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Missile Interceptor Fired from Japanese Destroyer  (Source: Reuters)
Japanese destroyer shoots down incoming ballistic missile

Since the Reagan era, the United States has wanted to develop a system that could defeat ballistic missiles in the air before they were able to impact their targets. This concept was part of what was dubbed the “Star Wars” program during Reagan’s tenure.

It has taken many years and lots of effort, but the system Reagan envisioned is now becoming reality. The main difference is that rather than using lasers to intercept ballistic missiles in-flight, other missiles are more commonly used.

Japanese and U.S. officials announced a successful test where a Japanese destroyer, the Kongo, used the Aegis shipboard radar and tracking system and Standard Missile-3 interceptors to destroy an incoming ballistic missile.

Reuters reports that this is the first successful test of a ballistic missile shield by a U.S. ally. This missile detection and defense system will be used to protect Japan and Taiwan from missiles with nuclear, biological or chemical warheads. The system is needed in the area due to the missile tests being performed by North Korea and the growing ballistic missile threat from China.

The test was a joint operation between Japanese and American forces. The simulated ballistic missile was launched from an American missile range in Kauai, Hawaii. The missile fired in the test was of similar size and speed to the missiles known to be in the North Korean arsenal. The interception of the ballistic missile by the SM-3 interceptor missile was made about three minutes after the ballistic missile was fired from the U.S. range at an altitude of about 100 miles above the Pacific Ocean.

Japan’s Defense Minister Shigeru Ishiba told Reuters, “We are taking one step at a time. Just because it worked [the missile interception] this time doesn't mean we can rely on it 100 percent.”

American armed forces recently outfitted C130 aircraft with high-energy lasers for destroying targets both in the air and on the ground. This laser system in aircraft could be used to defeat ballistic missiles in flight as well when perfected, providing additional support for the land and sea based missile shield.



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I'm still skeptical
By smitty3268 on 1/2/2008 3:07:55 AM , Rating: 2
that this technology can really work.

OK, so we shot down 1 easy to hit missile that we knew was coming on a specific flight path. Can we shoot down something we don't know is coming? Especially if it launches 15 decoys - the last I heard we had no clue about how to handle that situation, we were just trying to hit something first.




RE: I'm still skeptical
By SlyNine on 1/2/2008 4:30:38 AM , Rating: 4
"one step at a time"


RE: I'm still skeptical
By lompocus on 1/2/08, Rating: -1
RE: I'm still skeptical
By smitty3268 on 1/2/2008 5:02:16 AM , Rating: 1
Actually I know that it hasn't been tested - at least that's what has been said publically, and given that they've been trumpeting even the smallest steps I think it's likely they aren't secretly way ahead of what they've been saying.

Still, the other poster is right - one step at a time. It's just that there are a lot of steps to go.


RE: I'm still skeptical
By SlyNine on 1/2/2008 8:03:14 AM , Rating: 2
I dont know the extent of the testing on different missle defense systems. But their are 3 or is it 4 layers of protection ( not really active yet). Patriot, Thad( somthing like that). Then Ages. They shot a howitzer shell down with a laser. Witch is pretty impressive, and they have those jets with the lasers in them.

I dont think this stuff is to far away from working. But as in anything their will always be a counter. Just as long as we stay one step ahead we will be allright.


RE: I'm still skeptical
By Master Kenobi (blog) on 1/2/2008 11:05:40 AM , Rating: 4
Aegis is the ship based system on most of our cruisers and destroyers. It is completemented by the large intercept radar that just came on line in Alaska, another of which is being built in Europe. There will eventually be spaced based radar also put online in the next few years.

On the interception end we have the Kinetic Hit to Kill missiles based on the west coast of the U.S. as well as several ships in the U.S. (and now Japanese) Navy. There will be interceptor missiles deployed to several European countries as well. Lasers are advancing rapidly and are going to supplement the interceptor missiles we already have. Mounted on 747 Jets, AC-130's, and eventually on Naval ships and/or ground based surface batteries the future is bright indeed for the Star Wars project.


RE: I'm still skeptical
By SlyNine on 1/2/2008 5:42:49 PM , Rating: 2
Thanks for the info. With the laser systems, I wonder if its generating the energy required or is it the materials available holding us back. I've wondered if they were able to do multiple shots in succession with the lasers yet.


RE: I'm still skeptical
By bodar on 1/3/2008 1:25:24 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
the future is bright indeed for the Star Wars project.


Sweet, let me know when we've got Mon Calamari cruisers and freighters that do .5 past light speed.


RE: I'm still skeptical
By chick0n on 1/2/08, Rating: -1
RE: I'm still skeptical
By mdogs444 on 1/2/2008 9:12:02 AM , Rating: 4
quote:
#1 in what? stupidity ?

GDP, Military Technology, need I go on?
quote:
I guess you've been watching too many Fox news.

As opposed to what? Michael Moore documentaries? BBC?
quote:
Russians already have the technology to take down ANY Defense system. it was a major blow to the US, but of course you dont see the information on your TV, consider how *controlling* US media systems are.

LOL - No it doesn't you idiot. No one has the capability to take down ANY DEFENSE SYSTEM. Russia has several versions of surface to air missle defense systems that are targeted towards short range missles. The reports on them are that there is much left to be desired in terms of effectiveness. The US is developing the most advanced defense system to date based on intercontinental ballistic missles - from surface to air, and attached to ships & submarines.
quote:
US still trying to be #1 ? did they all fail history or something? which empire can last forever ? morons just never learned

That would infer that the US is still not the #1 superpower in the world. If you really think otherwise, you are no more than a looney hater who really needs to get his facts straight instead of making swinging statements that are blatently false.
quote:
Welcome to the real world my friend.

Once you make it to the real world, I will say the same thing to you - but we obviously cannot plan on that anytime soon.


RE: I'm still skeptical
By daniyarm on 1/2/08, Rating: 0
RE: I'm still skeptical
By masher2 (blog) on 1/2/2008 11:13:52 AM , Rating: 4
> "That's the advantage, you don't need 10 different systems for 10 different targets"

If you're trying to suggest in any way that Russian ABM systems are even close to as advanced as US technology, you're seriously mistaken.

> "You can never be the best in everything. "

Tell that to the Romans, circa 100 AD.


RE: I'm still skeptical
By chick0n on 1/2/08, Rating: -1
RE: I'm still skeptical
By TomZ on 1/2/2008 1:06:59 PM , Rating: 2
First, Michael isn't employed by DT, AFAIK.

Second, why do you pursue this childish argument? Seriously, arguing about whether the USA is inferior or superior is pointless. Each person will have their own opinion about that.


RE: I'm still skeptical
By masher2 (blog) on 1/2/2008 1:24:00 PM , Rating: 4
Considering I attended graduate school in Russia, your argument seems rather foolish. If you want to convince anyone that Russian ABM technology is superior to the US, you'll need more than this rather weak poisoning the well argument.


RE: I'm still skeptical
By Ringold on 1/2/2008 3:20:35 PM , Rating: 1
I was just recently out of the US for a couple weeks.

Thank god I'm back. Poverty, social immobility, government corruption, a whole myriad of social injustices, indignities and suffering that are virtually unknown to the average American. Not to mention even for the local "middle class" a quality of life that doesn't begin to even tickle the quality of life available to Americans living in "poverty".

Of course, that wasn't exactly Western Europe, but that is how a little less than half the population outside the US lives. If an American would like Europe or not depends on a) how much arrogance annoys them and b) if they're big-government or small government types, so that's a wash.

As for Eastern Europe or Russia, sorry, rather not visit and thereby condone a state that has journalists executed, or has party-sponsored youth summer camps, as the United Russia party does, that sends tens of thousands of teens off to have fun while being fully indoctrinated with party rhetoric. But hey, it's not under "USA control"!


RE: I'm still skeptical
By NT78stonewobble on 1/3/2008 3:04:58 AM , Rating: 2
Ah so you will be making a push in the US to get those christian indoctrination summercamps banned too?


RE: I'm still skeptical
By masher2 (blog) on 1/3/2008 10:15:16 AM , Rating: 2
In the US, those summer indoctrination camps aren't funded by the federal government.


RE: I'm still skeptical
By mars777 on 1/6/2008 4:30:30 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
government corruption, a whole myriad of social injustices


The rest is ok, but these are a well known US problem so you cannot alienate them to other counties.

I'm from Croatia, and we do have government corruption... but never ever would i trade your social laws for ours. Social injustice is what drives the US to progress. If you had social justice you wouldn't be a capitalist country :P


RE: I'm still skeptical
By ninjaquick on 1/2/2008 3:32:51 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah, thats why we have B-2 Lancers (stealth bombers in common folk language, or big friigin wings) which have never lost face to any defense system. And F-22s that could go in to russia, bomb them to hell, and get out before they knew what hit the, Russia is a poor country trying to get back to its cold war glory days.

Not to mention the fact that that radar in alaskacan track pretty much every item in the air around the globe. Yeah, cuz we are inferior.

Oh yeah, and we are inferior cuz we have laser missile defense systems and active railguns to boot. Lets not even mention the technology in one of our Nimitz class aircraft carriers. I wonder how many other countries even have ONE aircraft carrier.

Oh and hey, while im at it, ill just point out how inferior our CONSUMER technologies are, I mean, all weve got are Intel, Nvidia, IBM and a host of other inferior tech companies.

Oh yeah, we are SO inferior.


RE: I'm still skeptical
By CascadingDarkness on 1/2/2008 4:15:59 PM , Rating: 2
I like being an American and I even shook my head at your poor rant.

B-2s are good, and would drop bombs anywhere we wanted, even nukes. I just hope no one sees this as a realistic solution to anything these days.

Nimitz are amazing also, but few countries are large enough, either in manpower or military spending to have floating 5,000 pop cities.

You do neglect to mention that all those consumer technologies are manufactured in China for dirt cheap.

Your argument makes me think of someone who's brain washed, and waves flags in anyone's face. A much more realistic view is that we aren't perfect, but still a damn good country worth believing in.


RE: I'm still skeptical
By mdogs444 on 1/2/2008 4:28:43 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
You do neglect to mention that all those consumer technologies are manufactured in China for dirt cheap.

I think he is just confusing the terms manufactured and invented. Much of the consumer technology of today has been invented in the United States, and modified for manufacturing in China.


RE: I'm still skeptical
By cyclosarin on 1/2/2008 5:37:17 PM , Rating: 2
B2 Spirit, B1 Lancer aka The BONE.


RE: I'm still skeptical
By Gibby82 on 1/3/2008 6:20:51 AM , Rating: 2
Thank you so much clearing that up. I was about to slap somebody. :D


RE: I'm still skeptical
By 1078feba on 1/3/08, Rating: -1
RE: I'm still skeptical
By maven81 on 1/3/2008 11:16:55 AM , Rating: 2
wtf do you want, a medal? reading your boring life story is 5 minutes of my life I'll never get back.
Take away that nonsense and your argument boils down to "you're a moron".
Speaks for itself.


RE: I'm still skeptical
By 1078feba on 1/3/2008 11:57:21 AM , Rating: 2
No, I have plenty of medals.

And what I want back is the 20 minutes I spent trying to get through YOUR incredibly muddled posts.

Post after post after post, you militantly bury your head in the sand. Masher has displayed ungodly amounts of patience with you. It's all well and good to have opinions, but at the very least, try to base those opinions on facts. You completely hijack a thread, which would be excusable if anything you had to say was at least tangential to reality, and when called on it, your tone gets increasingly pissy, like you're the guy who got his arse kicked all over the playground as a kid.

I respect your passion, but try, really hard, to unglue yourself from your emotions and subjectively go back and read what you have posted again. If your parents did any quality work at all in raising you, you'll feel more than just a bit embarrassed...


RE: I'm still skeptical
By 1078feba on 1/3/2008 12:05:46 PM , Rating: 2
And one other thing. The reason why I typed up all my "boring" experience is to combat that "Americans have no international experience" intellectual claptrap. It's preposterous. I'm tired of it. I have more passports filled up with entry and exit visas than 90 % of Europe. The condescension has got to stop. If all you have to explain your position is emotion, the just shut up.


RE: I'm still skeptical
By maven81 on 1/3/2008 12:27:49 PM , Rating: 2
Ok here's the deal, and this will be my last post in this thread I promise...

Your post is the definition of irony. It has nothing at all to do with the subject of missile defense, or how it effects geopolitics. It's muddled, tangential, and when called on it you bring in my parents into the equation, which has nothing to do with anything. All it says to me is "masher rules, and everyone that disagrees with him sucks". Moving on...

I've come to the conclusion that Masher, you, and I, clearly don't see the same world. To Masher everything is black and white... good or bad. Countries, actions, people, foreign policies... they are either great, or just plain wrong. There's only 1 side to every story, etc.
The real world is not like that, it's all gray... today's enemies, can be tomorrow's friends, or vice versa. Policies that seem like a good idea at the moment can prove to be a disaster years later. The government doesn't always do the right thing, and doesn't always have your best interest in mind. People that are considered heroes by some may be considered villains by others. If anything, it's this blind faith in having all the right facts that can be considered putting your head in the sand. I respect his opinions. He's clearly a very well educated man. But one that has a very one sided view of the world.


RE: I'm still skeptical
By masher2 (blog) on 1/3/2008 12:55:49 PM , Rating: 2
> "To Masher everything is black and white... good or bad. "

Talk about a muddled, tangential, and puerily inchoate version of my remarks!

Not everything is black or white. The Soviet Union, however, up to about the mid 1960s, was very black indeed. It was indeed an evil empire, responsible for far more loss of innocent civilian life than even Hitler. Saying "both sides in the cold war" were equal is ignorant beyond belief.

> " today's enemies, can be tomorrow's friends"

That might explain why, despite my opinion of the Soviet Union, I chose to live in and go to school in Russia, eh?


RE: I'm still skeptical
By 1078feba on 1/3/2008 12:56:31 PM , Rating: 2
It's nice to see you calm down a bit.

quote:
Your post is the definition of irony. It has nothing at all to do with the subject of missile defense, or how it effects geopolitics. It's muddled, tangential, and when called on it you bring in my parents into the equation, which has nothing to do with anything.


That term irony, I don't think it means what you think it means.

And my post was never meant to be about missile defense or it's geopolitical repercussions. It was about your total lack of grasp of simple facts. I verbally slapped you upside the head to get your attention to let you know that all your posts say to me is "I am incapable of dispassionate rational thought."

It's not that I see eveything in black and white, though I will grant you that perhaps I lean that way more than you do.

It your refusal to see ANYTHING in black and white.

It most assuredly is NOT "all gray".

Of course there's gray involved. I have been to too many places in this world and seen people that have the same problems we have here in the states and solve them with vastly different means than we do to be that close-minded. But there are times when decisions have to be made, and made on imperfect or incomplete data.

That's just the way life is.

To sit back and armchair-quarterback it is, again, suicidally myopic.

Nice conversing with you...


RE: I'm still skeptical
By Rebel44 on 1/2/2008 11:58:18 AM , Rating: 2
If you mean S-400 - its not been tested against real world targets so its just that russians claim that it can shoot down everything...

Not to mention typical "reliability" of russians weapons.


RE: I'm still skeptical
By JimFear on 1/2/2008 12:42:00 PM , Rating: 2
"American Technology, Russian Technology...ALL MADE IN TAIWAN!!"

:)

Don't forget though, as unreliable as they may be their weapons give you a run for what they're worth. MIG's and SU's are some of the most manouverable jets out there.


RE: I'm still skeptical
By ninjaquick on 1/2/2008 3:38:35 PM , Rating: 2
tell that to united defense systems. lockheed martin, northrop grumman, intel (main fab in oregon), boeing. The list goes on and on.

Im not really dissing you tho, im just kinda making a point to the ppl who might think ur actually serious.

The migs and SUs are great. but since the decline of the soviet union they have slowly lost ground to the american As and Fs.


RE: I'm still skeptical
By chick0n on 1/2/08, Rating: -1
RE: I'm still skeptical
By masher2 (blog) on 1/2/2008 1:30:36 PM , Rating: 4
> "still using Magnetic card(Metrocard) in NYC ? In other countries like Hong Kong, they've been using smartchips for over 10 years. wooo I mean, how advance can it be? "

Are you seriously suggesting the US isn't "advanced" because the NYC subway doesn't use smart cards? Are you trying to embarrass yourself?

In any case, you're wrong. NYC adopted the "SmartLink" card a few months ago...and cities like Washington DC have been using them for nearly 10 years.


RE: I'm still skeptical
By mdogs444 on 1/2/2008 1:45:02 PM , Rating: 5
quote:
GDP? that system suck, its just a bogus news to keep the investors happy. Government does it all the time. reminds me of the Phantom console.

The GDP is a measure of how much product is produced in country - in which we have the largest in the world.
quote:
Oh yeah I know 1 more thing that the US can claim themself to be #1, Debt. How much money does this PoS Country owe ? Want me to go on ?

Yes, please do go on. Because the national debt is supposed to be xx% of your GDP. Look at other countries % of debt to GDP - in which several European countries are eaqual - if not more in debt than what they produce. In other words - brush up on your Macroeconomics and government studies before making a stupid statement like that.
quote:
I think I would rather watch Michael Moore's documentaries than watching Fox talk about how wonderful USA is.

Only to further what I said is true.
quote:
he is just point out something that MOST americans refused to accept.

Like what - how good socialized medicine is? What a laugh.
quote:
I dont think US was ever #1. they claim themselfs to be. but not really. they're still afraid of Russians, still afraid of China, and now, EU.

Obviously to you, the military & economic/GDP dominance play no role in that justification.
quote:
Sorry, but I'm pretty sure I got to the real world

Obviously you havent, you aren't even sure about it to begin with.


RE: I'm still skeptical
By ninjaquick on 1/2/2008 3:41:03 PM , Rating: 1
Oh yeah, GDP sucks, that why everyone in the worl has it. Gross Domestic Product. Definetly obsolete. mmhmm


RE: I'm still skeptical
By ninjaquick on 1/2/2008 3:52:24 PM , Rating: 2
Oh i wanna add so much more. So so much more. Lets not figure in Russias Debts and the fact the chinese are just a passing fad (just you wait and see, if you build an economy on crap, it will be reduced to its foundation. Taiwan is where the $$$ is at (im one of the ppl who believe it deserves to be its own nation)

I remember there was this time where there were this two countries that held all the world's money and power.. hmm, i dont remember who came out on top. Oh i just remembered, The US did. I guess thats why english is the language of international economy, and the dollar is the currency. It sure as hell aint russian, or chinese.

Where do we use M4s? That puzzled me the most. Sorry to break the news, but the US Army and Marines use M-16s, a very high accuracy automatic rifle. You would be suprised at how little they jam in comparison to the AKs, You never hear about AK-47s jamming because the ppl who go to war with them wind up dead before it can happen.

If you really wanna know something less current eventish, compare US and north Vietnamese casualties in the vietnam war. remember, vietnam had the russian made guns, and the Americans had the M16s.

The school bus is waiting for you outside, dont forget your "im a brainwashed noob" lunchbox on the way out.


RE: I'm still skeptical
By CascadingDarkness on 1/2/2008 4:59:36 PM , Rating: 2
I'm unsure how comparing rifles really proves anything. I'll give you that AK is a solid design that one is hard pressed to break. It's also heavy, and not as accurate as CS Source will lead you to believe.

This argument might have score more points around Vietnam era, but these days guns based on original M16 are significantly improved, lighter, and quite accurate. They are also very versatile in equiping, and in close combat.

I'm hoping English is your second language, or you have yet to leave junior high level schooling because your posts are awful. This is just a pure prediction, but I suspect you in fact learned English while playing CS Source where you had AK frenzy drilled into you. Am I right?


RE: I'm still skeptical
By SlyNine on 1/2/2008 5:55:21 PM , Rating: 2
I think he was saying that in Vietnam we had a huge Kill ratio advantage vs people with AK's.

The only problem with the M16 and AK there was the fact they were shooting threw tree's , However this is just my precived advantage as I do not really know how effective that was.


RE: I'm still skeptical
By Gibby82 on 1/3/2008 6:33:01 AM , Rating: 2
M4's are commonly used now as they are smaller and offer better maneuverability in close quarters/urban combat. They are also lighter.

M16's are still used however.

Special Forces is going to start using an H&K upgraded version of the M4. It's actually an amazing weapon.

Having fired the M16 and M4 many times, I have nothing but faith in the design. An effective weapon is one the troop has been properly trained to use, and I have no doubt the US military provides excellent training in that regard.

In short, to for anyone to say the M4/M16 is an unreliable weapon just shows their immense lack of knowledge on the subject.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heckler_&_Koch_HK416
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M4_Carbine
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M16_rifle
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AK-47


RE: I'm still skeptical
By fictisiousname on 1/2/2008 9:26:38 AM , Rating: 4
"OK, so we shot down 1 easy to hit missile that we knew was coming on a specific flight path. Can we shoot down something we don't know is coming?"

Yes. Bear in mind that Radar is used to target the incoming missile, which cues the interceptor to be at a certain point in order to be at the same point of the specific flight path as the incoming missile. In reality, it's an extension of the Radar controlled Anti aircraft Guns used to intercept V-2 Rockets. Only the distance and speed of the objects are changed.

"Especially if it launches 15 decoys - the last I heard we had no clue about how to handle that situation, we were just trying to hit something first."

There are at least two systems designed to target missiles while they are in Boost phase, before they can release any decoys. Also, decoys CAN be discriminated against...although there are ways to counteract that as well.


RE: I'm still skeptical
By masher2 (blog) on 1/2/2008 11:16:09 AM , Rating: 3
> "Especially if it launches 15 decoys - the last I heard we had no clue about how to handle that situation, we were just trying to hit something first"

The US BMDO has already conducted several tests which included decoys. Decoy discrimination is an essential part of the system.


RE: I'm still skeptical
By maven81 on 1/2/2008 1:55:54 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
In reality, it's an extension of the Radar controlled Anti aircraft Guns used to intercept V-2 Rockets


I think you mean V-1. Nothing could shoot down a V-2.


RE: I'm still skeptical
By masher2 (blog) on 1/2/2008 2:05:26 PM , Rating: 2
Actually, one V-2 actually was shot down...but only because it was observed while taking off by an American bomber...a fluke unlikely to be repeated:

http://www.cdiss.co.uk/Documents/Uploaded/Missile%...


Question
By AlexWade on 1/2/2008 11:49:44 AM , Rating: 2
Maybe this was answered in the litany of posts. Russia has been pitching a pure living hissy fit about this missile defense shield. Why? Why does Russia care that we are deploying a purely weapon to defend and never to attack? I realize that some of the anti-missile sites are near Russia. But again, why do they care about a defense-only device? I never understood that.




RE: Question
By masher2 (blog) on 1/2/2008 11:57:46 AM , Rating: 5
Quite simply, because a good deal of Russia's military prestige stands on its ability to destroy any nation on Earth-- including the US-- at a moment's notice. With a working missile defense shield, Russia loses that ability.

The long-standing policy of Mutual Assured Destruction (MAD) was predicated on holding the lives of innocent civilians hostage for the good behaviour of their leaders. Thank god that era is coming to an end...whether Russia likes it or not.


RE: Question
By Terberculosis on 1/2/08, Rating: 0
RE: Question
By masher2 (blog) on 1/2/2008 1:36:49 PM , Rating: 2
> "I, for one, am ecstatic that the US will no longer be held to anyones standards of good behavior. "

The question isn't whether the US should be held to a standard or not, but what actions should be taken if another country feels the US hasn't met that standard.

The lack of an ABM shield means Russia-- and soon, China-- will be able to annihilate a few million innocent American civilians in retaliation. Maybe you think that's a valid response, but I don't believe it is.


RE: Question
By maven81 on 1/2/2008 2:00:49 PM , Rating: 2
As has been pointed out to you already, maybe knowing that there will be retaliation is a GOOD thing. It makes you stop and think about what you're doing, and whether you want to deal with the consequences. Russia and China know this as well... so why would they launch an attack knowing the US will launch their own missiles?
Or are you implying that we should have the ability to strike anyone without any fear of retaliation? If so, you're quite a piece of work.


RE: Question
By masher2 (blog) on 1/2/2008 2:11:24 PM , Rating: 2
> " maybe knowing that there will be retaliation is a GOOD thing"

A responsible, civic-minded leader would never launch nuclear weapons for fear of retaliation, given. However, nations are not always governed by responsible, civic-minded leaders.

> "so why would they launch an attack knowing the US will launch their own missiles?"

Why would Japan launch an attack against Pearl Harbor, knowing the US will retaliate? Why would the Austro-Hungarian empire invade to start WWI, knowing other nations would soon retaliate?

Wars happen. This is simple historical fact. If unstoppable nuclear-tipped ICBMS exist, they will eventually be used in a wartime situation. This is also simple fact. They were *almost* used several times already, despite MAD. The nation that MAD is some sort of perfect, foolproof scenario is fuzzy-headed wishful thinking at its worst.


RE: Question
By maven81 on 1/2/08, Rating: 0
RE: Question
By masher2 (blog) on 1/2/2008 3:10:13 PM , Rating: 3
> "Don't you see? Because they thought exactly the way you do"

While this is an excellent example of circular logic, you still miss the point. People DO think this way...and they will, regardless of whether or not we build a missile defense shield.

History teaches us one clear lesson. Every military technology is eventually used in battle. To believe this is somehow not true for nuclear ICBMs is childishly silly. They're eventually going to be fired at us and/or our allies. We best be prepared for that day.

> "If two militaries are very evenly matched this deters either side from initiating war "

Unfortunately the word "deter" does not mean "prevent". Historically, thousands upon thousands of conflicts were started by forces that eventually wound up losing the conflict. This is simple, inescapable fact. Governments don't always act rationally...and often, a leader will intentionally act in a manner that runs counter to the best interests of their nation...especially if it benefits them personally.

> "In WW1 this wasn't such an issue because leaders were crazy enough to throw away millions of lives."

Ah, so after thousands of years, people have "wised up", and war is no longer a possibility? Or has there been some sudden genetic shift in our composition?

People today are no different than ever. Wars will still happen. Any nation which forgets that threatens its very existence.


RE: Question
By maven81 on 1/2/08, Rating: -1
RE: Question
By masher2 (blog) on 1/2/2008 5:53:14 PM , Rating: 2
> "You also seem to forget that Russia wasn't even planning on building nuclear weapons until the US build them and shoved them in their face"

Oops, nothing could be further from the truth. The Soviet Nuclear weapons program began in 1943, long before the US tested its first device. One of the Soviet's top military goals, in fact, at the end of WW2 was to seize German materials and scientists associated with both nuclear and ballistic missile programs.

And let's not forget that Germany began its nuclear weapons program in 1939, even before WW2 began. Are you going to blame the US on that one also?

History proves you wrong a thousand times over. Nations will always seek new military technology. Our government has a clear responsibility to defend us against ballistic missiles. Pretending the threat doesn't exist is a very poor way to do that.

> "10 times that a missile shield will make us safer doesn't make it true. It invites other countries to build bigger and better offensive weapons."

If other nations could afford to do so, they might. However, nuclear weapons are vastly expensive. Even if the US wasn't the richest nation on Earth, other nations couldn't afford to throw away thousands of nuclear warheads, merely to have them blocked by what will ultimately be very cheap kinetic-kill vehicles.

The best way to prevent the proliferation of ballstic missiles is to invalidate them. Cheap, widespread ABM technology will do that. Why would any nation spend billions to acquire a weapon system that's easily blocked?

In terms of safety and security, our ABM investment is cheap at ten times the price.


RE: Question
By maven81 on 1/2/08, Rating: 0
RE: Question
By masher2 (blog) on 1/2/2008 7:15:32 PM , Rating: 2
> "Germany had indeed started a program but did not get very far"

You know WHY they didn't get very far? The primary reason was the sabotage efforts of the Allies, which continually stymied the program. One of these, the destruction of the Norwegian heavy water plant, was considered by Britain to be the most important act of sabotage in the entire war.

In any event, the point stands. Blaming world efforts to acquire nuclear weapons on the US is childish dribble, easily disproven by the historical record.

> "Don't forget that at that time all of this stuff was purely theoretical... even the scientists involved had no idea about yield"

Oops, wrong again. Heisenburg was calculating yields in the 1930s, long before the Manhatten Project even got off the ground.

> "Soviet efforts did not begin in earnest until roughly 1945 "

Again, stuff and nonsense. The official program began in 1943, and Stalin was commissioning theoretical work as early as 1939...the same year he learned the Germans had begun.


RE: Question
By maven81 on 1/2/08, Rating: 0
RE: Question
By masher2 (blog) on 1/2/2008 9:31:55 PM , Rating: 2
> "Wrong... the answer was there wasn't much of a program. Research done after the war shows this."

Don't be silly. Germany had not just one program, but two simultaneous ones, one ran by the military and another by civilians. Germany was the first nation in the world to generate artificial fission, and, until Allied sabotage shut down their supply of heavy water in 1942, their project actually led the Allied effort.

In any case, you're trying to divert attention from the real issue here, which is your fallacious belief that other nations in the world only developed nuclear weapons in response to the US program. The size of the German program is irrelevant...Germany attempted to develop nuclear weapons long before the US did. This is simple, unavoidable fact. The nuclear arms race was begun by Germany. The fact that they lost that race changes nothing.


RE: Question
By 91TTZ on 1/2/2008 10:33:15 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
The lack of an ABM shield means Russia-- and soon, China-- will be able to annihilate a few million innocent American civilians in retaliation. Maybe you think that's a valid response, but I don't believe it is.


What do you mean by "soon China"?

China has had the ability to nuke us for about 30 years.


RE: Question
By maven81 on 1/2/2008 1:24:15 PM , Rating: 1
Even the US military doesn't actually believe that this defense shield could do anything to oppose Russia... Because it's painfully obvious that in the actual event of nuclear war no one would launch just one, or even a dozen missiles, they would launch all of them. And not just from land bases either, but ballistic missile subs that could sneak up to the border and shoot point blank. This so called missile shield can no withstand such an attack, so it's rather amusing that you already concluded MAD is over.

What it is is a slap in the face to Russia. An attempt to tip the balance of power. Of course they aren't thrilled about that. And don't tell me that it's actually designed to protect against some rogue states either... Rogue states don't possess the level of technology needed to get an ICBM over to the US. They don't need to! Making a dirty bomb would be far easier, and way more difficult to counteract. Heck, they could put something in a shipping container and ship it over... No one really inspects those things... but no... we have to build some BS ego stroking technology that serves no purpose.


RE: Question
By masher2 (blog) on 1/2/2008 1:54:41 PM , Rating: 2
> "This so called missile shield can no withstand such an attack, so it's rather amusing that you already concluded MAD is over"

I didn't conclude the era is "over", but that it is coming to an end. Which it is. While the *current* US missile shield can in no way prevent a large-scale Russian attack, its easy to see that an expanded system available in a decade or two will be able to.

Why else do you think the Russians oppose it so vehemently, if they didn't realize it would eventually counter their ballistic missile threat?

> "Rogue states don't possess the level of technology needed to get an ICBM over to the US"

Oh really? North Korea already has the ability to reach Alaska....not to mention the thousands of US troops that are stationed in South Korea. US bases are all over the world, and most are well within reach of a rogue state's current or near-future capabilities.

Worse, every year ballistic missile technology becomes more widespread, and both cheaper and easier to acquire for more and more nations. The more nations that get ballistic missiles, the more their neighbors want them too.

Any realistic extrapolation of the future shows that nearly every nation on earth will be able to build long-range ballistic missiles within the next 50 years. Many of those nations will be hostile to the US, and many of them will go through regime changes in a manner that may allow those weapons to be acquired by dissident factions or terrorist elements. A missile defense shield is needed beyond question.

> "Making a dirty bomb would be far easier, and way more difficult to counteract"

This nonsensensical argument has been countered so many times I hate to waste any time on it, but I suppose I must. First of all, so-called "dirty bombs" are a hugely overhyped threat. They're useful for scaring civilians, but they're not going to wipe out a city, much less a whole nation.

Could someone potentially ship a real nuclear weapon to the US without a ballistic missile? Of course. But not only do we have *other* means to protect against that, but those sorts of attacks are slow. They take weeks to plan and execute. A ballistic missile is fast...and, prior to this technology, was 100% unstoppable once lauched.

Had Reagan not had the foresight to initiate the SDI program, we would soon be facing a horrifying future. An ever-increasing group of people would be able to annihilate a large part of the US at the blink of an eye, with absolutely no possibility of stopping it. It was bad enough when only two nations on earth could do this. What do you think it would be like when 50 nations, plus a few well-funded terrorist groups can?

Thankfully we'll never face that future. Technology has stepped in, and will soon render the ICBM impotent.


RE: Question
By maven81 on 1/2/08, Rating: -1
RE: Question
By mdogs444 on 1/2/2008 2:43:18 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
If you honestly believe that it's possible to build a system that will destroy thousands of warheads with a 100% chance of success you are delusional. If even 5 warheads out of a thousand get through the defenses the results would still be catastrophic. And even if you could build such a system people would simply find new and creative ways to destroy us.

And if 5 get through, is that not better than letting all 1000 through?
quote:
Because they know it will lead to a brand new arms race and they don't necessarily want to be a part of that? They will need to replace their older ICBMs with more modern ones, and that costs money. Is it so bad to not to want to go there?!! I don't for a second think that this system will make the US invincible. I also don't understand the need to create a very tense situation and mess up years of new found trust.

Whoa whoa, wait a minute here. Are you actually saying that the United States government "trusts" Russia already? You mean the country who (up until the recent election) was headed by an ex-KGB guy? The same country who is helping build and supply the fuel for Iran's Nuclear wishes? And the same country who recently have been reported in dealing with Iran to sell them forms of missle defense? Wow.
quote:
This North Korea crap has been going on for decades. And even if they could reach Alaska (which has little strategic value anyway...) they know full well they would be incinerated if they were to do such a thing. Bases on the other hand are far easier to attack with conventional means, like you know.. explosives....

Little strategic value? Oil pipeline perhaps? Bases are harder to attack w/ explosives - because you'd need to get close enough to do that. Now a days - good luck with that.
quote:
Reagan was a warmongering idiot.

Thats a pretty stupid statement. Ronald Reagan has notoriously been ranked high on past presidential approval ratings, and is one of the US's most influencial leaders of recent times. It was him who crushed the Soviet Union in the Cold War - without actually going to war...sounds like a War Mongerer to me. Not only besides that, but he is also referred to as one of the most fiscally conservative and fiscally responsible presidents of all time.


RE: Question
By maven81 on 1/2/08, Rating: -1
RE: Question
By masher2 (blog) on 1/2/2008 3:23:01 PM , Rating: 3
> "If the 5 happen to say take out DC and the entire government then I'd say the country would have no choice but to lay down it's arms"

Did you really say that? Thankfully, we'd do no such thing. Contingency plans for the destruction of DC and a substantial part of the civilian government have long existed.

> "Like that will have any significant impact on the military!"

This is getting worse and worse. Do you not realize that oil is one of the most critical logistical assets for the US military...or any other for that matter? And let's not forget the fact that without diesel fuel, most of the US population begins to starve to death within a few days time.

Seriously, learn a little history. One of the primary military goals of WW2 was to acquire and maintain control of strategic oil resources, and deny the enemy the same. Military machines run on oil, even today.

> "And [Reagan] didn't crush the soviet union, Gorbachev did"

Even Gorbachev himself admits that Reagan's ratcheting up of US military spending-- and Soviet efforts to match-- are one of the primary factors which led to the downfall of the USSR.


RE: Question
By maven81 on 1/2/2008 3:52:19 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Did you really say that? Thankfully, we'd do no such thing. Contingency plans for the destruction of DC and a substantial part of the civilian government have long existed.


Sure, during the cold war they did. These days? I believe some of the bunkers that were built are no longer operational, but Ringold's scenario below does ring true.

quote:
This is getting worse and worse. Do you not realize that oil is one of the most critical logistical assets for the US military


Don't be silly. I was refering specifically to Alaska here. Of course oil is required for the military, but take away Alaska and it's not like the military ceases to function. In a hypothetical war situation, I bet it would have a pretty small effect, as there's still the gulf of mexico, texas itself, not to mention all the imported oil. Wiping out Alaska certainly would not be a decisive blow that would get anyone to surrender...

quote:
Even Gorbachev himself admits that Reagan's ratcheting up of US military spending-- and Soviet efforts to match-- are one of the primary factors which led to the downfall of the USSR.


I don't recall him saying that, but even if he did it doesn't change the fact that the USSR was hopeless even without reagan. Though don't forget that it lasted longer then Reagan's presidency. And had Gorbachev been supplanted in that coup, could have lasted a few years longer still...


RE: Question
By Ringold on 1/2/2008 3:38:08 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
If the 5 happen to say take out DC and the entire government then I'd say the country would have no choice but to lay down it's arms.


At no time is the entire civilian leadership in a single location known to anybody. The worst that could happen, a successful strike during a State of the Union address, would still leave the executive branch with a clear line of succession -- though it would be somewhat reminiscent of Battlestar Galactica, where the Secretary of Education could end up with the job.

Furthermore, even if they did, the military would quite happily continue to kick ass regardless of the condition of the White House.

quote:
By republicans sure. And he didn't crush the soviet union, Gorbachev did, and his predecessors set the stage for it. They could not sustain the status quo, reagan or no reagan.


Thankfully for Reagan acolytes, he was not a one-trick pony, such as successfully restraining the size of government during a time where other developed nations saw the size of theirs surge.

You also complete ignored, probably quite intentionally, the not insignificant number of "Reagan Democrats"; ie, Southern Democrats of a more traditional small-government stock, not entirely unlike I suppose Lieberman, a Democrat who wants to be a Democrat but has been left behind in the center as the party surges left.

At least, he used to be a Democrat. He apparently wasn't Bolshevik enough, so he got kicked out of the little leftist sand box.


RE: Question
By masher2 (blog) on 1/2/2008 2:44:20 PM , Rating: 2
> "a system that will destroy thousands of warheads with a 100% chance of success..."

A 100% chance of success isn't required. From a perspective of saving lives, every single missile that's shot down is a success, no matter how many get through.

From a political/military perspective, a 100% success rate isn't required either. Russia would certainly never expend its entire, exhorbitantly expensive ICBM fleet of thousands of warheads, simply on the hopes that 5 or so might get through. Certainly not when the US would retain its own fleet.

> "even if you could build such a system people would simply find new and creative ways to destroy us."

Another example of fallacious thinking, equivalent to a housewife saying "why should I clean the house, when it'll just get dirty again?"

Face facts. People around the world are going to think up new and creative ways to destroy us whether or not we build this defense shield. The plain truth is that ICBMs already exist, and are a clear threat to our safety.

> "I don't for a second think that this system will make the US invincible. "

Invincible? No, of course not. It'll simply mean our children can go to sleep at night, knowing they can't be annihilated at a moment's notice by some dictator halfway around the globe.

> "even if [North Korea] could reach Alaska (which has little strategic value anyway..."

Don't be obtuse. North Korea can reach Alaska today. As their technology improves, they'll soon be able to reach California, and then the entire nation.

And, of course, Kim Jong-Il has *already* been selling missile technology to other nations. Do you really think he won't export Taepodong 3?

> "Bases on the other hand are far easier to attack with conventional means, like you know.. explosives...."

Err, a nuclear warhead IS an explosive device. An enormously large and compact one. That's why they're so useful. You can't build a truck large enough to carry 100,000 tons of TNT, now can you?


RE: Question
By maven81 on 1/2/08, Rating: -1
RE: Question
By masher2 (blog) on 1/2/2008 3:47:17 PM , Rating: 2
> "And no I don't think Kim Jong-Il will start selling his top of the line ICBMs to people"

Oops, Jong-Il has *already* been proven to be doing this:

http://yaleglobal.yale.edu/display.article?id=1546

> "so you went from neutralizing all ICBMs everywhere...to stopping most ICBMs and saving lives..."

No. My original statement was that the US missile shield is on the verge of ending the MAD era. A statement which is true, and one which hasn't changed in the least.

A missile shield that stops the vast majority of a largescale enemy attack is not only well worth every penny, it is capable of effectively neutralizing the geopolitical effects of that assault.

> "So you actually believe that all out nuclear war is survivable?! wow..."

Must you really descend into puerile hyperbole? An attack on the US in which only 5 missiles actually reach their target (your original statement) is most assuredly survivable.

> "The point is, don't create the mess, and you won't have to clean it up afterwards."

In case you haven't noticed, the "mess" is already created. Russia already possesses a nuclear fleet capable of annihilating the US, and dozens of other nations are working on building or acquiring ballistic missile technology. They're going to do so whether or not we deploy an ABS shield, a fact you continue to ignore.

> "I guess that living in NYC I should be going to sleep every night in fear that someone will drop a nuke on my doorstep?"

For much of hte cold war, many people in NYC did indeed live in that fear. And a very real fear it was. And that was when just one nation could strike the city. What will it be like when 50 countries and a few terrorist groups can?


RE: Question
By cyclosarin on 1/2/2008 6:14:08 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
So you actually believe that all out nuclear war is survivable?! wow...


It is. Very easy to do so actually. If you have a couple of dosimeters I can tell you exactly how long you would need to be sheltered after peak fallout too. The cool thing about nuclear war, is that it is quite literally a science.


RE: Question
By masher2 (blog) on 1/2/2008 2:56:39 PM , Rating: 2
> "[it] brought the country arguably even closer to annihilation in the 80s then it did during the cuban missile crisis"

Honestly, do you really want to go on record with such silliness? The situation in the early 1980s wasn't even in the same order of magnitude as the Cuban Missle Crisis, a fact proven not only by western documents, but declassified Soviet archives revealed after the fall of the USSR.

> "Reagan was a warmongering idiot"

An idiot who, as another poster points out, ended the Cold War without firing a shot.

Clinton, on the other hand, initiated military strikes and/or full-scale invasions in Afghanistan, Sudan, Iraq, Bosnia, Serbia, Somalia, Haiti, and a few other places. But those were all in the name of peace, right?


RE: Question
By maven81 on 1/2/2008 3:40:24 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
Honestly, do you really want to go on record with such silliness? The situation in the early 1980s wasn't even in the same order of magnitude as the Cuban Missle Crisis


Correct, but for all the wrong reasons... in '62 Krustchev was actually bluffing... I believe the total number of missiles he had was not much more then a dozen, and maybe less. Hell the whole point of them placing missiles in cuba in the first place was to balance out the US numerical advantage.
In the 80s the soviet nuclear arsenal was at it's peak! Had Reagan mumbled more crap about the evil empire and pissed them off enough, who knows what would have happened.

quote:
An idiot who, as another poster points out, ended the Cold War without firing a shot.

See above. He did no such thing... all the credit for that should go to Gorbatchev.


RE: Question
By masher2 (blog) on 1/2/2008 4:07:02 PM , Rating: 2
> "Had Reagan mumbled more crap about the evil empire and pissed them off enough, who knows what would have happened."

Wow. According to all your other posts, MAD was a perfect scenario, in which no side would possibly use their weapons. Now you're trying to convince us a few idle remarks by one person could lead to the deaths of tens of millions of innocent civilians.

Perhaps that missile shield isn't such a bad idea after all, eh?

> "all the credit for that should go to Gorbatchev. "

Gorbachev was desperately trying to hold the USSR together, which explains why he held a union-wide referendum on the very issue in early 1991, and campaigned widely in support of it. Gorbachev himself admits that Soviet responses to US military spending increases were a primary factor in the economic collapse of the Soviet Union.


RE: Question
By maven81 on 1/2/2008 5:20:00 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Wow. According to all your other posts, MAD was a perfect scenario, in which no side would possibly use their weapons. Now you're trying to convince us a few idle remarks by one person could lead to the deaths of tens of millions of innocent civilians.


Way to miss the point...
Reagan is the one that destabilized MAD... Up until he came along, the system seemed to be working fine. Suddenly he starts an arms race, insults the other side, and makes MAD uncertain... If you don't see that this created a more dangerous situation, well this whole debate is pointless.

quote:
Gorbachev was desperately trying to hold the USSR together


Don't make me laugh... his policy of openness completely destabilized the regime... decades of pent up frustration started to surface, and this time there was no iron hand in charge to shut up the public sentiment. Once the public realized that they were more or less free to think, say and do what they wanted to, the government lost control over them... and even the military when ordered to shoot at the protesters decided to join them. There was nothing he could have done at that point to keep it together.
For someone that claims to have actually lived there, you sure seem to know very little.


RE: Question
By masher2 (blog) on 1/2/2008 5:40:55 PM , Rating: 2
> "Reagan is the one that destabilized MAD."

This isn't true at all, sorry. Declassified documents show the Soviets were not even remotely consider an attack.

http://www.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/NSAEBB/NSAEBB203/inde...

Their only response was to increase their own military spending...a result that led to their own downfall and a massive increase in the security of the US.

The "danger" lies within your own head only. Within less than a decade of the US beginning serious ABM work, the Soviet Union lay in ruins, and tens of thousands of warheads were no longer targetted at American cities.

> "There was nothing he could have done at that point to keep it together"

Don't misinterpret a very simple statement. To claim Gorbachev "deserves the credit" for bringing about the fall of the USSR is to insinuate he planned, or at least desired to do so. Nothing could be further from the truth. Gorbachev implemented Glastnost as an attempt to hold the USSR together, rather than to force it apart. The simple fact it had an opposite effect than one he intended certainly isn't a mark in his favor.


RE: Question
By maven81 on 1/2/2008 6:19:07 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
This isn't true at all, sorry. Declassified documents show the Soviets were not even remotely consider an attack.


Unless they were attacked first, or felt like they might be attacked, which it seems to me was not out of the question. And if you admit this, then what was all that about NYC being in real danger, and people unable to sleep at night? Are you going to admit that this is nonsense as well?

quote:
Their only response was to increase their own military spending...a result that led to their own downfall and a massive increase in the security of the US.


Right, because their economy was not already in shambles after decades of stagnation... And I feel so much safer today knowing that a bunch of rebels were armed with billions of dollars of top of the line weaponry, and F16s sold to countries like Pakistan...

quote:
The "danger" lies within your own head only. Within less than a decade of the US beginning serious ABM work, the Soviet Union lay in ruins, and tens of thousands of warheads were no longer targetted at American cities.


Sure, arms races are not dangerous, and people can't be provoked... I saw that what happened was a coincidence... The country was already falling apart, the arms race just put the nail in the coffin.

quote:
Don't misinterpret a very simple statement. To claim Gorbachev "deserves the credit" for bringing about the fall of the USSR is to insinuate he planned, or at least desired to do so.


What difference does it make? It happened because of his actions... it doesn't matter if he intended it or not... I say deserves credit because it was a good thing. And you're wrong anyway... he has indeed claimed that it was his desire to destroy the party system. That he didn't foresee the consequences of that, is unfortunate for him, but good for everyone else.


RE: Question
By masher2 (blog) on 1/2/2008 7:27:33 PM , Rating: 2
> "what was all that about NYC being in real danger, and people unable to sleep at night?"

That was during the height of the Cold War, starting from about the point Kruschev made his famous, "we will bury your grandmothers" remark, through the Cuban missile crisis, Vietnam, and up to the mid 1970s, at which point tensions began to ease. It was a very real concern, and the Soviet Union was, at the time, a very real threat to world peace and human rights. A fact its easy to forget these days, particularly for those of who grew up long after the period.

> Unless [the Soviets] were attacked first, or felt like they might be attacked"

So you're recanting your earlier statement that a few idle remarks by Reagan could have initiated WW3? Good, we're starting to make progress then.

> "The country was already falling apart, the arms race just put the nail in the coffin."

And now you admit that Soviet efforts to match Reagan's spending did indeed accelerate the fall. More progress.

> "And you're wrong anyway... he has indeed claimed that it was his desire to destroy the party system"

I'm not wrong. Gorbachev never intended to destroy the Soviet Union as a monolithic entity, which is what I originaly said. He did indeed want to reform the single-party system...but that's a horse of a different color entirely.


RE: Question
By maven81 on 1/2/2008 8:54:01 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
starting from about the point Kruschev made his famous, "we will bury your grandmothers" remark


He never said that. He said "we will bury you", which the ultraparanoid and naive US government interpreted as a direct threat, when in reality he wasn't even talking about the military, he meant that he wanted communism to outrun capitalism. He himself said so. Watch his debate with a visiting Nixon...

quote:
So you're recanting your earlier statement that a few idle remarks by Reagan could have initiated WW3


Are you obtuse? I said they may have reacted if they felt they were in danger... Reagan certainly could have made them feel that they are in danger.


RE: Question
By masher2 (blog) on 1/2/2008 9:56:19 PM , Rating: 2
> "I said they may have reacted if they felt they were in danger... Reagan certainly could have made them feel that they are in danger"

Your exact words were, "Had Reagan mumbled more crap about the evil empire and pissed them off enough, who knows what would have happened?" A clear insinuation that a few chance remarks could have led to war, especially when you also stated Reagan led us "closer to annihilation" than we were during the Cuban missile crisis.

Simply put, you didn't realize these statements contradicted with your belief that MAD was a "safe" environment, in which no nation would ever use nuclear weapons.

> "He said "we will bury you", which the ultraparanoid and naive US government interpreted as a direct threat"

I'm well aware of the debate over the mistranslation of Kruschev's remarks. However, if you believe the US was being "ultraparanoid and naive" by regarding the Soviet Union as a threat, I suggest you revisit history. Start with the invasions of Finland, Hungary, Czechoslavia, and Afghanistan to start, continue with the blockade of Berlin, proxy conflicts in Korea and Vietnam, attacks on China, the crushing control over satellite states, the shocking human rights violations, the tens of millions killed domestically and the assassination of dissidents abroad. Follow with Western Europe's own pleading for US protection against Soviet invasion, and finally, end with the Soviet's own stated goal of world domination.

Anyone who doesn't realize the Soviet regime was the 20th centuries largest threat to freedom, stability, and human rights knows nothing about the period. By 1970, that threat was pretty much gone...but the notion that it never existed is ignorant beyond belief.


RE: Question
By maven81 on 1/3/2008 10:21:50 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Simply put, you didn't realize these statements contradicted with your belief that MAD was a "safe" environment, in which no nation would ever use nuclear weapons.


Reagan ended MAD, understand? I would argue that he started tipping the balance in favor of the US. (though I believe that by then the US actually had more warheads anyway).

quote:
Start with the invasions of Finland, Hungary, Czechoslavia, and Afghanistan to start, continue with the blockade of Berlin, proxy conflicts in Korea and Vietnam, attacks on China


Stop revising history. While I completely agree about Hungary and Czechoslovakia, Afghanistan is something the US dragged them into. Korea and Vietnam were not initiated by them, and while they actually had a small participation in Korea, their involvement in Vietnam was limited to the sale of weapons... same thing the US did in Afghanistan. Frankly, the actions of the US during the cold war were no better... what with regime changes, the support of friendly dictators, weapons sales etc...
You're pretending like they were 100% bad and the US was 100% good, which is nonsense. Both countries screwed up. The cold war was a very dirty business. I'm not saying they weren't bad, I'm saying the US was not angelic.


RE: Question
By masher2 (blog) on 1/3/2008 11:10:54 AM , Rating: 2
> "Reagan ended MAD, understand? "

Of course he did...that's what we've been trying to tell you. And thank god he did, as MAD was an essentially immoral and dangerously destabilizing policy. It's predicated on holding the lives of innocent civilians hostage...an act banned by international law and historical precedent for centuries. Even in its brief span of existence, MAD almost resulted in nuclear war several times.

> "though I believe that by then the US actually had more warheads anyway"

Wrong. The Soviets outstripped the US arsenal during the Carter era. Even though tensions had eased by 1975, they went from 21K weapons to 40K...a massive buildup that Reagan naturally questioned.

> "While I completely agree about Hungary and Czechoslovakia, Afghanistan is something the US dragged them into"

Lol, what is this, a comic-book version of history? The Soviets chose to invade Afghanistan to maintain control of a satellite state. They weren't "forced" into this by the US, or even

> "Korea and Vietnam were not initiated by them"

The Soviets landed troops on the Korean peninsula before the US arrived and, prior to the war itself, the Soviets armed and supplied North Korea to a far larger degree than the US did South Korea, a policy which allowed Kim Il-Sung to go on the offensive.

As for Vietnam, the Viet Minh received more than 1000X the military and financial support from the Soviets than the Afghan mullahs did from the CIA. Yet you see fit to blame the Afgha war on the US, but absolve the Soviets of any responsibility in Vietnam? This is getting sillier and sillier.

> "Frankly, the actions of the US during the cold war were no better... "

And this is the worst yet. Learn a little about history before you make such ridiculous statements. Examine how many millions civilians died in the Soviet Union in slave labor camps. Find out how many were tortured to death, ground in giant meat grinders, and dumped into the Moska River. Learn how many died, shot in the back while trying to escape Berlin or other Soviet-occupied regimes. Find out about how dissidents who DID escape were later tracked down and assassinated by Soviet agents. Learn why NATO war formed, and how many nations begged the US for protection from Soviet invasion. Examine the histories of past Soviet republics, and why they fought so hard to free themselves.

The actions of the two combatants in the Cold War were in no way, shape, or form "equal". The USSR was, in the 1940s-1960s, most assuredly an "evil empire", with the stated goal of world domination, and no qualms whatsoever about how it achieved that goal.


RE: Question
By maven81 on 1/3/2008 11:55:12 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Even in its brief span of existence, MAD almost resulted in nuclear war several times.


That's where you're wrong... Nuclear war almost resulted when attempts were made to change the balance of power...

quote:
Lol, what is this, a comic-book version of history? The Soviets chose to invade Afghanistan to maintain control of a satellite state.


Now I know you're just pulling stuff out of nowhere... Afghanistan was not a satellite state any more then say Egypt was. It was an area they had a relationship with, and ties with sure, but that's about it. It was the Afghan government itself that initiated an internal conflict with a series of regime changes, at this point the soviets wondered whether they should step in to support the regime that they liked... At which point the CIA did their darnest to escalate the conflict into a massive war once the soviet troops came in.

quote:
the Soviets armed and supplied North Korea to a far larger degree than the US did South Korea, a policy which allowed Kim Il-Sung to go on the offensive.


If arming someone is equivalent to initiating a conflict then we've got serious issues...

quote:
As for Vietnam, the Viet Minh received more than 1000X the military and financial support from the Soviets than the Afghan mullahs did from the CIA.


That's a good one... by some estimates the CIA gave what, 1-5 billion dollars? Let's take the middle, 3 billion... You're saying they gave them 3 trillion dollars worth of support?! Their entire economy wasn't worth that much! Besides, you're totally ignoring the roots of the Vietnam conflict... And no one put a gun to the government's head and asked them to get involved did they? Here we have no one to blame but ourselves.

quote:
And this is the worst yet. Learn a little about history before you make such ridiculous statements.


Of course the USSR under stalin was a completely ruthless and evil regime that killed millions of it's own people. Everyone knows that. But after his death the country was controlled by such incompetent and strange characters, that I don't see how they were much of a threat, considering they could barely get their own country to function.
But as time went on, are you disputing the fact that it was a tit for tat? That the US was involved in regime changes, proxy wars, invasions etc? Cuba and Vietnam never happened? There was no collateral damage as a result of US foreign policy?


RE: Question
By masher2 (blog) on 1/3/2008 12:46:52 PM , Rating: 2
> "If arming someone is equivalent to initiating a conflict then we've got serious issues.."

Don't dodge the point. The US didn't fund Afghan mullas until after armed conflict had already begun. The Soviets armed North Korea long before hostilies started, and to a degree hundreds of times as large as the US involvement in Afghanistan.

Yet in one case you blame the US blindly for "sucking in the poor Soviets" and in the other...you also blindly blame the US for "starting the whole thing".

It's pretty clear you simply want to blame the US, no matter what the real facts are.

> "by some estimates the CIA gave what, 1-5 billion dollars?"

No. In 1979- the year the Soviets invaded, CIA assistance was at most a couple million dollars. By 1984 it had swelled to some $30M/year. By 1987, it reached $630M. Total aid might was in the range of $1.5-$2B...but the vast majority of that occurred during the last 3 years of the conflict, long after Soviets initiated the invasion.

Furthermore, the Saudis gave at least as much as the US, and the Chinese, at least in the early years, much more. The Afghan war would have occurred with or without US involvement. Plain and simple fact. The US simply changed who won the war...and, as a result, helped to bring down the Soviet empire.

The Korean War, however, was enabled by Soviet funding, and their arming of North Korea began years before active hostilities. Adjusting their spending to 1987 dollars, the Soviets spent some 400 billion total on the exercise, or about 200X what the US did in Afghanistan (I retract my original estimate of 1000X).


RE: Question
By artbronze on 1/2/2008 10:43:02 PM , Rating: 1
Unbeleivable, and so typically liberal. You would rather credit a Russian than the actual man who ended the cold war and that was without any question--RONALD REAGAN--. Yes my little friend not even a little liberal history revisionnist such as yourself can change history. the cold war effectively was ended with the resolute words " Mr. Gorbachev tear down this wall" This one statement ended Gorbachevs bullshit once and for all. You see Mr. revisionist I lived through it witnessed it and not you or anyone or your revisionist friends will ever change the "facts". Wake up out of your liberal fog and realise the world is full of kooks and all of them are not "scared" of mutual anihilation that is why we need a missile sheild.


RE: Question
By andrinoaa on 1/3/2008 1:03:25 AM , Rating: 2
What are you saying? Reagan was sane? Man what planet are you from? Reagan was as mad as they come, he trusted in god to guide him all the while his wife was reading tea leaves !
He was the living "Dr Strange love". He is the one who raised the stakes so high the russians couldn't compete money wise. If they could have, they would have: in which case MAD would have prevailed! And you really think it was anything reagan said that made the difference?
Typically liberal, liberal fog? What type of fascist are you? Hold it, hold it. No one is allowed to question or point out stupidity or hypocrisy because we may get to be labeled "liberal". Revisionist? You sir, are not a repositry for all knowlwdge.


RE: Question
By masher2 (blog) on 1/3/2008 10:18:14 AM , Rating: 2
> "Reagan was as mad as they come, he trusted in god to guide him..."

Reagan was hardly the first (or last) president to believe in a Supreme Being. If that makes one mad, then unfortunately some 80% of the population is certifiable.

> "He is the one who raised the stakes so high the russians couldn't compete money wise..."

Which is why the Soviet Union folded decaded earlier than it otherwise would.

> "If they could have, they would have: in which case MAD would have prevailed! "

If they *could* have afforded it, Reagan never would have raised them in the first place. It was done as his advisors told him the Soviet economy was already on shaky ground.


RE: Question
By maven81 on 1/3/2008 10:30:49 AM , Rating: 2
I actually spent 2 weeks in Moscow in the summer of 91, by sheer coincidence right before the whole thing started unraveling. So don't give me that "I lived through it" speech.
I remember posters saying something to the extent of "many free states are better then 1 closed state". And the situation with the Baltic states prior to that... I can assure you that it had little to do with REagan, and a lot to do with the fact that people realized Gorbachev was so weak, that if they start seceeding, he won't really stop them.
And stop it with the "liberal" bs already. FYI I'm actually an independent, not a democrat, so I don't know what you're talking about.


RE: Question
By masher2 (blog) on 1/3/2008 11:14:25 AM , Rating: 2
> "I actually spent 2 weeks in Moscow in the summer of 91 "

And I spent nearly 3 years there, not just as a tourist in Moscow, but going to graduate school, and visiting large areas of the nation.

However, your and my opinion here is irrelevent. Gorbachev himself, as well as a huge number of both Eastern and Western scholars, attribute the speedy fall of the Soviet Union in part to US actions, specifically the increase in military funding that critically weakened the Soviet economy at a critical period.


RE: Question
By ninjaquick on 1/2/2008 4:00:29 PM , Rating: 2
cuz us customs would let you walk onto a plane with 20 pounds of uranium in ur briefcase, right.


Missile Defense?
By TstclrRmpge on 1/2/2008 2:34:22 PM , Rating: 2
So, after distracting the original topic of this forum, that of Japanese missile defense, I'll go ahead and bring us back to the main point (not that of semantics/epithets/etc.)

Here is a pretty good reason for missile defense: first-strike capability. Anyone here ever heard of realpolitik? How about the security dilemma?

Realpolitik, is more or less attributed to Henry Kissinger, who is considered to be a product of the 'realist' school of thought; that which believes you only do what is in your best national interest/defense. Realpolitik is an extension of this school of thought that attempts to completely remove 'morality' from the consideration of what is in the nation's best interest.

In our case, the missile defense system is presumably in the interest of our national defense; however, defense, in the US and presumably in most other nations, depends upon those who are in power, and how they will use it. Defense, which is what the US government euphemistically calls its military, can also be used as an offense to assert power, and control resources; see the following wars for example (power assertion applies to them all, as well as reasons unlisted due to space/time constraints): Korea (US asserting its post WWII dominance in the Asian Pacific and showing that there is no other alternative to Capitalism, American style), Vietnam (former French colony with A LOT of tin, rubber, and other raw materials, and therefore valuable to US resource interests), Iraq 1 (maintaining access to Middle Eastern oil), and the most egregious of them, in my opinion, Iraq 2 (the invasion and occupation of a country solely to attempt to control most of the world's known petroleum supply and to confront those in the region who may be a threat to such an imperialist move)

Considering the above paragraph, it only takes simple logic to foresee that a missile defense system would actually be used in a first strike capacity. Is this in the best interest of the United States? Probably not, for one simple reason: an arms race. Here, the security dilemma enters the scene. But before I move to that, let the record show that the US government, and I stress GOVERNMENT to avoid confusing the people with the power elite, has been the most belligerent power on Earth since the end of the second world war. The US government is the only country in the world to have ever used nuclear weapons on a civilian populace, irregardless of the conventional wisdom that rationalizes that use. Pound for pound, there is no other government in the world, quite possibly in the world's history, that has done more damage to those who are less powerful. Feels pretty good to be number one, doesn't it?

Now for the security dilemma. Because Russia, China, and other perceived rivals - it depends upon how you look at it - do not know what the US is REALLY thinking, they have to, by default, assume that the missile defense system that the US government is pushing worldwide, is for offensive purposes. As a reaction to this, they will attempt to either A) increase their number of applicable weapons, to reduce the effectiveness of an anti-missile system, or B) create a defensive missile system of their own, which in turn would cause the US government to rethink its system and create a new, more effective system. You can see the circular logic here. In the end, you have an arms race, which is incredibly costly.

So, assuming that you now have an expensive potential arms race on the horizon, the pressure to ensure that you can finance such a race without completely breaking the people at home and causing absolute chaos, increases the need to capture and control resources so that others cannot prevent you from achieving your goals by withholding those resources; therefore we have a more dangerous world that 'hates' America, to put it in propagandized terms, if you will.

Thus, in the end, a missile defense system is rendered expensive and for the most part, useless; that is unless the goal is to make a few people very, very rich at the expense of those who are financing the arms race. The US government as well as the people, have already witnessed the costs of an arms race; we were officially in one for roughly 25-30 years before SALTs 1 and 2, (Strategic Arms Limitation Treaty), now mainly reversed by the Bush 2 administration, were hammered out with the Soviet Union in the 70’s. No, I think it’s pretty clear that a missile defense system benefits no one but those who stand to become wealthy from it.




RE: Missile Defense?
By masher2 (blog) on 1/2/2008 3:34:37 PM , Rating: 3
> "Pound for pound, there is no other government in the world, quite possibly in the world's history, that has done more damage to those who are less powerful"

You mean, besides the government of China (72+ million civilians killed), USSR (20+ million civilians killed), Germany (6+ million civilians killed), Cambodia (2+ million civilians killed), Bosnia, Serbia, and Croatia (1M civilians killed), Rwanda (1M civilians killed), Uganda (~1M civilians killed), Sudan (1/2M civilians killed), and several others?

Thankfully, the US's "killer government" protects your right to make idiotic remarks.


RE: Missile Defense?
By TstclrRmpge on 1/2/2008 6:34:13 PM , Rating: 2
I concede to a bit of hyperbole there, with my "pound for pound" statement which wasn't well thought out before posting it; however, that's clearly not the meat and potatoes of my argument...and I think you know that. Furthermore, most of the countries that you listed committed atrocities against their own populations, and that was clearly not the aim of my post. Additionally, I hope you take note of my respectful reply, without the use of personal attacks and snarky remarks. Feel free to challenge my logic, but please refrain from the offensive knee jerk remarks. Thanks.


RE: Missile Defense?
By masher2 (blog) on 1/2/2008 7:31:31 PM , Rating: 2
> "Most of the countries that you listed committed atrocities against their own populations"

Considering your original remark, isn't that even worse? Another nation has at least the possibility to fight back, but who could be more helpless than the unarmed civilians of your own country?

> "Additionally, I hope you take note of my respectful reply, without the use of personal attacks and snarky remarks"

Fair enough, however note that my adjectival usage applied to your remarks, and not to you personally.


RE: Missile Defense?
By TstclrRmpge on 1/3/2008 1:02:02 AM , Rating: 2
I'm replying just to keep this thing going. The direction in which we're heading with this argument is going to take us way off topic...kinda like the various directions the forum took further up the page. So, I still haven't read anything that refutes my overall argument here. I'm not saying that I'm right, but I want to have an honest dialog, and not get caught up with splitting hairs about a detail that isn't related to the topic of a missile defense system.


RE: Missile Defense?
By masher2 (blog) on 1/3/2008 10:42:04 AM , Rating: 3
Well, you've already admitted one of your primary points was a gross exaggeration. If you really want your other points addressed, so be it. We'll take a few of the big ones at least:

1. The US practices Realpolitik because a 30-year old Secretary of State believed in it.

Put in this form, I'm sure even you can see the logical error. Even when Kissinger had official standing with the government, his views didn't control all policy. Today, his stance is meaningless.

And btw, Realpolitik isn't "attributed" to Kissinger. The term predates him by more than a century.

2. Realpolitik implies that the US will use a missile defense shield as a first strike

This is even more off-base than the first. Even if the US practiced your version of Realpolitik, it's fallacious to believe that sneak attacks on other nations to steal their resources is a beneficial policy in contemporary civilization.

The Soviets tried military imperialism, and look where it got them. They spent far more on their satellite states than they did in Russia itself.

The US version of "imperialism" has long been far more effective. Build your own wealth, and use aid and/or outright purchase to get what you want. Your idea that, simply because the US possesses effective defense technology, it will suddenly begin invading nations around the world falls flat on its face.

2. Other Nations will respond by a) beefing up their offense or b) building their own missle shield.

The a) in this case is irrelevent. The US can afford to build more interceptors than anyone else can missiles. The EU could, perhaps, outspend us in this regard...but of course the idea of European nations building tens of thousands of nuclear missiles is laughable.

The b) is correct, but the conclusion you draw from it is erroneous. It will not cause any problems whatsoever for the US. In fact, having most large nations build their own defense shields is not only a natural outgrowth of this technology, its a desirable one. It means the effective end of the ballistic missile as a weapon of offense.

And that's a good thing, any way you measure it.


so what happens to the biochem
By Cygus on 1/2/2008 3:59:00 AM , Rating: 2
curious to know what happens to the biochemicals and remains when the rocket is destroyed.. is the explosion enough to incinerate it or do the remains just fall in the sea or land or wherever?




RE: so what happens to the biochem
By SlyNine on 1/2/2008 4:31:31 AM , Rating: 2
High heat could take out a bio weapon. Chemical on the other hand ?


By Rebel44 on 1/2/2008 8:13:39 AM , Rating: 2
When one object (at least 100Kg in case of kinetic interceptors) travelling 5km/s hits another object (RV released by ICBM) travelling 8Km/s energy of such impact is sufficent to vaporize metal and ceramics so any chemical or bio weapons would be destroyed.


RE: so what happens to the biochem
By cyclosarin on 1/2/2008 5:52:30 PM , Rating: 2
The release altitude of an intercepted ICBM would be much too high to actually make it down to the surface regardless of what happens. ICBMs are poor carriers for Biological or Chemical weapons to begin with, much too expensive for the minimal casualties from chemicals and too obvious for biological.

TBMs are designed better for delivery of chemical warfare agents. We do utilize the Patriot II missle system for intercept purposes on TBMs, it has a decent success rate.

In regards to your question, it dpeends on each intercept really. If the interceptor just destroys the flight characteristics of the balistic missle then it will most likely just tumble down with it's pay load intact. For a chemical filled missle this is actually not a big deal. The liquid chemical will remain in a controlled area and it can be burned/buried, in the case of Japan they would hope to intercept of the Yellow Sea and be done with it(we would as well considering our primary support aircract capabilities will be based out of southern Japan). If the interceptor manages to disintigrate the missle then 2 things could happen; the detonations/sympathetic detonations destroy the chemcial agent, or the pay load mroe or less gets released at the point of intercept...which can be good or bad. If it's at a high enough altitude then it is good, at 200-400m AGL it would be bad...much higher and it starts to vaporize in concentrations too low to harm anyone.


RE: so what happens to the biochem
By andrinoaa on 1/3/2008 1:20:46 AM , Rating: 2
I can design a weapon right now that can bypass these problems. Got any other fancyfull/hopefull ideas?


By masher2 (blog) on 1/3/2008 11:19:59 AM , Rating: 2
Your "fancyfull" notions aside, building a ballistic missile immune to interceptions is essentially an impossible task. US MDA tests against decoys have been extremely succesful...and, of course, with enough interceptors, even a misidentified decoy isn't a problem.


Yeah this is brilliant...
By HomelandInsecurity on 1/2/2008 10:10:07 AM , Rating: 1
This protects us from suitcase bombs, how again?

Oh wait... it doesn't.

It just costs loads of money, and makes us look paranoid.

Which I guess we should be since we allowed our 0ickless leader to invade and occupy a few countries just because some dictator tried to have his daddy assassinated.

But eat up dem' freedom fries before they gets cold.




RE: Yeah this is brilliant...
By mdogs444 on 1/2/2008 10:24:19 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
This protects us from suitcase bombs, how again? Oh wait... it doesn't.

Idiot. It's not supposed to.
quote:
It just costs loads of money, and makes us look paranoid.

Its not paranoia. Its called defending your country - which is why many others are trying to do the same thing.
quote:
Which I guess we should be since we allowed our 0ickless leader to invade and occupy a few countries just because some dictator tried to have his daddy assassinated.

Is that what Michael Moore told you?
quote:
But eat up dem' freedom fries before they gets cold.

Wow, I think you need to start getting a new source for your information - and stop visiting MediaMatters.com


RE: Yeah this is brilliant...
By Ringold on 1/2/2008 3:47:37 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Which I guess we should be since we allowed our 0ickless leader to invade and occupy a few countries just because some dictator tried to have his daddy assassinated.


A few? As in 3 or more?

Not a surprise, but apparently you can't count. Iraq is a single country, not 3 or more. Afghanistan was internationally approved and is internationally supported -- at least until someone breaks a fingernail, at which point other countries peoples support collapses and they ponder pulling out, leaving the US, as always, to do the hard work of securing the entire planet. They'd rather hand out meals in Darfur in one village while the butchering goes on down the street; safer and cheaper, that way.


RE: Yeah this is brilliant...
By artbronze on 1/2/2008 11:05:51 PM , Rating: 2
Yea, I know we did the morally wrong thing. We took out a dictator who not only invaded helpless little countrys next to him (Kuwait) Invaded big countrys next to him and used poison gas (Iran)performed genocide on his own people. Tried to assasinate our former president and threatened to invade our biggest supply of oil (Saudi Arabia) Yea we are big bullys. Its a shame all the freedom and help we brought to people all over the world.


RE: Yeah this is brilliant...
By andrinoaa on 1/3/2008 1:18:10 AM , Rating: 2
You don't do history very well do you?
Who created saddam? Little martians?
Who helped to create the situation in afganistan? little martians again?
This is the reason this race is morally and intellectually bankrupt. "Absolute power corrupts absolutly!"
If the defence sheild works, what do you think the USA will do with that advantage, sit home and mind its own business? I DON'T THINK SO! Your military cannot be trusted. They have runs on the board!!!!


RE: Yeah this is brilliant...
By 1078feba on 1/3/2008 12:32:08 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Who created saddam?


OOH! OOH! I KNOW, I KNOW! His parents.

quote:
Who helped to create the situation in afganistan?


UUHHH, the RUSSIANS? I seem to recall them invading that particular 'stan a few years back. Prior to that, their own tribal culture seem to keep their pot at a full boil for a really long time..like, eons.

The American military is the American people. It's an all-volunteer force. You cannot separate one from the other. And if you think the American people want to rule the world, you are profoundly ill-informed. Who needs the headache. We've got all we can handle right now just taking care of ourselves and acting as the primary responsible adult in this world.


Add Support for Conventional Warheads
By TomZ on 1/2/2008 8:40:02 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
This missile detection and defense system will be used to protect Japan and Taiwan from missiles with nuclear, biological or chemical warheads.

I think they should work to add support for conventional warheads to this defense system, since those are the type that would most likely be used. :o)




RE: Add Support for Conventional Warheads
By fictisiousname on 1/2/08, Rating: 0
RE: Add Support for Conventional Warheads
By masher2 (blog) on 1/2/2008 11:49:43 AM , Rating: 2
> "No offense meant, but "chemical warheads" are also known as "conventional warheads". "

Eh? Conventional warheads are, by definition, those that lack NBC (nuclear, biological, and chemical) weaponry.

Just because a high explosive charge is composed of chemical compounds doesn't make it a "chemical warhead". Nerve gas, mustard gas, etc are examples of chemical munitions.


By cyclosarin on 1/2/2008 6:08:17 PM , Rating: 2
Indeed.

If you would like a general international consensus on what entails a chemical warfare agent you can look through the Chemical Weapons Convention guidelines:

http://www.cwc.gov/

Although there are some exceptions depending on which state you are dealing with. The CWC indicates white phosphorus is a chemcial warfare agent, the United States does not concur with that depending on usage. White phosphorus in a ballistic missle would be considered a chemical warfare agent by the US though.


RE: Add Support for Conventional Warheads
By cyclosarin on 1/2/2008 5:56:50 PM , Rating: 2
The ballisitic missle systems that would carry biological/chemical weapons are also used for conventional(High Explosives) as well. If you can shoot one down, you can shoot the other down as well.


By TomZ on 1/2/2008 6:10:35 PM , Rating: 2
Yes, of course. I was being a little cynical/sarcastic, which I realize isn't always clear.


Pretty weak introduction...
By Captain Orgazmo on 1/2/2008 12:48:23 AM , Rating: 3
The opening sentence of the article, "Since the Regan era, the United States has wanted to develop a system that could defeat ballistic missiles in the air before they were able to impact their targets." is misleading.

That should read "Since the invention of the ballistic missile..."

The US (and Russia) have developed several programs over the years (the first serious ones in the '60s) to combat the threat of ICBMs. Obviously, the the moment the Russians launched Sputnik in 1957 the Americans realized how vulnerable they were. In 1972 the ABM (anti-ballistic missile) Treaty was signed between Nixon and Brezhnev, limiting development of missile defense systems. All this was well before Reagan, who simply wanted to implement the novel approach of using space based lasers to supplement ground based conventional systems.




RE: Pretty weak introduction...
By Gholam on 1/2/2008 1:52:18 AM , Rating: 2
The main difference between modern ABM systems (PAC-3, THAAD, Arrow, SM-3) and 60s developments (Sprint/Spartan, their USSR counterparts) is that modern systems rely on blast fragmentation warheads or kinetic hit-to-kill vehicles for achieving their effect, while in the 60s, the only way to do anything against a ballistic RV coming down from stratosphere/low orbit was to explode another nuclear warhead in its vicinity - a better alternative to having it explode on your doorstep, but still not very practical.


RE: Pretty weak introduction...
By Ringold on 1/2/2008 4:32:36 AM , Rating: 2
I was lead to believe they signed that treaty as part of a mutual understanding that any such functionality (an effective ABM shield) would be insanely expensive and Nixon had 'Nam to pay for, or at least didn't want more debt, and the USSR was already taking in tons of humanitarian aid due to their failing communist economy as it was.

It might be fair to say the Reagan era was the first period when anyone seriously considered such a system. Of course, humans have wanted ballistic defenses since the first man was run through with a spear :)


RE: Pretty weak introduction...
By 91TTZ on 1/2/2008 1:38:38 PM , Rating: 2
It wasn't signed because it would be expensive, it was signed because a successful ABM system would dissolve the balance of power.

If one country launched missiles, the other country would launch theirs and there was no way of stopping it. Nobody would make the first move under those terms. On the other hand, if one country was able to stop the other country's missiles, they'd be more likely to launch an attack.


to protect and serve
By MrJim on 1/2/2008 4:45:40 AM , Rating: 2
I wonder which cities they prioritize to defend if total nuclear war erupts. Something tells me that Washington DC will be the safest place to live in if that happens.




RE: to protect and serve
By lompocus on 1/2/08, Rating: -1
RE: to protect and serve
By andrinoaa on 1/3/2008 1:31:44 AM , Rating: 2
Have you seen " I AM LEGEND " yet? If you breathe, you are vulnerable, if you eat or drink, you are vulnerable. All out Nuclear war, we all die, irrespective of the target. I think thats a point you need to consider. You may live in a bunker for a while, but eventually all the rabbits come out to play.lol


RE: to protect and serve
By masher2 (blog) on 1/3/2008 11:15:59 AM , Rating: 2
You do realize, don't you, that "I Am Legend" is only a movie? Getting your views from Hollywood is not to be advised.


Tom Clancy
By ksherman on 1/2/2008 1:15:33 AM , Rating: 2
Hmm, this exact setup was in a Tom Clancy novel from the late 90's (could be wrong about the publication date). In the book, an Aegis' radar was used to fire a missile to intercept a ballistic missile... Kinda cool :).




RE: Tom Clancy
By Amiga500 on 1/2/2008 4:23:18 AM , Rating: 2
The Bear and the Dragon IIRC.


Who the heck is REGAN?
By MonkeyPaw on 1/2/2008 7:43:41 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Since the Regan era...


Normally I never correct spelling errors, but we're talking about Rappin' Ron, aka President Ronald Wilson Reagan.




RE: Who the heck is REGAN?
By kileil on 1/2/2008 11:02:14 AM , Rating: 1
quote:
Who the heck is REGAN?


Ron asked himself this very question every day...


More Media
By ziggo on 1/2/2008 1:11:44 PM , Rating: 2
Video of the intercept and a few pictures. I considered suggesting this as an article when it happened.

http://www.raytheon.com/feature/sm3_12-17/




JAPANS BIGGEST THREAT?
By Combatcolin on 1/2/2008 2:00:32 PM , Rating: 2
Anti missile technology is bugger all good against Godzilla.

Better to spend the money on a giant Robot.




That's Weird
By lolxman on 1/2/08, Rating: -1
RE: That's Weird
By yanman on 1/2/2008 12:27:18 AM , Rating: 2
That hasn't been the case for some time. Japan is rapidly growing their Navy for instance.


RE: That's Weird
By yanman on 1/2/2008 12:28:31 AM , Rating: 1
RE: That's Weird
By hwhacker on 1/2/2008 12:29:38 AM , Rating: 2
^
I truly hope you are rated down until the day you learn "Japs" is a racial slur, and shouldn't be tolerated.

On top of that, you're just plain ignorant.


RE: That's Weird
By hwhacker on 1/2/2008 12:43:30 AM , Rating: 2
Thanks to whomever voted it down. :)

Also thanks to Yanman for the overview. :)


RE: That's Weird
By lolxman on 1/2/08, Rating: -1
RE: That's Weird
By mendocinosummit on 1/2/2008 1:05:37 AM , Rating: 2
You must be Chinese. Japan is no dog of the US just against countries North Korea and the rising evil superpower in the East.


RE: That's Weird
By lolxman on 1/2/2008 1:07:24 AM , Rating: 2
no i'm not. i'm an indonesian - muslim ?


RE: That's Weird
By mendocinosummit on 1/2/2008 1:08:29 AM , Rating: 2
Why ?, is that why you don't like the US?


RE: That's Weird
By lolxman on 1/2/2008 1:12:40 AM , Rating: 2
I didn't hate US. why ? they did not bomb my country. Instead i hate terrorist, those that stain the muslim.

its funny to learn what westerners think of japan. but i guess only asian understands each other better. it no secret here that japan stall as the US helper here to suppress any powers/countries that might challenge the US and also to advertise US policies throughout.

No, i'm not muslim. I'm indonesian, buddhist. LOL


RE: That's Weird
By kyp275 on 1/2/2008 6:02:48 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
but i guess only asian understands each other better.


Speak for yourself, I'm asian and I certainly don't share your conspiracy theorist view.


RE: That's Weird
By amanojaku on 1/2/2008 1:14:20 AM , Rating: 2
You're starting to sound intolerant, as well. Not all Indonesians and Muslims hate the US.


RE: That's Weird
By lolxman on 1/2/2008 1:18:47 AM , Rating: 2
of course not all. the lastest survey they made for " negative view of the US". 70%(u can exclude chinese) of the population HATE US.95% of the people of which are MUSLIMS.


RE: That's Weird
By Alexstarfire on 1/2/2008 3:40:25 AM , Rating: 1
You may have your own point of view, but you don't make a lick of sense to me. So, you're saying you hate the US because they gave Japan a defensive weapon? It's not too much of a surprise really. You know how much electronics come from Japan, quite a bit. I know that China doesn't really like Taiwan or Japan, and that they haven't for a while. I can't say much about any of the other countries, cept that Taiwan and Japan like, or at least don't mind, each other.

BTW, how about you type properly. They keep calling you ignorant because your grammar is worse than a 5th graders.


RE: That's Weird
By SlyNine on 1/2/2008 4:35:16 AM , Rating: 2
naw, They just hate the US so blindly they will turn anything we do in to the greatest plot of evil.

Nothing good can come from the USA after....rolls eyes.


RE: That's Weird
By masher2 (blog) on 1/2/2008 11:18:15 AM , Rating: 2
There really isn't a lot of anti-US sentiment in Indonesia, at least not when I was there. They're far more intolerant of the Chinese there than your average American.


RE: That's Weird
By rcc on 1/2/2008 1:27:34 PM , Rating: 2
I'd have to second this. I visited Indonesia when I was in Uncle Sam's Canoe Club (USN). Granted that was a little while ago, but we were greeted with open arms. Just walking through town we had people coming up to us to say hi, thanks for being here, and inviting us to dinner.

We also had requests from nearby towns for the ship to send groups of sailors to visit, which we did. They also drafted some of us for an imprompt baseball tournament. I don't know how widespread it is, but they were baseball fanatics.

All in all a grand time was had by all.


RE: That's Weird
By SlyNine on 1/2/2008 6:06:18 PM , Rating: 2
I was perhaps to broad when I said they. But at the same time pointing out every one I'm talking about would take up to much time.

Just seems their is so much irrational hate for the good ol USA.


RE: That's Weird
By andrinoaa on 1/3/2008 1:42:46 AM , Rating: 2
Its not irrational. Its as rational as 3/4 of the american population have no clue were Iraq is yet ok the bombing the crap out of it. Lets get this straight. NO ONE HATES AMERICANS. Its what your government has done to other people that we hate!!! DOH It is time you left "paradise" and saw first hand what has been done in your name.


RE: That's Weird
By Min Jia on 1/2/2008 10:09:37 PM , Rating: 2
China hates Japan because... well, you'd hate them too if they had raped your cities like they did Nanking.

Taiwan was ruled by Japan 1895-1945, so it doesn't mind Japan that much.


RE: That's Weird
By mendocinosummit on 1/2/2008 10:38:20 AM , Rating: 2
I asked the question. I did not put Muslim into the topic.


RE: That's Weird
By Fritzr on 1/2/2008 5:37:43 AM , Rating: 2
The term he's thinking of is lapdog. In other words a client state or fellow traveler.

Jap & Nip were used as an insult during WWII and are still considered insulting today. This is largely an American usage and many people never learn the racial insults and slurs when they learn English. That part of their education is too often left up to the foreigners they unintentionally insult.


RE: That's Weird
By amanojaku on 1/2/2008 1:12:12 AM , Rating: 2
"Jap" or "Japs" is a racial slur created by ignorant American soldiers. I would ask that you not use it; it embarrasses me to think that those soldiers, or any other ignorant people, are my countrymen.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_ethnic_slurs


RE: That's Weird
By USNman on 1/2/2008 1:37:27 AM , Rating: 1
You really wouldn't say that had thousands of Japanese infantry been shooting at your head in 1944 would you?

Just food for thought before you call the men that fought for your freedom ignorant :)


RE: That's Weird
By amanojaku on 1/2/2008 1:49:16 AM , Rating: 3
Not everyone who fought against the Japanese called them "Japs." That's why I said "ignorant;" perhaps I should have said "prejudiced."

And nothing in this world gives a person the right to slur another person. "This guy is shooting at me, so he's a Jap, but that lady and her kids are JAPANESE." Selective prejudice? Please...


RE: That's Weird
By USNman on 1/2/2008 1:59:40 AM , Rating: 3
When you've been on the front line and experienced a bullet going by your head, you might understand why they used a slur.

It's sort of like swearing, you don't walk around swearing everywhere, and you certainly don't walk around and make racist remarks, but when you're fighting for your life next to someone else who's doing the same, it's easy to forget about something as trivial as a word.

It was the same situation in Vietnam(Charlie),and the European front in WW2(Jerry), they are names to designate enemies. So say you were on the line and someone said "Jap northwest side" are you going to sit there and correct him "I'm sorry the correct term is Japane..." you're dead. Get the picture?


RE: That's Weird
By sh3rules on 1/2/2008 5:55:47 AM , Rating: 2
This sort of thing is well documented. A shame, really.

http://www.archive.org/details/AvengeDe1942


RE: That's Weird
By Pythias on 1/2/2008 2:00:43 AM , Rating: 2
We're talking about people killing each other and you're biggest concern is racial epithets?

I'm sure the Japanese armed forces had a few nice things to say about Americans as well....when they weren't busy overrunning China.


RE: That's Weird
By Ringold on 1/2/2008 4:57:16 AM , Rating: 3
I've had the opportunity to talk to a lot of people that were alive and remembered the 40s quite well, and to say only "ignorant" soldiers used the word "Japs" would be ignoring the huge majority of the music of the era that addressed the war and the hundreds of thousands of kids who jumped on tin cans for recycling singing "Slap a Jap!"

Take this example:

http://www.authentichistory.com/ww2/music/19420218...

"We're gonna have to slap that dirty little Jap!"

I can also remember more then one, admittedly somewhat elderly, professor using "Japs" in passing when in the plural.

Of course, also have to understand from the perspective of the average American, the attack came out of no where and prior to an open declaration of war; it was seen as a dirty move. As the war went on, it eventually became known that being a POW wasn't exactly like a stay at Disneyland. That didn't help either.

As for modern use of the word.. I think this is an example where the over-sensitive should chill out a bit perhaps. I don't hear anyone calling the Jap's an inferior people; most the world respects them for their great society and decent-enough economy. Asides from just being a lazy way to say it, some words and phrases just don't fall out of usage that easily; "ugly as sin" for example. Everyone that uses that just called every not-so-good-looking person a criminal. Want to get worked up over that, too? :P


RE: That's Weird
By theapparition on 1/2/2008 11:11:35 AM , Rating: 2
Finally. A voice of rationality.

People get way to worked up over words.

I never knew that the word "Jap" was somehow a slur, it's just short for Japanese. Similar to calling a person of Polish decent a "Pol". Maybe that's a slur too, but get over it. I don't see any negative connotation by using the word "Jap".

Now if someone were to say something truly offensive than (maybe) they could get worked up over it. But it's just words. Ever remember the old playground songs. "Sticks and stones........"

Get a life and something truly worthwhile to worry about.


RE: That's Weird
By psychmike on 1/2/2008 2:00:44 PM , Rating: 2
It isn't that there is anything inherently 'wrong' about the word 'Jap' and American soldiers can certainly be forgiven to say whatever they want when someone is shooting at them. The problem is that war is a dirty business and in time of war people tend to dehumanize those that they see as the enemy. During WWII there were all kinds of propaganda films from all sides portraying the enemy as less-than-human. In North America (I'm including my home country of Canada here), it made it easier to intern American and Canadian CITIZENS of Japanese- and Italian-origin which is a total affront to democratic ideas. Many people still find words like Jap and Wop offensive because they remind us of those dark times and may inadvertently suggest that we still hold deep suspicions of our friends. Words do matter because they encourage people to think in lazy and often hurtful ways.

I've always been surprised when someone says to someone else "You shouldn't find that offensive." To me, part of respecting people is appreciating that we have different ways of seeing the world and may unintentionally offend each other. We may not intend to, we may not know better, but not caring that you've offended someone adds insult to injury.

You know that there are lots of people in the world that say that the US had 9/11 coming to them. They show no compassion or moral outrage over the deaths of thousands of innocent people. They are totally wrong, but I guess you wouldn't find that offensive - they're just words.

When you say you don't care about other peoples' views you not only make it easier for them to ignore yours, you also diminish your own capacity to care for others and that is something that I think all religions and philosophies would find very sad.

Mike


RE: That's Weird
By theapparition on 1/3/2008 8:42:11 AM , Rating: 2
Interesting and a well thought out reply. But I still disagree.

quote:
I've always been surprised when someone says to someone else "You shouldn't find that offensive." To me, part of respecting people is appreciating that we have different ways of seeing the world and may unintentionally offend each other. We may not intend to, we may not know better, but not caring that you've offended someone adds insult to injury.

While true, therein also lies the root problem. You CAN'T please everyone all the time. You will ALWAYS offend someone, sometime. When you try to appease both sides, you end up with a solution that doesn't fully please either, and often causes more harm in the long run. That's if a solution is ever reached in the first place. It's a cop-out, and you know it.

I think the Simpson's said it best.
(Kang and Kodos running for president)
Abortions for all.......Boooooooo!!!
Abortions for none......Boooooooo!!!
Abortions for some, double mocha espresso's for others....yey!!!!!!

Instead, I believe we should be conditioned to be a little more resistant to casual unintentional insults. The Brit's called it "Stiff upper lip". Imagine how efficient this country could be if we didn't have to worry about offending someone at every turn. I'm not advocating intentionally offending everyone, rather advocating common sense. Something that is sorely lacking in the world today. Don't get me started on the imprisonment of a teacher for her children naming a teddy bear "Mohammad", the most common name used in Islamic countries.

The same goes for casual lawsuits, it's coming to a point where the average ladder is running out of room to place all the warning labels that need to be placed. Seriously, who actually reads the labels before stepping on a ladder. But if you fall off after standing on you tiptoes on the top rung, and their wasn't a specific warning about using your tiptoes on the top rung, then you can sue, sue, sue. It's ridiculous and it has to stop.

The world is quickly becoming an anti-democracy. In a democracy, majority rules. In an anti-democracy (is there a more proper term?), the minority rules. Our laws, originally intended for the majority, now they are being crafted for the minority. (And by minority, I don't mean ethnic minorities, I mean anyone who is in the minority of opinion). For example, 99.9% of people don't have a problem with saying the pledge of allegiance in schools, but the .1% that does is trying to have it removed. How stupid (there, I said it!!!). Take that extra time on your hand and volunteer in you community to make it better, rather than worrying about one word in our pledge. But instead, a minority opinion is beginning to craft the law.

Does that diminish the other's opinions. Maybe, and that's the point. People need to realize they can't have everything they want.

quote:
You know that there are lots of people in the world that say that the US had 9/11 coming to them. They show no compassion or moral outrage over the deaths of thousands of innocent people. They are totally wrong, but I guess you wouldn't find that offensive - they're just words.

Let's end with this. If those who hate the US call Americans some slur word, than that's one thing. When they kill non-combatants without a declaration of hostility, that's just pure cowardice. If you can't see the difference of "name calling" versus indifference to deaths, then you are truly lost.

Interesting that you name is psychmike. Are you a Psychology professional/student?
I have nothing but disdain for that profession.
I particularly love the quote from a respected psychology professor after 9/11 saying that the people who jumped from the towers made a "healthy" choice.


RE: That's Weird
By barclay on 1/2/2008 9:07:06 PM , Rating: 2
> "And nothing in this world gives a person the right to slur another person"

Actually, I would argue the right to free speech does exactly that. You can disagree with what a person says, you can try to convince him that he shouldn't say it, you can call him ignorant... but please refrain from claiming he has no right to say it.


RE: That's Weird
By masher2 (blog) on 1/2/2008 10:54:33 AM , Rating: 4
quote:
"Jap" or "Japs" is a racial slur created by ignorant American soldiers. I would ask that you not use it; it embarrasses me to think that those soldiers, or any other ignorant people, are my countrymen.
You mean, the "ignorant soldiers" who kept the Axis powers from bombing and invading your country, killing your grandfather, and raping your grandmother? The ones who gave their lives to keep a brutal fascist-militaristic dictatorship from total world domination? The ones who prevented atrocities like Auschwitz and the Rape of Nanking from becoming commonplace?

Go wash your mouth out with soap. Then learn a little before you insult those to which you owe a debt far beyond repaying.


RE: That's Weird
By theapparition on 1/3/2008 8:51:43 AM , Rating: 2
Well said.

People in the free world are only allowed to say what they want because of the decisions of goverments and the sacrifice of soldiers that came before them.


RE: That's Weird
By 1078feba on 1/3/2008 12:38:34 PM , Rating: 2
Absolutely.

BRAVO Mash, BRAVO!


RE: That's Weird
By mdogs444 on 1/2/2008 9:20:17 AM , Rating: 3
I think you read into single words way to much. "Japs" is not necessarily a racial slur - no more than calling people from Britain - "Brits".

Of course, if he wanted to be blatantly racist - he could have used a much more descriptive phrase or sets of words to describe someone of Japanese ethnicity.

However, what you find tolerable is going to be different than what others find tolerable. Using certain terms to describe your racial, sexual, (or or whatever else) descriminations you have is not illegal.


RE: That's Weird
By TomZ on 1/2/2008 10:39:52 AM , Rating: 3
I'm not Japanese or of Japanese descent, but I do think the term "Jap" is mildly offensive. This is because of the historical context and way the term was used during and after WWII - it was used with an obvious negative connotation. If I had a friend or colleague who was Japanese, I sure wouldn't feel comfortable calling him a "Jap," that's for sure.

I don't believe that "Brit" would have the same negative connotation associated here in the US since it was not used in a similar way AFAIK.


RE: That's Weird
By masher2 (blog) on 1/2/2008 10:43:11 AM , Rating: 2
> " truly hope you are rated down until the day you learn "Japs" is a racial slur"

Unfortunately, you've been the victim of parochial close-mindedness. The term "Japs" is *sometimes* considered derogatory in the US. However, in many parts of SE Asia, its simply a widely-used contraction of the word Japanese, and bears no racial connotations whatsoever.


RE: That's Weird
By knowyourenemy on 1/2/2008 12:48:13 AM , Rating: 1
Wrong. Just because the nation is constitutionally bound to not have an offensive force (hence JSDF) holds absolutely ZERO correlation to their actual military strength.


RE: That's Weird
By Gholam on 1/2/2008 1:17:46 AM , Rating: 1
Japanese constitution limits their military spending to 1% of GDP. However, with GDP the size of Japan's, that's still quite a bit.


RE: That's Weird
By smitty3268 on 1/2/2008 3:04:12 AM , Rating: 2
The Japanese have always had a Defense Force, allowed to defend the country but not launch wars overseas. This technology is actually much more in line with that mandate then most of the military spending that goes on.

Anyway, there has long been a nationalist movement in Japan that seeks to reclaim their former glory and forget past sins, and part of that means a strong military. Recently the US has been encouraging that, which only makes sense when you consider that they're a close ally in a region that includes China, Russia, North Korea, and a bunch of other unstable governments. We were also trying to get them to help us in Iraq.


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