New York Times on the Web Forums Science
Nazi engineer and Disney space advisor Wernher Von Braun helped give
us rocket science. Today, the legacy of military aeronautics
has many manifestations from SDI to advanced ballistic missiles. Now there is a controversial push for a new missile defense system.
What will be the role of missile defense in the new geopolitical
climate and in the new scientific era?
(490 previous messages)
kalter.rauch - 05:01am Nov 12, 2000 EDT (#491 of 492)
Earth vs <^> <^> <^>
Very good......Mankind accepts these new responsibilities after rationally gauging the extraterrestrial threat...at least the threat he percieves as real. What about controversial threats? What about The Grey Area? I think you know what I'm talking about, so I'll be no more specific than that......but in that case, and if it turned out worse than any nightmare...then wouldn't nuclear weapons prevent a fate worse than death...like slavery, or "veal" ?!?!?
rshowalt - 09:41am Nov 12, 2000 EDT (#492 of 492)
Could you be more clear about "gray areas"? I believe, with many if not most of the senior officers who have ever been responsible for them, that nuclear weapons need to be eliminated and effectively prohibited.
Before elimination, the size of arsenals (97+ % American and Russian) need to be made much smaller - enough smaller that the destruction of the world is no longer a possibility (or a probability). There'd still be plenty of deterrance after a balanced reduction from tens of thousands of warheads to hundreds of warheads. Hundreds of H-bombs is more than enough for the biggest nightmare in history, yet it is not enough to end history.
It isn't possible, in any way I can see, to "enslave" people using nuclear weapons, which are extermination weapons. They just aren't useful in that way. You suggest that prohibition of nuclear weapons risks "enslavement." Perhaps I've missed something you can point out?
I've tried to be pretty clear about how important it is to prohibit these weapons, and how that will take a combination of persuasion and force.
The intermediate step - getting the number of American and Russian city-killing weapons down to a few hundred, would make control far easier. The probability of any accident would be far less than today, and the serious of the accidents that might occur would be far less. We'd all be safer.
Though tragedies killing millions might still occur, the world would be saved.
That's worth doing. Have you any arguments against staged reductions, including a VERY LARGE initial reduction?
And what is THE GRAY AREA you refer to?
Kalter, I appreciate your questions. If every argument in FAVOR of nuclear weapons, and in FAVOR of current balances, was made in public, I think that would be a public service.
New York Times on the Web Forums Science Missile Defense
Enter your response, then click the POST MY MESSAGE button below.
See the quick-edit help for more information.