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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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kjeldridge20 - 04:15pm Aug 9, 2001 EST (#7821 of 7904)

In response to posting #7814

In answer to your first argument, RedSox, I am confused. I have heard this argument over and over, yet nobody seems to answer the paradox that few people recognize. I first have to ask why this would create tension and worry that we will use this sytem offensively-the United States has not been an offensive country that attacks without reason since the imperialistic days of the late 1800's and early 1900's. Also, why would a country build up their OFFENSIVE intercontinental missiles to combat a DEFENSIVE system? A country would not attack us only because we built a defensive sytem (oh NO!!!).

In answer to your second argument, spending for military might be one of the greater reasons that we enjoy such prosperity (we are in a downturn, but still with great prosperity)-it stimulates the economy through the creation of jobs. This will in turn give money to employees who spend this money and in turn help the economy grow. This will lead to increased tax revenues, which will provide money for your education, infrastructure, and health care (which calls for a whole other dicussion). You may laugh, but any economics class can give you this information (and money spent by the private sector is much more effective in helping the economy than money spent by the government).

Finally, to your worst (and the most repeated) argument about how missile defense. Of course it is unproven-that's the whole point! You can't make something new without experimenting. The same thing is true of anything new. You say there is serious doubt that it will work. YOU HAVE NO CLUE. Nobody knows if it will work-don't try to use your own opinion as a significant argument.

derekaa - 04:51pm Aug 9, 2001 EST (#7822 of 7904)

Kjeld...20 The idea that military spending is a good way to a strong economy is economically sound, but also outdated. The Reagan era deficits (a sharp climb in debt) are a result of this military -based economy idea. Yes, military spending adds to the economy, but only is certain sectors. Yes, it will "trickle down" but that does not mean this is the most effieicent way of spending tax money. The fact the NMD is in the RD stages clearly explains the multitude of failures. But on a cost benefit level of anylisis, NMD is foolish. Why create yet another dinsosaur industry within the military complex. Rumsfeld has his hands full trying to pull the many military programs together and make better use of military spending. Adding another suckling pig (NMD) to the trough of military spending will do little to help clean up the military budget. Look, more realist assements cite many other security threats as more relevant. Im not saying dump NMD, just spend the money in a manner that better attend to our security. Pork pentagon projects that deliver small security gains like a large scale NMD is not one. Hackers attack the pentagon much more than missiles are fired at us. When was the last time a terrorist blew up a building with a homemeade bomb? These are the problems we should spend the bulk of our defense budget on, not pet projects like NMD that will gain the favor of large defense contractors who double as campaign contributors

kjeldridge20 - 05:07pm Aug 9, 2001 EST (#7823 of 7904)

Thank you for your respone, derekaa. It is nice to know that there is a liberal out there (that is, if you are a liberal-I wouldn't be the least bit surprised if you were a conservative) that uses logic rather than emotion to direct their views.

Although I support the NMD, I can see your point. I don't feel that so much money should be poured into it that it would hurt the rest of the military. However, I feel that your comment about pork Pentagon projects is weak. We all know that much of what is done by the government involves pork barrel legislation and that legislators are always looking for votes. Unions give tons of money to Dems and receive from them, so let's not use a double standard.

bakho - 05:22pm Aug 9, 2001 EST (#7824 of 7904)

Missile Defense will not work. The advantage is always with the offensive. There are too many ways to decoy warheads to make them unhittable. There are other ways of delivering warheads other than missiles and there are other weapons of mass destruction (biological and chemical) that are easily deliverable without missile technology. Truck bombs are devastating and have been used to attack targets and kill lots of people. 2 guys in a rubber raft almost sank a Navy destroyer. So even if missile defense works to perfection, there are plenty of alternative means of attacks and threats that get around missile defense as easily as the Nazis bypassed the Maginot line in WWII. NMD is a high tech maginot line.

Senator Lugar of Indiana is trying to get the US to fund an incinerator to destroy chemical weapons in Russia (see Lugar's web site). Lugar was able to fit enough nerve gas weapons to wipe out a city in a regular briefcase. That is a bigger threat and should be a more important priority.

Since missile defense can't work as advertised, what is the real purpose? Missile defense is the stepping stone to the militarization of space. Once lasers are placed in space that can target missiles, the Pentagon will suddenly find that lasers can be used for offensive and not just defensive purposes. The real question with missile defense is whether or not it is a good idea for the US to militarize space. -bakho

kjeldridge20 - 05:43pm Aug 9, 2001 EST (#7825 of 7904)

Bahko-why have you made the assumption that NMD is impossible? I just don't get it. You have absolutely no proof or basis for your belief other than your political opinion. Let's wait and see. We can't, as you seem to imply, build more offensive weapons to protect ourselves, so that argument is moot. Secondly, why would Russia willingly give up these weapons? (that is, if they are Russia's weapons. I'm not too sure what you're talking about.

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