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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 - 05:51pm Apr 20, 2002 EST (#1575 of 1584) Delete Message

Here are questions and issues set out in MD729 rshow55 3/20/02 9:32pm , that don't depend at all on my background, or on any classified material at all:

The technical questions set out in bold below may seem dry - and to many people, such as Professor Postol, they seem fully answered already.

The issues haven't been illustrated, numerically and pictorially, to the standards expected in a court of law - with arguments that would work for real juries.

But these questions could be answered to these high standards, and answered beyond any reasonable doubt. The current administration is proceeding as if there is not problem with missile defense at the level of these questions. They need to be. But there are difficulties that will have to be surmounted to get these questions answered at the level real decision making takes for the forces that actually are at play.


" How technically challenging are the missile defense programs that have been set out in public (laser and midcourse interception ) in terms of what is known, and what has been achieved, in the open engineering and scientific literature? Are the objectives for these specific kinds of systems compatible with the laws of physics? To work, these systems have to do specific things, and do these things together. Are the technical objectives these systems have to meet reasonable in terms of known laws of physics, and relevant experience in engineering?

" If function of these systems requires breakthroughs, compared to previous open literature theory or experience --- what are these breakthroughs? How do the results needed compare quantitatively to results that have been achieved in the open literature by engineers, applied physicists, or other people who measure carefully? If breakthroughs are required, how do they compare to test results that have been made available to date?

These missile defense programs need to be evaluated in a reasonable tactical context, subject to the countermeasures that can reasonably be expected and specified.

For action, there would have to be "fights" about these questions -- contractors, and the military, would have to be forced to contest these issues. - Or accept anwers on a clear nolo contenre basis. If world leaders wanted to bring this force to bear -- one way or another -- it could be done -- and pretty gracefully.

These "dry technical answers" would make a practical difference on larger questions, of concern to all citizens of the world. The answers would be clear, and would exist in clear logical contexts. Contexts that could be set out in "decision trees" such as the decision making/tree, expert systems set out it MD634 lchic 3/18/02 12:51pm

Mechanisms for actually getting the questions above answered, in ways that would be required for practical decision, have been discussed on this thread for nearly a year, and in some detail recently.

MD1076 rshow55 4/4/02 1:20pm :

Challenge, questions, and invokation of the need for force:
MD728 rshow55 3/20/02 8:58pm
... MD729 rshow55 3/20/02 9:32pm
MD730 rshow55 3/20/02 9:37pm

MD764 gisterme 3/22/02 1:34pm

Comment and response:
MD780 manjumicha2001 3/23/02 2:28am ... MD783-784 rshow55 3/23/02 11:15am
Key technical background MD84 rshow55 3/2/02 11:52am

MD1238 rshow55 4/10/02 6:40pm

I raised some relat

rshow55 - 05:53pm Apr 20, 2002 EST (#1576 of 1584) Delete Message

I raised some related questions in MD1240 rshow55 4/10/02 6:45pm and there was some discussion in MD1242-1243 gisterme 4/11/02 1:55am . . . .MD1255- 1268 rshow55 4/11/02 7:32am , MD1281-1282 gisterme 4/12/02 3:00am , and MD1290 rshow55 4/12/02 9:45am which refers to MD1282 gisterme 4/12/02 3:15am

"These "questions" that you've pronounced to be so important seem to have little substance when exposed to the harsh glare of reality."

Well then, why not subject them to a "harsh glare of reality" sufficient to actually establish the key facts and relations? It is in the national interest to do so. But there are very strong military-industrial intersts, and usages, that are set up to suppress discussion of the most key questions about system feasibility.

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