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Do we need a NMD?

Should we contiber development and deployment of the GBI/NMD?


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Goobieman

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Given the increasing ICBM threat from North Korea and Iran, and the potential threat posed by China, Pakistan and/or India, should we to continue with the development and deployment of the GBI/NMD system currently in service?

Personally, I think its a GREAT idea to be able to shoot down nuclear-tipped ICBMs before they detonate over US cities, and so we should very certainly continue developing it, deploying impoved versions as they become available.
 

Kandahar

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Absolutely not. The amount of money it would cost to build this thing is many many times more than it would cost for someone to find a way around it. Most military analysts have concluded that it's ridiculously impractical.
 

cnredd

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Kandahar said:
Absolutely not. The amount of money it would cost to build this thing is many many times more than it would cost for someone to find a way around it. Most military analysts have concluded that it's ridiculously impractical.
Currently, the idea of creating a new liver from stem cells is impractical..

Currently, the idea of using pure hydrogen to fuel a car is impractical...

Since when do we say, "It doesn't work NOW, so let's stop trying."?...

remember...When Kennedy announced that we should go to the moon, it was totally impractical to do so at the time...He even knew that...That's why he said "by the end of the decade"...

So what doesn't work NOW doesn't mean that it won't work tomorrow...Unless you keep on trying, it's just a defeatist attitude...
 

Kandahar

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cnredd said:
Currently, the idea of creating a new liver from stem cells is impractical..

Currently, the idea of using pure hydrogen to fuel a car is impractical...

Since when do we say, "It doesn't work NOW, so let's stop trying."?...

remember...When Kennedy announced that we should go to the moon, it was totally impractical to do so at the time...He even knew that...That's why he said "by the end of the decade"...

So what doesn't work NOW doesn't mean that it won't work tomorrow...Unless you keep on trying, it's just a defeatist attitude...
There's a difference though. With stem cells, hydrogen fuel, and a trip to the moon, there's no country or individual working to actively undermine our efforts. Either we shell out the money and get the results, or we don't. But the very nature of a missile defense system guarantees that there will be people and nations trying to find a way around it. And they'll most likely succeed...for a fraction of the cost it took us to build it.
 

Goobieman

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Kandahar said:
There's a difference though. With stem cells, hydrogen fuel, and a trip to the moon, there's no country or individual working to actively undermine our efforts.
Threat A necessitates Defense A
Threat B necessitates Defense B
That Defense A does not protect us from Threat B in no way invalidates Defense A.

And, that it might be obsolete someday has never and should never deter you from building a defense system that will protect you today and into the forseeable future. Weapons systems become obsolete all thew time -- its the nature of the beast.
 

Kandahar

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Goobieman said:
Threat A necessitates Defense A
Threat B necessitates Defense B
That Defense A does not protect us from Threat B in no way invalidates Defense A.
That's only true if Defense A doesn't INCREASE the risk of Threat B. For example, if we have a missile defense system, it might increase the frequency of countries simply smuggling weapons into the country for use by terrorists and/or military spies, thus negating the missile defense system entirely.

Goobieman said:
And, that it might be obsolete someday has never and should never deter you from building a defense system that will protect you today and into the forseeable future. Weapons systems become obsolete all thew time -- its the nature of the beast.
Yes, but we can count on this particular defense system going obsolete VERY quickly and therefore costing much more than its worth.
 

Goobieman

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Kandahar said:
That's only true if Defense A doesn't INCREASE the risk of Threat B. For example, if we have a missile defense system, it might increase the frequency of countries simply smuggling weapons into the country for use by terrorists and/or military spies, thus negating the missile defense system entirely.\
That still dopesnt invalidate Defense A.
Machineguns are still a valid defese against infantry, even though their widespread use was a large part of the reason tanks were invented.

The only thing that negates Defese A is the elimination of threat A.



Yes, but we can count on this particular defense system going obsolete VERY quickly and therefore costing much more than its worth.
Why is that? The states it is dedigned to protect us from are still in the fledgling stages of missile development; the NMD is capable of shooting down all currently deplpyed models of Russian and Chinese ICBMs.

NK, et al, has a LONG way to go before it advances past that stage.

And in any event - if it stops just ONE nuclear weapon from detonating overm say, Seattle, even if only through deterrence, its worth the cost.
 
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Scarecrow Akhbar

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yeah, sure. Beats wasting money on welfare.

Frankly, most of the arguments against ballistic missile defense are shallow, short-sighted, and generally ignorant of the topic.

Against the USSR, which was capable of a total saturation bombing of the United States, SDI made sense. A system doesn't have to be 100$ effective to work as a deterrent. All that's needed is to prevent the enemy from having the assurance that a first strike can completely eliminate our ability to retaliate. Hence, our nuclear missile submarines. SDI was effective because even if it could only stop 50% of the incoming missiles, the enemy couldn't be sure WHICH 50% got through...so New York could get all it's bombs on target, and all of the missile silos in the Midwest might get missed.

Would you try a surprise attack on a man if you couldn't be sure if you could disarm him first? Probably not.

Rogue states. We should have SDI because they're run by nuts, and they might be willing to drop a bomb on Hollywood if they had nothing else to do that day. Our investment in SDI requires the enemy to invest even more in their missile programs. It clearly takes a bigger fraction of their GDP, so our investment is worth it.

Yeah. They might sling a bomb to the keel of a 40 foot sailboat and cruise into San Diego harbor tomorrow, taking out both the submarine base at Ballast Point and the aircraft carriers at North Island, for example.

We couldn't do anything to stop that, it's not related to the issues of ballistic missiles, and, frankly, it's not a strategic method of weapon delivery.

You can't say SDI is irrelevant just because other modes of delivery are possible. It's like saying there's no point in wearing seat belts because sometimes a pedestrian gets killed in a car accident.
 

Kandahar

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You're making it seem like the only reason we aren't constantly dodging bombs is because the countries who wish us harm don't have the missiles to do so. Maybe that's part of it, but look at it from their perspective.

Suppose you're the leader of a rogue country and are set on attacking the Great Satan, for whatever reason. You have the weaponry and the missiles to transport it, but the Great Satan has a missile defense system. Do you just give up, or do you have a spy take the weapon into America for you? The answer seems pretty clear to me, which leads me to believe that this missile defense system will not prevent any attacks at all.

Don't get me wrong, if you can show me that this WILL provide sufficient benefit relative to the cost, I'll change my mind. But as of now, I don't see how it can possibly be practical.
 

Scarecrow Akhbar

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National missile defense is related to theatre defense. The technologies developed to protect a continental area are applicable to local defenses. The Airborne Laser, the Tactical High Energy Laser, and other programs are showing promise at defending our side of the battle field.

Depending on possible advances, it should be possible to protect airport approach and take-off zones from missile incursion, increasing the safety of commercial air transport in an era when the animals have ground to air weapons.

We have destroyed in-flight target missiles, proving the technology. Again, this can lead to greater civillian air transport security. Also, commercial shipping (and the Navy) can been from such theatre defenses.

And...it's a constitutional duty of the government to protect us against known military threats.
 

Goobieman

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Kandahar said:
Suppose you're the leader of a rogue country and are set on attacking the Great Satan, for whatever reason. You have the weaponry and the missiles to transport it, but the Great Satan has a missile defense system. Do you just give up, or do you have a spy take the weapon into America for you? The answer seems pretty clear to me, which leads me to believe that this missile defense system will not prevent any attacks at all.
The part you're missing here is that if we didnlt have the NMD, they'd just launch the missile(s). Forcing your enemy to find different ways to attack you/defend aganst you is the net result of every weapons/defense system ever deployed.

Don't get me wrong, if you can show me that this WILL provide sufficient benefit relative to the cost, I'll change my mind. But as of now, I don't see how it can possibly be practical.
Why?
 

Hoot

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Missile defense or Star Wars, or whatever you want to call it, has been a dismal failure. We have far more to fear from our porous borders then we ever will from an air-borne attack.

Missile defense is also a direct violation of the ABM treaty. Violating this treaty will only mean an increase in nuclear weapons throughout the world.

We don't have the technology, or the money to spend on a system that will probably never work, and do nothing to make us any safer.
 

Goobieman

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Hoot said:
Missile defense or Star Wars, or whatever you want to call it, has been a dismal failure.
based on...?

We have far more to fear from our porous borders then we ever will from an air-borne attack.
NK and Iran (among others) are building long-range ICBM just because they look cool?
You willing to bet Seattle on that?

Missile defense is also a direct violation of the ABM treaty. Violating this treaty will only mean an increase in nuclear weapons throughout the world.
We're no long part of the ABM treaty.

We don't have the technology, or the money to spend on a system that will probably never work, and do nothing to make us any safer.
Again - based on?
 

Hoot

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Goobieman said:
based on...?
Based on the lack of success, of course. It's been described as firing a bullet into the air, and then immediately firing another bullet hoping to hit the first bullet. I think Reagan was a bit too senile when he came up with this disastrous idea of how to waste the American taxpayers money.


Goobieman said:
NK and Iran (among others) are building long-range ICBM just because they look cool?
You willing to bet Seattle on that?
It rains too much in Seattle, anyway.


Goobieman said:
We're no long part of the ABM treaty.
Opps...you're right about that one...so much for Bush promoting peace on Earth.


Goobieman said:
Again - based on?
Please...show me where there has been any kind of success in missile defense technology to warrant pouring all this money down the drain?! The only success I've read of is when we put tracking devices into the targets...something we cannot hope that our enemies will do.

We could spend 1/10th the money on our porous borders and get 10 X's the security.

We could spend 1/10th the money that we're spending on these ridiculous wars, on our own form of propaganda in these radical Islamic schools to circumvent the hatred being taught, and get 10 X's the security.

Stars Wars is todays corporate version of the Edsel.
 

Goobieman

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Hoot said:
Based on the lack of success, of course.
What "lack of success?
How has the testing gone? How do the test results show a "lack of success"?

I think Reagan was a bit too senile when he came up with this disastrous idea of how to waste the American taxpayers money.
Reagan didnt have anything to do with the GBI/NMD -- its started in 1996 under Clinton.

Opps...you're right about that one...so much for Bush promoting peace on Earth.
I dont recall Bush ever primnising peace on earth.
You wouldnt be offering a strawman here, would you?

The only success I've read of is when we put tracking devices into the targets...something we cannot hope that our enemies will do.
Please: Explain to us the exact role the C-band transponder played in the test program.

We could spend 1/10th the money on our porous borders and get 10 X's the security.
Except from NK and Iranian missiles. No security from them.
 

Kandahar

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Goobieman said:
The part you're missing here is that if we didnlt have the NMD, they'd just launch the missile(s). Forcing your enemy to find different ways to attack you/defend aganst you is the net result of every weapons/defense system ever deployed.
This isn't really a case of forcing the enemy to innovate to keep up with us. As long as such a convenient alternative method of attack exists, it's not even that much of an inconvenience to them. It costs maybe a few thousand dollars to put the weapon on a ship, put a spy on a ship, and train the spy how and where to blow up the weapon.

An analogy: Suppose Superman is attacked by a villain. The villain has both silver bullets and kryptonite bullets in his pocket. If the villain knows that kryptonite is Superman's weakness, will Superman's innate defense against silver bullets do him any good at all?
 
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Goobieman

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Kandahar said:
This isn't really a case of forcing the enemy to innovate to keep up with us. As long as such a convenient alternative method of attack exists, it's not even that much of an inconvenience to them. It costs maybe a few thousand dollars to put the weapon on a ship, put a spy on a ship, and train the spy how and where to blow up the weapon.
BUT... they are building ICBMs.
And they are bulding those ICBMs while already posessing the ability to deliver nukes as you describe. Clearly, there is some reason for their building of those ICBMs, and therefore there needs to be some defense against them.

An analogy: Suppose Superman is attacked by a villain. The villain has both silver bullets and kryptonite bullets in his pocket. If the villain knows that kryptonite is Superman's weakness, will Superman's innate defense against silver bullets do him any good at all?
Your anology doesnt really apply, as they are building their silver bullets in anticipation of a conflict w/ Superman, aleady having kryptonite bullets in their posession.

In any event, his innate ability will protect him if the criminal fires the silver bullets -- that the criminal has kryptonite bullets doesnt mean he doesnt need the protection against the silver bullets.
 

Pacridge

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Hoot said:
Based on the lack of success, of course. It's been described as firing a bullet into the air, and then immediately firing another bullet hoping to hit the first bullet. I think Reagan was a bit too senile when he came up with this disastrous idea of how to waste the American taxpayers money.

It rains too much in Seattle, anyway.

Opps...you're right about that one...so much for Bush promoting peace on Earth.

Please...show me where there has been any kind of success in missile defense technology to warrant pouring all this money down the drain?! The only success I've read of is when we put tracking devices into the targets...something we cannot hope that our enemies will do.

We could spend 1/10th the money on our porous borders and get 10 X's the security.

We could spend 1/10th the money that we're spending on these ridiculous wars, on our own form of propaganda in these radical Islamic schools to circumvent the hatred being taught, and get 10 X's the security.

Stars Wars is todays corporate version of the Edsel.
Screw that, I'm not that far from Seattle.

Seriously though, just because we haven't been able to develop a viable NMD system doesn't mean we can't or shouldn't be trying.

I agree with the position that we should be spending more on alternatives that don't include military only options. But I don't think that means we shouldn't be also investing in defensive military technology. People like NK Lil' Kim make me nervous.

In short I like the walk softly and carry a big stick line of thought.
 

Scarecrow Akhbar

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Kandahar said:
This isn't really a case of forcing the enemy to innovate to keep up with us. As long as such a convenient alternative method of attack exists, it's not even that much of an inconvenience to them. It costs maybe a few thousand dollars to put the weapon on a ship, put a spy on a ship, and train the spy how and where to blow up the weapon.

An analogy: Suppose Superman is attacked by a villain. The villain has both silver bullets and kryptonite bullets in his pocket. If the villain knows that kryptonite is Superman's weakness, will Superman's innate defense against silver bullets do him any good at all?
If the other methods are so "convenient", as you claim, why are THEY building missiles?

Answer: It's not convenient at all. Such methods are suitable only for sudden surprise attacks and terrorist attacks. Such cowardly acts can start a war, but once the cowardly overture is over, they'd better have something good for the curtain call.
 

Scarecrow Akhbar

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Hoot said:
Missile defense or Star Wars, or whatever you want to call it, has been a dismal failure. We have far more to fear from our porous borders then we ever will from an air-borne attack.

Missile defense is also a direct violation of the ABM treaty. Violating this treaty will only mean an increase in nuclear weapons throughout the world.

We don't have the technology, or the money to spend on a system that will probably never work, and do nothing to make us any safer.

ummmm....surprise? Bush excercised our option to withdraw from that ridiculous treaty the first year of his Adminstration.

If that doesn't make the ABM Treaty irrelevant, the fact that US was the only extant party to the treaty certainly did. The other party died.

And certainly we have both the technology and the money.

You're arguing like a person that spent his whole paycheck on beer and then complained he can't buy food. We got the money for national defense. All we have to is stop paying entitlements (unconstitutional, every bit of them), welfare, and congressional pork.
 

Scarecrow Akhbar

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Hoot said:
Please...show me where there has been any kind of success in missile defense technology to warrant pouring all this money down the drain?! The only success I've read of is when we put tracking devices into the targets...something we cannot hope that our enemies will do.

We could spend 1/10th the money on our porous borders and get 10 X's the security.

We could spend 1/10th the money that we're spending on these ridiculous wars, on our own form of propaganda in these radical Islamic schools to circumvent the hatred being taught, and get 10 X's the security.

Stars Wars is todays corporate version of the Edsel.
ABL First Light Test a Great Success[url]

11/19/04 – EDWARDS AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. – Airborne Laser engineers at Edwards successfully fired for the first time ever all six modules of the megawatt-class Chemical Oxygen Iodine Laser, or COIL, during a ground test Nov. 10.

The firing was a landmark event in the ongoing effort to use directed energy aboard an aircraft to destroy a ballistic missile shortly after its launch.

The test, internally called "first light," was conducted in the ABL laser testing facility, called the System Integration Lab, and occurred at 12:07 p.m., lasting for a fraction of a second.

"This is a wonderful moment for the Missile Defense Agency and the proponents of a ballistic missile defense system around the world," said Col. Ellen Pawlikowski, ABL program director.

Although the test duration was short, it proved that the ABL laser worked. "What's important is that the COIL produced photons," Colonel Pawlikowski said. "This proves the laser hardware is ready to go."

"The test verifies that the physics design of the six modules together produced medium megawatt laser beam, producing optical dust, or what we call fireflies," she added during a teleconference following the first light.

Airborne Laser engineers also verified the subsystems of the integrated system to include turbopumps that produce a critical element of pressure and systems that circulate the hydrogen peroxide mixture, said Colonel Pawlikowski.

In Wednesday's test, the laser light produced by the six modules was fired into a wall of metal called a calorimeter, or beam dump. The temperature rise of the metal was used to validate that laser power was generated. There also was visual confirmation as the beam, invisible to the naked eye, set fire to dust particles in the firing path.

Tests of the COIL will continue for several months as engineers make adjustments to module hardware and chemical flow, gradually increasing the firing time.

The test came only two days before ABL's eighth birthday. Nov. 12, 1996, the U.S. Air Force awarded a $1.1 billion contract to Boeing, TRW, which is now Northrop Grumman Space Technologies, and Lockheed Martin to develop a prototype ABL to attack theater ballistic missiles. The target tier was expanded to include all ballistic missiles when the program was transferred from the Air Force to MDA in October 2001.

Airborne Laser is the most advanced boost-phase segment of MDA's layered system designed to protect the United States, its allies and its deployed troops from a hostile missile attack. ABL's role is to detect, track and destroy missiles soon after they are launched. It will be based aboard a modified Boeing 747-400 freighter aircraft.

While the COIL lasers were being tested in the special lab, the ABL aircraft, YAL-1A, was parked a football field away being prepared for its own major test - a return to flight for the first time in almost two years.

It was taken out of service in December 2002 for modifications to the airframe and the installation of the complicated beam control system.

After completion of the ground testing of the COIL, it will be installed on the aircraft. Ground and flight tests of the ABL will continue, culminating in the shootdown of a ballistic missile over the Pacific Ocean.
xxxxxxxxxx
 

Hoot

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I'm sorry, but we have far more to fear from other forms of attack, and a successful test, under lab conditions, doesn't do much to prove viability. For the last test the Army did, they used a tracking signal for the final approach stage, so the interceptor was basically honing in on a beacon.

The system does not work in bad weather or under water, and is not designed to protect us against shorter range ballistic missiles, or cruise missiles.

The system is designed to intercept intercontinental ballistic missiles. It won't do any good for shorter range missiles in its current form...a missile smuggled in on a ship, for instance, close to shore.

Instead of having a corporate give-away sale to defense contractors, you'd better start worrying about the destabilyzing effects these systems will have on the world.....

1) China develops MIRV warheads
2) China keeps its ballistic missiles in a ready to launch state
3) China develops nuclear tipped cruise missiles
4) China launches new SSBMs
5) Russia keeps more nuclear missiles to be able to overcome the NMD

These systems won't effect the policy of the 'rogue' states, because they aren't stupid enough to spend a fortune on ICBM's that will do nothing to protect them and do nothing to increase their bargaining power. The 'rogue' states have targets that are far closer and easier then trying to launch an ICBM against the U.S.

And guess what? These new star wars systems do nothing to protect our allies over in Europe and the Middle East, but will only antagonize the world and further escalate the nuclear arms race, while putting us further into debt for a system that can't even guarantee to protect our own borders.

And Star Wars was a stupid movie, too....LOL!
 

Tashah

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Nothing ventured is nothing gained. Simply because ICBM's are not the sole mode of delivery does not negate or minimize the threat they pose. North Korea and Iran are not developing ICBM's to deliver rice and Persian rugs.

Iran's Shahab-7 LRBM (currently in development) will have the capability to target every eastern seaboard American city. To object because the system is expensive is shortsighted when compared with the human and economic consequences of a nuclear strike on a major metropolitan area. The short-term and long-term costs of such a strike are incalcuable and would make the Katrina catastrophe seem like a minor and quickly forgotton irritation.

To object because the required technology is at the extreme of our current reach is also short-sighted. Long range ballistic missiles were also in the realm of science fiction not that long ago, as were desktop computers and the innumerable laser devices that we now interact with on an almost daily basis.

There are basically two ways to accurately deliver a nuclear device... via ballistic missiles and by other means that are not ballistic. To shun one defensive possibility because it is not an all-inclusive panacea and other delivery means are possible is disingenuous in the extreme. This amounts to willingly accepting a stasis of vulnerability on all fronts. Unacceptable.

We have choices here. Either we recognize the dangers ahead and take bold technological initiatives to minimize as many of those dangers as we possibly can, or we settle for being penny wise and pound foolish until the inevitable day of final accountability.
 
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