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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 - 07:40pm Aug 2, 2001 EST (#7722 of 7773) Delete Message
Robert Showalter showalte@macc.wisc.edu

Military expenditures on unworkable junk are against the national interest, from a VERY wide range of points of view. ....The ladies, gentlemen, and other ranks working on the space and ground based lasar programs could be doing much more useful work. .... and the Bush administration would get much more credit doing useful things .

MD6798 rshowalter 7/9/01 1:20pm ... MD6799 rshowalter 7/9/01 1:23pm
MD6800 rshowalter 7/9/01 1:43pm ... MD6801 rshowalter 7/9/01 1:50pm
MD6802 rshowalter 7/9/01 2:07pm .... MD7684 rshowalter 7/31/01 9:30pm

MD6792 gisterme 7/9/01 12:41pm responded with a laugh when I suggested some checking should happen. It isn't necessary for anybody to believe me or anybody else, on the key evidence. People can look for themselves rshowalter 7/9/01 1:13pm . .. .

Jounalists in other countries are laughing also. Laughing at the Bush administration. This was in The Moscow Times , Chris Floyd's Global Eye http://www.themoscowtimes.com/stories/2001/08/03/107.html today:

" Remember the "successful" test of America's "missile defense" system last month, when a prototype rocket shot down a mock warhead in flight? Remember the reams of triumphant PR from the White House and Washington's corps of sycophantic pundits? The test was "proof positive," they said, that "missile defense works." Opponents of Bush's $300 billion welfare program for wealthy defense contractors had been "morally disarmed" by this "resounding success."

" It looks like the cheerleaders shook their pom-poms too soon. Last week, the Pentagon confessed that its Buck Rogers whizbangery had in fact been guided by a homing beacon placed on the target itself, Reuters reports.

Comment: there was also a MAJOR failure of the radar, indicating that the system was up against very serious computational limits in its programming -- limits that probably rule out any ability of the system to hand realistic decoys, or even chaff.

" The somewhat bristly brass insisted that the handy-dandy tracking device had only put their missile in the "general vicinity" of the target but they also admitted that a "rogue state" launching a surprise attack would probably not include such helpful guides on their own warheads.

" Undeterred by this dearth of deterrence, Bush and defense chief Donald "Darth" Rumsfeld are now finalizing plans for "projecting dominance through space," The Observer reports. Dub and Rummy are resurrecting Reagan's old "Star Wars" scheme of space-based laser weapons and a constellation of more than 4,000 lethal satellites presumably to ward off "rogue aliens" like Jabba the Hut.

rshowalter - 07:42pm Aug 2, 2001 EST (#7723 of 7773) Delete Message
Robert Showalter showalte@macc.wisc.edu

The space-based lasar weapons cannot work. The most essential other parts of "missile defense" can't work either. These things can be shown (up to the enumeration of "miracles) in public.

Now, we have the spectacle of a "great power" begging its allies, and its adversaries, to be permitted to commit a massive, expensive technical folly, corrupting in very many ways so that it can keep on spending money, and keep on doing things that no longer make sense. And when begging fails, bullying them.

The Bush administration is dissipating, to a degree that no one would have guessed a few months ago, the prestige of the US government, and the prestige of the US military, world wide.

This is a near-total, unilateral surrender and disarmament of one of the strongest assets the United States has had in the world. I'm speaking of our credibility. MD7670 rshowalter 7/31/01 8:20pm

gisterme , who raised an elementary and crucial issue about lasar weapon targeting, and who clearly represents the Bush administration MD6826 rshowalter 7/10/01 8:11am . . should answer the question of clarification in MD7672 rshowalter 7/31/01 8:38pm ... and respond to the points in

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MD7714 rshowalter 8/1/01 3:34pm ... MD7715 rshowalter 8/1/01 6:18pm

rshowalter - 08:11pm Aug 2, 2001 EST (#7724 of 7773) Delete Message
Robert Showalter showalte@macc.wisc.edu

Rice Aims for New Russia Framework by THE ASSOCIATED PRESS http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/news/AP-US-Russia.html

It seems to me that National Security Advisor Rice is talking about some pretty sensible stuff.

When the technical capability of the US missile defense program is seen to be as small as it is , and the technical capability of Russia to counter what the US can do is seen to be as large as it is - - why not an accomodation that includes permission for some "missile defense" ?

- - - - - -

Rice's arguments don't completely deal with ways and means to really end the Cold War - - but are consistent with the ways and means that would be needed.

To really end the Cold War, the United States would have to work itself through some fictions.

That may take a while. Accomodations along the way might make plenty of sense.

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