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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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new Web-only feature culled from Readers' Opinions, published every
(199 previous messages)
- 02:17pm Mar 4, 2002 EST (#200
Very interesting reading . . . .
Congressional Inquiry Cites Flaws in Antimissile Sensor By
WILLIAM J. BROAD http://www.nytimes.com/2002/03/04/national/04MISS.html
" Congressional inquiry into reports of corporate
fraud has found widespread technical failures in a prototype
antimissile sensor meant to track enemy warheads. It leaves open
the question of whether the government contractors withheld
information about those failures from military officials."
It leaves open some other questions, too. How could anyone
involved believe that this basic approach was workable, tactically.
Here's a revealing pair of paragraphs:
"Investigators found that in response, the
contractors disclosed new troubles in a revision to their 60- day
report, on April 1, 1998. The biggest went to the heart of Dr.
Schwartz's contentions that the sensor had major problems
distinguishing warheads from decoys. The revision disclosed
that contractors doing laboratory replays of the flight test had
to exclude two-thirds of the gathered sensor data to make such
That is, work for an artificially easy , even ridiculously
easy set of "decoys". For realistic decoys, detection would have
been impossible. People involved in the simulation work,
excluding sensor data, must have been absolutely clear about what
they were up against. They were being asked to do something
impossible, and failing to do it. And the job they were failing at
was easy compared to the real tactical requirements.
Broad goes on:
"Ultimately, the Congressional report concluded,
the contractors revealed enough information for antimissile
officials to "understand the key results and limitations."
To understand the key results and limitations is to understand
that the midcourse interception missile program that the Bush
administration is committing so much honor and treasure to cannot
possibly work -- for reasons that have long been clear.
We're dealing with something very strange here - - - what
seems like an immunity to facts.
The more one considers the context of the situation Broad
reports, the more clear it is that the missile defense system that
we're proposing to waste hundreds of billions of dollars on is a
As lchic points out, facts, truth and superheros are important to
the American psyche ... and a lot of things are very wrong here.
- 09:22pm Mar 4, 2002 EST (#201
Name one country who has given more national resources, (men,
money and materiel) then the United States. Does the Marshall Plan
ring a bell? How about the Polio vaccine and the eradication of
small pox? Now I know that we can't claim the Beattles but there was
- 10:28pm Mar 4, 2002 EST (#202
Presley sounds 'Irish' to me!
Elvis was an 'Irish Tenor'
abroad. Probably took an excursion in 1840's when blight hit the
potato crops and forgot to go home. http://www.elvispresleyonline.com/html/elvis_genealogy.html
- 10:40pm Mar 4, 2002 EST (#203
Marshall Plan << Marshall is an English Name http://www.npg.si.edu/exh/marshall/index.htm
Third world http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/business/newsid_1679000/1679585.stm
Truman~Origins of cold war Experience a 360° view of this room
- 10:41pm Mar 4, 2002 EST (#204
"Name one country who has given more national resources"
In absolute terms or relatively to its economy?
- 10:53pm Mar 4, 2002 EST (#205
The point regarding the American Economy is that it is 'advanced'
and thus 'attracts' or sucks in the 'latest' inventions at the
innovation stage of manufactured development -- it has the capital
to enable production.
Therefore the economy isn't just a local economy, it is an
international economy within the USA.
Europe - when it gets it's act together - could challenge
the USA regarding innovative research and development enabling
If the products of the USA are carefully looked at and their
history studied - it would be shown that 'much' claimed by
Homeland-America is actually from 'elsewhere'.
The richness of the USA is due to world 'effort', and as such,
the USA has a duty and responsibility to put into the world an
infrastructure to enable it to stay-with the USA economically.
If it doesn't - then where do the USA, Germany, Britain and
France et al sell their advanced infrastructure products to?
- 10:58pm Mar 4, 2002 EST (#206
The USA expenditure on defence is said to be equal to the next 12
countries moving from top to bottom (rich to poor).
If the list started with the country with the smallest income
(Nauru) and moved up the list ... just how many countries would
be included ..
- 12:07am Mar 5, 2002 EST (#207
Sordid Saudi - Does Friedman ever cover the http://www.guardian.co.uk/saudi/story/0,11599,662104,00.html
- 12:21am Mar 5, 2002 EST (#208
Iraq developing nuclear bomb, says Straw http://www.guardian.co.uk/Iraq/Story/0,2763,662105,00.html
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