Re: go interceptors!

From: Mike Lorrey (
Date: Mon Jul 16 2001 - 08:52:34 MDT

John Clark wrote:
> Justin Corwin <> Wrote:
> >if a rifle could shoot another bullet out of the air, i would be pretty
> >impressed with it, even in a staged arena.
> I'd be impressed too, it would be a wonderful show. What would it
> have to do with defending your land against an enemy army? Zilch.

If you can build an automated system that deals with them, then it does.
Equipping each soldier with a bullet backtrack system (which is, in
fact, a proven technology, just not portable at this time) allows them
to sight the source and take it out.

> >defensive technology has lagged behind offensive tech since crossbows went
> >through medieval armor.
> I agree, I wish it were different but that's the way it is and I see no signs of that
> changing for the better. H bombs are just too big, too numerous, and too cheap,
> there is no defense against them.
> >nukes are expensive,
> Nukes are dirt cheap, during the cold war there were about 100,000 on this small
> planet and there could be that many again or more if this idiotic star wars thing gets built.

Says who? Nations who claim to have no desire to initiate attack against
others can demonstrate their word in deeds by eliminating their nuclear
stockpiles and only having defensive systems, thus setting a moral
example for other nations to follow. This is where public opinion can
and does have great impact, as much as it has for the land mine issue.

> >blowing one up is a big reduction in enemy asset
> Not so, most H bombs would just shake the charred bones and rubble around anyway.
> If 99.9% fail to reach their target it doesn't matter, .1% is more than enough to kill a nation,
> any nation. The defense must be virtually 100% perfect or it's not worth building.
> Conclusion: it's not worth building.

Not so, John. If an H-bomb costs $10 million, and a country has 10,000
of them, thats a $100 billion asset. Lets say an H bomb can cause $1
billion in damage, on average, then an attacker would have to get at
least 100 through a defensive system to break even on the cost/benefit
of the attack (this is assuming the defender doesn't reply with an
attack of its own). If the attacker throws all 10,000 bombs into the
attack, then with a 99.9% defensive rate, only 10 bombs get through,
doing $10 billion in damage, which is a return on investment of -90%.

Now, lets say that the defensive system is only 90% effective, so that
1000 bombs get through, doing $1 trillion in damage, the immediate
return is 1000%, but the attacker doesn't have their own defensive
system, and the defender replies with their own attack of only 2000
bombs, at a cost of $20 billion, doing $2 trillion in damage to the
enemy, for a return of 10,000% on the investment, and doing double the
damage to the enemy for 1/10th of the cost. Thus, the deterrent value of
a smaller nuke force is amplified by a defensive system by a great
degree. Nations with defensive systems can afford to reduce their
nuclear arsenals.

If every major power has the same or similar technology, then the
deterrent value of each remains the same, and each finds it more cost
effective to reduce their nuclear arsenals while beefing up their
defensive system to be more effective.

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