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    Missile Defense

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?

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artemis130 - 11:53am Mar 4, 2001 EST (#824 of 826)
caveat venditor

This forum should best be renamed "the twilight zone".

rshowalter - 12:27pm Mar 4, 2001 EST (#825 of 826) Delete Message
Robert Showalter

The new world DOES include unexpected dangers -- dangers that the designers of our nuclear weapons systems - who locked down essentials of the systems in the Eisenhower and Kennedy administrations, never anticipated. rshowalter 2/28/01 9:39pm

Because so much fear is involved with nuclear systems, design change decisions are EXTREMELY CONSERVATIVE. That makes sense very often, but over time it can make for enormous risks. This time it has.

To see how primative the core controls are, and how centrally telephone communication connects them, see this text adaptation of CNNs Special Report, REHEARSING DOOMSDAY...which aired Sunday, October 15, 2000 at 10 p.m. EDT.

The documentary makes it clear that the General Officers most knowledgeable about these systems want them taken down, and felt betrayed a decade ago when the Cold War ended, and the order to take the missiles down did not come.

Accumulated distrust and fear, over half a century, prevented actions both sides wanted, but did not know how to trust enough to achieve.

The solution is not to ask for trust, but to act on the basis of the distrust and fear that we actually have.

rshowalter - 01:04pm Mar 4, 2001 EST (#826 of 826) Delete Message
Robert Showalter

Quite apart from risks due to the indefensibility of LARGE and COMPLICATED phone links, and new issues such as voice simulation, especially when hardware interventions and internet attacks are combined, and apart from other risks, the porosity of our "information defenses" is immense.

This is so partly because the old strategy of burying information in plain sight is far less useful than it was with computer assisted searching techniques that could never have been anticipated even a decade ago.

A great deal of nuclear information, including a great deal of the most important, was declassified many years ago, on the grounds that people could never put the important pieces together. Putting pieces together is far easier than it used to be.

New technologies put completely new demands on people who wish to conceal information - and make our nuclear systems far less secure than the designers, forty years ago, could have anticipated. LOCATING DEVICES GAIN IN POPULARITY BUT RAISE PRIVACY CONCERNS ..... by Simon Romero is an example today.

To see MANY other examples, see the PRIVACY IN THE DIGITAL AGE collection in Technology

Our nuclear weapons controls aren't "just a little bit vulnerable."

They are vulnerable, and obsolete beyond redemption, and they should be retired. They aren't protecting us. They are, in Bob Kerrey's words,

"the single greatest threat to our survival." Armed to Excess.. by Bob Kerrey .. Op. Ed. March 2, 2001 .

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