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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?
(7813 previous messages)
- 11:02am Aug 9, 2001 EST (#7814
I would like to respond to posting #7808.
Mr. Matel makes the point that a missile defense system need not
be 100% effective to act as a deterent to nuclear attacks directed
at the United States. This point is valid, in my opinion, but he
neglects to mention several other arguments that outwiegh any
adherence to this traditional argument for nuclear technology. There
are at least three reasons why a missile defense system should not
be a top priority.
First, the intended effects of such a policy could, in the
absence of a comprehensive international agreement on the subject,
actually decrease national security and increase international
tension by creating a situation where other countries feel compelled
to increase their own nuclear capacities to thwart a perceived
increase in US capabilities. This is likely to occur if Russia
and/or China are not involved in the United States' effort to create
a missile defense. Given recent tensions among the US and both of
these nations and the US position of informing other countries on
what we already intend to do, I doubt that any international
agreement will emerge.
Second, I don't feel that large expeditures on a missile defense
system are the most effective way to spend our limited financial
resources. In other words, the opportunity cost of sinking billions
of dollars into a missle defense system comes at what could have
been done with this money in education, infrastructure, health care
etc., not to mention the other military initiatives touched on by
Mr. Daschle in his speach.
Finally, there is serious doubt as to whether missle defense will
be met with even a modest amount of success. In fact the former
directer (scientific) of the program recently resigned due to his
frustration in communicating what he perceives are serious and
intractible scientific problems with the missile defense concept. He
is currently lobbying the National Academy of Sciences to formally
oppose a missile defense system on the grounds of scientific
feasibility. This is similar to how economists responded a few years
back when the "Balanced Budget Admendment" was being proposed.
- 12:12pm Aug 9, 2001 EST (#7815
I support Daschle's position. The funds could be better spent on
educating our citizens and rebuilding our internal infrastructure,
rather than mounting another fear campaign that supports the
republican oil and military/gun lobbies. The Bush Admin's
unwillingness to sign on to international environmental and warfare
reduction treaties in order to protect its perceived "economic"
interests is at the expense of our children's environmental health
and just regressive thinking. Get these dinosaurs out!
- 12:27pm Aug 9, 2001 EST (#7816
Yeah, there's a direct correlation between federal dollars spent
and educational achievement. More money spent = lower test scores.
Given enough money to spend the federal goverment can attain that
mythical, moronic level in the classic sci fi story entitled, "The
- 12:43pm Aug 9, 2001 EST (#7817
I agree with Senator Daschle. We have more problems to worry
about these days than a possibility of a nuclear strike. Also, if we
were to maintain the Missile Defense System, it would only hinder
our relationships with the other countries. Placing fear in the
minds of our neighbors is NOT the way to earn respect.
- 01:29pm Aug 9, 2001 EST (#7818
Bush wants to put tens of billions of our dollars into missle
defense while even the pentagon's report was our most dangerous
threats are within , suitcase bombs, etc. While missle shield might
be worth some R&D, bush wants it to be his one big end to end
all? What kind of man, i mean what goes on inside a man's head when
he goes to Russia and looks into the head of the ex KGB chief and
proclaims he "looked into putin's eyes and saw his soul!!! what is
going on???? This reminds me of that movie, "CATCH 22", IS ANYONE
- 03:17pm Aug 9, 2001 EST (#7819
When people have to make a choice between food and insurance,
sane people choose food and skip the insurance premium. That is
exactly the same choice we are being asked to make between the Anti
Ballistic Missile System and Energy. We can't afford both because it
is going to cost many billions of dollar for each. The reason we
have to choose energy (food) is because we are fast running out of
oil/gas supplies within the next 20 years. It will take all the
oil/gas supplies we have left, and all the missile defense money, to
transition from an oil/gas economy to the new nuclear energy world.
There is no other choice.
- 03:23pm Aug 9, 2001 EST (#7820
It is clear that adding to the $60,000,000,000 already spent on
this Potemkin Village charade is a mistake in several ways:
it ignores the cost-effective and immediate availability and
capability of preemptive strikes to destroy any icbm development and
launch facility in a so called "rogue" state.
it ignores the crying need for training, operational
improvements, and weapons upgrades we so badly need, from machine
guns to tanks to field artillery to helicoptor replacements, to
fight the wars that are immediately probable.
it ignores the delivery capabilities that now serve to enable any
rogue state to smuggle in nuclear weaponry via conventional
aircraft, ships, and plain old freight shipments.
it is based on rousing hysteria among the citizenry, and then
lying about what we can actually achieve.
Other than for those whose careers and pocketbooks would be
enhanced by funding SDI al la Bush, it is hard to find strategic or
tactical benefits to the US and its allies in this program.
L. G. Kuttner.
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