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Missile Defense System

 
 
au1929
 
Reply Fri 12 Mar, 2004 08:38 am
Pointed Questions on Missile Defense System

By JAMES GLANZ

Published: March 12, 2004

WASHINGTON, March 11 — As early as July, silos in Alaska could be filled with three-stage interceptors meant to destroy incoming ballistic missiles with the help of ground- and space-based sensors. It would be the first time the nation has had a system for destroying warheads aimed at American soil since the short-lived Safeguard program in the 1970's.
But for now, the system's credibility is under attack. With the Bush administration requesting $10.2 billion for missile defense in the 2005 fiscal year alone, officials on the project faced intense questioning at a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on Thursday.
Democrats on the panel expressed doubt about the wisdom of moving ahead with a project so vast and complicated that it will not receive full operational testing until the first interceptors are placed on alert and the sensors are scanning the skies for targets.

http://www.nytimes.com/2004/03/12/politics/12MISS.html?th


Disregarding the cost and the fact that a working system has not been developed in a world where terrorism reigns as the greatest danger. Do you believe there is a pressing need for this defense system?
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Type: Discussion • Score: 2 • Views: 1,523 • Replies: 16
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Jim
 
  1  
Reply Fri 12 Mar, 2004 09:23 am
Yes, I do believe there is a need for this system.

I pay for auto and homeowners insurance. I am certainly not planning on being in an auto accident, or having our house burn down, but it is prudent to still pay the premiums. I believe having a missile defense system in much the same way.

I would much rather have a missile defense system and not need it, than need one and not have it.
0 Replies
 
joefromchicago
 
  1  
Reply Fri 12 Mar, 2004 09:26 am
Rockets from the sky
Bringing death and destruction
Come in backpacks now.
0 Replies
 
SealPoet
 
  1  
Reply Fri 12 Mar, 2004 09:51 am
joe's got that right. The missle more likely to be fired is not going to be caught by an ABM system, and it's going to take down an airplane.

Throwing rocks at rocks. Seems we'd be better off getting less rocks to be thrown...
0 Replies
 
hobitbob
 
  1  
Reply Fri 12 Mar, 2004 03:35 pm
Of course its neccesary. There are poor innocent defence companies starving in the streets
0 Replies
 
au1929
 
  1  
Reply Fri 12 Mar, 2004 03:40 pm
Hobitbob
Perhaps that is where the jobs Bush promises are destined to come from. Nah!
0 Replies
 
mesquite
 
  1  
Reply Fri 12 Mar, 2004 04:03 pm
Jim wrote:
Yes, I do believe there is a need for this system.

I pay for auto and homeowners insurance. I am certainly not planning on being in an auto accident, or having our house burn down, but it is prudent to still pay the premiums. I believe having a missile defense system in much the same way.

I would much rather have a missile defense system and not need it, than need one and not have it.

Jim, How would you feel about paying insurance premiums for a plan that would not pay up if your house burned down?
0 Replies
 
Jim
 
  1  
Reply Sat 13 Mar, 2004 12:58 am
Mesquite - no one really knows how well a missile defense system would work - and let's hope we never find out.

Jerry Pournelle wrote an interesting essay on the subject several years back. There are two cases you might need a missile defense system for. The first is a massive launch by the Soviets against us. Thankfully, that is a very remote possibility now (but I do seem to remember our Chinese friends threatened to nuke Los Angeles a few years back if we interfered in whatever actions they ultimately take with Taiwan). No one argues that a missile defense system would stop each and every missile that would be launched. But they would certainly stop some of them. And that would throw enough uncertainty into our potential adversaries planning that they would not dare to launch a strike.

The second case would be if someone like North Korea were to launch a few missiles at us. And yes, even stopping one of them would justify the cost of the system.

Or to look at it another way - would you prefer the British had not developed an untested radar and spitfire defense shield in the late 1930's, without knowing how effective it would be? And also in the full knowledge that it would not be effective against U-boats and panzers?

Granted, a missile defense system would be of no use against what hit us on 911, or what just hit Madrid. So what? The flu shot I got a few months ago will do nothing to protect me against cancer or heart disease. Does that mean I shouldn't have gotten it?
0 Replies
 
Centroles
 
  1  
Reply Sat 13 Mar, 2004 02:07 am
No insurance plan covers every possible source of danger. Almost none cover flood damage, few cover earthquake damage etc.

Even with home insurance, we cannot expect to have a safety net against every possible danger. How can we expect that from terrorist attacks? Our best bet is to step by step address every weakness we face. Missile defense is one such step.
0 Replies
 
au1929
 
  1  
Reply Sat 13 Mar, 2004 09:05 am
missile defense



The United States is currently attempting to develop several components of a missile defense system designed to protect U.S. territory from attack by long-range (strategic) ballistic missiles.

Under the Bush administration, missile defenses have received $7 billion to $9 billion annually, and the FY05 budget request is more than $10 billion. In December 2002, the Bush administration announced that it would deploy the first phase of a rudimentary missile defense system by the time of the 2004 presidential elections—even though the system is in the very early stages of testing.

This extraordinary emphasis on missile defense represents misplaced priorities. The administration's top priority should instead be combating the threat of nuclear terrorism by increasing its programs to keep nuclear warheads and materials out of the hands of terrorists. The Bush administration, however, is giving this problem a fraction of the attention and funding being given to missile defense. The missile defense system being rushed into deployment is not relevant to the war on terrorism.

The system the Bush administration plans to deploy by 2004 will have essentially no defense capability. The technology needed for an effective missile defense system still doesn't exist. All the systems being developed are in early stages of research and development, and will have undergone only rudimentary testing by the time they will be fielded in 2004-2006. Operational testing will not have begun and test conditions will remain far from realistic. None of the X-band radars that are central to the system will be built by 2004.

And even if the technology worked perfectly, the systems being deployed are vulnerable to countermeasures that are easier to build than the long-range missile on which they would be placed. The UCS-MIT report Countermeasures was instrumental in calling attention to this problem and contributed to President Clinton’s 2000 decision not to deploy the system the Bush administration is now fielding.

The United States needs Russian and Chinese cooperation on a range of non-proliferation and security issues. Getting that cooperation will be easier if the United States does not proceed with a missile defense program that Russia and China find potentially threatening. And China appears likely to build up its long-range nuclear arsenal in response to deployment of U.S. missile defenses.
0 Replies
 
Umbagog
 
  1  
Reply Sat 13 Mar, 2004 10:07 pm
no system will be able to protect from nuclear proliferation when the Big War comes. Everyone is going to shoot their loads at the same time, and at least enough will get through to devastate the planet.

Getting rid of nukes is the only answer here.

The backpack scenario is what is going to set off the Big War, so how do you defend against something like that when the red tape to do so was made collosal when before it was only burdensome.

The conclusion drawn from the need is a chilling one. It suggests a real nuclear war will happen someday, not finding the solution to remove this thread forever.

Bush's tactical nukes fall into the backpack theory, in that they will end up stirring up an outright nuclear war.

The fact that before us, no nation has ever survived without facing utter and complete collapse is not encouraging either. More nukes doesn't mean more security, it means more potential for disaster. Thinking we can build a shield against all this is silly. Satellites can be taken out, and are subjected to solar forces that downright break them. We would need something on the Moon to cover the entire planet accurately anyway, in terms of logistics and windows of defense opportunity. So go figure why Bush wants to go back to the Moon. Mars was just fluff to distract you, since we aren't capable of getting to Mars and back with humans yet, and won't be for some time, as those logistics are far more complicated than reaching our neighbor, that cold-hearted orb.

I say it is a waste of money creating a larger problem, not guaranteeing a solution to the problem.
0 Replies
 
OCCOM BILL
 
  1  
Reply Sat 13 Mar, 2004 11:03 pm
Re: Missile Defense System
au1929 wrote:
Disregarding the cost and the fact that a working system has not been developed in a world where terrorism reigns as the greatest danger.
Shocked Which world would that be? There are several unstable countries working on weapons that make "Fat Man" and the "Little Boy" look like hand grenades. Sure, the threat from Russia appears to be gone and I'd never believe China would be foolish enough to attack because they are badly overmatched... But, North Korea on the other hand is about as predictable as a roll of the dice. Idea


au1929 wrote:
Do you believe there is a pressing need for this defense system?
I for one will pay my share of ANY amount spent on Missile Defense.

Edit= Bomb names weren't quite right.
0 Replies
 
Fedral
 
  1  
Reply Sun 14 Mar, 2004 12:38 am
Umbagog wrote:

Getting rid of nukes is the only answer here.


Sure, this always SOUNDS wonderful and I for one am for anything that would get rid of them. But how are you going to get every country get rid of all of their nukes and how would you enforce it?
Unless you are talking of unilaterally disarming in which case, that would be plain foolishness to disarm ourselves of nukes while dozens of other countries have them.

Umbagog wrote:
The backpack scenario is what is going to set off the Big War, so how do you defend against something like that when the red tape to do so was made collosal when before it was only burdensome.

The conclusion drawn from the need is a chilling one. It suggests a real nuclear war will happen someday, not finding the solution to remove this thread forever.


There are ways of detecting 'backpack nukes' (aka suitcase bombs). We have had for years, flying detectors that can detect the type of radiation given off by nuclear material.
For example, a year or 2 ago, a ship was stopped by the Coast Guard off our shores and searched because radiation detectors had picked up 'suspicious emanations' from it's cargo hold. It turns out that the ship was carrying clay tiles and the detector picked up the natural radiation of the tiles due to the clay they were made of.

We can detect 'suitcase bombs' and I think we have a good chance of stopping one if anyone tried to bring one in.
0 Replies
 
OCCOM BILL
 
  1  
Reply Sun 14 Mar, 2004 02:38 am
I don't mean to slight the horror of terrorism in any way, shape or form. But, don't ever forget what an H-Bomb strike would be like.
Quote:
Early in the morning on March 1, 1954, the hydrogen bomb, code named Bravo, was detonated on the surface of the reef in the northwestern corner of Bikini Atoll. The area was illuminated by a huge and expanding flash of blinding light. A raging fireball of intense heat that measured into the millions of degrees shot skyward at a rate of 300 miles an hour. Within minutes the monstrous cloud, filled with nuclear debris, shot up more than 20 miles and generated winds hundreds of miles per hour.

Source here
http://www.bikiniatoll.com/bravo2.jpg
This bomb was 1,000 times more powerful than the "Fat Man" and "Little Boy" dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki... This is NOT the limit in yield. I really don't think it is possible for our leaders to pay too much attention to this.
0 Replies
 
au1929
 
  1  
Reply Sun 14 Mar, 2004 10:00 am
22 January 2004
Missile Defense System Doubts
Top weapons tester says the Defense Department doesn't know whether it will work as intended.
By Paul Richter
Los Angeles Times


http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/...

WASHINGTON -- The Defense Department won't know whether its multibillion-dollar missile defense system will be able to accomplish its mission when it becomes operational in Alaska in September, the Pentagon's chief weapons tester said Wednesday.
In a report to Congress, Thomas P. Christie said that because of a limited testing schedule that had been hampered by engineering setbacks, "it is not clear what mission capability will be demonstrated prior to initial defense operations."

The fledgling system is to be based in Alaska, with a second component in California, and is intended to help protect against a long-range missile attack from North Korea. After years of debate over the wisdom of building such a complex and expensive system, President Bush vowed early in his term to have a system built before the end of his first term.

Defense officials maintain that it is better to start with a rudimentary defensive system than to have none at all.

They say that a continuing series of tests and upgrades will improve the capability of the system, which is now being erected at Ft. Greely, Alaska, and Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.

But critics seized on the report by the Pentagon's own expert.

"We won't know what this system can do, if anything," said Sen. Jack Reed (D-R.I.), a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee. "This is a rather severe indictment."

He said the system's capabilities would be unproven even if two flight tests scheduled to be held before September were successful.

John Isaacs, president of Council for a Livable World, an arms-control group in Washington, said the report is "essentially confirmation that the deployment is essentially a sham, and that there's no evidence it will work. He called it a political deployment."

The Pentagon is spending about $9 billion a year on various missile defense programs. Estimates of the final cost of the evolving system range from tens of billions to hundreds of billions of dollars.

Lt. Col. Richard Lehner, a spokesman for the Missile Defense Agency, said the organization was preparing a formal response to the report by Christie, director of the Pentagon's office of operational test and evaluation.

Lehner insisted that the system would give the country a basic defense against a limited long-range threat against all 50 states, "and that's something we don't have now. We think it will be reliable and effective against this limited threat." The system will be continually tested and improved, Lehner said.

In his report, Christie said assessments of the system's capabilities were based primarily on modeling and simulation and developmental testing of components, rather than on testing of a complete system. He said that because of "the immature nature of the systems they emulate, models and simulations . cannot be adequately validated at this time."

Christie is to submit a report on the system's readiness for fielding at the end of the summer. He noted in Wednesday's report that because of delays in production and testing of two rocket-booster designs, there had been "tremendous pressure on the test schedule" before the expected fielding.

He also said additional tests of the Cobra Dane radar that would be critical to the system were "currently not planned." One of two booster rockets is on schedule for development and production, but a second has encountered problems and is behind schedule.

Christie has previously voiced concerns about the schedule.

In an interview three weeks ago with Inside the Pentagon, a trade publication, Christie noted the problems with the booster rockets. "I'm a little concerned, frankly," he said.


Another costly blunder in the making by the evil "genius" Bush and his band of merry men.
0 Replies
 
au1929
 
  1  
Reply Sun 14 Mar, 2004 10:09 am
Federa wrotel
Quote:

There are ways of detecting 'backpack nukes' (aka suitcase bombs). We have had for years, flying detectors that can detect the type of radiation given off by nuclear material.


How will a missile defense system, even a working one, protect us from someone sneaking in through our porous northern and southern borders? The chance of a foreign power unleashing nuclear missiles at the US is unlikely because of the fear of retaliation. However, who would we attack as a result of a terrorist attack with a nuclear bomb?
0 Replies
 
hobitbob
 
  1  
Reply Sun 14 Mar, 2004 11:40 am
All the people arguing how a missile defence system is valuable might want to look at the current issue of "the Fletcher Forum of World Affairs," particularly the articles by El Baradei, and Holmes and Nolan.
0 Replies
 
 

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