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 [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 (5370 previous messages)

lchic - 07:33am Oct 29, 2002 EST (# 5371 of 5379)
~~~~ It got understood and exposed ~~~~

Carbondioxide --- getting to truth

rshow55 - 11:24am Oct 29, 2002 EST (# 5372 of 5379) Delete Message
Can we do a better job of finding truth? YES. Click "rshow55" for some things Lchic and I have done and worked for on this thread.

This is a hopeful time - but dangerous in spots - a good time for people to be careful. A lot of things could sort out well - if we're reasonably careful.

Wonder how people might make movies of some dramas going on for real right now? Good, realistic ones, with happy endings?

People in the movie business, associated with the UN, could make a real contribution here. They understand what complex cooperation and negotiations take - and we're in circumstances that could benefit from such negotiations.

An early warning post! manjumicha 10/16/02 10:56pm

mmuskin - 02:40pm Oct 29, 2002 EST (# 5373 of 5379)

Defense & Foreign Affairs Daily (Part 1 of 2)

October 29, 2002

Saudi Arabia Takes Steps To Acquire Nuclear Weapons

Exclusive. Highly-reliable sources indicate that the Government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has, since the beginning of October 2002, and possibly before, begun active efforts to acquire completed nuclear weapons.

It is known that Saudi officials had approached officials of the Government of Pakistan in this regard, on the basis that Saudi possession of such weapons would act as a deterrent to any possible Israeli threat of nuclear force against Saudi Arabia. The sources indicated that Saudi Arabia was not interested in acquiring nuclear weapons manufacturing capability, or weapons-grade raw material, but only in acquiring actual weapons, preferably for missile delivery using Saudi CSS-2 medium-range ballistic missiles (MRBMs) which had been acquired from the People’s Republic of China (PRC).

It is believed that the Saudi officials had also approached one or more other states to assist in the provision of nuclear weapons, possibly including the PRC and/or the Democratic People’s Republic of [North] Korea (DPRK).

There is no indication that any of the states approached have hinted that they would consider the Saudi requests, although some of the negotiations have been ongoing, with several meetings taking place.

However, GIS sources also indicated that the Saudi premise in attempting to deter an Israeli nuclear threat was flawed, based on the fact that Israeli officials fundamentally agree that the continued stability of the House of Sa‘ud was the most preferred Israeli option for Saudi Arabia, and that Israel was anxious not to disturb the status quo in the Kingdom. The collapse of Saudi Arabia and its possible break-up and/or radicalization was an undesirable strategic outcome for Israel, unless the Saudi Hejaz region could be restored to the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. The Hashemites — who were kings of Iraq and still are the Royal line of Jordan — were removed from their control of Mecca and Medina when the Hejaz was seized by the House of Sa‘ud in the 1919-1925 timeframe.

However, Israeli sources have made it clear that a Saudi acquisition of nuclear weapons, coupled with signs of either direct Saudi hostility toward Israel or the prospect of a collapse of the House of Sa‘ud in the Kingdom, would trigger pre-emptive military action by Israel against Saudi missile facilities.

[See Defense & Foreign Affairs Daily, April 2, 2002: Israel Makes a Point of Highlighting Saudi Strategic Missile Facilities, quoted in full below]

Defense & Foreign Affairs Daily noted in its April 2, 2002, report:

There was speculation in Jerusalem and, apparently, in Middle Eastern capitals on April 1, 2002, over reports leaked into the Israeli press on March 27, 2002, with extensive details of the Saudi Arabian CSS-2 ballistic missile facilities. Details of the facilities and the CSS-2 missiles — supplied by the People’s Republic of China (PRC) in 1990 — were already well-known within the intelligence and defense communities of most interested countries. The question being raised by the latest reports was why attention should be focused at this time on the facilities.

The Israeli, Hebrew-language daily Yediot Aharonot reported on March 27, 2002, that the complex was built in the al-Sulayel desert about 500km south of Riyadh. The complex contains huge missile silos, residential areas and factories in King Khaled City. The newspaper published photographs from the Space Imaging Corporation’s Ikonos satellite of what was identified as two missile bases and a complex of 33 buildings, eight of them capable of storing CSS-2 ballistic missiles, which have a range of 2,500 to 3,500km, depending on payload. GIS sources believe that it is almost certain that the Saudis had — failing to obtain nuclear warheads — intended to deploy the systems with chemical and/or biological warheads.

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