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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.

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boeingsupporter - 03:50pm Jul 8, 2000 EST (#156 of 11858)

Is a National Missle Defense necessary? I think so! Other countries are threatened that if the US is successful in developing a strong Missle Defense, it will diminish their "missle power". Tell me how that would make a weaker world? If countries think it's necessary to have the 'strength' to destroy another country, then how peaceful is that?!?

Most US states require liability automobile insurance, and most Americans have homeowners and life insurance. Isn't a Missle Defense system just an insurance? Do other motorists feel threatened knowing that you have auto insurance to protect you? No...because they aren't out to destroy you like Russia, China, and some other countries may be.

If the US is successful in developing a strong National Missle Defense system, maybe other countries will follow that lead, and do the same. Then, maybe ALL countries...including the US...will lose that "missle power", and we can all live in a peaceful world. But wait, we still have to look out for those sport utility vehicles...that we all know were designed to destroy the 'normal' motorist!

It's all about INSURANCE! I support the National Missle Defense INSURANCE....and I am behind Boeing as the Lead Systems Integrator.

frankmz - 06:55pm Jul 8, 2000 EST (#157 of 11858)

<< It's all about INSURANCE! I support the National Missle Defense INSURANCE....and I am behind Boeing as the Lead Systems Integrator.

Hogwash! A system that doesn't work is not insurance. All any nation has to do to defeat a missile defence system is to build enough missiles to overwhelm the system.

The very existence of a missile defence system promotes an arms race , so we have spent hundreds of billions of dollars and still would not have a defence against an even bigger threat than existed to begin with!

sdinutss - 08:32pm Jul 8, 2000 EST (#158 of 11858)

palousereader - 09:41am Jul 8, 2000 EDT (#151 of 157)

You just FO NOT GET IT.

(smile) its ok-the concept I am talking about is so simple-so easy-I believe your thinking too much about it.

In both your retorts to my posts you indicated this outside nation or force would step in- yet to fail to note-that in doing so-that nation risks actually in your fantasy its more like insured that they would be obliverated as well-everyone loses!@-thus why nobody does anything-thus why nation A never would threaten nation B-and if it did-it would surely in the not so distance end game mean loss of its survival. Nations with small amounts of nuclear weapons realise that the infliction of pain they can induce is only enough to protect ones national survival. Nations unlike you it appears take into consideration ones survival

sdinutss - 11:20pm Jul 8, 2000 EST (#159 of 11858)

By perusing a concept that attempts to survive nuclear warfare you give nuclear warfare a ‘chance’. That ‘chance’ of survival destroys the very essence of the worldwide deterrence model. That is why the international community has overwhelmingly tipped the scales in opposition to this system. That is why SALT I and the ABM protocols exist between the two largest nuclear powers. Deployment of such a system embraces the theoretical perspective of Nuclear Utilization Theory. It may not be the intent of those who deploy-but every rational state views the system as a total embrace of a theory designed to win a nuclear war. That perspective (NUTS)(grin) implies that not only will nuclear war be fought-but it mussed be fought to survive and win. In such a pursuit, you lower conventional warfare thresholds and lower the crossover points at which conventional conflict goes into nuclear conflict. This is due to the very fact that one has added a chance to something in which no chance existed prior. You cannot posture yourself against the irrational actor- the minority of this world. Doing so only requires the majority if this world (rational actors) to balance against your own actions. You cannot thwart the irrational actor because the irrational actor has no limits or boundaries. The very name implies that the irrational actor is impossible to deter. As noted by the CIA of May 19th 00, the terminology of ‘rogue’ state has no significant in the course of debate regarding missile deference because ‘rouge’ implies that such states are irrational and every state America has labeled rouge is rational. The rational/irrational actor model is core issue regarding deterrence. As the CIA pointed out, rouge state has ‘more political significance then true value to the structure of deterrence’. In short the largest nuclear power embarking on the deployment of a system designed to survive nuclear strikes creates the impetus for every rational actor, depost to allie to do the same. All at varying levels of technological development all at varying levels of effiencey. In doing so-you destroy nuclear deterrence-the very concept that has maintained no use of nuclear weapons against states since 1945. If one recalls our operational experience in Desert Storm is that while missile defense did not work very well, deterrence did work very well. Saddam Hussein had poison gas-tipped Scuds that were available for launch at the time of the war, and he did not use them. Subsequently, after the U.S. military interrogated some defectors and some captured Iraqi leaders, it became clear why not: Saddam Hussein did not want to get blown up. Before the war, the United States, Britain, France and Israel had all stated, both publicly and privately, that if he was the first to use weapons of mass destruction, he would not be the last to use weapons of mass destruction. Saddam Hussein and his kindred despots in other countries that we are worried about have not survived for extended periods of time by being stupid or careless. They are ruthless and cruel and sometimes reckless, but they don't remain in power, despite our repeated attempts in the case of Saddam Hussein to dislodge him, by being careless about the survival of their regime. Saddam Hussein understood very well that if he initiated the use of weapons of mass destruction, our retaliation would annihilate his regime. So the notion that missile defense is the only bulwark we have against weapons of mass destruction attacks from these regimes simply flies in the face of our actual experience, in which deterrence has worked very well and missile defense has not worked very well at all.

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