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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 - 12:57pm Mar 30, 2001 EST (#1780 of 1781) Delete Message
Robert Showalter showalte@macc.wisc.edu

Rumsfeld Outlines Defense Overhaul Reorganization May Alter, Kill Weapons Systems ....by Thomas E. Ricks Washinton Pos .........March 23, 2001; Page A01

struck me especially as follows

One general who is tracking the review said he was struck by the degree to which the services have been excluded from the defense secretarys deliberations. He said that Rumsfeld was brusque in presenting his findings to senior service representatives yesterday. It is clear that there is a very different management style at the top, he said.

Not a good way to run a sociotechnical system -- isolate yourself from information.

A civilian official involved in the review said that the uniformed military is only beginning to recognize the extent of reform that Rumsfeld intends to seek at the Pentagon. They want this to be collegial, and Rumsfeld is about change,

One can reasonably ask, is he about sane change?

  • ****

    The ability of groups to be cocksure about insane views, especially high status groups that have other people intimidated, should never be dismissed. Kiplings poem about pre 1830 medicine, Our Fathers of Old illustrates the ornate, self justifying, self reinforcing insanity that can occur. rshowalter 3/26/01 8:54pm military leaders can be delusional, too.

    #683 rshowalter 2/13/01 4:34pm sets out some reasons why self-reinforcing insanity can occur -- and why mistakes, now, are so dangerous.

    It also points out that training required to make people able to fight a nuclear war involves all the inflexibilities fundamental to military training in intense form.

    Here is the best explanation of the foundations of military training that I know. THE EATHEN by Rudyard Kipling

    as almarst_2001 points out, the current administration is irrationally, irresponsibly hungry for enemies, and to make enemies.

    from Friday, March 30, 2001 .... Why Bush Administration Hawks Cast a Beady Eye on Beijing ....Undiplomatic Dispatch: Conservative Republicans function best when they have an enemy, argues TIME.coms Tony Karon. And China looks like the most likely contender.

    ...."if his recent tough-guy posture on foreign affairs is anything to go by, W. wants to be his father's former boss Ronald Reagan.

    ...."Ronald Reagan had an enemy. Not just a geopolitical rival or some two-bit punk in the Balkans, but an "Evil Empire" that once threatened to bury America, and continued to confront its strategic interests in every corner of the globe. And like every postwar president before him, Reagan made staring down that enemy the organizing principle of his tenure.

    "Who are we without an enemy?

    . . . . .

    "Enter China, the hidden dragon crouching in wait, biding its time, stealing America's atomic secrets while posing as the provider of sneakers and sweaters and kiddie-movie merchandise distributed by fast-food chains. That same China is now the major strategic challenger confronting America, according to a leaked account of last week's briefing of President Bush by Defense Secretary Rumsfeld. "

    It is high time for other nation states, and people interested in world survival, to ask, are these particular people, in a minority administration --- sane ?

    The question is, how do their actions match reasonable facts, when this is checked? It seems to me, that the possibility that these people are out of touch with reality should be seriously and carefully raised, by Americans, and also by people and leaders of other nation states throughout th

    rshowalter - 12:59pm Mar 30, 2001 EST (#1781 of 1781) Delete Message
    Robert Showalter showalte@macc.wisc.edu

    throughout the world.

    No doubt there are other explanations, that make sense in detail. I say "no doubt" but do wonder -- what might they be?

    Another possibility is the corruption due to fraud, and the desire to protect past frauds.

    Nor are the two possibilities in inherent contradiction.

    And, of course, there could be explanations involving total good faith. Has anybody seen these, set out in any coherent way?

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