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Russian military leaders have expressed concern about US plans
for a national missile defense system. Will defense technology be
limited by possibilities for a strategic imbalance? Is this just SDI
all over again?
(750 previous messages)
- 06:48am Feb 22, 2001 EST (#751
and other articles on the sonar sub that hit the fish-training-boat
i noted that:
'the submarine's sonar repeater was not working'
If technical equipment on a working-vessal wasn't working, then,
this raises the question: Just what will be working in relation
to a 40-50year old defence missile system!
- 07:08am Feb 22, 2001 EST (#752
Robert Showalter firstname.lastname@example.org
This question can be asked about both the equipment, and the
human organization. Both questions need to be adressed in
The answers are -- this is an obsolete system, which may well
have been entirely justified in its day, but it involves
unacceptable costs and risks, and we need to take it down.
The officers in charge of the US missile defense wouldn't argue
strongly agains this (look at Rehearsing Armageddon to see
this) nor would the Russian officers.
The problem is that everybody's so paralyzed by fear that
reasonable things are hard to get accomplished.
But recently, many concerned, in the US, and Europe, and
Russia, have been taking reasonable action that looks, to me, like
it is consistent with absolutely beautiful, disciplined, just
resolutions of these problems.
It is time, I believe, for care, for repect for all the people
involved, and for hope, backed by the technical discipline this
- 07:49am Feb 22, 2001 EST (#753
There is need for scepticism, since much of the current debate
over American defence is driven by a notion that is about 80%
fiction. This is that the armed forces face a crisis of recruitment
and battle-readiness. Yes, there are a few signs of decay. More than
a third of new recruits do not make it through their first term.
That compares with an attrition rate of just over a quarter during
Ronald Reagan’s presidency. The air force is in worse shape than the
army or navy, and support aircraft (refuelling planes and so on) are
in worse shape than fighters and bombers. But, take it all in all,
the picture is fairly good. Serving men and women now have more
military experience than in Mr Reagan’s day, an average of over
seven years’ service compared with four in the 1980s. The percentage
of re-enlistments is higher than in the 1980s.
The problem lies elsewhere: in America’s ageing weapons systems.
For the past ten years the Pentagon has been on a procurement
holiday. Total spending on national security will be about $295
billion this year and the annual average for the past ten years is
$305 billion (in 2001 dollars). That compares with $400 billion in
the peak year of 1989.
The defence department has “adjusted” to these reductions in two
ways. First, by slimming down everywhere (reducing the number of
army divisions from 18 to 10, see table) but not by altering the
structure of the armed forces, which remain the same agglomerations
of mass soldiery and heavy equipment they were in the cold war. And,
second, by not buying any big new weapons systems, sticking instead
to the 1980s generation of arms that Mr Reagan built up.
- 10:11am Feb 22, 2001 EST (#754
I believe that some Russian people must know that some former US
leaders abhor communism and used the cold war and the arms race to
defeat it. Individually, people that were lied to are not as
emotionally damaged as Rick was prior to his recapitulation with
Elsa. Individually the players are more detached, calculating and
distrustful thus providing the current situation with a higher level
of stability than you might expect. (Just my opinion.)
Total spending on national security will be about
$295 billion this year and the annual average for the past ten
years is $305 billion (in 2001 dollars). That compares with $400
billion in the peak year of 1989.
There has been an economic toll on the US as well as the former
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