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?
(500 previous messages)
- 08:03pm Nov 16, 2000 EDT (#501
This week, Russia took steps that I believe this nation should
welcome strongly. Russia suggested deep cuts in city-killing
weapons, and showed new flexibility in allowing some missile
defense, if US cuts in offensive weapons are deep enough.
Warhead numbers below 1500, and perhaps below 1000, were
For the US to match these, the number of targets in the
ultra-secret US war plan would have to be reduced from the current
2500 – which should be possible. Just counting to 1000 is a laborous
process, if one has to mark each count on a piece of paper. Most
people would find it an agony if they actually had to count up to
2500. It would be laborious indeed to simply place 2500 plausibly
placed targeting dots on a Russian map, and many “targets” out of
such a number would seem marginal indeed.
Ten warheads detonated on Russian cities would be more than
enough “assured destruction” to deter Russia, just as ten warheads
detonated on American cities would be more than enough to deter us.
Mr Putin has said that “what counts most now is that Russia
and the United States start moving jointly and along parallel
courses toward radically lowered ceilings on nuclear warheads,
without any holdups.”
Russia also showed flexibility in proposing trading deep cuts in
offensive weapons in exchange for allowing a limited nuclear defense
adapted for protecting against rogue states and accidental launches.
That’s sensible, and great progress.
There is movement, from both presidential candidates, toward
nuclear reductions. The Russians want reductions. All this is
The safest level for nuclear weapons is zero, for both sides, and
the best outcome would be complete prohibition of these weapons
worldwide. If the US and Russian provided leadership, that might be
- 07:37am Nov 17, 2000 EDT (#502
F-16s were carrying a load of dummy bombs meant to be dropped on
a range in Avon Park, east of the crash site.
County public safety Chief Jay Moyles said one of the dummy bombs
fell and stuck into a four-lane highway's median. http://news.excite.com/news/ap/us/military-crash
- 10:05pm Nov 17, 2000 EDT (#503
Is a treaty with the U.S. worth the paper it is written on?
The U.S. signed and ratified the ABM Treaty with the U.S.S.R. in
terms of which we agreed not to develop and deploy ABM systems such
as the missile defense system now being proposed.
If our military and defense experts honestly feel that with the
increase in nuclear proliferation a missile defense system is
necessary, the U.S. should negotiate mutually acceptable
modifications to the ABM Treaty with Russia.
In an earlier age the U.S. arrogantly violated treaties with
Native American nations whenever it felt it was expedient to do so.
The U.S. is now the only Superpower on Earth. But can we afford
to demonstrate to Russia and the world that we will only abide by a
treaty as long as it suits us? And is that the right thing to do?
- 09:24am Nov 18, 2000 EDT (#504
And, with the stakes in nuclear weapons as they are, is it even
- 10:55am Nov 18, 2000 EDT (#505
Down to 1000 or so warheads, eh? Great. Makes me feel almost as
good as a man facing a firing squad might feel if told that the
clips only hold a couple dozen rounds.
- 01:22pm Nov 18, 2000 EDT (#506
Prohibition would be best. By far the best.
But is is terribly important to get down the numbers, if that's
all that can be achieved. As the numbers of these holocaust-makers
get down, the chance for survival of the WORLD increases. The
chances of mistakes decreases. The magnitude of probable mistakes
and worst possible mistakes if things go wrong decreases.
Also, as reductions are being considered, people get closer to
questions of what these terror weapons are actually good for.
After a good look, especially a look with the public paying
attention, the arguments for prohibition may come to be seen.
The safe thing to do with these weapons is to get rid of them,
worldwide. The most important barrier to that, now, is political
will and consensus in the Unitied States.
- 06:15am Nov 19, 2000 EDT (#507
Earth vs <^> <^> <^>
Now, you swear you're not saying all these things about nukes
because of some wacko religious belief or...or..."moral code".
I mean, this is all about numbers, isn't it...the number I am,
the better off I'll be ?!?!? Because if it isn't, I'm not sure I
should read your posts......what with thought crime going around,
and all...one can't be too careful then, can they ?
How come youse wants to get rid of 'em all anyway? What's in it
for you then, guvnuh?
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