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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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rshow55 - 04:20pm Mar 3, 2002 EST (#163 of 180) Delete Message

Good comment, almarst . . . I think that with enough understood by influentials, a lot could get better. I wrote this before seeing your posting, but think it fits:

The NYT lead editorial today The Uses of American Power ends with this:

"The power of American arms, impressive as it is, has limits. Military action is only part of the foreign policy equation, as current developments in Afghanistan illustrate. Washington still expects other nations to participate in such vital tasks as economic reconstruction and peacekeeping and to help confer diplomatic and political legitimacy on governments secured by American military action. For those practical reasons, the interests of other countries cannot be ignored. A stable world order must be built on a broad international consensus, not American military action alone.

For "diplomatic and political legitimacy" there has to be an international consensus, and it is essential, if this is to be a sensible one, for there to be a distinction between the interests, ideas, and ideals of the military-industrial complex, and those of the American people.

To make the point clear, facts need to be checked, and the most fundamental question about checking possible was set out clearly in Believe It or Not By TODD S. PURDUM

"How would we know it was closed?" asked the satirist Al Franken. "How do we know it was ever open? How do we know anything?"

( Almarst also asked how we'd know it closed. )

How do we know anything? We do so by matching processes - by constructing consistency relationships, by making connections, by comparing things side by side - by considering them in different ways, until a coherent set of ideas can be constructed, and matched to the case. For any "happy ending" to some of our current problems, some key facts and relationships have to be understood by leaders and populations that matter.

The PEACEFUL remedy is quite possible -- and for a real happy ending, it has to be in the interest of the United States, as well. It can be. The US military-industrial complex distorts things because it looks for reasons for its own existence. But it is not in the business of taking resources from other countries, very much.

This is a different situation from previous ones in history. A very strange one. But one where information is particularly important, in a world where information technology has advanced quickly, changing balances.

rshow55 - 04:23pm Mar 3, 2002 EST (#164 of 180) Delete Message

Almarst says:

"The "military industrial complex" May be outdated.

it is

Today its a "military-industrial-political" complex.

That's true, and that "iron triangle" is powerful - but also includes plenty of people who are looking for employment . . not agression. They need to be redeployed. That would take leadership -- and a stripping away of lies and evasions that make some really counterproductive fraud-farces, such as "missile defense" -- go on and on.

almarst-2001 - 04:24pm Mar 3, 2002 EST (#165 of 180)

The "military industrial complex"

May be outdated.

Today its a "military-industrial-political" compleax.

There reasons are:

1. Growing dependence of US economy at large on the foreign traid. The interests are not just limited to the arms-production. Its more and more the politico-economical influence, vast markets, cheap labor and natural resources - the OIL in particular. There was a truth, as cinical as it is, in T. Friedman's words for the dependency between MacDonald Duglas and McDonald.

2. The political process become more and more expensive by relying primerely on the TV media 30 sec. shots. The $ plays ever greater role in the voting results. The $ comes from the big international corporations directly affected by the US foreign policy.

3. As US military-economical power grew disproportionally and the need for unified front against Soviets diapeared - the constrains by aliases came to be just a background noise.

4. And finaly, the "human factor". The US President's power at home is very limited. While left olmost unchecked and unrestrained abroad, except by US alias. Which became less and less strategically importand. So you get a small guy with overgrown EGO came to the top of the World's power just to find out how limited what he can do at home and how "creative" can he be abroad to live a desired "legacy".

The PEACEFUL remedy may be only in a consolidated power of foreign nations. Or accepted domination of US.

The non-peaceful ASSIMETRIC response already discussed here, is another option.

rshow55 - 04:30pm Mar 3, 2002 EST (#166 of 180) Delete Message

Suppose I grant your 1-4 above.

Is that such an insoluble set of problems?

rshow55 - 06:21pm Mar 3, 2002 EST (#167 of 180) Delete Message

almarst , I said "suppose I grant you . . "

and I agree that the situation is ugly, and serious. But I don't think the situation is corrupt in quite the sense you say.

But it seems to me that other countries have a lot of power, if they work together. They have, for example, an enormous amount of economic power, administratively, and under the rule of law.

You've made a number of very good comments, especially in the last few weeks, and I'm trying to think about them. It seems to me that if you understood more about how our "military-industrial-political complex" works, you'd see things somewhat differently from the way you do -- and more hopefully.

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