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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 - 02:07pm Feb 17, 2001 EST (#700 of 705) Delete Message
Robert Showalter

To ask nation states to stop treatening each other is a completely unrealistic and dangerous idea. That's what military forces largely do, and have to do. rshowalt "Science in the News" 9/18/00 12:04pm

We need force balances where threats, and logic sequences under threat are STABLE, or involve SURVIVABLE COSTS.

For this reason, we need to get rid of nuclear weapons, that are prone to instability and involve catastrophic losses.

The Russians have argued this way for years.

Gorbachev said "Even an unloaded gun goes off every once in a while."

We've resolutely denied this obvious conclusion, based on human experience.

The Russians, who are wrong about a helluva a lot of stuff, happen to be right here.

rshowalter - 02:14pm Feb 17, 2001 EST (#701 of 705) Delete Message
Robert Showalter

There are errors in the mathematics of the controls, as well, and they are of crucial importance.

rshowalter - 02:20pm Feb 17, 2001 EST (#702 of 705) Delete Message
Robert Showalter

Here are expository poems relevant here. We are in a situation in need of secular redemption , and the solutions we find have to work - they cannot fizzle - which means we must get past "chain breakers." rshowalter "Science News Poetry" 2/14/01 9:09am

rshowalter - 09:46pm Feb 17, 2001 EST (#703 of 705) Delete Message
Robert Showalter

Our nuclear weapons are on a hair trigger now. And the situation is ugly. Two TV documentaries make that clear -- "The Missileers" shown on 60 Minutes II - CBS joneseytimes 10/5/00 4:18am and Rehearsing Armageddon a CNN documentary produced by George Crile rshowalt 10/16/00 7:48am

I have a videotape of Rehearsing Armageddon -- which I hope will be aired again many times. It is a bracing, painfully ugly, scary documentary, with great credibility. I find it particularly sobering in light of the references I've cited here today.

This is not a situation that calls for "incremental improvement.." The situation needs to be redeemed.

rshowalter - 09:59pm Feb 17, 2001 EST (#704 of 705) Delete Message
Robert Showalter

I am not a pacifist. ....., I am FOR strong, stable military balances.


If someone, with a name, preferably a military officer, can name a single thing I have said or done that is not in the real military interest of the United States, I will listen carefully.

. . . . . .

I've said that nuclear weapons are militarily useless, corrupting, a clear danger to the safety of the world, and should be taken down. That is, I'm advocating the abolition of one kind of weapon, for practical reasons that are in the essentially universal interest of human beings, whether they be soldiers or civilians. An analogy I'd use, but with renewed force, is asbestos, a long used insulation and fiber material now known to be unacceptably toxic. People responsible for buildings take down asbestos, not because they are against fiber, or insulation, but because a particular technical arrangement happens to be unacceptably dangerous. The argument for taking down nuclear weapons is of the same sort, but hugely magnified. rshowalt 10/27/00 10:48am

rshowalter - 07:52am Feb 18, 2001 EST (#705 of 705) Delete Message
Robert Showalter

All of us have at sometime have to experience The Great Loneliness. Its a journey into the wilderness. It is often forced upon us by circumstances. A challenge confronts us, a situation arises in which there is no way out. We enter a labyrinth, and like Theseus have to follow the narrow path to the centre.

. . . . . . .

That happened to me.

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