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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 - 09:49pm Mar 26, 2002 EST (#846 of 868) Delete Message

Man is (putting it gently) "a little lower than the angels" - and a recounting of how military training goes, says something about how special the training is, and yet also how the training connects to assumptions about human instinct that work reliably enough for armies. People trained this way live in a "special" culture -- built for fighting to the death -- built for killing.

Here is a recounting, not at all sentimental, about military training, with an emphasis on training for enlisted ranks.
THE 'EATHEN by Rudyard Kipling

This is a special pattern of behavior, well established in nation states -- that requires management.

Nations need militaries, and that may always be so - - but if military values and patterns are emphasized too much - it is dangerous. Militaries make war, not peace.

In a world where technical missile defense is unworkable - we have to deal with military realities. Including the reality that we have to keep control of people built not to question - but to act - and risk -- and kill.

rshow55 - 09:59pm Mar 26, 2002 EST (#847 of 868) Delete Message

It has often happened, historically, that militaries have been able to condition large numbers of people to stand and die for their countries - - often under practically suicidal circumstances -- and often enough, under circumstances where soldiers, including volunteers, have KNOWN that they were going to die -- and fought effectively.

At the same time, soldiers who fight and die do so "for a cause" -- and psychologists say that cause is not hate -- though the soldiers may hate. They stand, fight, and die "for their country" as they understand it.

That's brutal enough - but it does have a limited element of hope. Soldiers, when their country asks them to stop fighting, almost always stop fighting. The idea that the Middle East is full of "uncontrollable, inhuman hate" is simply wrong. I think peace in the Middle East is possible -- with some third force intervention for some while. -- It would take a negotiated peace that the populations and leaders would settle for, and some peacekeeping forces for a time. But I think it ought to be able to stick.

rshow55 - 10:01pm Mar 26, 2002 EST (#848 of 868) Delete Message

I think such a peace would be very much in the interest of practically everybody involved -- and could be made to be in the interests of the peacekeepers, as well.

lchic - 10:09pm Mar 26, 2002 EST (#849 of 868)

Following through :

  • an animal marks it's boundary
  • cities have walls
  • outposts are guarded
  • tribes have a cultural boundary
  • Dukes and Lords had county boundaries
  • Kingdoms have natural boundaries
  • Empires have shifing boundaries
  • Continents have natural boundaries
People live within bounded environments, they have a sense of place and understanding. Today the boundaries are global ... all the above have become available to the traveller .. the boundary is the globe, the world.

The outer frontier is SPACE ... a newish concept ... space is 'everywhere'!

Just as, when, the horse took man into new environments god was, for convenience, packaged and sent skywards - there is understanding that sky is everywhere.

Terror from the sky is 'everywhere' terror.

The concept of sky frontier is new - yet potentionally frightening.

almarst-2001 - 10:10pm Mar 26, 2002 EST (#850 of 868)

"What would you think about peacekeeping troops in the Middle East ? "

About the same i think of a peacekeeping troops anywere else. What is a chance the Aspirin will cure the cancer? Show me an example where it helped on a long run. And where have you seen absolutly neutral peacekeeper force. But, even if you have one, I don't believe the problem can be solved untill the nations involved believe it's solved. They will not bend to the rules of peacekeeping army. And those peacekeepers will have either to go home, stay with a closed eyes or enter the gorilla war against a foreign nation on foreign territory - the neo-colonial affair all over again.

Make your choice.

lchic - 10:15pm Mar 26, 2002 EST (#851 of 868)

$7million barrels of oil per day - RUSSIA - world leading producer.

Saudi second, and, biggest exporter.


Russia has 'few' controls over it's own producers, has some control over pipe line, not tankers ... Saudi perviously 'controlled' price.

'The Saudi's are playing checkers with a group of 'master chess men' ' (USA radio PBS)

Saudi - faces increased economic hardship (?)

lchic - 10:17pm Mar 26, 2002 EST (#852 of 868)

Quote : 'Human life is precious' GWBush

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