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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?
Read Debates, a
new Web-only feature culled from Readers' Opinions, published every
(230 previous messages)
- 12:09pm Aug 30, 2000 EST (#231
Seems I just tuned in to semantics. Fact: Just about every
scientist of note has come out against the Star War missile defense
systems. You might want to read, if you haven't, the last issue of
HARPER'S mag where exposure of Pentagon cheating on tests was proven
by a well-known scientist. His long report was sent to Clinton, and
it was immediately CLASSIFIED. HARPER'S published the article.
At this point to continue with Star Wars, a Ronald Reagan, Buck
Rogers'/Flash Gordon/Reader's Digest dream, with the expense of
money, but most importantly the waving of a red flag under the noses
of China, North Korea, Russia, is about as short-sighted as it gets.
In 1985 we were truly on the brink. To reinvigorate the arms race
is NUTS/MAD ... To violate the basic, hard-won treaties is
testosterone/money-motivated b.s. to put it mlldy. The planet is
slowly being destroyed now; what do we want to do; speed up its
I think we would be smarter and certainly more farsighted if we
took the $60 billion more the Pentagon wants to continue to
financially assist Russia, North Korea, African and Latin American
countries/peoples to become viable competitors in the world
marketplace and help when people are starving wherever they are.
That's more of a future defense than any tinker-toy missiles that
hit weather balloons and other decoys in tests rather than on-coming
This will be the greatest nation on earth when we take care of
our own people and share our largesse of knowhow with others to help
them get to a place of equality.
I hate the feeling that at the whim, political dogma, greed,
competitiveness, short-sightedness of those who sit in offices
figuring out how best to destroy "the enemy put my life, my children
and grandchildren's lives and the life of every living thing on this
planet in jeopardy ... for what?
As my mother used to say, You can get more flies in the dish with
honey than vinegar.
Military strength is important and necessary, but this Star Wars
vision, decried as nonsense by the vast majority of members of the
Union of Concerned Scientists, and other very wise and knowledgeable
people (Einstein would be one if he were alive now) and for several
years has proven itself to be very expensive nonsense, is ultimately
a waste of time, energy, money and positive possibilities for the
future of this planet and the life on it.
I would like to suggest that all those who hold high elected or
appointed office be required to live on the monies of poor folks in
Mississippi, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Mexico, Russia, and on and on. I
think a little helplessness and going hungry would change their
We are talking matters of life and death here. Semantics be
damned. When are we going to connect our heads to our hearts and get
Oneupmanship, and "man" is in that word, shows in so many of the
arguments on bulletin boards and forums. Oneupmanship will not save
me or my brothers and sisters on this planet if playing with Big
Fire remains the primary gamesmanship at the Pentagon and in the
halls of Congress or the corporate boardrooms. That's a guarantee
that eventually everyone is going to be burned. Money and power and
who is #1 will cease to matter.
- 12:12pm Aug 30, 2000 EST (#232
ketair7 - 12:09pm Aug 30, 2000 EDT (#231 of 231)
Correct. That is why NMD is a mistake and undermines the
principles of MAD. The same principles enforced under SALT I. That
holding each others civilians hostage actually reduces the threat of
use.Thank you for your post and please continue to voice your
opinion against this system.
- 01:53pm Aug 31, 2000 EST (#233
Re: Your postings #205 and #227.
Good thought about the panic of China responding to a deployment
of an ABM. A rapid ten-fold increase in their nuclear arsenal would
exact a tremendous toll on their resources. There would be a large
number of hurdles to be overcome. Among them: - Infrastructure.
Facilities would have to be expanded to accomodate the increase.
Technicians would have to be trained. Supplies procured.... The list
in this arena alone can be staggering. - Technical. Do we use an old
design? How do we protect the force economically? How do we maintain
control of the force?(don't want unathorized launches you know!)...
- Political. What would Japan, Taiwan, India, Russia, or the USA do?
What message are we sending Taiwan about a peaceful incorporation?
How would our populace react?... - Financial. Where is the funding
for this comming from? Where do we sacrifice to free up the
resources?... - Military. Do we gain suffient prestige and power to
justify the deployment? Will our military establishment tolerate the
sacrifices we will need to make in the conventional forces to afford
this? Will it force us to curtail the continual modernization and
upgrade of those conventional forces if we are to keep them
These type of things do not happen in a vacuum. It is one thing
to build a demonstration weapon that is set off in a tunnel or a
piece of desolate territory. It is something else to build up all
the background stuff that is needed to support such a deployment.
And if the execution is not there, the credibility is not there.
In #227 I'm not sure that there would be a decrease in the number
of land based missles with treaties cutting the number of weapons.
One thing for sure though, there would be a decrease in the number
of warheads available.
Perhaps we should invite the other budding nuclear powers and get
a commitment from them to only deploy their weapons on ballistic
submarines. That way they could be relatively sure that their
firepower was safe. Also, it would tend to limit the amount of
weapons produced and deployed. What do you think?
- 12:50pm Sep 1, 2000 EST (#234
The first battle has been won.
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