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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 - 08:22am Mar 25, 2001 EST (#1470 of 1477) Delete Message
Robert Showalter

What is needed is information obtained from open sources with PLENTY of analysis, and crosschecking of all relavent feedback loops. And with a reasonable knowledge, at the graphical level and more focused levels, of the complexity of the system in which the information flow occurs.

CIA is very far along with research in this area, and the things worth knowing, here and elsewhere, are in the open literature. If Russia decided to do EVERYTHING in clear in the US, they could get far, far better information than they have. As a courtesy, they could arrange for a very thorough tapping of all of their lines - making sure, not that information was hidden, but that the US government got ALL of it. (Secret actions - sometimes, of course -- but they should be exceptional -- probably less than .1 % of expenditure should involve them.)

If Russia could get 50 people with the skills of the librarians at the United States Patent Office, to subsitute for 50 spies, it would be, not miles ahead, but light years ahead.

For more socially oriented and specialized research, they should know, according to the spirit of the writings, the work of a family friend of mine, G. Burgess Allison, author of THE LAWYER'S GUIDE TO THE INTERNET published by the American Bar Association, and his extensive writings from 1993? - 2000 as a columist in Law Practice Management Magazine . The column's name is "Technology Update". Burgess could hardly have a more open position with respect to the world. On the back cover of his book, there is this: "he may be reached at " I'm sure Burgess is too busy to assist any outsider, particularly an outside nation state, with computer matters, but the useful things he knows are available, and in a useful form, if a person reads what he says, gets pieces of that which fit in their head, and uses them, when they seem useful, to solve problems.

If Russia had fifty people with real mastery of the information and approaches in those columns, and in Burgess's other writings, and used that mastery, they would be able to provide Putin with more detailed, timely, and useful information about the United States than the entire cladestine apparatus of the Russian state. And Burgess, though a remarkably able man, and a good writer, is not unique. The things that Russia needs to know, for security, and peace, and to make complex cooperation and competiton possible, are available IN CLEAR.

We need, for survival, and to avoid the continuation of impasses that have been wrenchingly expensive, to shift to more open ways of interacting. Nothing is perfectly safe, but this comes close to being perfectly safe, if handled in a sensible, logically incremental manner.

rshowalter - 08:27am Mar 25, 2001 EST (#1471 of 1477) Delete Message
Robert Showalter

You might be surprised how fast my computer gets penetrated when I make some of these transmissions.

I assume that absolutely everything on my computer is available at Langley, and that any communication I do, by any means, may be monitored. It seems safest for me to assume that it is.

That assumption limits me very little.

lunarchick - 08:54am Mar 25, 2001 EST (#1472 of 1477)

Speedy blinks of data automised!

lunarchick - 08:58am Mar 25, 2001 EST (#1473 of 1477)

My coach is turning into a pumkin - nite!

rshowalter - 09:47am Mar 25, 2001 EST (#1474 of 1477) Delete Message
Robert Showalter

Sleep well, Australia !

I got up early, this morning, and was frustrated at what a slow worker I'd been -- of the things I wanted to transmit, about the books I looked at yesterday morning, I conveyed but little. But I hope that I conveyed that little clearly.

I am, just as a sort of "dry run" demonstration, assuming that I'm adressing an organization with a staff, which copies transmissions, and can search them -- ideally with the searching facility now widely available in net search engines, including some, now in financial difficulties, that ought to be available (with programming people who know them) for reasonable prices.

Not everything I send will be readable now. But some will be later. And NONE of it is trustworthy, in the sense of "to be believed - without question" -- all is subject to aesthetic evaluation, checking for reality, and comparison against facts.

I wish I'd been able to get more done. But I did, I believe, bring some things into focus that are necessary if the world is to survive a ridiculous, treacherous impasse with nuclear weapons, that could easily destroy us all, soon, unless competent things are done.

rshowalter - 09:50am Mar 25, 2001 EST (#1475 of 1477) Delete Message
Robert Showalter

rshowalter 3/23/01 7:10pm should be read right beside President Gorbachev's letter, and provides a useful corrective to some misframings that I believe occur, and stand in the way of progress in that letter. rshowalter 3/24/01 8:13pm

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