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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?

Read Debates, a new Web-only feature culled from Readers' Opinions, published every Thursday.

Earliest Messages Previous Messages Recent Messages Outline (16 previous messages)

lchic - 06:15pm Mar 1, 2002 EST (#17 of 35)


rshow55 - 06:18pm Mar 1, 2002 EST (#18 of 35) Delete Message

I wish she had . . . but it was something special for the NYT to host it - - and a lot was accomplished.

manjumicha2001 - 06:32pm Mar 1, 2002 EST (#19 of 35)

I think the timing of Nixon article was pretty interesting. It almost seemed like a pyscho-op that conveys to Nk and its neighbors that the nuclear pre-emptive strike by US against NK targets are not out of the bounds of reality. If such messages are being intentionally broadcasted to NK through various channels (i.e. Bush speech, interviews, NYT articles, other arm-chair commentators on US Gov. payroll), I wonder how long it would take for NK to send the messeage of their own. Maybe unannounced nuclear test accompanied by ICBM testing? Even as early as late this year?

rshow55 - 06:40pm Mar 1, 2002 EST (#20 of 35) Delete Message

If the Bush administration has any military competence, and any political sanity -- it will do whatever pre-emption if must do on a non-nuclear basis.

I can imagine what the world's reaction to a nuclear strike from the US would be -- but I hate to.

It is stupid to get into a fight, on something that can be resolved much more cheaply in other ways.

The Cold War should be over. With some work, and decency, it can be.

People like you seem to advocate fights without end -- which may be in the "interest" of the US military-industrial complex, but which are NOT in the interest of American citizens as a whole, or other people in the world.

rshow55 - 06:45pm Mar 1, 2002 EST (#21 of 35) Delete Message


The mid-course interception BMD system which has taken most of BMD program money. is terribly vulnerable to simple countermeasures, a point more than three dozen scientists made in a trip to Capitol Hill in June 2000 - - a point made clearer, in detail, in the system evaluation of the Coyle Report

We've done much discussing of possible countermeasures, in detail - they are very easy -- and may cost as little as a millionth of the cost of the system they defeat.


Laser weapons are not functional at reasonable BMD ranges, and are vulnerable to easy reflective countermeasures as well.

Take away the laser weapons, and the other offensive ideas for space weapons don't amount to much.

. The Next Battlefield May Be in Outer Space By JACK HITT

Last year, Russia hosted a meeting on the militarization of space - something like 104 countries attended. The United States did not. Laser weapons were centrally involved in the issues of concern.

A boost-phase interception scheme is the "Airborne Laser" or ABL

A waste of an expensive airplane, and good engineering, on a system that can't work.

manjumicha2001 - 06:52pm Mar 1, 2002 EST (#22 of 35)

I am just trying to observe accurately what NK will do to survive. I just doubt that they have been operating on the hope of enlightened US public opinion as you so valiantly have tried to firm up.

rshow55 - 06:57pm Mar 1, 2002 EST (#23 of 35) Delete Message


rshow55 3/1/02 6:07pm MD11896 rshow55 2/27/02 5:40pm summarized some facts and relations, as I understand them, about the technical problems with missile defense. I say that current programs aren't workable, and are not worth pursuing.

MD11912 manjumicha2001 2/28/02 11:09am did not concede the points, but did not dispute them, and raised very practical questions. Suppose MD won't work. But suppose also that the risks from N. Korea, Iraq, and Iran are as bad as anyone has ever suggested - - what could be done? manjumicha2001 2/28/02 2:52pm asks for an answer in two sentences.

Two long sentences:

. If the United States could, and would, explain its national interest -- distinct from the interests of its military-industrial complex, and explain how its interests fit in the interconnected world we live in -- and do it honestly, and in ways that other nations could check, it could satisfy every reasonable security need it has, without unreasonable or unacceptably unpopular uses of force.

. The rest of the world, collectively, and in detail, would try hard to accomodate US needs, if it understood them, and could reasonably believe and respect them.

For the separate, and distinctly different cases of Iran, Iraq, and North Korea, there would be different sentences - - but the two long sentences above seem to me to be most important.

Of course, other nations could and should be clearer, too. But Americans, with military expenditures now larger than those of the next largest 12 militaries combined , has a special responsibility.

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