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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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(754 previous messages)
- 09:54am Mar 22, 2002 EST (#755
THOMAS L. FRIEDMAN "Pull Up a Chair" Is pure lunacy
The longer the foreign troops stay in Afganistan - the more they
will become an enemy of local tribes which thrives on illigal
trades, smaggeling and narcotics growing. There "friends" at
daylight will become an enemies at night. The clear dead-end policy.
The US troops in Palestine may be less dangerous but surely more
embarassing. Clearly, the US army will not be able to stop the
Palestinian attacks. But it will have to share the full
responsibility once the Israeli responce will be restricted.
THOMAS L. FRIEDMAN at his worst. One may feel sorry for
- 10:50am Mar 22, 2002 EST (#756
Almarst , it isn't so simple as what you say, though what
you say fits, and is true, about a great deal.
What Soros said must strike a Russian as an outrageous
contradiction - - and the subject matter is surely connected to
deep, enormous pain and injury -- and things that have to be set
right -- but it isn't a simple contradiction.
I think Friedman's Pull Up a Chair http://www.nytimes.com/2002/03/20/opinion/20FRIE.html
is constructive and right about a great deal -- but dangerously
incomplete - - and that does not contradict most of the things that
you, almarst , have been saying for the last year.
We need solutions that work. There are no "simple ideas," reduced
to "sound bites" that have universal application -- they have to
fit circumstances - and those circumstances have to be
checked for consistency , in detail.
Almarst , you said something profound a year ago, in
MD933, old series -- 11 March, 2001:
" The goal is not to eliminate the nuclear
wearpons but to reduce if not possible to eliminate entirely the
cause and consequences of War."
To do that, we must have facts - so we can "connect the dots" --
and we need some insights that are only now coming into focus --
some "easy answers" that just don't work need to be rethought.
I'm reprinting a posting I made in January, before this thread
was restarted, providing some context for all the work we've done --
because it connects to things we can hope to accomplish - that I
think are becoming practical.
- 10:54am Mar 22, 2002 EST (#757
Here is rshow55 - 01:48pm Jan 14, 2002 EST (#10759 of 10762)
"This thread started May 25, 2000 -- and at that time, carried
" Nazi engineer and Disney space advisor
Wernher Von Braun helped give us rocket science. Today, the legacy
of military aeronautics has many manifestations from SDI to
advanced ballistic missiles. Now there is a controversial push for
a new missile defense system. What will be the role of missile
defense in the new geopolitical climate and in the new scientific
"Just after posting 711, on Feb 11, 2000, the heading was changed
to this one
" Russian military leaders have expressed
concern about US plans for a national missile defense system. Will
defense technology be limited by possibilities for a strategic
imbalance? Is this just SDI all over again?
"The heading above continued for about 9335 postings about to the
time of MD 10046 rshowalter 10/2/01 11:06am at a time when the NYT
was under some pressures, from an anthrax attack on the NYT Science
offices, and other things. Armel, who is no longer moderator,
changed the heading to the present one.
" 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?"
"This present heading is a good one. But it does make much of the
text on this thread seem "off topic" - when it was written within
the topic that existed when it was posted. Nor does it make room for
context statements that all the major posters have made, and
continue to make on this thread.
"Might I suggest something like the following? It combines
language from the first heading this thread had and the current one.
" There is a controversial push for a new
missile defense system. What will be the role of missile defense
in the new geopolitical climate and in the new scientific era?
Since the last attempts at a "Star Wars" defense system, has
technology changed considerably enough to make the latest Missile
Defense initiatives more successful? Is a militarized space
inevitable, necessary or impossible?"
- 11:58am Mar 22, 2002 EST (#758
"Just pray that it will actually work when the moment of truth
comes, which might be sooner than anyone expected even last
I'm praying, manjumicha.
Perfection should be the goal of any design; but if even a single
large city is saved by the BMD expenditures, they would be a good
investment, even if 100% system effectiveness can't be achieved.
When it comes to WMD-armed ballistic missiles, my view is that
stopping two out of three or seven out of ten is better than
We've estimated before on this thread that the cost of a single
nuclear warhead hitting NYC (or other major city) would be on the
order of a trillion dollars with perhaps a million lives lost.
- 12:09pm Mar 22, 2002 EST (#759
gisterme , I agree with what you said just above.
I think (and I believe Thomas Edison might think) that the
administration might well be spending more on work that has a
realistic chance of reducing our risks from missile attack (and from
other risks from WMD.)
But Edison would, for reasons I've discussed before, think that
MOST of current project work should be stopped -- because he was one
of the great "quitters" of all time.
If he saw that something wasn't going to work -- he quit doing it
-- and devoted attention to something that he thought could work.
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