Re: dooooooh!

From: John Clark (
Date: Sat Jul 08 2000 - 22:21:00 MDT

Spike Jones <> Wrote:

>Hey I bet John Clarke is enjoying all this... {8-]

Not at all, I didn't care how the test turned out because we could not
learn anything from it. Back in 1997 there was a ABM test that used an
unrealistically small number of decoys, only 10, a real enemy would use
between ten and a hundred times as many. Nevertheless the test failed,
the system was hopelessly confused by only 10 decoys and could not find
the warhead. After 3 years of work and billions of dollars they came up with
a solution, dumb down the test. Friday's test had just 1 (ONE!) perfectly
spherical decoy carefully engineered so it had no troublesome irregularities
in its RADAR signature and they made sure it was 10 time as reflective as
the warhead; then they simply programmed the ABM to go after the weaker of
two targets. Needless to say the warhead was not inside a Mylar balloon as
it certainly would be in a real attack unless the enemy was brain dead.

The way this 100 million dollar experiment was set up there is no way it
could yield information that was interesting or useful regardless of how it
turned out. This was not Science, this was a stunt designed to do one thing,
generate good PR. As it turned out it couldn't even do that.

We're not talking about some proof of concept thing, they've been working
on this for decades and say it's ready to come out of the lab and enter
the real world, but this is the best they could do. Dismal failure or not
the promoters want to spend 60 billion (200 billion after the inevitable cost
overruns) and build phase one of the stupid thing right now. When that
fails they'll want to fix it by going to phase 2, and then you're talking
trillions not billions. Besides being such a drain on the economy that the
current prosperity could come to an end, a system that didn't work would
actually increase the probability of war. After spending all that money
our technologically illiterate leaders might start to believe their own press
releases and figure, incorrectly, that they could safely strike first and get
rid of a certain pest once and for all; the other side might figure, incorrectly,
that they're doomed unless they strike first before it's completed.

               John K Clark

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