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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?
(7837 previous messages)
- 02:19am Aug 10, 2001 EST (#7838
The vacation president
Bush can take as much holiday as he wants
Special report: George Bush's America
Leader Thursday August 9, 2001 The Guardian
You are probably expecting us to be outraged by the news that
George W Bush has spent 42% of his presidency on holiday. How dare
the man play hooky so often that he has managed to rack up a
whopping 54 days at his Texas ranch, 38 days at the presidential
retreat at Camp David and four more at his parents' place in
Kennebunkport, Maine - and all in the seven short months that have
elapsed since he took the oath of office.
Now he is back in Texas, starting the longest White House
vacation since 1969. Forget Kennebunkport; this is the
Can-I-bunk-off presidency. http://www.guardian.co.uk/bush/story/0,7369,534041,00.html
- 10:43am Aug 10, 2001 EST (#7839
Why missile defense can't work.
The object of missile defense is to protect the US from weapons
of mass destruction. #1 reason- Missiles are neither the most likely
or the most effective means of delivering a weapon of mass
destruction by a so-called "Rogue State". While the tactical defense
can stymie current offensive tactics, new tactics will be developed
that counter the defense. For example, during the Civil War, rifling
of the barrels of the Springfield rifles gave them much greater
range and accuracy than old smoothbore muskets. Thus, defenders
could pick off offensive artillary personnel and prevent them from
supporting offensive attacks. Adding trenches, abiatis and headlogs
made entrenched defenders virtually unbeatable.
This led to new offensive techniques to defeat the defense.
Tunneling under the works and placing explosives was tried and could
have been effective had appropriate offensive techniques been used
in conjunction with the explosions. The most important technique was
General Sherman's use of superior numbers to entrench a large part
of his force in front of the enemy lines, protected from attack and
use a smaller force in flanking maneuvers to interrupt the enemy's
supply lines. Sherman used this technique to cause the withdrawal of
Confederate forces from numerous defensive positions that were
otherwise impregnable. In this way Sherman forced the Confederate
army to retreat all the way to Atlanta. Eventually, Sherman cutoff
all the railroads into Atlanta forcing the Confederates to abandon
the city or be straved out in a seige.
The Germans used similar tactics against the Maginot line in
WWII. Rather than assault the impregnable defenses, the Blitzkreig
rapidly moved soldiers through Belgium around the impregnable shield
and overwelmed the underprepared French in a few weeks. The Maginot
line was never penetrated but it was untenable once isolated from
the rest of the country.
So it is with missile defense. Missile defense ONLY protects
against a frontal assault, the least likely attack to be made by an
enemy with inferior forces and inferior numbers. There already EXIST
the alternative offensive tactics to defeat this strategy. There are
weapons of mass destruction that are very small and easy to
transport. One only has to look at the lack of effectiveness in our
efforts to interdict drug smuggling into the US to recognize that
smuggling weapons of mass destruction is a much more plausable
threat. Additionally, the "Rogue State" might be able to disguise
its identity and thereby avoid retaliation. A missile launch at the
US would be readily detectable and the consequences assured. For a
modern analogy, look at Israel which had overwelming force
superiority and can block any frontal assault against its forces but
yet is vulnerable to low tech suicide bombers.
In a tiered system of defense against weapons of mass
destruction, missile defense is the very last tier. The first tier
has to be non-proliferation, efforts to get countries to agree that
an expensive arms race is in no ones interest and does not make the
world safer. A previous poster talked about China expanding their
nukes to counter a US missile defense. Such a move would probably
cause India to build more nukes to counter China and Pakistan to
counter India and so on. This is not in the interest of the US. The
second tier is deterence and interdiction efforts to prevent those
countries that do not have the means of developing weapons from
attaining them. The third tier is preparedness for possible threats.
A missile defense only makes sense if the easier avenues of attack
are not available.
Note that reason number 1 on why missile defense will not work is
valid, even if all the technical considerations can be overcome.
Current missile defense testing has a poor record against targets
with extremely limited countermeasures. In fact, the last
"successful" test was a sham because t
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