, 2000 EST (#121
"Nobel Winners Urge Halt to Missile Plan". If it's any
consolation, evenbetta, you seem to be traveling in good company. I
give a lot of weight to these knowledgeable opinions- but still
believe this avenue of defense is one we should not ignore.
- 09:58am Jul 6, 2000 EST (#122
See the story in the NY Times, July 5, "U.S. study Reopens
Division Over Nuclear Missile Threat". Once again, the threat from
these countries, N. Korea, Iraq and Iran are likely to be
overstated. Some of the analyses done previously focus only on the
technical possiblilities of these countries creating a missile which
could reach the U.S. Not only are some of these analyses overly
generous in respect to the countries' technical prowess, but they
totally ignore the political, social and economic issues which would
make them not likely to attack the U.S. These analyses are created
by people whose agenda is to build this system. They are not
unbiased. Let's listen to the Nobel laureates and others who urge
caution. At least let's take a breath and look carefully before we
commit so much money to this system that we continue to build it
only because it develops a life of its own. Continue the research,
but let's not go down a path which will be expensive, irrevocable
and has the potential to set off a new round of arms buildup that we
all would regret.
- 10:30am Jul 6, 2000 EST (#123
palousereader - 07:22am Jul 6, 2000 EDT (#120 of 122)
Once again Sir, you fail to understand that your 'defense' is
'offensive' to every thing else-and as such requires all others to
move to match your 'defense' position-not against individuals-but
- 01:41pm Jul 6, 2000 EST (#124
"Neatly packaging rational actors in a separate container from
irrational loose canons-canons- it is precisely that type of
thinking I worry about"
Who talked of 'neatly packaging'. This is exactly what your ABM
system wants to do. It wants someone to act 'this way only' yet it
never considers that ANY WAY is suitable for the simple objective of
attacking knowing without question and without care that such an
action will mean being obliverated.
"Since you are more familiar with history than I, find a suitable
example of the world being caught with its pants down."
Any building of a wall in human history. The Great Wall of
China.Building any wall in human history in the end is futile.They
are temporary and your attempt to build one for a long term solution
goes against the very patterns of time and human history itself.
- 03:53pm Jul 6, 2000 EST (#125
There is a certain insanity connected to this whole business of
missile defense. To quote Tom Friedman "we want to build a system
that doesn't work to defend ourselves from an enemy that doesn't
exist". I concur with that statement.
First, a "system that doesn't work". It is well known that the
more complex a system is, the greater the likelihood that it will
not work. And this missile defense system is exceedingly complex.
The chances of something going wrong are infinitely greater than -
say, the typical computer system, which in itself is never really
And where is the enemy? North Korea is already moving toward a
peace with the south.
As I write this, a test is being set up, a rigged test, I might
add. Where its exact trajectory, size, weight, etc. is known. As
well as everything about it's single decoy. Not only that but even
the countdown will be heard by those responsible for intercepting
And any missile defense system can be easily overwhelmed simply
by increasing the number of missiles, the number of warheads on each
missile and the number of decoys, and a "defense" will actually
encourage other nations in doing this, including Russia and China,
nations who don't see us in quite the benevolent way we see
But the real insanity in all this has been on the issue of
nuclear prolferation. We've known for fifty years that the greatest
threat to the world was the proliferation of nuclear weapons to many
small countries. And not only have not we (and the nations of the
world) done nothing about it, but have actually encourged it by the
transfer of nuclear technologies to other countries.
- 07:03pm Jul 6, 2000 EST (#126
When will responsible leaders and leading newspapers like the New
York Times and the Washington Post, finally come out with the only
responsible position on this issue of building an ABM system. The
position is that there ought to be restraint, there is no credible
evidence that this system should be built and that the more details
that are known about this the more it seems that this is an idea
which is premature at best. Let's see how we can stop this
juggernaut that seems to have a life of its own before it becomes a
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