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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 (140 previous messages)

evenbetta - 09:56am Jul 7, 2000 EST (#141 of 11858)

the right question.

'"It's so easy to write (as I have) that North Korea will threaten America with a single strike if they fail to remove American forces from the DMZ'

now,now, now,

this above one is a favorite among the advocates of NMD.

but think about it Country A, threatens country B with a single strike that will allow the state to live on-but with massive loss of life to a region.All country A wants is country B to leave ZONE A.

So-being the realists Country A and B are-they sit back exchange smirks and finallly Country B realises something that Country A in (REAL LIFE WOULD NEVER FORGET AND THEREFORE WOULD NEVER EVEN THREATEN COUNTRY B) but hey-it would appear supports of NMD like fantasy so play a long

Country B- comes to the realization

they turn on their space monitor-like in Star Trek(thats what this is all about)

and they sit back and Kirk goes

'Khan-we agree-we will leave ZOME A'

-Khan the leader of Country A-is quite content-and he watches as this big country A backs out of ZONE A and leaves.

darkness falls-and all the world is abuzz about how Country A kicked out Country B out of Zone A with a threat.

Khan talks about national unity and how the survival of the state made him decide that he wanted Zone A.

everone is perplexed.Counrys around the globe start wondering 'ummmm I wonder if I can threaten country B.'

But then-while everyone is doing nothing. Country B does something in one MASSIVE SWIFT BLOW


vic.hernandez - 10:53am Jul 7, 2000 EST (#142 of 11858)

palousereader, you aren't the only NYT reader in favor of a NMD. It makes sense. It may not be perfect, but like anti-aircraft defenses, they will improve over time.

The primary objection to even trying is that any system we deploy now won't be perfect. That is there won't be 100% assurance that every shot will hit a warhead. That something will get through. Therefore, since we can't have perfect protection, we won't have any. Since seatbelts and airbags wont't protect me against all injury in all crashes, I won't have them. The fact that within the parameters of their design they do provide substantial protection is immaterial, no perfect protection available, none will be obtained.

I dare say, if we use grodh2 and evanbetta's arguments in everyday life, that we would never do anything as simple as develop a spreadsheet model. Since we counldn't test against known parameters and known outcomes, we wouldn't know if the outcomes were valid. Things don't spring up full blown. They are developed, and tested, and improved continuosly.

The history of warfare has been one of continuous changing from advantage defense to advantage offense. The cycle has been repeated over the last 5,000 years of conflict. Why is it no longer so now? Because we wish it so? Not likely. This subject is too important for decisions to be made based on emotion.

With more and more countries developing nuclear weapons and ICBM technology, it seems to me that by creating and continually improving a defensive shield that some of the impetus for these countries to develop such things is removed. Why spend resources on a system that won't be useful because there already exists a counter. Remember, $60 billion to us over a 10 year period is a different hurt than even $1 billion to most other economies. Is this an opportunity to pull the predeator's fangs prior to this using them? In fact, is this an opportunity to prevent the preadator from growing them?

edemer - 10:55am Jul 7, 2000 EST (#143 of 11858)

If I were a rogue state, I'd put my bomb in a rowboat, cover it with walleyes and smuggle it in from Canada.

evenbetta - 11:06am Jul 7, 2000 EST (#144 of 11858)

"The primary objection to even trying is that any system we deploy now won't be perfect."

  • No-the primary objection to even trying is that it provides a chance-where no chance existed before-it increases the utilization of nuclear weapons.Thus you actually LOWER your protection rather then INCREASE it by the building of this system.

    I have not a doubt in my mind that if one pumps enough tax dollars into this dog-you will get him to bark.Trouble is-it does nothing.

    evenbetta - 11:09am Jul 7, 2000 EST (#145 of 11858)

    vic.hernandez -

    You do not understand the very reason why WMD have not been used since 1945. You design a 'shield' you INCREASE the chance that nuclear devices aer used.

    annenk38 - 01:23pm Jul 7, 2000 EST (#146 of 11858)

    edjohengen - 03:42pm Jun 6, 2000 EDT (#28 of 145)

    Missile defense is not a threat to the Russians and Chinese, it is a threat to their ability to destroy us!!!

    Not necessarily. While the missile defence system is not a threat to Russia or China in itself, it is a serious threat in combination with the rest of the nuclear arsenal. If and when successfully implemented, the defence system would allow NATO to selectively target anyone they want with impunity. And with the NATO's current track record, this doesn't seem so unthinkable. Until now, Russia and the US were merely stepping on each other's toes. The threat of mutual annihilation had at least prevented an all-out war.

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