[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 (7510 previous messages)

rshowalter - 06:36pm Jul 27, 2001 EST (#7511 of 7543) Delete Message
Robert Showalter

MD836 rshowalter 3/5/01 6:53am ... MD839 rshowalter 3/5/01 3:43pm
MD840 rshowalter 3/5/01 4:06pm

MD841 rshowalter 3/5/01 4:08pm

We have to understand a new, basic thing.

We all understand that the development of nuclear weapons changed history.

. Nuclear weapons radically and permanently changed "the worst that could happen" in war. -- That nightmare will, at some levels, remain with us, no matter how well our technical and political controls work. In this sense, the world was permanently changed in 1945, and the fifteen years thereafter.

But nuclear weapons did not STOP history.

Another change has come upon us, also historical. It will also be irreversible, permanent so long as civilization continues.

. The internet and related electonic changes, and the changes that will follow from them, have radically and permanently increased the speed of information flow, permanently increased the amount of information available, permanently increased the speed and power with which the information can be used, and permanently, radically reduced the cost of both information and logical inference.

! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !

The connections between information (and deception) and war, that have existed since time immemorial, are now permanently altered.



! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !

I believe that the world is going to be considerably safer and more stable soon.

But militarily, it is also going to be different.

Military forces will still have plenty to do.

rshowalter - 06:40pm Jul 27, 2001 EST (#7512 of 7543) Delete Message
Robert Showalter

almarst took an interest, but also took a very different view -- a view clearly connected to the American-Russian arms discussions now going on.

He expressed interest in how the internet, and information flows, could change military affiars, but concentrated on other points:

MD842: almarstel2001 3/5/01 9:53pm

" As far as I see it, the situation is much simpler. After the end of a Cold War, US spends 300 b/year on the greatest military machine this world ever seen. It supports NATO expansion eastwards trying to isolate Russia from Europe. It bombs small and weak "unfriendly" countries at will for "misdeeds" it and its "frends" frequently commit themself. And now it tryes to establish its absolute superiority against Russia and China who can't match such military buildup even close. On the way, US wants to ensure its huge conventional force equiped with "smart" weaponry and spread all over the glob feel free to act without fear of even suicidal retaliation from a country having an ultimate "poison pill" of just a few ballistic missels. US wants to be able to kill and destroy without any possible retaliation - from the safety of high above and far away - just like it demonstrated in Yugoslavia and continue doing for 10 years in Iraq.

" If you think I am the only one seeing this picture you must be pretty naive. Just as US wants its freedom and protection, so do the rest of the world. and they will try to come up with solutions that fit their budget. Those solutions may end up being very crual, not so "smart" and dangerous to all. But that what US will get if it keeps on its current way.

I repeated again reasons why the internet made the US and other countries vulnerable -- so that all ought to be deterred.

MD886 rshowalter 3/9/01 12:23pm . . . MD887 rshowalter 3/9/01 12:28pm
MD890 rshowalter 3/9/01 12:41pm . . . MD891 rshowalter 3/9/01 12:43pm

rshowalter - 06:41pm Jul 27, 2001 EST (#7513 of 7543) Delete Message
Robert Showalter

Then almarst expressed the concern, MD892 almarstel2001 3/9/01 12:48pm quoted above in rshowalter 7/27/01 5:28pm .

I think that almarst and Putin might think about these vulnerabilities again -- they do provide vulnerabilities that would have deterred Hitler, and ought to be significant deterrants for the United States, as well.

That's hopeful, and stabilizing.

These non-nuclear vulnerabilities are real, and lend themselves to proportionate, and even nonlethal, responses.

The usefulness of nuclear weapons is less than Putin thinks - because they are so disproportionate, such overkill, that they can't be used in the face of challenges Russia is likely to face.

It seems to me that Russias should be able to consider these matters with an easier mind, when they consider how little the US missile defense program actually amounts to, in terms of what it can physically do. There are real alternatives and opportunities available, despite real concerns, and real annoyances.

More Messages Unread Messages Recent Messages (30 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