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    Missile Defense

Technology has always found its greatest consumer in a nation's war and defense efforts. Since the last attempts at a "Star Wars" defense system, has technology changed considerably enough to make the latest Missile Defense initiatives more successful? Can such an application of science be successful? Is a militarized space inevitable, necessary or impossible?

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lchic - 05:29pm Mar 1, 2002 EST (#10 of 35)

NIXON tapes are out Nixon wanted to NUKE 'EM

Henry K saw there were implications

Nixon just wanted to 'hit 'em' with the biggest thing he'd got!

Are there still 'leaders' like this around?

lchic - 05:32pm Mar 1, 2002 EST (#11 of 35)


rshow55 - 05:48pm Mar 1, 2002 EST (#12 of 35) Delete Message

There are . . . but perhaps fewer. But "fewer" isn't much comfort. Here is almarst-2001 - 10:55pm Feb 28, 2002 EST (#11939 of 11939) - - the last posting last night.

"The just released Wite House tapes revealed that Nixon was ready to order the nuclear strikes against Vietnam, being stopped by Kissinger.

"Can any nation in the World afford placing its fate in the hands of a couple of the "wise man" in Washington?

That's an important question . . and needs practical answers.

rshow55 - 05:55pm Mar 1, 2002 EST (#13 of 35) Delete Message

The internet, is changing the world, and making ideas judged by people interested in them, wherever they may be -- more and more powerful.

What Is the Next Big Idea? Buzz is Growing for Empire by Emily Eakin

I think this thread has shown some impressive things about how powerful the internet can be -- how powerful the NYT can be -- and shown some limitations, too.

rshow55 - 06:07pm Mar 1, 2002 EST (#14 of 35) Delete Message

This summarizes a great deal of discourse on the MD thread -- was set out at MD11896 -- and hasn't been contested. It was also posted on .. Psychwar, Casablanca, and Terror as follows:

The NYT Missile Defense thread, which now fills 30 1 1/2' notebooks of text, is being rebooted - continued, but without holding previous text on the database. The last ten days have been especially active, with our "Putin stand in, almarst" , and the "Bush administration stand-ins" quite active. I posted the following summary of the thread to date. . . .

"This thread has made some progress. The "missile defense" programs are technically much less tenable than they used to be. I think the discourse on this thread has been part of that. Very serious efforts to defend BMD have been made here - and they have taken up much space, and involved many evasions. But they have made no specific and detailed technical points that have been able to stand about technical feasibility.

"The "lasar weapon" programs have been significantly discredited -- because countermeasures are easy, because adaptive optics is not easy, and because a fundamental misunderstanding about the "perfect coherence" of lasers has been made.

" Alignment good enough for lasing" has been confused with the far more difficult alignment needed for laser beam coherence for destroying targets over long distances.

"This has probably undermined every single BMD laser program in existence. (To be good enough for lasing, one needs alighnments so that the cosine of alignment angle is almost exactly 1 -- which is fairly easy -- to be good enough for aiming, alignment, already difficult for lasing - has to be thousands of times better -- probably impossible, even for a lab curiosity - certainly impossible for a high powered, tactical laser subject to system vibration.)

"There are other key errors in the laser systems, too -- including a "feedback loop" in the ABL system without enough signal to function at all.

"Whether these oversights have anything to do with a hostile takeover effort of TRW Corportion, I can only speculate -- but hostile takeovers of major US. military contractors are generally consistent with DOD policy.

"The midcourse interception program that has taken up so much diplomatic space has always been vulnerable to extraordinarily easy countermeasures. This thread has reinforced points that should already have been clear. Points much of the technical community has long insisted on. It costs perhaps a ten thousandth as much to defeat the system as it costs to build it. Perhaps much less. Some facts are based on physics of the sending, reflection, and recieving of electromagnetic radiation (light, radio waves, or any other) are now well known, and inescapable.

"Arguments on this thread recently have favored BMD as psychological warfare -- as bluff. In my view, the bluff is grotesquely more expensive than can be justified -- and fools almost no one, any more, but the American public."

rshow55 - 06:10pm Mar 1, 2002 EST (#15 of 35) Delete Message

I feel that the technical credibility of ballistic missile defense ought to be questioned, in detail, and to closure -- because so much diplomacy, and so much of the current rationale for Bush administration policy, hinges on it.

We need some islands of technical fact to be determined, beyond reasonable doubt, in a clear context. It is possible to do that now.

The Missile Defense thread has shown that some essential jobs needed to get those facts established can be done. Other challenges remain, but they are clearer than before.

On the technical issues that can be discussed in terms of what is possible in the open literature, and what is possible according to physical laws, a great deal has been established, and more can be.

lchic - 06:12pm Mar 1, 2002 EST (#16 of 35)

There were some excellent postings over past few days ... wonder why Kate didn't leave the old thread archived for a while .. ?

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