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    Missile Defense

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?

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rshowalter - 08:03pm Nov 16, 2000 EDT (#501 of 507) Delete Message
Robert Showalter

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 suggested.

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 encouraging.

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 possible.

lunarchick - 07:37am Nov 17, 2000 EDT (#502 of 507)

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.

robertbriscoe - 10:05pm Nov 17, 2000 EDT (#503 of 507)

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?

rshowalter - 09:24am Nov 18, 2000 EDT (#504 of 507) Delete Message
Robert Showalter

And, with the stakes in nuclear weapons as they are, is it even remotely safe?

jorian_s - 10:55am Nov 18, 2000 EDT (#505 of 507)

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.

rshowalter - 01:22pm Nov 18, 2000 EDT (#506 of 507) Delete Message
Robert Showalter

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.

kalter.rauch - 06:15am Nov 19, 2000 EDT (#507 of 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 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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