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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 - 01:14pm Jul 14, 2001 EST (#7021 of 7028) Delete Message
Robert Showalter showalte@macc.wisc.edu

Congressman John Tierney is taking a responsible, couragious stand with respect to missile defense - and has put much useful information on his Congressional Home page http://www.house.gov/tierney/

Here's an editorial Tierney recently wrote:

Pentagon report reveals flaws in missile defense by John F. Tierney, 7/10/2001 The Boston Globe http://www.boston.com/dailyglobe2/191/oped/Pentagon_report_reveals_flaws_in_missile_defense+.shtml

It starts:

" NOT TOO LONG ago, the Pentagon's purchase of $400 hammers and $640 toilets raised eyebrows in Congress and among the public. Yet few people claimed those deluxe hammers couldn't cleanly hit their targets - most likely overpriced nails. And the toilets were said to flush with exquisite efficiency.

" Not so the Pentagon's latest folly - an obscenely expensive but flawed missile defense system the Bush administration appears determined to deploy as early as 2004, even though the individual who was charged with evaluating its readiness has declared that it will not be ready, even in a limited form, until 2011.

Tierney is speaking conservatively -- and so was Coyle, who wrote The Coyle Report: (Coyle was Director: Operational Test and Evaluation, Department of Defense)

NATIONAL MISSILE DEFENSE DEPLOYMENT READINESS REVIEW 10 August 2000 . . . . 69 very interesting, technically detailed pages. http://www.house.gov/reform/min/pdf/nmdcoylerep.pdf

The idea that our missile defense program is capable of defending anything , now or for years to come, is simply unsupportable. This is a boondoggle, and a very serious one.

lunarchick - 05:19pm Jul 14, 2001 EST (#7022 of 7028)
lunarchick@www.com

Cognition: Bwsh isn't even running on the spot! May be he's relying on abracadabra.!.

rshowalter - 05:39pm Jul 14, 2001 EST (#7023 of 7028) Delete Message
Robert Showalter showalte@macc.wisc.edu

I feel that President Putin and his people are to be commended for the careful, measured stance they are taking on the administration's NMD project "accellerations."

'Contradictory' U.S. Words on ABM Issue Puzzle Russia by PATRICK E. TYLER http://www.nytimes.com/2001/07/14/international/14RUSS.html

" MOSCOW, July 13 Russia stated officially today that it is confused.

" Confused, strategically speaking, on whether the Bush administration is planning to withdraw from, negotiate changes to, or simply "bump up against" the Antiballistic Missile Treaty.

" Responding to a series of high-level statements made in Washington on Thursday that described an accelerated testing program for American missile defenses, Defense Minister Sergei B. Ivanov rhetorically threw up his hands today. He said Moscow was unable to "say anything definite" about where things stood in the American-Russian dialogue on missile defense.

" We are still oriented towards patient consultations and will conduct them," Mr. Ivanov told reporters . . .

There's a good deal of time for such consultations - however unfortutate the administration's actions may be, viewed from a lawyer's perspective -- they are not taking actions that objectively threaten anyone -- surely not Russia.

One has to be a poet indeed to find ways to stretch words to the point where anything involved can be said to "work" in any military sense at all. To say that the system "doesen't even work on paper" -- much less by test -- is massive understatement -- and will remain so if the stunt interception scheduled for this evening goes off as planned.

If the administration destabilizes the situation, maybe in negotiations, good things can happen.

As of now -- it is a boondoggle. If Russian engineers look at the target signature algorithm descriptions in the Coyle report -- they should be confident that they will have ample time to negotiate -- an indefinitely large time -- before anything of any military consequence at all works in the American system.

Unless I err, the difficulty of battle management increases with number of objects, and with object sophistication - at more than an NP rate - -something like a factorial rate. Which is to say that the objectives of the program (which is suppose to defend the United States in a credible way) are hopeless.

What the administration is doing is nonsense -- so far as threat, or national defense, goes. Major portions of the military-industrial complex are being given money to spend -- on a basis that makes the worst of the make-work WPA projects of the 1930's look elegant.

There's time to move toward more stable military balances -- and time for the American people to learn that they are needed.

A major problem is conceptual -- Americans have to come to understand that the mess is as great, and the product as useless, as it actually is.

rshowalter - 05:42pm Jul 14, 2001 EST (#7024 of 7028) Delete Message
Robert Showalter showalte@macc.wisc.edu

The military industrial complex should find better, less shameful ways to spend the national treasure. There are important things that these people could actually do.

On NMD, they're in over their heads -- way over their heads.

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