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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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lunarchick - 05:02pm Jul 30, 2001 EST (#7612 of 7770)

That figure (+ mortgage repayment shown) would set up the structures for a decent sized village in a third world area of need. So if every American made this commitment to the people in need, over ten years - the world would be a changed place! Gates-y, and his ilk, coming in with online education. 'What a wonderful world' (thanks Louis)..

rshowalter - 05:16pm Jul 30, 2001 EST (#7613 of 7770) Delete Message
Robert Showalter

The world has many risks, and costs, and needs.

gisterme and I agree on this. Missile defense can be thought of as an "insurance policy" - as money spent, to deal with a risk, over a period of time, for a cost.

When you face a risk, and consider finding ways to insure against it (or consider ways to reduce the risk) -- you ask a series of questions.

1. Is this a risk work considering? (In the real context.) I think everybody is agreed that it is, at the worth considering level.

2. If I "buy insurance" or make a precautionary expenditure to reduce this risk, what do I get, in terms of net reduction of risk, under the different alternatives that are available?

3. What do the alternatives cost?

  • * * * * * *

    To make a decision on these things, reasonable judgements about quantity have to be made, and balanced.

    I wonder if gisterme or anybody else disagrees, so far?

    rshowalter - 05:24pm Jul 30, 2001 EST (#7614 of 7770) Delete Message
    Robert Showalter

    I say that, when you look at the risk, in context, the missile defense programs being sold by the administration are grossly bad deals -- dishonestly presented - - from the viewpoint of the real interests of ordinary Americans.

    Now, that depends on some judgements on numbers.

    Judgements about the magnitude of the risk itself, and the net advantage of missile defense efforts.

    Judgements about the chance of missile defense programs working.

    When I look at what is being proposed, from the point of view of the nation as a whole -- it is a terribly bad deal -- a shuck - a fraud.

    But it is a deal that is being sold very, very hard. It makes sense to ask why.

    lunarchick - 05:25pm Jul 30, 2001 EST (#7615 of 7770)

    It takes a whole village to raise a child. This ancient African proverb teaches eternal truth. No man, woman, or family is an island.

    It took 50 years for the Macedonian/Scicillian family to build their house and one minute for fire from the sky to destroy it.

    For some the war is over when the noise of destruction ceases. For others it's years of poverty and pain, to rebuild to provide Maslow's (search) basic, bottom wrung shelter ... preceeding all else ... a home is the primary 'God Send'.

    lunarchick - 05:32pm Jul 30, 2001 EST (#7616 of 7770)

    On risk Showalter, the risk of having the home and village destroyed, by an American bomb from the sky, has been statistically HIGH in post-WWII 'trouble spots' ... perhaps that's why some have opted for the totalitarian (!?!).

    Money to burn!

    rshowalter - 05:32pm Jul 30, 2001 EST (#7617 of 7770) Delete Message
    Robert Showalter

    MD6972 rshowalter 7/12/01 10:00am

    Comment on A Missile Defense Test for Congress

    The first line is understated:

    " The Pentagon has not yet developed any technology that can reliably shoot down enemy missiles."

    That line is true, but could be expanded to read:

    " The Pentagon has not yet developed any technology, even on paper, at the level of plans that could be presented for examination by independent experts , that can or could possibly, much less reliably, shoot down enemy missiles.

    " The proposal floated with the fewest technical problems, the Garwin proposal, could not be used anywhere near the Alaskan site -- but would have to be deployed within a few hundred miles, or less, of the fired missile being defended against.

    " The "smart rock" proposal which has been most tested has had little success --even on tests that are far easier than tactical conditions would be.

    " The lasar weapon proposals -- all of them, whether ground or space based - are deeply flawed at a number of technical levels involving resolution and control, and are almost trivial to defend against with reflective coatings.

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