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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 - 07:42am Jul 27, 2001 EST (#7484 of 7502) Delete Message
Robert Showalter


Russia, U.S. Discuss ABM Treaty By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS MOSCOW (AP) -- Russia denied it was re-examining its position on the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty on Friday, following talks with U.S. National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice

U.S. Tells Iraq It May Retaliate for Missile Attack on Spy Plane By THOM SHANKER President Bush warned Thursday that the United States reserves the right to respond to Iraq's attempt this week to shoot down a U-2 plane

U.S. Offers Russia a Blueprint for Talks on Nuclear Weapons By MICHAEL WINES Condoleezza Rice, the national security adviser, offered Russian President Vladimir V. Putin an American blueprint Thursday for building a nuclear- weapons framework

Rice: U.S. Won't Wait for Russia By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS MOSCOW (AP) -- National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice said Thursday that the United States will not wait for Russian agreement to deploy a planned national missile defense system

Russia Heard No New Arguments to Scrap ABM By REUTERS MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia said on Friday it had heard no new arguments from the United States that would persuade it to agree to scrap or radically change the Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) Treaty

Digital Defense By THOMAS FRIEDMAN The more the Internet brings us together, the more vulnerable we are to a breakdown. The real threat to our country comes from cyberterrorists, not missiles

M.I.T. Physicist Says Pentagon Is Trying to Silence Him By JAMES DAO A leading critic of the military's missile defense testing program has accused the Pentagon of trying to silence him

. . . .

At the level of actual military function - missile defense seems to have no substance at all - but the forces at play here a big. If missile defense were understood for what it is (a bluff, started as a bluff by Ronald Reagan, that has grown like a cancer, sustained by deception) -- what would happen to the political credibility of the military-industrial complex, on which so much money depends?

That seems to me to be the big, over-arching story. If there was substance to missile defense - people would be making clear technical arguments for it by now -- arguments that could stand the light of day. It isn't happening.

Suggested search terms, this thead: internet, shuck, culture of lying, treason.

lunarchick - 08:21am Jul 27, 2001 EST (#7485 of 7502)

Or should that read:

    Complex, that depends so much on 'money'
I was busy watching the Oz-Navy! :)

rshowalter - 08:29am Jul 27, 2001 EST (#7486 of 7502) Delete Message
Robert Showalter

Another big story is how little of military importance the "mic" has been able to come up with, since the Vietnam War, compared to the rates of progress that we've become historically used to. (Compare airplanes in WWI and WWII separated in time by 25 years - - and contrast the much slower progress in military airplane performance in the last 30 years.)

In aviation, progress has been very slow, in important military terms, in the last thirty years. The progress that has occured has happened at a price that would have been unimaginable and horrifying forty years ago.

(Clarence "Kelly" Johnson's Skunk Works developed the U-2 in 8 months, and delivered 20 airplanes,, with spare parts, for under 20 million 1955 dollars. They developed main line jet fighers with impressive performance, even today - also for very little money. These jobs were done, with little manpower, by today's standards, not only because Johnson and his team knew their stuff -- but because they were facing real and substantial technical opportunities.

Comparing the costs of development in the 50's and 60''s to the price of single fighters today (fighers not so much better than older fighters) gives a sense of how marginal the room for improvement engineers are finding actually is.

In military aviation, the biggest innovation of the last thirty years - stealth - is obsolete.

In "smart weapons" development, there is far less to show than people expected - because people came up against a mathematical brick wall.

There are no space weapons that make any military sense at all - - for fundamental reasons very unlikely to change, including a number of mathematical brick walls. Rumsfeld's idea of a "high frontier" of military function makes no more technical sense, today, than attempting the technical performance in Kubrick's 2001 A Space Odyssey would make. We've done less than we hoped.

After about 140 billion dollars spent on missile defense -- we have few things that work at all, at the system level, even at the level of stunts. For basic reasons, some mathematical reasons that cannot change.

The reasons to fund military research, and new military procurement, are getting less, because the threats we face are much reduced, but also because the new stuff, on balance, may be but little better than the old -- or, in militarily useful terms, no better at all.

And the corruption of the military industrial complex has become massive -- they've been overselling their accomplishments, to get money that couldn't be rationally justified, for a long time.

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