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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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mhunter20 - 12:40pm Feb 12, 2001 EST (#678 of 682)

m-of-u 2/12/01 11:17am

Good point. This could and should be verified....anytime and anywhere.

rshowalter - 12:58pm Feb 12, 2001 EST (#679 of 682) Delete Message
Robert Showalter

Before the ugliness of nuclear terror can be well resolved, we'll have to come to terms with how afraid the Russians are of us, and how they are afraid, and also how afraid we are of the Russians, and how we are afraid of them. . No matter what anybody says, or how anybody poses (or what anybody says, however sincerely) both sides are fundamentally, deeply terrified of first strike tricks.

Military realities and human realities force this.

Within the political framework where the U.S. says, implicitly and explicitly, that it is all right to use nuclear weapons there is no solution here -- no political way for us to confiscate weapons of mass destruction from their holders. Nuclear weapons discussion from a feeling perspective

Some history, in a humane context, is useful here - Psychwarfare, Casablanca -- and terror .... Guardian Talk ... International

If we understood that fear of first strike tricks was inescapably central to our situation, then the mechanics of achieving nuclear peace would be essentially straightforward, though challenging.

Without our seeing this, the situation is essentially insoluble - all the beautiful solutions have been classified out of existence. Beautiful solutions, which this time are the only safe ones, need to be based on essentially accurate views of the situation being dealt with. Fear of first strikes, on both sides, is a central fact - now denied, that needs to be acknowledged and dealt with.

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    I think the following, which may seem idealistic, is actually practical.

    If WE acknowledged that it is not all right to use nuclear weapons then we, with other nations states, could enforce prohibition of nuclear weapons on rogue nations, and rogue groups. We could build a world-wide consensus that would make it stick.

    rshowalter - 01:10pm Feb 12, 2001 EST (#680 of 682) Delete Message
    Robert Showalter

    The Russians interpret our actions in the most distrustful possible way, and at huge cost to themselves, prepare for the worst (acting in a way that stimulates distrust on the part of American officers.) NEW COLD WAR WARMS UP.....The Moscow Times ..... Feb. 8, 2001

    We do the same.

    In the history of the nuclear terror, the cycle of escalating fear and distrust has been a sadly consistent fact that no assurances of good faith, on either side, have ever stopped -- essentially because nuclear weapons are only useful in first strikes, and deception is essential to make a first strike possible.

    If we acknowledged this, we'd see how US actions look to the Russians (the point is one they already acknowledge.) And then there would be a solid basis for a resolution of the current nuclear terror impasse that would be solid, practical, and have disciplined beauty.

    We'd also be able to build better defenses for the US, something both we and the world need.

    rshowalter - 01:39pm Feb 12, 2001 EST (#681 of 682) Delete Message
    Robert Showalter

    There are basic mistakes, that I believe are common to all people, much involved in the history of nuclear terror, that involve cycles we need to break.

    Mankind's Inhumanity to Man and Woman - As natural as human goodness? ...... Guardian Talk . . . . Issues

    rshowalter - 10:07am Feb 13, 2001 EST (#682 of 682) Delete Message
    Robert Showalter

    I referenced Thomas L. Friedman's wonderful "Space Rangers" piece Op Ed , today:

    We need an international missle system now - Why 'son of Star Wars' is a good idea. .... Guardian TALK .. Europe

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