FWD (SW) Re: National Missile Defense

From: Terry W. Colvin (fortean1@frontiernet.net)
Date: Tue Jun 13 2000 - 23:36:54 MDT

>You may have heard by now about how the national missile defense
>is all a big reaganesque fantasy, etc. I was just wondering if anyone
>here has any strong opinions in this regard.

I don't think the problem is the validity of their testing but rather
the validity of their claims.
I can't imagine them being crazy enough to do tests that have no
validity at all, just for the sake of it. After all they do prefer to
fight with things that work, which may happen to be the reason why they
have to make false claims (to keep the money flowing in, for further
You also have to keep in mind that such a system could never work with
just one type of weapon. One has to imagine several systems (For example
what about laser weapons...) , probably each having some flaws, or weak
points, each taking down a certain number of weapons, ending up with a
result as close to 100% as possible (just like carrier defence or air
Each system just like all other major weapon systems would continuously
be improved once in service, and newer improved weapons would be built
with the knowledge gained from the older weapons.
Officialy the 100 interceptors proposed would only be capable of
defeating a maximum of 25 to 30 warheads (and that probably includes
some decoys). But then other systems are being developped and more
interceptors have been proposed.
What is amusing is how all this is being politically used by other
states (especially Russia and China) to create tensions, between NATO
allies. One has to remember several things.
Even the Russians recognize that even with 1000-1500 warheads such a
system would have no effect (the start treaty just signed by the
Russians sets the limit at 3500 but the Russians still have about 20.000
warheads stockpiled, which America is paying to destroy, with not much
result it seems).
The Russians and Chinese are both advanced in Laser defence systems,
and are cooperating on a Chinese system that has just been tested.
The Russians already have an ABM system (currently ABM-3), as it so
detabilised the world, as they claim an american system would? It is
supposed to be only capable of defending Moscow, but if the Americans
can defend a country with a limited system why can't the Russians?
The Russians admit then deny that several countries are threats but at
the same time they fully recognize that they provide most of these
states with nuclear technology.
All the research in these fields have yielded significant results that
can be used for other applications.
In addition to all this you have to remember that for a lot of people a
nuclear weapon is still just a weapon and a nuclear 'war' just a war,
which you have to make as 'winnable' as possible. Which is why hardened
centers are built, and which is why the Russians have invested so much
in the last few years in mobile launchers and hardened centers (more
than 200 according to some estimates).

The system currently officialy proposed is a limited capability system
designed more to avoid blackmail by certain unstable people rather than
a system capable of defeating a major attack. In the same trend you will
notice that there has been a lot of things going on (major exercices for
example) related to reactions/avoidance of act of terrorim using WMD
against the US.

What we are seeing is just a little show, and I hope you all appreciate
it a such (For example I hope you all had as good a laugh as I did when
it was revealed that Puttin's great proposition for cooperation implied
that the system be deployed in Russia and not in the US, supposedly
because they are closer to the 'rogue countries'.)
All this talk about possible ABM systems is just like the fabulous
revelation made a few years back that the US had 'invisible' aircraft
(when in fact stealth aircraft had already existed for quite some
I am not saying that the US has a capable ABM system already fielded,
but neither do I say that the US has 'invisible' aircraft.


Terry W. Colvin, Sierra Vista, Arizona (USA)
< fortean1@frontiernet.net >
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