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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?
(7319 previous messages)
- 09:14am Jul 23, 2001 EST (#7320
In the world, the "other dinosaurs" have real power - once they
are paying attention. The United States cannot prosper, or be safe,
if it "has no friends."
The rate at which the United States is losing friend must be
rare, in all of diplomatic history.
Perhaps things are turning around, and turning around
If not, the rate at which the United States is losing friends is
likely to accellerate - not reverse.
- 09:15am Jul 23, 2001 EST (#7321
Turkey: Tourism v Realism:
In Turkey, Europe meets Asia in the city of Istanbul
divided only by the Bosphorous. Istanbul is famous for its many
mosques - the Blue Mosque and the Ayia Sofia among others - and
the rising minarets can be seen dotted over the entire city. There
are also many ancient sites in dating back to early Christian
times such as Ephesus and the home of the Virgin Mary. Turkey
brings all the mystery of the East to the Western world with
exotic music, fantastic carpets, Turkish baths and a beautiful
climate. The Cargos carried on the Bosphorous River are a
cause of concern to Istanbul Population 11 million. Russia is
shipping Oil and next Nuclear Waste for re-processing. Vessels
ought to have a river-pilot passing through Istanbul - but don't -
and the city's population is scared!
- 09:20am Jul 23, 2001 EST (#7322
With good reason. Here is a situation, and one of many, where
Russian prestige, safety and prosperity depends on responsible
conduct. Sometimes there seems no penalty -- a nation is facing no
specific penalty but the bad opinion of others.
But that bad opinion can be powerful indeed, in all sorts of
The prestige, safety, and prosperity of other nations, including
the United States, depends on earned good will, in the same way.
- 09:32am Jul 23, 2001 EST (#7323
In several articles today, and often previously, in the New
York Times and elsewhere, the idea that the Russians cannot
afford to increase the number of warheads they can aim (given
a few minutes of downloading) at the United States is emphasized.
Bush and Putin Tie Antimissile Talks to Big Arms Cuts by
DAVID E. SANGER http://www.nytimes.com/2001/07/23/international/23SUMM.html
Reading Putin's Mind by WILLIAM SAFIRE http://www.nytimes.com/2001/07/23/opinion/23SAFI.html
The argument for this is based, in very large part, on a mistake
about accounting. The marginal cost of producing a weapon,
already designed, usually is radically less than the cost
accountants may use -- an accounting cost which includes an
attribution of sunk costs. It may be much easier than we'd like
to believe for the Russians to increase the number of warheads
targeted against us --- much easier then anyone should like, to
increase the probability of the destruction of the world.
The idea that Putin is bluffing about this is dangerous, and
almost certainly wrong. He has both the materials, the design, and
the manpower, sitting around unused.
- 09:34am Jul 23, 2001 EST (#7324
Interesting to note how many 'disasters' that hit the 'news' are
actually lack of quality management.
- 09:40am Jul 23, 2001 EST (#7325
Russia is full of such disasters -- and getting them under
control is crucial for Russia. Progress seems to be going on - but
there's still a long way to go.
And the missile "defense" program boondoggle here in the United
States is a huge example of lack of quality management -- at almost
every level that you can name.
If Russia worked harder on quality management, it could be a
richer, safer, and prouder country.
If we did the same, so could we.
- 09:46am Jul 23, 2001 EST (#7326
Liked the title here
- 09:50am Jul 23, 2001 EST (#7327
And a crucial subject - decision making on the basis of
ignorance and uncertainty.
There are two key points about such decision making:
Where "gamblers ruin" isn't an issue - you play the "odds"
-- and are careful to do things where the risk discounted
payoff/cost ratio is as positive as you can get it. (0ften this
means -- root out lies and get better information.)
But "gamblers ruin" often IS an issue -- and there are
some risks that a rational player cannot take.
The risk of nuclear war ought to be one of these, on any sane
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