[F] New York Times on the Web Forums  / Science  /

    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?

Earliest MessagesPrevious MessagesRecent MessagesOutline (7078 previous messages)

rshowalter - 10:03am Jul 16, 2001 EST (#7079 of 7087) Delete Message
Robert Showalter

But the Bush administration is also engaging in dialog. And as the dialog goes on - its missile defense actions, however bad they may be from a contractual point of view -- are not physically threatening anyone who does not over-react to the objective situation -- because the missile defense program is not a reasonable physical threat to anyone or anything -- and won't be for the forseeable future.

The Coyle Report


makes clear how terribly inadequate the missile defense progam is, at the level of simulations, and in many other technical areas.

MD rshowalter 7/14/01 1:14pm ... MD7044 rshowalter 7/15/01 10:31am

Pentagon report reveals flaws in missile defense by John F. Tierney, 7/10/2001 The Boston Globe


" 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.

The idea that our missile defense program is capable of defending anything , now or for years to come, is simply unsupportable.

That leaves plenty of time for talk, and reasoning, and persuasion. I wish the administratin were more diplomatic than it is -- but the physical threats are negligible, and likely to remain so, and that should be remembered.

barb2k - 03:08pm Jul 16, 2001 EST (#7080 of 7087)

US plans for a national missile defense system

CALPURNIA: Caesar, I never stood on ceremonies, Yet now they fright me. There is one within, Besides the things that we have heard and seen, Recounts most horrid sights seen by the watch. A lioness hath whelped in the streets; And graves have yawn'd, and yielded up their dead;

Fierce fiery warriors fought upon the clouds, In ranks and squadrons and right form of war, Which drizzled blood upon the Capitol; The noise of battle hurtled in the air, Horses did neigh, and dying men did groan, And ghosts did shriek and squeal about the streets.

O Caesar! these things are beyond all use, And I do fear them.

from Julius Ceasar by William Shakespeare

gisterme - 03:56pm Jul 16, 2001 EST (#7081 of 7087)

Direct hit, Robert. Will the MIRACLES never cease? Also, four boomers standing down...that's potentially another 96 tall-boys off one side of the MAD it makes no difference at whatsoever. I believe that's a balance that hasn't mattered for years. Perhaps the sky's not falling after all... :-)

rshowalter - 03:57pm Jul 16, 2001 EST (#7082 of 7087) Delete Message
Robert Showalter

The missile defense threat itself is negligible -- but it is decentering international relations powerfully. On the surface, the program, which cannot work in any significant military way, against any significant threat, seems to be acting fundamentally against US interests.

But perhaps, whether by intention or not, the changes that are occurring are building conditions for a workable, balanced peace.

There are things to say against Henry Kissinger - his stances, and those of his proteges, can, in Thomas Friedman's words, "make Machiavelli sound like one of the Sisters of Mercy." MD7048 rshowalter 7/15/01 10:51am ...

But to some degree, the amount of power that America has taken, that Kissinger took, was taken to prevent chaos -- based on a refusal or inability of other nations to take workable, disciplined positions that maintained a balance of power. In Europe's Chance in the Mideast by GEOFFREY WHEATCROFT Kissinger's quoted as saying "that that he would take "Europe" seriously when it had a telephone number he could call in a crisis." Now, there are signs that the EU is uniting -- earning the right to be taken seriously.

And other nation states are uniting -- in ways that may make "consultation" between the US and other nations real, after a period where they have often been little more than pro forma.

Russia is sorting herself out, getting into closer relations with europe, and sorting out major differences with China. The weakness of the ideas behind NATO are being made clear. The irrationality of conflict between Russia and China is being made clear. And the extraordinary ease with which countries can counter the "threats" from the US missile defense program is being made clear.

There are plenty of reasons to ask for more human decency - but conditions where negotiations between nations that are part of workable power exercising systems are coming into being. If most nations want conditions of peace -- and that seems a clear trend -- then the US desire to fund and justify its military-industrial complex beyond all reason may not stand in the way.

The following story is big news - and not only for missile defense.

More Messages Unread Messages Recent Messages (5 following messages)

 Read Subscriptions  Cancel Subscriptions  Search  Post Message
 Email to Sysop  Your Preferences

 [F] New York Times on the Web Forums  / Science  / Missile Defense

Home | Site Index | Site Search | Forums | Archives | Shopping

News | Business | International | National | New York Region | NYT Front Page | Obituaries | Politics | Quick News | Sports | Science | Technology/Internet | Weather
Editorial | Op-Ed

Features | Arts | Automobiles | Books | Cartoons | Crossword | Games | Job Market | Living | Magazine | Real Estate | Travel | Week in Review

Help/Feedback | Classifieds | Services | New York Today

Copyright 2001 The New York Times Company