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Ballistic Missile Defence... against who?

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posted on Aug, 8 2006 @ 01:42 PM
With N. Korea having recently (tried) to flex it's ICBM capability, and the debate over weather or not missile defense could work, I have to ask.... who are we defending ourselves from?

A defensive program against Russian or Chinese arsenals is out: they've got too many missiles for missile defense to handle - a saturation strike would put too many warheads in the air for us to target... there's no plans to build enough interceptors to make that kind of defense viable..

There's some thought that missile defense could act as backup to a US-launched nuclear first strike: we could knock out most of Russia/China's inventory, and missile defense could handle what little was left. But this doesn't hold up either because 1) any signs of serious hostilities would prompt Russia/China to disperse their arsenals, making targeting them difficult and 2) even if we could neutralize the remaining ICBMS, there remain alternatives (Bombers, Cruise Missiles, and SLBMS) that our missile defense offers no protection from. And only a few nukes on major cities would make "victory" far too costly.

The alternative explanation is defense against "rogue states." But who is that exactly?

Iran: Has ICBMS, but nothing in their arsenal could get anywhere near the US. And they have cruise missiles, which could be delivered to the US with far less effort, and against which missile defense would (again) be useless.

North Korea: Usually the poster child for missile defense, their latest test proved two things:

1] They don't know how to build an ICBM yet, and it will be years before they do.
2] Even if they could, they'd have no way of threatening us with it. Their liquid-fueled missiles can't be stored for long periods and take so long to prep. for launch that threatening "nuclear blackmail" with such weapon is laughable - we'd knock the launcher down before they could finish fueling it.

And checking the geopolitical map... that's pretty much everyone who'd want to point an ICBM at us. So back to the main question: ICBM defense spending is the single biggest item in the US defense budget... but who out there is threatening us to justify such an expensive program?

posted on Aug, 8 2006 @ 01:49 PM
Well new threats canemerge at any time remember the Iranian revolution?

I don'tt hink our missile defense is as bad as you think it is.

At the seventh annual space and missile defense conference here, Army Col. Charles Driessnack, THAAD's program manager, said in a speech late Aug. 18 and at a press briefing Aug. 19 that recent tests of the system's Raytheon-built radar have shown that THAAD will have a "residual" capability against intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs).

"We weren't planning to have the ICBM capability," but the radar is "outperforming what we thought it was supposed to do," Driessnack said.

Driessnack said the program plans to start demonstrating the entire system's anti-ICBM capability in about fiscal 2009, after THAAD has been flight-tested against shorter-range threats.


Lockheed Martin Corp.'s winning design for the U.S. Miniature Kill Vehicle (MKVs) program envisions placing as many as "several dozen" small kill vehicles atop a single interceptor missile, a company official said Jan. 8.

Plans call for each MKV to be about 6 to 8 inches in diameter and 10 inches long, or roughly the size of a coffee can, said Doug Graham, vice president of Lockheed Martin Space Systems. By contrast, the Raytheon exo-atmospheric kill vehicle (EKV) now used by the Ground-based Midcourse Defense (GMD) system is about 24 inches in diameter and 55 inches long.


It's not mature yet but i think its going to be better than initially thought.

We could jsut revive SAfeguard/Nike X/Sentinel. but there's a law stating we can'ttest nukes including interceptor. You can harden the radars against EMP. the Safeguard radar was highly resistant to nuclear effects. Thanks to the thick concrete,sloped walls,Shock absorbing design, and high capacity currents which could handle a lot of energy.A faraday cage could also be used. But due to the law it'd be difficult to actually deploy it although these systems almost always guarantee a successful hit.

Anyway I have seen no hard evidence these HTK interceptors won't work. Seeker tech has really come a long way.

Cruise missiles can eb taken care of by MEADS

The Medium Extended Air Defense System (MEADS), is planned to replace Hawk and Patriot systems worldwide. MEADS will protect maneuvering forces and fixed installations against attack by current and next-generation tactical ballistic missiles, low and high altitude cruise missiles, remotely piloted vehicles, maneuvering fixed wing aircraft and rotary wing aircraft. The total system is designed for rapid deployment and tactical mobility.


[edit on 8-8-2006 by urmomma158]

posted on Aug, 8 2006 @ 02:12 PM
The current Republican version of SDI - Star Wars - as first proposed by nuclear physicist Edward Teller - stay in your field, please - never really died under B41 or C-OK, due to the pressure on Congress by the military industrial complex.

When B43 ascended to the presidency, say thank you Supreme Court, he moved quickly to restore the “vision” of RR, who was notorious for sleeping through his meetings. B41, the old CIA boss, was always willing to “run the show.” Say Ollie North and Iran Contra. And etc.

It is a boondoggle of the most humongous proportions. It is so hard to kill a program that offers “earmarks” to 50 or 60 Congressional districts. It’s Leadership. A lucky nation that has honest leaders. Few ever do and even of them, not all their people appreciate how lucky they are.

Yes, good leaders are a matter of luck. I give you England’s Chamberlain replaced by Churchill. I give you France’s Marshal Petan replaced by Charles De Gaulle. I give you Germany’s Adolph Hitler replace fo Konrad Adenauer. I give you America’s Herbert Hoover replaced by Franklin Roosevelt. And etc.

Luck, in every case. Bad luck followed by good luck. As in Clinton followed by B43.

[edit on 8/8/2006 by donwhite]

posted on Aug, 8 2006 @ 02:28 PM
As a point of contemporary national policy, I agree with the idea. I think that we really will see a need for a consistent national missile defense by the end of this century. It's going to be hard to develop, which means we should get busy with it now. Like so many other things we''ll ever do, this won't be cheap.

posted on Aug, 8 2006 @ 03:01 PM

Originally posted by urmomma158
Well new threats canemerge at any time remember the Iranian revolution?

Actually, I wasn't alive for that...

Fortunatly, I did pay attention in history class.

That aside, you can place me with the group of people who think missile defense can work. The problems our interceptors are suffering - data glitches, booster seperation failure, etc. - are technical problems which can be overcome with time and money. The concept itself is sound (SM-3 seems to prove this with its many succesfull tests).

The question is: why the rush? Where's the threat? ICBMs take years and massive funding to develop... and that's if you've got the USA's budget. And it's easy enough to watch the test flights and see "how the other guy is doing." I can't see a situation where, "... and suddenly they had ICBMs!" is at all likely. N. Korea is the only candidate threat, and their weapons are of an obsolete design that doesn't pose much of a threat anyways.

Who out there is threatening us with ICBMs such that we're rushing the installation of a still unproven defense system, "right now, just in case?" That's what I'm curious to know...

posted on Aug, 8 2006 @ 10:00 PM
Thankfully, there is no immediate threat "right now." In 20 years, it'll be different. It may take us that long to get this technology to work. Right now, weapons research us "up," but it will soon be "down." We need to push for all the years of upward finding we can get, knowing that we will face any number of low funding years.

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