Saturday, April 28, 2007

Separated at birth

or Napolean and the Tsar. That ended badly too.


Anonymous said...

Putin does sound like some of the Soviet era leaders, but, sometimes his remarks are not without reason.

For example, the recent efforts on the part of Bush and CO to put a missile defense system right outside Russia's doorstep has provoked a predictable response from Russia -- or at least what was predicted by those who know something about the issue (which pretty much excludes anyone in the Bush administration, which has had nothing but contempt for arms control treaties, withdrawing as they did from the ABM treaty, for example.

The worst part is, people who actually know something about the missile defense issue (MIT's Ted Postol, for example) know that the kind of system being fielded by Bush and CO (a mid-course intercept system) will most likely be easily undermined with relatively simple countermeasures by any adversary with the wherewithal to produce an ICBM.

There is considerable doubt that even a boost-phase intercept system would be effective against a solid-fuel propelled rocket, since there might not be enough time to track and destroy the rocket before the burn is completed.

Anonymous said...

In many wyas it doesn't matter if the defence works: any potential adversary will have to assume that it will and increase its own arsenal to compensate.

Then I understand that USA is currently contemplating using conventional ICBM:s as a weapons against "terrorists", and I can imagine few better ways to start WWIII than first designing a missile shield that *might* be good enough to defeat a second strike and then start launching ICBM:s yourself.

Anonymous said...

"In many wyas it doesn't matter if the defence works: any potential adversary will have to assume that it will and increase its own arsenal to compensate"

Unfortunately, while countries like Russia will simply keep lots of missiles on alert to ensure that they can overwhelm such a system, it is not true that others would have to have to defeat the system with sheer numbers.

In the case of a mid-course intercept system (like the one that is being "deployed"), there are very simple countermeasures that can be used (eg decoys deployed from the missile, along with the warhead) to make it virtually impossible to identify and destroy the warhead itself. MIT physicist Ted Postol, a missile expert, has thoroughly analyzed this this as have scientists at UCS and elsewhere. They have all reached the same conclusion: mid course interception will not be effective.

So, basically, with the missile defense system as proposed (and perhaps even with a booster phase intercept), you get the worst of all results. The rogue states like N Korea will simply add countermeasures to defeat the system while adversaries like Russia will maintain (rather than reduce) their numbers.

And finally, it gives the US a false sense of security that they can defeat one or a few incoming missiles.

Anonymous said...

IMHO the proposed system is quite effective. It's just that its actual goals are rather different than the purported ones.

Anonymous said...

If you mean to line the pockets of "defense" contractors, I agree.

For that purpose, the system is very effective, as is the Iraq war.

Some people get very rich by selling the American public things that do not work (and would appear to have no qualms doing so).