Forums

toolbar



 [F] New York Times on the Web Forums  / Science  /

    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.


Earliest Messages Previous Messages Recent Messages Outline (1885 previous messages)

rshow55 - 04:48pm Apr 29, 2002 EST (#1886 of 1892) Delete Message

rshowalt - 03:32pm Oct 5, 2000 EDT (#379 of 396)

First, look at what is there, ready to go off, on each side, to blow up the world. Here's a television treatment of the case, that assumes much MORE stabilty than I believe is really justified.

The following is a transcript of a CBS 60 Minutes II segment entitled " The Missiliers. " Produced by George Crile, it contains an extensive interview between Dan Rather and General Eugene Habiger (Ret.) , former Commander-in-chief of all U.S. nuclear forces. http://www.gsinstitute.org/projects/missiliers.html

Toward the end of the 2nd show in this series, there's this.

Habiger: ... "We have reached the point where the senior military generals responsible for nuclear forces are advocating, more vocally, more vehemently, than our politicians, to get down to lower and lower weapons. Think about that."

Dan Rather . . . " I have thought about that. And the irony is extreme."

Habiger: "Itís a dilemma. I know of no other situation in the history of our country where we face this kind of dilemma. "

Studio Out: That dilemma may well get worse. At a time when trust has disappeared, the missiles on both sides continue to operate on full combat alert.

We need to take down our nuclear weapons (NOT our conventional weapons) based on the rational distrust and fear both the U.S. and Russia have. The mechanics are not difficult - this tread, #266-269 . rshowalt 9/25/00 7:32am

We should work with rational fear and distrust, which we have in abundance, and not ask for love and trust between America and Russia, which we can never expect.

rshow55 - 04:49pm Apr 29, 2002 EST (#1887 of 1892) Delete Message

rshowalt - 05:54pm Oct 5, 2000 EDT (#380 of 396)

There was an interesting detail in this 60 minutes 2 show. The implication was clear that the people in charge of firing the missiles, on both sides, expected them to be taken down. But the order to do so never came through.

The political and negotiating authorities of the two sides, in interaction, weren't able to do what almost everybody involved wanted to do.

They were hoping for a new dawn of trust. Trust didn't come. Why not take advantage of the the distrust we have?

Since the fall of the Soviet Union, almost all the assumptions about controls, and invulnerability of those controls, have been shown false by internet experience.

Does anybody LIKE these weapons? Why not take them down? People who know the situation use the word "hair trigger" to describe current deployment, and with classification rules in place, it isn't possible nor is it desirable to add too much detail to this.

My own view is that there's about a 10%-30% chance of the world ending, per year, from now on, until these weapons are taken down, or the world ends. ( Note - I think the risks are now less, after 9/11 especially ). I'd be grateful for a chance to describe, to authorities, with some trusted journalists watching, why I think so. (Others are not a lot more optimistic than I am - General Horner, for instance, thinks odds are good that an American city will blow up this decade. I agree with that, but am more concerned, because I think our missiles would be likely to fire, and destroy the world, if that happened.) A problem is, who can check, with classification rules as they are? Those rules are set up so that nothing that actually matters can be checked with decent confidence.

Just a note: The intelligence agencies are in the deception business, and they busily decieve each other, at all sorts of levels. Their bookeeping is terrible, and they tell each other so many things that aren't so that they are singularly ill qualified to check anything at all. These guys are sloppy.

Challenge: Can anyone in the government prove, by the ordinary usages, that I've ever had any access to classified information, of any kind, ever? Any at all? That ought to be easy to do. I bet they can't do it.

Now, these are the guys we are trusting to check our control systems, and negotiating stances, for reliability.

We're betting our lives on their reliability. And these folks are unbelievably sloppy, and have been telling so many lies, for so long, that they barely know whether they are coming or going. The only know that, no matter what, the rule is "hide it."

I believe that, our missile deployments are terribly dangerous, and we should take them down. On the basis of distrust and mutual fear we can do it, and do it soon. All we need, and this is especially on the American side, is a change of heart.

End of repost from Oct 5, 2000

More Messages Recent Messages (5 following messages)

 Read Subscriptions  Subscribe  Search  Post Message
 Email to Sysop  Your Preferences

 [F] New York Times on the Web Forums  / Science  / Missile Defense







Home | Site Index | Site Search | Forums | Archives | Shopping

News | Business | International | National | New York Region | NYT Front Page | Obituaries | Politics | Quick News | Sports | Science | Technology/Internet | Weather
Editorial | Op-Ed

Features | Arts | Automobiles | Books | Cartoons | Crossword | Games | Job Market | Living | Magazine | Real Estate | Travel | Week in Review

Help/Feedback | Classifieds | Services | New York Today

Copyright 2002 The New York Times Company