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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.


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rshow55 - 11:10am Mar 16, 2002 EST (#599 of 614) Delete Message

Chris Madison is right.

Rocket Intercepts Missile in Test By CHRISTOPHER MARQUIS http://www.nytimes.com/2002/03/16/politics/16MISS.html starts:

"WASHINGTON, March 15 In the latest test of the rudiments of a missile defense system, a rocket fired from the Marshall Islands scuttled an intercontinental missile launched about 4,800 miles away, the Pentagon said tonight."

How is it hard to get beyond these rudiments? How hard is it?

Are these questions answerable? Hobbes might say "no." Because there are no binding social rules to get things to closure. But we may be able to do better than that.

lchic - 11:21am Mar 16, 2002 EST (#600 of 614)

Anna is recording the ugly parts

    ..... the ugly parts provide clues to new progress -- hope that new, more powerful kinds of theoretical and practical beauty can be found ...

    R. Showalter (on Disciplined beauty)


rshow55 - 11:31am Mar 16, 2002 EST (#601 of 614) Delete Message

There were three target balloons - VERY different from the warhead -- enough different that they could as well have been called "targeting aids" as "decoys."

Suppose there were 10 balloons - balloons are light and cheap -- each the same shape (say sphrical) and with the same reflectance properties? With the warhead inside one of the balloons?

An easy countermeasure approach -- out of many countermeasure approaches, and many more mixes of approaches -- on a system that is terribly marginal.

Now, if the job was to hit incoming missiles without countermeasures - or only with stupid countermeasures - for enough billions -- that could be "efficiently" done.

But that's not the job.

The US is building a system where the countermeasures probably cost less than a ten-thousandth -- maybe less than a millionth -- the development and deployment cost of the system itself.

lchic - 11:48am Mar 16, 2002 EST (#602 of 614)

    The US is building a system where the countermeasures probably cost less than a ten-thousandth -- maybe less than a millionth -- the development and deployment cost of the system itself.
.. and neither the system nor counter measures work .. because of the boondoggle factor ...

Thinking of 'opportunity cost' economic usages of that half century investment ... wonder what the world might now be like - had the US made the investment!

lchic - 11:50am Mar 16, 2002 EST (#603 of 614)

Were the eldest Fifties boondoggle to have the smaller neater boondoggles nesting within - as per a set of russian dolls ... would there be a market for such a curio ?

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