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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 - 03:34pm Aug 1, 2001 EST (#7714 of 7773) Delete Message
Robert Showalter

almarst , could you comment here also? As a favor to me. If you see mistakes or inadequacies - I'd like them pointed out. If you would like more details to the argument, or would like it presented in other ways, I'd like to know that too.

I think reasonable people should be able to get closure on the proposition that lasar anti-missile weapons are impractical, considering all the technically possible cases.

So that the intelligentsia in Russia, and the analogous people in Europe and America, could understand the point.

Similar exercises are possible, I feel sure, for the "smart rock" or "brilliant pebble" approaches that are space based - - especially with plausible decoying . . but we should at least be able to get to clarity on the lasar case.

What would the problems be with doing this, from your point of view?

rshowalter - 06:18pm Aug 1, 2001 EST (#7715 of 7773) Delete Message
Robert Showalter

Bush Receives Pentagon Briefing By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

includes this:

"The United States and Russia agreed to reduce strategic nuclear weapons to between 3,000 and 3,500 each -- about half current stockpiles -- under a START II treaty that took years to negotiate but has not been fully ratified. Putin says he wants to cut back to 1,500 each, or even lower, and Bush has said -- within committing to any specific number -- that he sees room for cuts below 2,500.

"The Pentagon is in the midst of a congressionally required review of its nuclear forces that is due to be finished late this year.

"An important question in considering whether and how to cut and reconfigure the forces is whether to retain all three legs of the force -- air-, land- and sea-based missiles. These form the nuclear ``triad'' that has been the basis of U.S. strategic nuclear planning for decades.

- - -

I know they won't, but if the military considered why the proposal set out in

MD266 rshowalt 9/25/00 7:32am ... MD267 rshowalt 9/25/00 7:33am
MD268 rshowalt 9/25/00 7:35am ... MD269 rshowalt 9/25/00 7:36am

could not be done, it might be interesting. If the Cold War is really over, and Russia and America really achieve cooperation on key matters between them - - the reasons why not might be removable reasons. With or without some "missile defense." Prohibition of nuclear weapons, with teeth, would make the world safer.

rshowalter - 11:54am Aug 2, 2001 EST (#7716 of 7773) Delete Message
Robert Showalter

A good point, on reasons why sensible people can want missile defense, was written in response to MD7712-14:

That posting ends:

" I think that we'll probably have to witness the tragic slaughter of an entire city or two in a regional exchange of nuclear missiles before the US deploys an effective NMD -- and then, when faced with CNN footage of burned corpses and melted buildings, the current anti-NMD folks will be scrambling over themselves to show how they've always thought it was such a good idea. "

But wishes don't make things possible, and technical facts have to determine reasonable action. Ways to avoid risk that make sense have to be possible.

And an evaluation of what the real risks and contexts are is important, too.

- In Which We Learn How to Hide a Head of State By MICHAEL WINES

- Painting Pyongyang Into a Corner By SELIG S. HARRISON

Deterrance does work:

- MD6980 rshowalter 7/12/01 1:25pm


- A Memo From Osama by THOMAS L. FRIEDMAN

- Digital Defense by THOMAS FRIEDMAN

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