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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 - 03:45pm Apr 22, 2002 EST (#1666 of 1675) Delete Message

almarst-2001 4/22/02 6:45am cites Mideast powderkeg lies along an ominous global fault line U.S. carries on with preparations for attack on Iraq . . . by Matthew Fisher .. National Post (Canada) http://www.nationalpost.com/news/world/story.html?f=/stories/20020420/701251.html , which has this ominous ending:

"For a decade now, the fault lines from the Balkans to the Caucasus to South Asia and the Middle East, have pitted the Judeo-Christian and Islamic worlds against each other.

"How this all ends is the biggest issue of our time.

Surely one of them.

We'd do better, along that "fault line" - and the Islamic world would as well, if we were more consistent, communicated better -- and if our dealings were more transparent so that people on the Islamic side could communicate better with us, when they wanted to.

Some American patterns may not help.

rshowalter - 11:56am Sep 9, 2001 EST (#8698) reads in part:

The CSIS Board, Counselors, and Advisers include people of overwhelming influence, achievement, and experience in an established, interlocking system of trusted and tested people. http://www.csis.org/about/index.htm

. . . .

Could these people, who must be, in essential ways "part of the solution" also be, in other ways, "part of the problem." ?

With patterns of secrecy and intricate defense in place, the issue is not effectively discussable.

In dialog with gisterme I've been struck, again and again, by what I've regarded as an amazing reluctance to admit that Americans could be even partially at fault for the ills of the world, or for the agonies of people. I've seen what I've felt to be a stunning reluctance to consider the possibility that Americans might have to rethink patterns, and change.

Could such a view be common in the American "establishment"?

If it is, is this position in the national interest of the United States as a country?

. . . .

Many of the patterns that the elite members of CSIS regard as most beautiful are exemplified, I believe, in the NUNN-WOLFOWITZ TASK FORCE REPORT: INDUSTRY "BEST PRACTICES" REGARDING EXPORT COMPLIANCE PROGRAMS http://164.109.59.52/library/pdf/nunnwolfowitz.pdf . . . but are these the patterns we need now, or the patterns we need to get away from?

If we set things up so others don't understand what we do -- how can we cooperate under complicated, unpredictable, and emotionally awkward circumstances?

Dawn Riley and I have worked hard to try to find and focus insights that will make levels of peace and collaboration that have been impossible before possible. I believe that one of our basic insights, set out in the beginning of Mankind's Inhumanity to Man and Woman - As natural as human goodness? fits, and is on point, here. http://talk.guardian.co.uk/WebX?14@@.ee7b085/0 (the Guardian board may be down just now.)

rshow55 - 03:46pm Apr 22, 2002 EST (#1667 of 1675) Delete Message

Some difficulties of communication occur because of the breadth, and to some degree the fuzziness, of security laws, especially with regard to "logical inheritance" - - difficulties communicated in a way that I thought might apply to me in National Secrets, Too Frequently Told By WILLIAM S. COHEN http://www.nytimes.com/2001/09/05/opinion/05COHE.html

Today, leakers can be subject to both administrative and criminal penalties. They can be fired, have their security clearances removed and be disciplined in other ways. Existing federal criminal law states that whoever has "information relating to the national defense" and has "reason to believe [it] could be used to the injury of the United States or to the advantage of any foreign nation" and "willfully" transmits that information to "any person not entitled to receive it" shall be fined or imprisoned for up to 10 years. The term "national defense" has been broadly defined by the courts, and "advantage" to a foreign nation need not be disadvantageous to the United States. The courts have ruled that this provision does not apply narrowly to "spying" but to disclosure to anyone not entitled to receive the information including reporters.

If I communicate on this board, in the belief (though not the knowledge) that Russians may look at what I write, and if what I write comes from long term projects with some association with the US government - and if the communication is actually useful to the Russians, am I in violation?

rshow55 - 04:02pm Apr 22, 2002 EST (#1668 of 1675) Delete Message

What if I communicate similar information outside this board? If I'm thinking of making a movie involving a project that traces from an earlier (much earlier) project - - is it vulnerable on grounds of inheritance? Can I talk about it freely, as I'll have to do to sell it? How do I say where my work came from? These are practical issues.

The more proud I have a right to be of a piece of work, the more I'm inclinded to worry. From the 17th to the 24th of March, 2001, I gave a "briefing" to almarst according to the question "what would I want to tell Vladimir Putin, if I could." Suppose, as I've sometimes guessed, Putin or some on his staff got the message, and found it useful?

That could be helpful MD1229 rshow55 4/10/02 9:59am . . . yet perhaps a source of worry, as well.

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