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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 (5373 previous messages)

mmuskin - 02:42pm Oct 29, 2002 EST (# 5374 of 5380)

Defense & Foreign Affairs Daily (part 2 of 2)

October 29, 2002

Saudi Arabia Takes Steps To Acquire Nuclear Weapons

Virtually no purpose would be served equipping the systems with conventional warheads, while chemical or biological warheads would be able to serve as a deterrent to particularly Iranian threats by targeting Iranian agricultural production.

Saudi Arabia had expanded the missile complex since 1995, when a French Spot Image satellite photographed the area. The Government had received deliveries of the CSS-2 in 1990 as part of a deal reportedly for as many as 120 missiles and 12 launchers.

King Khaled Military City is located near a Royal Saudi Air Force (RSAF) base where Panavia Tornado fighters were deployed. The RSAF reportedly controls the CSS-2 IRBMs, and maintains two bases for the systems at al-Joffer and al-Sulayel. The al-Sulayel site was given prominence in the Israeli reporting, which drew attention to the Ikonos satellite photographs of the facility located at coordinates lat. 2043'07"N and long. 4535'01"E. That is approximately 27km North of the desert oasis of al-Sulayel, and consists of a site support area and two launch areas located six kilometers apart. More than 33 permanent and 36 semi-permanent buildings were visible.

Only eight of the buildings were believed to have been large enough to accommodate the CSS-2.

Earlier, on March 4, 2002, Defense & Foreign Affairs Daily reported that the Israeli Government had moved to develop an offensive capability "strategic triad" of missile forces, naval and air forces to project Israeli strategic power. This development specifically included the need for Israeli forces to consider the strategic weapons use of the Saudi ballistic missile capabilities.

[See Defense & Foreign Affairs Daily, March 4, 2002: Israeli Navy Begins to Take Its Place as Part of a Strategic Force Projection Triad.]

rshow55 - 09:04pm Oct 29, 2002 EST (# 5375 of 5380) 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.

Powell Sees Path to Iraq Compromise By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS Filed at 6:37 p.m. ET' http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/international/AP-US-Iraq.html

We need compromises that make human sense.

When National Security Adviser Rice wrote this, I believe she wrote something profound and hopeful.

" Today, the international community has the best chance since the rise of the nation-state in the seventeenth century to build a world where great powers compete in peace instead of continually prepare for war. . . . . . The United States will build on these common interests to promote global security. "

" The National Security Strategy of the United States ," http://www.nytimes.com/2002/09/20/politics/20STEXT_FULL.html . page 2.

For that to be true - we need to make decisions based on correct information , and the mechanisms responding to the information have to be stable.

A while ago I asked for a chance to give a presentation on a military matter, and wrote this:

"Some explosive instabilities need to be avoided by the people who must make and maintain . . . relevant agreements. The system crafted needs to be workable for what it has to do, have feedback, damping , and dither in the right spots with the right magnitudes. The things that need to be checkable should be.

" Without feedback, damping, and dither in the right spots with the right magnitudes -- a lot of things are unstable - even when those things "look good," "make sense" and there is "good will on all sides."

" . . . . Unless we get some things in better balance - costs in money, blood, and trouble will be much larger than necessary."

Here are discussions of balance. We often don't want things to go off with a "bang."
4426 rshow55 9/19/02 3:34pm ... 4460 rshow55 9/21/02 9:35am

Friction, or damping - - can be useful if you want to keep things from overshooting the mark .

The fact that things are moving "slowly" and "with difficulty" may be no bad thing.

For one thing, it takes time to reach reasonable decisions.

For another - sometimes, the only way to get to a stable situation is slowly enough to prevent over-reactions.

It seems to me that there really is quite a lot of time - - if we take time - - to do things right.

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