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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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rshowalter - 07:10pm Mar 15, 2001 EST (#1056 of 1057) Delete Message
Robert Showalter

If "civility" means "deference to established intellectual property rights, and territorial divisions" then "civility" is the death knell of certain essential kinds of progress. Checking can be deferred, and discussion can be deferred indefinitely, especially according to the standard academic and diplomatic patterns described by John Kay in

When it is important enough, there needs to be mechanisms to get questions of fact and logic in science (or military matters) CHECKED. When the stakes are high enough, that checking needs to be morally forcing.

The idea that checking should be morally forcing seems new, and is a distinctly minority position. But for want of that ethical stance, some really terrible choices have been made in the past, and will be made in the future.

This thread has largely been about that.

There may be different ways of getting the checking done. Some suggestions have been discussed in the thread. If the moral point is granted, many different approaches to the checking could work well. Here is one, set out for scientific problems New York Times Science in the News thread rshowalt (# 381-383) rshowalt "Science in the News" 1/4/00 7:43am Similar patterns, variously modified, would be more than sufficient to determine the questions of fact that must be resolved in order for our nuclear impasse to be resolved.

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    More coming.

    rshowalter - 07:17pm Mar 15, 2001 EST (#1057 of 1057) Delete Message
    Robert Showalter

    The specific proposal for nuclear disarmament set out in #266-269, this thread rshowalt 9/25/00 7:32am would not be complete in itself, but it does have some basic points in its favore -- it accommodates distrust, and clearly adresses issues of human motivation that are essential.

    Russia, and other countries, would need more than this -- they'd need to have their security needs adressed, in ways that would be practical, as nation states that cannot put themselves at the mercy of another power.

    But the proposal of rshowalt 9/25/00 7:32am might have elements that would be involved in adressing these larger problems.

    Especially when the FACT was established that the American people, as a population, and as a political entity in its ordinary function, does not have agressive intent, so that current military policies are based, in part, on misunderstandings, and things that are not being done with the American people's informed consent.

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    more coming.

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