Re: more national missile defense

From: John Clark (
Date: Mon Jul 03 2000 - 01:05:26 MDT

Spike Jones <> Wrote:

>hmmm, I dont think we want them to declassify *everything* do we?
>Would not that make any defensive system less useful, to
>point out to the enemy where the weak points are?

Open source cryptography certainly gives the best security, open source software
is the best way to write error free code, open source would give us the best results
in this case too. Besides, the entire point of all this is to prevent war so you want all
sides to have the technology. If it really worked, or even if it didn't but the side that
didn't have it thought it worked, then things would be very dangerous. The other side
would feel threatened and be tempted to strike first before the system was completed.

>> Me:
>>If an offensive missile's error radius is a hundred miles that's fine.

> 100 miles? I *hope* Im a hundred miles away. John you have
> seen films of the H bomb tests at Bikini, have you not? Re-
> estimate that destruction radius. It isnt 100 miles.

Aim a modern ICBM with it's payload of many warheads to hit any place
in New York State and more people would die than in all America's wars
put together.

>IF it is Russia doing the attacking, yes they have a jillion
>nukes. A terrorist wont have that many.

Who is this turkey supposed to protect us from? Russia would overwhelm it
and a nuclear terrorist wouldn't use a ICBM.

>> Me:
>> One ICBM can have dozens of warheads and thousands of decoys.

> Sure, but this is a capability far beyond the present capability of the U.S.

What are you talking about, we've had MIRV's for years. Not only can you have
many warheads in one ICBM but they can hit different targets hundreds of miles
from each other with pinpoint accuracy.

>I dont expect a terrorist to come up with such a sophisticated device.

I don't either but why do you keep talking about terrorists?

>That LADAR must already be in orbit to be of any use when called upon.

So why would an enemy not make that very vulnerable satellite its very first target?

>And you do realize of course that attacking orbiting assets is an act of war

Yes, and vaporizing Washington 8 minutes after I destroy your satellites is an act of war too.

>So then the logic behind Milstar is....

Use them in peacetime, use them in small wars, and have a backup.

> Do you know that mylar balloons were once used as a visible band and
> high frequency decoy for fighter planes? I saw them fail to
> spoof an AIM9R, and that was 16 yrs ago.

A mylar balloon does not look like a fighter plane, in a atmosphere a mylar
balloon does not move like a fighter plane. Neither of those things is true
of a warhead in space, it moves and looks just like a balloon.

>Remember, intercept test outcomes are not classified because they cannot
>be: anyone with a telescope can watch and will either see a huge flash or no.

I don't see why there would be a huge flash and I don't know how I could tell if it
hit a warhead or a decoy, assuming they even bother to have decoys on this "test".

> >I'll first send a warhead to detonate 50 or 60 miles above your city,

> First?

Yes first, 20 to 40 seconds before the other warheads enter the atmosphere.

>You mean, fire upon a nuclear capable power, who can
>trace the launch from the second you fire the engine, and who
>has submarines full of MIRV capable defenses cruising silently
>somewhere in the sea, perhaps not so far from your launch site.

Such an act would not be rational, nothing about nuclear war has ever
been rational, but the terrifying thing is that people and governments are
often not rational.

               John K Clark

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