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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 - 10:23am Mar 27, 2002 EST (#869 of 886) Delete Message

MD863 mazza9 3/26/02 11:42pm

On topic:
MD13 rshow55 3/1/02 5:55pm ... MD14 rshow55 3/1/02 6:07pm
MD15 rshow55 3/1/02 6:10pm ...

MD14 rshow55 3/1/02 6:07pm reads as follows:

This summarizes a great deal of discourse on the MD thread -- was set out at MD11896 -- and hasn't been contested. It was also posted on .. Psychwar, Casablanca, and Terror as follows:

The NYT Missile Defense thread, which now fills 30 1 1/2' notebooks of text, is being rebooted - continued, but without holding previous text on the database. The last ten days have been especially active, with our "Putin stand in, almarst " , and the "Bush administration stand-ins" quite active. I posted the following summary of the thread to date. . . .

"This thread has made some progress. The "missile defense" programs are technically much less tenable than they used to be. I think the discourse on this thread has been part of that. Very serious efforts to defend BMD have been made here - and they have taken up much space, and involved many evasions. But they have made no specific and detailed technical points that have been able to stand about technical feasibility.

"The "lasar weapon" programs have been significantly discredited -- because countermeasures are easy, because adaptive optics is not easy, and because a fundamental misunderstanding about the "perfect coherence" of lasers has been made.

" Alignment good enough for lasing" has been confused with the far more difficult alignment needed for laser beam coherence for destroying targets over long distances.

"This has probably undermined every single BMD laser program in existence. (To be good enough for lasing, one needs alighnments so that the cosine of alignment angle is almost exactly 1 -- which is fairly easy -- to be good enough for aiming, alignment, already difficult for lasing - has to be thousands of times better -- probably impossible, even for a lab curiosity - certainly impossible for a high powered, tactical laser subject to system vibration.)

"There are other key errors in the laser systems, too -- including a "feedback loop" in the ABL system without enough signal to function at all.

"Whether these oversights have anything to do with a hostile takeover effort of TRW Corportion, I can only speculate -- but hostile takeovers of major US. military contractors are generally consistent with DOD policy.

"The midcourse interception program that has taken up so much diplomatic space has always been vulnerable to extraordinarily easy countermeasures. This thread has reinforced points that should already have been clear. Points much of the technical community has long insisted on. It costs perhaps a ten thousandth as much to defeat the system as it costs to build it. Perhaps much less. Some facts are based on physics of the sending, reflection, and recieving of electromagnetic radiation (light, radio waves, or any other) are now well known, and inescapable.

"Arguments on this thread recently have favored BMD as psychological warfare -- as bluff. In my view, the bluff is grotesquely more expensive than can be justified -- and fools almost no one, any more, but the American public."

I feel that the technical credibility of ballistic missile defense ought to be questioned, in detail, and to closure -- because so much diplomacy, and so much of the current rationale for Bush administration policy, hinges on it.

We need some islands of technical fact to be determined, beyond reasonable doubt, in a clear context. It is possible to do that now.

MD863 ma

rshow55 - 12:28pm Mar 27, 2002 EST (#870 of 886) Delete Message

MD863 mazza9 3/26/02 11:42pm bears rereading, and some thought, in the context of this thread -- where ABL was held up as a triumph, and something that would be ready, not for testing, but for deployment, soon.

In a world where 600,000 babies a year are infected with AIDS because we haven't spent a billion dollars, and where 6,000 children a day die of water borne diseases -- and in a world where there are MANY other worthwhile things to do, isn't it murderous, as well as fraudulent, to continue to pour money into a program that is dissipating many billions of dollars as nothing but a "make work" program for some contractors?

almarst-2001 - 02:43pm Mar 27, 2002 EST (#871 of 886)

Russia planing to counter US missile shield: defence minister -

Russia is preparing "technical and scientific" measures to counter a planned US missile defence shield, Russian Defence Minister Sergei Ivanov said.

"I want to underline that the US shield does not yet exist, and so it is difficult to speak of retaliatory measures," Ivanov was quoted as saying by ITAR-TASS during a visit to a military base.

"But this is not to say that we are not thinking about or taking technical and scientific measures," he added.

"We are going to do everything to counter these threats when they take shape, if they ever take shape, which is to say not before 2015-2020," Ivanov said.

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