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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 - 02:07pm Jul 13, 2001 EST (#7009 of 7011) Delete Message
Robert Showalter

The missile defense projects proposed by this administration are far fetched. They have only a vanishingly small chance of working at the levels tactical performance takes.

The things that matter can all be checked in the open literature - up to specifing advances -- best described as "miracles" that would have to be achieved for program viability.

I'm prepared to go forward with much of that checking, on missile defense, and can get much assistance in that checking. Many of the basic facts, including the fact that it is easy to immunize a missile or warhead from lasar damage, are in this thread.

That single fact should cast a very long shadow on the credibility of the programs the Bush administration now pushes so hard. The things that need to be checked haven't been, and the muddle has gone on for a very long time. It is surprisingly hard to check anything in the currrent military culture. For example, an offer I made after a full day meeting on this thread with an individual speaking with national authority, that should have been easy, wasn't taken up. MD304 rshowalt 9/25/00 5:28pm

I've suggested in MD6808 rshowalter 7/9/01 4:43pm. . . that gisterme , who has posted so extensively on this thread, could not have done so, without the knowledge and backing of the very highest levels of the Bush administration, including Rice , Rumsfeld , Armitage , Wolfowitz , Hadley , and their bosses.

In postings in this thread gisterme has often taken the position of an officer of state - with a treatening degree of power not far from reach.

For example. I asked a question -- and the issue involved was whether I was committing treason -- a serious issue. MD6024 rshowalter 6/25/01 4:52pm ... It is a good question -- and short -- I asked: "What have I said that is not in the national interest? I still think that's a good question -- and I believe I've been serving the national interest to high standards.

gisterme replied to the question directly in these posting, and doing so conceded that issues of technical feasibility and probablility of projects, based on the open literature, can be discussed in the United States.

MD6028 gisterme 6/25/01 6:58pm ... MD6033 gisterme 6/25/01 7:45pm
MD6060 gisterme 6/26/01 3:13pm

That concession is important -- because the administration is advocating programs that are far fetched to the point where thoughts of fraud are hard to escape.

If gisterme does not have high government connections -- and is not speaking with authority --- gisterme has often written to convey a sense that those connections exist.

rshowalter - 02:11pm Jul 13, 2001 EST (#7010 of 7011) Delete Message
Robert Showalter

When I asked

" Gisterme , is there any substance to the lasar based weapons programs?"

I feel I asked a fair question --- and I have to feel that gisterme knows the answer, but does not like the answer.

The same question can be fairly asked about everything else in the "missile sheild". They are admirably suited as excuses to give money to the US military - industrial complex -- when the US military budget now amounts to $1500/year for every man, woman, and child in the US. It isn't clear that the programs can do anything else at all, except to waste money, and destroy chances for the accomodations peace (and the real neutralization of threats) will really take.

The claims being made by the administration that imply the missile shield has a reasonable technical chance are far fetched -- and must be motivated by concerns other than a desire to defend the United States -- something the "missile shield" cannot do.

Because of my background, I'm deeply concerned, and believe that it is vital that the United States come to act on the basis of right answers, and conduct itself in ways that can stand the light of day.

MD6613 rshowalter 7/4/01 11:46pm .... MD6614 rshowalter 7/4/01 11:48pm

rshowalter - 02:32pm Jul 13, 2001 EST (#7011 of 7011) Delete Message
Robert Showalter

The following is a very clear, useful summary based on a number of misconceptions, some clearly stated.

How the ABM Treaty Obstructs Missile Defense by Baker Spring

It calls the treaty an obstacle to development -- and it IS an obstacle to complete development.

But missile defense is nowhere near the stage where the obstaces can reasonably matter. The administration does not now have anything that works on paper, to reasonable, cross-examinable engineering standards.

It is hard enough to get things that work on paper developed -- projects that are indefensible on paper never work. Once the administration had something that could pass tough paper engineering tests, there would be many ways of testing it - a long way into the development sequence -- within the treaty.

The development that the ABM treaty would stand in the way of involves work that cannot reasonably be begun for many years.

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