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    Missile Defense

Technology has always found its greatest consumer in a nation's war and defense efforts. Since the last attempts at a "Star Wars" defense system, has technology changed considerably enough to make the latest Missile Defense initiatives more successful? Can such an application of science be successful? Is a militarized space inevitable, necessary or impossible?

Read Debates, a new Web-only feature culled from Readers' Opinions, published every Thursday.

Earliest Messages Previous Messages Recent Messages Outline (1334 previous messages)

rshowalter - 09:22pm Mar 22, 2001 EST (#1335 of 11890)
Robert Showalter

If America is lying to you --- don't lie back. That plays into the hands of the stronger and most merciless. Stand on the side of truth. That plays into the hands of people who want to get good things from life, and find beauty, and live in peace.

And if American militiary people try to intimidate you militarily - in terms of your real security needs -- they're bluffing. US military people would never stand for the risks that such a thing would bring on THEM. If America outspends you on weapons, 1000: 1, it can still NEVER occupy Russia in any workable sense. And we know it. Nor does anybody in America want to use nuclear weapons. They are stigmatized , and most military people would be proud to find a way to get rid of them. So don't be intimidated. If the US is wasting money on arms, that doesn't mean that Russia should. Also, with just a little thought, you can find plenty of ways to deter America without nuclear weapons, or even without much expense. America needs good will - for very fundamental and unchangeable reasons that become greater, with every year, as the world knits together with the internet and other means of communication.

rshowalter - 09:38pm Mar 22, 2001 EST (#1336 of 11890)
Robert Showalter

As I was saying:

Condoleezza Rice warns against Cyberterrorism - - - March 22, 2001 It is good to study how vulnerable systems are with a combination of cyber and physical structure attacks. America cannot afford to act like a vandal. It is too vulnerable to vandalism itself.

And the best "defense" we can have in America, and that Russia can have for Russia, is a sociotechnical system that works well so that challenges, when they occur, can be well met by people who know their systems, know each other, and can work together well.

rshowalter - 09:43pm Mar 22, 2001 EST (#1337 of 11890)
Robert Showalter

Nuclear weapons may have saved the world from a more massive, destructive war in the past.

But now, in this world, they are dangerously obsolete, entirely indefensible as installations, a menace to the whole world, and unusable. They are accidents waiting to happen - and we should take the damn things down.

If Russia TOOK A POSITION OF PRACTICAL AND MORAL LEADERSHIP HERE it might be the best thing that could possibly happen to it economically -- because very many people, all over the world, would want to do business with the "GOOD Empire" of Russia.

rshowalter - 09:47pm Mar 22, 2001 EST (#1338 of 11890)
Robert Showalter

The sub systems are obsolete for all the same reasons as the land based systems.

lunarchick - 09:58pm Mar 22, 2001 EST (#1339 of 11890)

The Good Empire ... might aim to be a Good Umpire! Advisor, adjudicator, coach .. who encourages self and others to GROW in postitive and meaninful ways.

The Digital Knowledge Empires of today and tomorrow will encompass the world .... just trying to figure how 'rouge' digital States might come under attack from a Western Emperor :)

lunarchick - 10:01pm Mar 22, 2001 EST (#1340 of 11890)

Mir going to plan, re-entry in 3.5 hours. Trust it all works out, and, without incident. Fijians are diving for cover.

almarst-2001 - 10:02pm Mar 22, 2001 EST (#1341 of 11890)

A lot of what both of you said is true, althou I noticed that Lunarchick did not read my posts carefully.

I hold exactly the same oppinion on a waste of spending on military as well importance for every nation to chose and follow its own pass to prosperity.

However, there are aspects which can't be overlooked. Take for example the actions against Cuba. Or the recent bombing of Serbia. The impression is, the US is villing to use its military when it can remain unpunished. I don't think anyone is afraid of occupation of Russia. But military can be used as a tool of pressure and domination and to extract favorable concessions. For this reason, as long as some countries are villing to use it in this way and not just for the legitimate defense, the ballance of powers or at leat, assimetrical neutralisation of a disballance is essential.

rshowalter - 10:15pm Mar 22, 2001 EST (#1342 of 11890)
Robert Showalter

That's right.

The world system will be much more stable -- these injustices and misuses of power will be much less possible WITH CONVENTIONS OF OPENNESS. We should, whenever possible, SEND IN CLEAR or an "encrypted clear" -- (Lunarchick and I know a good deal about encrypted clear, and can use it when pushed) so that threats based on misinformation are less sustainable.

Many of the horrors almarst_2001 speaks of are just as real as he says, and any feeling of outrage he has is, I suspect, well jusified. But we can, with changes in sociotechnical systems that seem at hand, or close at hand, make these horrors much less powerful, much less likely, and do it soon.

That work would be a part of the job we'd face to effectively outlaw nuclear weapons, and other weapons of mass destruction, worldwide.

lunarchick - 10:16pm Mar 22, 2001 EST (#1343 of 11890)

" Lunarchick did not read my posts carefully. " Lunar had a full morning. Now has the time to go through and read the night postings. :)

rshowalter - 10:17pm Mar 22, 2001 EST (#1344 of 11890)
Robert Showalter

Almost all of the misuses of power that almarst_2001 rightly object to require an unpenetrated secrecy.

With LSA, and other analytical techniques, "unpenetrated secrecy" is much harder to get, to sustain, and to be sure of, than it used to be. And, with a little work, we can make it even harder to get, even harder to sustain, and even harder to be sure of.

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