Re: more national missile defense

From: John Clark (
Date: Sat Jul 01 2000 - 09:59:38 MDT

Spike Jones <> Wrote:

>Next Friday there will be an attempted intercept of a missile with a
>missile. Nowthen, I will make the following speculation: if the intercept
>fails, it will make jubilant headlines on the front page of the
>San Jose Mercury News. If on the other hand the intercept
>succeeds, this same organization will mumble a few lines buried
>deep within,

I predict that if the government claims a success then intelligent people will be
highly skeptical since in the past every claim of a successful test, without
exception, has turned out to be rigged. Not one test has been realistic.
Missile defense is economics, so if they were smart they'd conduct a study
to see if there is any way their proposed defensive system can be made cheaper
than an enemy's offensive system, because if it's not then it's pointless. If they want
to convince people then all test results should be declassified, not just the results
that make them look good. And if they wanted to be scientific then the team designing
the attacking test vehicle should be completely different from the team designing
the defense. The attack should not be carefully tuned to the strength of the defense
so it's easy to shoot down, they should probe for weakness, they should do what a
real attacker would do, they should put some very smart people on the job to see if
they can come up with simple cheap ways to confuse the ABM.
For example, The Union Of Concerned Scientists has recommended that the
warhead be put inside a Mylar RADAR reflecting balloon so it would look like all the
other decoys until the last few seconds of its flight when it entered the atmosphere.
The cost of doing this would be almost zero but the military said it has no interest in
doing so. You can bet that a real enemy would have an interest in doing so. They
also wouldn't take pains to ensure that the decoys were perfectly symmetrical
and few in number.

I don't think the reason the editors of the San Jose Mercury News think believe
is bigger news than success is that they're monsters and like the idea that there
is no defense against an H bomb. I think the reason is that if you can't even pass
a rigged test then it's really pitiful, and with 50,000 or more warheads if your defense
isn't virtually perfect then it's not worth building.

         John K Clark

This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : Mon Oct 02 2000 - 17:33:47 MDT