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The U.S. Defense Department claims that its Ground-Based Missile Defense (GMD) and Standard Missile 3 (SM-3) systems make the U.S. homeland invicible from ballistic missile attack. These claims are insane, say two of the nation's top security experts.  (Source: Nato Source/Atlantic Council)

The security researchers claim drone-based interception over the enemy nation is the only reliable way to shoot down ballistic missiles.  (Source: DARPA/Boeing)

Iran is reportedly designing fin-less ballistic missiles that could outwit current U.S. interceptors. Iranian defense officials are pictured here unveiling their new drone bomber, which they nicknamed "the messenger of death".  (Source: Reuters)
They suggest a drone based solution would fix the flaws presented by a ground-based system, using only existing tech

The United States recently followed Israel's claims that it was ready to shoot down any nuclear missile aimed its way, with similar claims of its own.  The U.S. has begun reexamining space-based defenses and has also been quietly upgrading its ground-based missile-defense shield, even as U.S. President Barack Obama pushes his vision of global nuclear disarmament.

A new study, though, published in the 
Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, insists that the U.S.'s claims of security are very flawed.  Authored by two top American security authorities, the study argues that despite recent upgrades and breakthroughs, America assertion that its homeland is safe from any airborne nuclear threat is a "dangerous fantasy".

George N. Lewis, a physicist and associate director of the Peace Studies Program at Cornell University, and Theodore A. Postal, a physicist and professor of science, technology, and national security policy at MIT, authored the new report.

The report specifically targets an April 2010 U.S. government resolution that declared the U.S. to be safe from ballistic missile threats from hostile nations such as Iran and North Korea, thanks to its US Ground-Based Missile Defense (GMD) and Standard Missile 3 (SM-3) systems.  According to Professors Lewis and Postal, though, this new declaration is based on a "technical myth" as Iran is thought to be developing countermeasures to make its ballistic devices harder to shoot down.  Other hostile nations may be working on similar countermeasures.

But the pair of professors isn't just griping about what they view as an ineffective strategy -- they're proposing what seems like a sensible solution.  They advise that rather than rely on what they call a "ineffective, untested, and unworkable" GMD system, that funding instead be put into developing a constantly airborne fleet of stealth drones over the airspace of hostile nations.

That way, rather than trying to shoot down missiles that have already reached the United States, Northern and Western Europe, and Northern Russia -- and likely are deploying countermeasures -- the drones would instead launch fast interceptors taking out the missiles over the hostile country's own airspace, preventing them from deploying effective countermeasures.

The plan would also be kosher with the New START arms reduction treaty, recently signed by U.S. President Barack Obama and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev.  That treaty set a limit of 1,550 ready-to-use ballistic warheads (each) on the U.S. and Russia's respective arsenals.  It also contained language limiting certain missile defense strategies.

The current systems, according to the pair of researchers, are ineffective for two reason.  The first is simple physics.  Interceptors, in their current form, can only accurately predict and target regular trajectories from finned missile designs.  Iran is reportedly designing fin-less designs that would likely cause interceptors to miss.  They could also employ tumbling missile designs, similar to those used to defeat the Patriot Missile Defense in the Gulf War of 1991.

Secondly, decoys can also hinder proper shoot-down.  U.S. and Russian ballistic missiles are equipped with decoy warheads, so that once in space, the real warhead launches amid a swarm of identical dummy warheads, making interception an increasingly impossible task. There's no reason why Iran, North Korea, or others would be unable to develop similar technology.

The authors take special issue with the U.S. Defense Department's claims that the U.S. is already defended from nuclear threats, pointing out that they have no evidence supporting that the system would work in combat.  Professor Lewis comments, "These claims are fantastical, audacious, and dangerous."

A drone solution they say would provide a full answer to the problem and would not require new technology.  Further, shot down warheads would fall on enemy territory should they still manage to activate after being hit by an interceptor.

Professor Lewis concludes, "The situation is urgent, as Iran is already demonstrating countermeasures in flight tests that would render both the GMD and SM-3 long-range missile defense systems ineffective.  If we, as a nation, refuse to confront the fact that our chosen defense system is not reliable, and if we fail to build a robust and reliable alternative system using existing technology, we will have only ourselves to blame if the continental United States suffers a catastrophe as a result of the successful delivery of a nuclear weapon by long-range ballistic missile."

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This can be solved diplomatically
By mcnabney on 11/1/2010 3:27:04 PM , Rating: 3
I know the technology is really gosh-darn cool, but it is the kind of thing you would prefer not testing. Kind of like in real life - which is ultimately more useful, carrying a gun with you at all times for protection or making efforts to avoid situations that you might have to use one? Like not wandering around dark alleys in bad parts of town.

So attempt to confront the threat politically. It could even be done like PR. We have a fairly effective nuclear deterent. All we have to do is guarantee that there would be immediate and complete retribution from that type of action and include with that the clear representation that other nations enabling that act will face similar consequences. I'm sure you will hear a screed from China, but the facts of the matter are that North Korea is like a barking pit bull on a leash held by China. If someone let their dog bite my kid I would put the first three rounds into the dog and the rest of the magazine into the owner. The same idea works in geopolitics.

/I actually told a neighbor that once

RE: This can be solved diplomatically
By Iaiken on 11/1/2010 4:35:30 PM , Rating: 2
/I actually told a neighbor that once

Well aren't you a toughie...

By mcnabney on 11/2/2010 9:39:53 AM , Rating: 3
People will say and do a lot of things when their four year old daughter gets cornered on her own playset in her own backyard by the neighbor's rottweiler. I chased the dog off with a rake and moments later the neighbor came out to collect her dog. That is when I shouted it at her. My point was taken to heart though, I haven't seen the dog off of a leash (they used to just let it out to do it's thing) since.

RE: This can be solved diplomatically
By tng on 11/1/2010 5:43:12 PM , Rating: 4
which is ultimately more useful, carrying a gun with you at all times for protection or making efforts to avoid situations that you might have to use one?

Actually, I think that it is best to carry the gun and also avoid the situations. However real life rarely works that way, eventually you may need to use it.

Back in the 90's there was a group of pointy headed academics who came out with a statement that said that the US should stop development of missile defense systems because they don't work well enough to get all of the warheads. They were correct, the systems at that time were not very good, but they have gotten better. The problem I have with people like this is that although they proposed a different solution, it is a much worse idea than what they want to get rid of.

I think that we should basically tell the world now that if a rouge nation launches or you let a rouge element launch from your shores, we will retaliate in kind. All the while we should continue to improve what defenses we have.

RE: This can be solved diplomatically
By roykahn on 11/1/2010 7:06:12 PM , Rating: 3
we should basically tell the world now that if a rouge nation launches or you let a rouge element launch from your shores, we will retaliate in kind

You do realise that America is a rogue nation, right? Also, America is not interested in retaliation, its business is pre-emptive attacks which are almost always economically motivated and then lying to rationalise their massacres.

RE: This can be solved diplomatically
By tng on 11/2/10, Rating: 0
RE: This can be solved diplomatically
By ImJustSaying on 11/5/2010 1:48:40 AM , Rating: 5
To those who voted this guy down, you DO realize that he IS correct, right?

A rogue nation, by definition, is (according to a state that conducts its policy in a dangerously unpredictable way, disregarding international law or diplomacy.

Regardless of any knee-jerk reaction, patriotic responses, it is undeniable that this definition can be applied to the United States government (not you and I, but the government). This is a government, particularly the executive, that does not respect international law (violation of preemptive strike rule, according to the international court of justice: "The International Court of Justice (ICJ) spelled out exactly what no nation can legally do in light of its commitments to uphold the U.N. Charter: 'Thus it would be illegal for a state to threaten force to secure territory from another State, or to cause it to follow or not follow certain political or economic paths'," according to Ann Fagan Ginger, Executive Director of the Meiklejohn Civil Liberties Institute."

I give you a quote from Noam Chomsky (eat your hearts out, Neocon visitors of this website) "The grand strategy authorises the US to carry out preventive war: preventive, not pre-emptive. Whatever the justifications for pre-emptive war might be, they do not hold for preventive war, particularly as that concept is interpreted by its current enthusiasts: the use of military force to eliminate an invented or imagined threat, so that even the term "preventive" is too charitable. Preventive war is, very simply, the supreme crime that was condemned at Nuremberg."
—Noam Chomsky, "Preventive War 'The Supreme Crime': Iraq: invasion that will live in infamy", August, 11, 2003.

I don't want to hear any dismissive bullshit about Noam Chomskey either. This man's logical explanations of his definitions and reasoning are impeccable, as those who have read ANY of his books could attest to.

By roykahn on 11/5/2010 3:45:27 AM , Rating: 5
Oh no, what have you done? You'll only get yourself voted down. Exposing the lawlessness of the American elite and military is a sin on this site. It's almost as frowned upon as acknowledging that humans are destroying the environment. If you want to get voted up and redeem yourself, just mention something supporting the US military, greed, and the right to plunder the earth's resources for your own immediate gratification.

Regarding Chomsky, he did write a book called "Rogue States: The Rule of Force in World Affairs". Can you guess which country was featured prominantly?

RE: This can be solved diplomatically
By Nutzo on 11/2/2010 11:27:04 AM , Rating: 2
As much as these tyrants like to huff and puff and think they are important on the world stage, they mainly care about themselves. They need to be convinced that any attack with a WMD against the US or our allies will result in a retaliation against them that will not only destroy their WMDs and military, but them personally as well.
They should also be told that this will happen even if some rogue agent provides a nuke to a terrorist group that uses it, and yes, we will use nukes if needed, and it won’t matter how many civilians they are hiding under.

RE: This can be solved diplomatically
By roykahn on 11/3/2010 1:13:28 AM , Rating: 2
Of course countries know that they can't attack America. It's so bleedingly obvious and yet America somehow manages to convince its public that they are constantly under threat from evil countries. If they're not making up BS about WMD's then they're making up BS about making nuclear weapons. After the lies about Iraq's WMD claims, how can anyone believe anything the US says about so-called threats? You're also forgetting that the US is all too happy to supply weapons to terrorist groups as long as the weapons are used in the strategic interests of the US. Not to mention that the US military is itself a terrorist group. But I agree with you that it doesn't matter how many civilians die from US attacks. It's either covered up under lies or somehow rationalized under false information. Because the US is always the good guy, right?

RE: This can be solved diplomatically
By Jaybus on 11/3/10, Rating: 0
By roykahn on 11/3/2010 7:26:41 PM , Rating: 2
Thanks for replying in a calm manner and for using some sort of reasonable debate.

I said that "countries" know they can't attack the US. There's always going to be the possibility of individuals or small groups murdering a small number of Americans within America. 9/11 is small in scale and very short in duration when compared to what America has done to a number of countries including Iraq and Afghanistan currently. There was no military invasion on America. No country was trying to occupy it, control it, or overthrow its government. Compare that to what America has done numerous times to other countries. Compare the number of overseas military bases America has to other countries. Compare the military spending, military budgets, military aid, and weapon exports of America to other countries. There's also a growing trend for America to do as it pleases when it comes to military action. It is a rogue nation that has repeatedly committed war crimes and has no intention of being bound by international law and treaties while being all too happy to point out when other countries do likewise. Then tell me why a country would want to attack the US.

Regarding your comments about Iraq and Kurds, you should know that America did not care about the Kurds. If supporting/protecting the Kurds is somehow beneficial to US interests, then it will be done. If not, then to hell with them. America and other countries have supplied Iraq with weapons and supported them in the past. Please read about the history of US-Iraq relations and see for yourself how hypocritical and manipulative the US has been. America was informed that Iraq had no WMD's. It chose to ignore this information and plow ahead anyway in the hope that something might be found.

As for your comments about civilian deaths - who are you kidding? Do you really think that the US military actually cares about foreign civilians. How can they? For any military personnel, American or not, you can't expect them to care much about civilian deaths especially when they're high above in the sky dropping bombs at the press of a button. They just do their job and their orders are often based on false information, misunderstanding, or just plain evil intentions. Hasn't the information released from Wikileaks taught you anything? Maybe the military are getting better at covering up civilian deaths, but they're certainly not trying to actually reduce them.

By ImJustSaying on 11/5/2010 1:53:17 AM , Rating: 1

RE: This can be solved diplomatically
By bug77 on 11/1/2010 8:13:15 PM , Rating: 2
Great idea, reason always works wonders when it comes to fanatics. The west has been playing the politics game for years and where has this got us? North Korea had its first nuclear tests, Iran is following closely. Meanwhile we keep talking.

RE: This can be solved diplomatically
By myhipsi on 11/2/2010 9:48:58 AM , Rating: 5
It's no wonder people refer to America as the United States of Amnesia. Take five minutes to actually look at the history of your own foreign policy. It would be wise to check out the History Channel doc called "Iran and the west". Since the days of British Petroleum, Britain and the U.S. have been meddling in the internal affairs of Iran. From the CIA coup and overthrow of democratically elected Iranian leader Mossadegh, to the installation of the Shah.

And how about Iraq? In the 80's, the U.S. government propped up Saddam Hussein and supported his war of terror on Iran with chemical weapons, etc. and how about Afghanistan, where the U.S. supported the Mujahideen with cash and weapons.

Every time the U.S. meddles in the affairs of other nations, it comes back to bite you in the ass (CIA refers to it as blow-back), then you complain that they're a threat and that these "rogue nations" need to be dealt with with pre-emptive attacks (aka. aggressive offensive warfare), when your governments historical support of these nations have caused the very trouble your dealing with today.

You wonder why people criticize U.S. foreign policy? The rest of the world remembers, while you guys seem to forget. You've created half of your enemies. Maybe you should take a look at what Eisenhower warned about, your military industrial complex, which has grown to dominate your foreign policy, and spend you into a hole, while you sit around saying, "they hate us for our freedoms".

Don't get me wrong, as a citizen of your northern neighbor, I've visited the U.S. many times. I love your country, and I absolutely love and respect the principles it was founded on. Unfortunately, you've drifted far from those principles in recent decades, and it leaves a sour taste in the mouths of a lot of people while a lot of you guys seem to be oblivious to your own recent history.

RE: This can be solved diplomatically
By Nutzo on 11/2/2010 11:37:51 AM , Rating: 2
Most these are a case of dammed if you do, dammed if you don't. If we hadn't helped Saddam, then Iran would have become an even bigger threat, much sooner.

If we hadn't bogged down the Russia in Afghanistan, how far would they have spread?

Of course you seem to forget our medaling in Germany and Japan after WWII. That seems to have turned out ok.

However, I think we should pull back most our troops (including in Korea, Germany, etc) and eliminate most our foreign aid. And if a country attacks us or American interest (like the pirates attacking US ships off the coast of Somolia) we should just go in and wipe them out. I.E. leave us alone, and we’ll leave you alone.

RE: This can be solved diplomatically
By myhipsi on 11/2/2010 11:54:50 AM , Rating: 2
Interference into Iranian internal affairs goes all the way back to 1953, long before the Iran/Iraq war. So the argument can be made that Iran would have be a different country in the 1970's and 80's, had the U.S. not been involved to protect oil interests.

As far as the Soviets in Afghanistan, well, we'll never know, either way, you probably wouldn't have the Taliban today if it weren't for U.S. support in the 80's.

Germany and Japan are entirely different. Those were defensive in nature.

"Leave us alone, and we'll leave you alone." - I couldn't agree with you more. The founding fathers advocated this kind of thinking.

RE: This can be solved diplomatically
By bug77 on 11/2/10, Rating: 0
RE: This can be solved diplomatically
By eskimospy on 11/2/2010 10:16:10 AM , Rating: 1
Name one action that Iran or North Korea has taken in the foreign policy sphere that you believe to be irrational or based in fanaticism.

Also, if you believe that the US can undertake military action to stop or eliminate Iran/North Korea's nuclear arsenals, please detail what you would like us to do. Attacking either country would open up an enormous can of shit that we can't deal with right now, and so yes, we keep talking.

RE: This can be solved diplomatically
By bug77 on 11/2/10, Rating: 0
By roykahn on 11/5/2010 3:54:06 AM , Rating: 3
Building nukes.

Something that the US encourages as long as it is done by its own country and its allies. Do you have any proof of Iran having nuclear weapons? How can you believe anything that the Pentagon says after the lies about Iraq WMD's?

Here are some more fun questions:
Which country has attacked another using nuclear weapons?
Which country has the worst track record for supporting terrorism and overthrowing democratically elected governments?
Which country has invaded the most countries in the last half-century?

Repeated stupidity frightens me.
By Negronpope on 11/1/2010 3:19:57 PM , Rating: 2
This idea has surfaced regularly since I was a child. One of my former employers, an electrical engineer named Ed Gressick, was blacklisted along with several of his colleagues by the government and it contractors for pointing out the same flaws in the Nike interceptor program.
Its simple, once detected, the time you have to shoot an ICBM down is very short. The target is relatively small and moving at incrediblly high speed. Once it re-enters the atmosphere the missle releases multiple warheads all independantly targeted.
We currently have at least 100 times the necessary missles in our arsenal to completely devestate the planet. The Russians have a similar number. This doesn't account for the untold number held by countries we know are nuclear capable and those that might be that we don't know about.

Simply stated, what's our likely accuracy rate in missle defensle? 25%, 50%, 98%? In an all out global war, if we assume a very unlikely 98% interception rate the weapons targeted against us would still destroy us.
This is a very dangerous and stupid idea. It always has been and always will be.
Further more, the presence of the defense system only encourages our enemies to develop counter measures.

I hope I do not live to ever see either offensive nuclear weapons or a defense system actively used, because the entire idea spells our doom.
Perhaps this is the way we are fated to weed ourselves off this planet, like so many other species that have disappeared, but I hope not to have to witness it.

By MozeeToby on 11/1/2010 4:06:22 PM , Rating: 5
Little known fact, during the Cold War, the proposed missile defense system was designed to give America a first strike ability, not a defensive ability. That is the real reason the Russians were fighting against it.

The idea is that a first strike using boomers and stealthed or low flying bombers takes out most of the command and control nodes in the Soviet arsenal. Follow that with a full attack after the Soviets communication lines have been destroyed. Doubtless the Soviets will counter attack, but without communication any such counter would be disorganized, staggered, and much, much smaller than it would otherwise be. In other words, exactly the kind of situation that a missile defense system can function in.

If the system were defensive as claimed, the US would need an order of magnitude more interceptors than the enemy has missiles, otherwise the incoming missiles could overload any one point of the defenses and take out any target that they wanted. And even that order of magnitude estimate assumes a very high accuracy, reality would probably require two orders of magnitude more interceptors than possible incoming ICBMs.

Today, the situation is a little different. All out nuclear war between two super powers is considered to be unlikely. More likely is the possibility of a small nation with a very limited nuclear arsenal trying to take out critical targets as an act of retaliation. If Iran or North Korea were about to fall to outside aggression, it is entirely possible that they would launch whatever they have at the aggressors or perceived aggressors depending on just how preemptive and suicidal the attack is. In such a situation even the a basic missile defense system would save hundreds of thousands of lives.

By Solandri on 11/1/2010 4:30:24 PM , Rating: 4
Simply stated, what's our likely accuracy rate in missle defensle? 25%, 50%, 98%? In an all out global war, if we assume a very unlikely 98% interception rate the weapons targeted against us would still destroy us.
This is a very dangerous and stupid idea. It always has been and always will be. Further more, the presence of the defense system only encourages our enemies to develop counter measures.

The face of the threat from nuclear weapons is changing. During the Cold War, all each side had to do was build the capacity to utterly destroy the other side (MAD), and stability was achieved. Neither side was willing to use nukes because it was guaranteed that doing so would result in a retaliatory nuclear strike.

Now and in the future, as more nations and eventually even organizations get nuclear weapons, MAD will not work. You're going to have some countries run by dictators who aren't rational enough to care that they'd be killed in a retaliatory strike. And you'll have organizations who can launch a nuke, then go hide in some innocent population center as protection from a retaliatory strike.

With retaliation no longer being a deterrent, and non-proliferation becoming a thing of the past as more and more peoples get the technology, the only defense is an improved missile defense systems. It doesn't have to be 100% effective since deterrence still works (for now) on the countries with large nuclear arsenals. That leaves only the countries and groups which could lob just a handful of nukes. If you're trying to stop 1 to 3 nukes, any chance is better than no chance.

RE: Repeated stupidity frightens me.
By The Insolent One on 11/1/2010 4:47:20 PM , Rating: 4
Perhaps this is the way we are fated to weed ourselves off this planet, like so many other species that have disappeared, but I hope not to have to witness it.

How long do you think it took the dinosaurs to develop balistic missle technology?

By Negronpope on 11/1/2010 6:17:23 PM , Rating: 3
How long do you think it took the dinosaurs to develop balistic missle technology?

;) At least 200-300 times longer than us, since they ruled the planet much longer than we are liable to. ;)

Accurate conclusions from faulty logic?
By foolsgambit11 on 11/1/2010 3:10:19 PM , Rating: 5
The report specifically targets an April 2010 U.S. government resolution that declared the U.S. to be safe from ballistic missile threats from hostile nations such as Iran and North Korea.... According to Professors Lewis and Postal, though, this new declaration is based on a "technical myth" as Iran is thought to be developing countermeasures to make its ballistic devices harder to shoot down.
I won't try to argue that our ground-based systems are effective, but this statement really irked me. The US Government report stated that we are (or were, in April, at least) safe from ballistic missiles from Iran and North Korea. These professors, according to the article, say this is false because in the future we won't be, which is just bad logic - the US Government report doesn't argue we will be safe in the future, it says we're safe now. Why couldn't they have said the report was correct, but in the coming years, our current countermeasures may become ineffective? Because that would have been an accurate statement, although much less sensational.

Still, I agree with the general conclusion that we should strive to improve our anti-ballistic missile systems, though I'm not convinced these professors' solution is the best available. I'm a bit skeptical about our ability to keep a fleet of armed stealth UAVs in the air over multiple countries 24/7 during peacetime for decades on end.

By kattanna on 11/1/2010 3:59:48 PM , Rating: 2
yep. currently we are safe because neither country could launch a missile capable of carrying a nuclear warhead all the way over to us.

will that change in the future, you bet.

but violating their airspace is NOT the option to protect us.

By tng on 11/1/2010 5:50:13 PM , Rating: 1
If you remember in his campaign, he said he would talk to What's His Name in Iran directly and not be like Bush and provoke him.

Well he tried and got told basically to stuff it by Iran, no one there wanted to talk to him. Basic rookie when it comes to foreign policy, but it sounded good to allot of naive people out there, it is the "We just need to talk out our differences" thing that all these guys think will work.

By roykahn on 11/1/2010 7:27:41 PM , Rating: 1
Umm, do you have any idea how hollow any words coming from American leaders and military are to non-Americans? The history of deception, lies, and lawlessness may be quickly forgotten by the American public, but not by others. Are you also going to believe that America has been trying to achieve peace between Israel and Palestine? Any so-called peace talks by the US are only in the economic and strategic interests of the US and possibly its allies. If we knew the truth about any "negotiations" that the US has had with Iran then we'd see how ludicrous they were. It's almost guaranteed that they involved demands for Iran to stop any nuclear development and to accept that other countries (especially Israel) be encouraged to continue their nuclear WEAPON developments. Have a look to see which countries have and haven't signed the Nuclear Non Proliferation Treaty. I don't think it's been proven that Iran even has any nuclear weapons yet. Why is there such attention on Iran compared to other countries that not only have such weapons, but have not signed the NPT and are much higher threats? It's absurd.

Once again, don't be fooled into thinking that any discussions involving the US are about world peace.

By Reclaimer77 on 11/1/2010 7:44:36 PM , Rating: 1
Umm, do you have any idea how hollow any words coming from American leaders and military are to non-Americans? The history of deception, lies, and lawlessness

Sounds like you are talking about the UN, not just the U.S.

By R3T4rd on 11/2/2010 4:48:36 AM , Rating: 2

By tng on 11/2/2010 12:52:45 PM , Rating: 2
to accept that other countries (especially Israel) be encouraged to continue their nuclear WEAPON developments.
Last time I checked, no leader in Israel was telling the West in English that their nuclear ambitions were peaceful and the next day in Hebrew claiming they were going to wipe Iran off the map. Iran's president does this all the time, knowing that what he says in Farci(?) is not translated by the Western press.

Also I don't think that Israel plans to use any nukes it may have as a first strike weapon like Iran hints at almost monthly.

You can talk about all of the treaties you want but that is what it comes down to.

Great Idea!
By MrTeal on 11/1/2010 3:38:08 PM , Rating: 3
they're proposing what seems like a sensible solution. They advise that rather than rely on what they call a "ineffective, untested, and unworkable" GMD system, that funding instead be put into developing a constantly airborne fleet of stealth drones over the airspace of hostile nations.

Because North Korea and Iran are going to LOVE having a fleet of US drone planes patrolling their skies. Hell, might as well take a page out of the mob's play book and start charging them protection money while you're doing it.

In a word: Bull!#!*
By Shadowself on 11/1/2010 6:12:27 PM , Rating: 1
Interceptors, in their current form, can only accurately predict and target regular trajectories from finned missile designs. Iran is reportedly designing fin-less designs that would likely cause interceptors to miss.
Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) systems have not relied on the target having fins for over 15 years.

They could also employ tumbling missile designs, similar to those used to defeat the Patriot Missile Defense in the Gulf War of 1991
BMD systems have taken into account tumbiling for over 15 years.

U.S. and Russian ballistic missiles are equipped with decoy warheads, so that once in space, the real warhead launches amid a swarm of identical dummy warheads, making interception an increasingly impossible task.
There is no such thing as "identical dummy warheads". There are dummies that can closely simulate such warheads, but none that are "identical". Making dummies even close to indistinguishable from real warheads makes them impractically expensive.

Systems are much, much better than systems of which these guys are aware. However, as stated elsewhere, even if a system is 99% effective, one nuke getting through is enough to ruin your day. Until a BMD systems become at least 99.99% effective, no one should consider themselves truly and completely protected.

RE: In a word: Bull!#!*
By oab on 11/2/2010 8:32:35 AM , Rating: 2
Five Nines baby!

How much of a threat is it really?
By HighWing on 11/1/2010 6:32:00 PM , Rating: 3
Now, I'm not saying we shouldn't have any protection against missiles, but it seems to me that attacks from within are more likely, and just as deadly. While it's easy to just launch a rocket and hope it hits it's target, the likely hood of that target being US soil and someone actually DOING it seems far less than someone setting off a bomb from inside the country.... oh wait... that's a proven fact!

First off it is well known fact that we have radar faculties all over the globe, as well as satellites dedicated to watching for such events. I don't know exact numbers but I'm sure it's safe to say that there isn't a rocket launched anywhere near us that we won't know about shortly after it's launched. That being the case, anyone attempting to target the US knows that we would know who did it and react swiftly. With forces all over the globe, and the speed of information today, it's a silly thought to think we wouldn't know where that launch came from and would be unable able to send any counter attack back.

Second, while the exact state of our ability to shoot down any missile is not known for sure, it is known that we posses some ability to do so. So it can be assumed that any missile targeted for the USA, will have one, or more attempts at being shot down, with an unknown chance of those attempts succeeding. And of course if the missile is indeed shot down, than we will be coming back in FULL force. And even if it hits, our forces are scattered all over that there is a very good chance someone will remain to retaliate.

Third, considering the previous two arguments, that means the best chance to actually cause any real great damage is to fire multiple missiles fired within a short time of each other. And I'm not talking about a few missiles, but several dozen in the range of 25+ or maybe even a lot more than that. And when we are talking that many missiles, there are only soo many places in the world that they can come from. And I'm willing to bet we are we are already monitoring those places very closely, and they know we are monitoring them as well.

My whole point here is that I think it's more of a fantasy to think we are in any real danger of a missile attack vs someone smuggling in the warhead of a missile and setting it off! The countries/people that poses the ability to do a missile attack are not dumb. They know there's a good chance their missile attack would not cause any damage, and only bring our forces down on them. Do you really think they would even try knowing that? The ONLY real threat of a missile attack is in combination of several other attacks that would disable our ability to do anything mentioned above. And with that kind of attack there are more things that have to happen exactly right, for any one part to be successful. And realistically very few, if any country possess the ability to launch such an attack. And again, the threat of us being able to come back to them is very real in all scenarios.

By rs1 on 11/1/2010 11:03:07 PM , Rating: 2
I don't see how maintaining a fleet of drones, stealthily or otherwise, over potentially hostile nations is a workable solution. Ignoring the costs and logistics of keeping the drones flying indefinitely in large enough numbers to provide adequate coverage, no potential enemy is going to consent to having our fleet of drones flying around in its airspace. In fact, any rational enemy would treat the presence of a drone interceptor fleet loitering in their airspace without permission as an unprovoked act of war.

The only thing the proposed drone-based plan is "workable" for is helping to trigger another war. That, and probably getting lots of R&D funding for the authors of this study.

By Thelookingglass on 11/2/2010 11:30:40 AM , Rating: 2
Ahmedinijad (spelling), is a brainwashed psychotic. Its beyond me how any sane person continues to support his regime. They are all short sided and selfish.

I hope a day comes when megalomaniac idiots are gone from the world. We as a race will not make it unless good people act.

Glass any location him and the Khemani are hanging out. Glass them for miles.

reset votes
By dubldwn on 11/2/2010 11:39:00 AM , Rating: 2

what we can't do
By rika13 on 11/2/2010 2:23:55 PM , Rating: 2
Space: Outer Space Treaty bans weaponizing space (thankfully, since Russia had a nuke that orbits for a while then suddenly drops on our cities)
Stealth Drones: stealth craft in airspace is an act of war
M.A.D.: only works if they care about the "we nuke you back" part

By toyotabedzrock on 11/3/2010 1:15:28 PM , Rating: 2
Iran and North Korea don't have ICBMs yet, I supposed they also think we need 1000 lasers in Orbit as well?

Americans are Slaves of the Jews
By JameelaMOA on 11/24/2010 9:17:09 AM , Rating: 1
Americans are the Slaves of the Jews

Jew’s live the American Reality, while their Christian slaves live the American Dream; the definition of dream is: a state of abstraction and trance. Over 300 million Americans aspire and desire to live in a state of abstraction and trance. The American Dream is home ownership and how is paying your greedy Jew masters $200,000.00 in interest on a $150,000.00 home a dream? It is not, it is: an event that is extremely distressing, which is the definition of Nightmare. The American State of Abstraction & Trance aka Dream is the mechanism that facilitated the Jew’s enslavement of Americans; as usury is a Jew-invented and Jew-owned evil.

The American State of Abstraction & Trance is the MATRIX the evil Jew’s created for their Christian slaves to exist in. Just as the American Dream is an abstract fantasy and illusion; so is Christianity when you peel away the layers of deceit. Christian’s exist in a Jew-induced Trance, which is the result of them disobeying Allah and eating cursed Jews {swine-flesh permeated with parasitic worms which control the diseased minds of their Christian slaves}, feasting on Jew-god corpse {Jesus}, drinking Jew-god blood under the pretense of Holy Communion and the invocation of Satan by lighting candles; as Satan, like the Jew’s, were created from the smokeless flame of fire; these are all the activities of a cult; the Cult of Christianity.

American journalists, Helen Thomas and Rick Sanchez were terminated from their jobs for speaking the truth about the Jew’s. Cynthia McKinney lost her re-election bid because she spoke the truth about the Jew’s sadistic and oppressive enslavement of the Palestinians. A Muslim student group was suspended from UC Irvine for protesting the illegal Zionist Regime’s apartheid system. Let it be known! Speaking out against your evil JINN aka Jew Masters is punishable by lost of livelihood. The definition of freedom is: the power to act or speak or think without externally imposed restraints. These tip-of-the-iceberg episodes only prove that freedom in America is but an abstract illusion of such; just as the American Dream and Christianity are illusions. This is the Jew-invented Matrix Americans want to maintain and spread in the ME under the guise of Democracy.

Islam is NOT a religion of peace, as violence is necessary to repel the Jew’s attempt to force Muslims to eat Jew-god corpse and drink Jew-god blood under the guise of “Holy” Communion and enslave Muslims in the same oppressive manner the Jew’s have enslaved Christians. GO DIE IN IRAN you corpse-eating, A S S-wipes of the Jews you worship, revere, finance and give your worthless lives for. You Christian savages should pressure your evil, N I G G A president into attacking Iran, so the brave and fearless Iranian Muslim Warriors can send you to your partially-eaten and bled-out Jew corpse you call god {Jesus}.

I advise you corpse-eating Christian’s who will murder Jesus after his Resurrection for the sole purpose of bleeding him out to bathe in his blood; to reconsider your blasphemous and diabolical worship of a DEAD Jew aka jinn and read the Qur’an and discover the Jew’s are the JINN and Israel is not a country; Israel is Satan and the Jew’s patriarch. Don’t read the Koran, as the Koran is a crazy book written by crazed Jews in an attempt to portray Muslims to be the homicidal maniacs the Jew’s have proven themselves to be. On the Day of Resurrection, the cannibals known as Christians will only wish they had been Muslims in the life of this world, as they will learn on this Day; Islam is the only religion Allah will accept from his slaves to gain entry into Paradise. I know you insane Christian ghouls will laugh, but you are the ones living in a state of abstraction and trance.

Long live OSAMA BIN LADEN, the brave and fearless Muslim Warrior who brought the S H I T pile aka America to her Jew-worshipping knees.

By bill4 on 11/2/10, Rating: 0
We need...
By quiksilvr on 11/1/10, Rating: -1
RE: We need...
By Mitch101 on 11/1/2010 3:56:30 PM , Rating: 5
I don't know in the bottom picture on the far left is clearly a Jedi.

RE: We need...
By JediJeb on 11/1/2010 4:13:54 PM , Rating: 4
Wouldn't that be Sith considering the company he is with?

RE: We need...
By dgingeri on 11/1/2010 4:14:19 PM , Rating: 2
yes, of course, the Iranians have to be employing Jedi in order to defeat us.

seriously, our best bet in a straight out ground based, destroy everything tactic. We go into Iran with 1.2 million troops (leaving 300,000 guardsmen for defending the country) and just level everything. Leave no stone upon another. Take all metal and/or technological items and anything else of value. Poison all the wells, sow every field with salt. Then we leave, and leave the survivors to live in a renewed stone age until they figure out how to rebuild from scratch. If they become a threat again, go in and wipe out everything all over again.

RE: We need...
By quiksilvr on 11/1/2010 4:20:22 PM , Rating: 3
Well that doesn't sound horrendous and dehumanizing in any way.

How would you feel if someone did that to your country just because your government had an itchy trigger finger and other countries didn't even attempt a realistic diplomatic approach?

RE: We need...
By nolisi on 11/1/2010 4:56:09 PM , Rating: 2
I'll give you both a practical reason why it's a bad idea- you'll have every other country wondering who's next. Not only does China have a larger military, who knows when/if they might create their own "coalition of the willing" and paint America as another Iraq that needs to be dealt with...

RE: We need...
By Master Kenobi on 11/1/10, Rating: -1
RE: We need...
By OUits on 11/1/2010 6:18:51 PM , Rating: 2
Agreed. They'd need something that at least resembles a modern navy. I'd be more worried about China's response to US aggression towards Iran.

RE: We need...
By bh192012 on 11/1/10, Rating: 0
RE: We need...
By mmcdonalataocdotgov on 11/2/2010 7:26:38 AM , Rating: 1
Okay, let me get this straight:

Laugh, adverbial clause is signaled, question is raised, 3rd person plural subject, then "it's bitch?" Perhaps without the contraction: "then why are we it is bitch?" Nope, I still don't get it. Who is "it?" and why is "it" a bitch? Am I getting closer. Perhaps you meant, "then why are we its bitch?"

RE: We need...
By Redwin on 11/2/2010 9:10:55 AM , Rating: 2
So many viable ways to ridicule his statement, and you chose to go with improper contraction use?

RE: We need...
By bh192012 on 11/2/2010 7:00:24 PM , Rating: 1
You're ok with how I used capital letters though? Glad we cleared that up. What I really meant was, in my best Russian accent, "Why are we? It's bitch." Lamenting the fact that you and I have to exist together in the same world.

RE: We need...
By ekv on 11/1/2010 8:09:38 PM , Rating: 2
Don't know about you, but I consider China's ability to limit shipments of rare-earth metals to US as rather biting.

RE: We need...
By OUits on 11/1/2010 8:48:16 PM , Rating: 2
Right, but that doesn't really have anything to do with projecting military power outside it's borders.

"Projecting power" has to do with things like air superiority, etc.

RE: We need...
By ekv on 11/2/2010 12:09:06 AM , Rating: 3
I understand he was talking about projecting military power. However, "projecting power", as you say, has more nuances than mere military capability.

Keep in mind, two colonels in the PRC wrote, "Unrestricted Warfare: China's Master Plan to Destroy America". See also

I'm not saying this is their master strategy. But, it would be in character for them to NOT confront us necessarily head-on. I think you would agree with me that an oblique approach makes more sense, especially considering US military strength today. [Maybe less so in a year, but that is then, not now].

RE: We need...
By fteoath64 on 11/2/2010 5:55:02 AM , Rating: 1
Militarily yes. But economically,they already control most of the world due to their cheap exports since they are able to hold their currency low. Hence, they are the cheapest bar none. They have gamed the monetary system.
With all the money earned, they are building huge infrastructure while most developed nations have no money to do so. Hence, in time, they will also dominate technology. It might take generations but they can wait.

RE: We need...
By clovell on 11/2/2010 2:59:54 PM , Rating: 3
What is an American IOU worth to the Chinese when we're at war?

RE: We need...
By Reclaimer77 on 11/1/10, Rating: -1
RE: We need...
By bh192012 on 11/1/2010 7:43:50 PM , Rating: 2
Well that's the basic tennent of not being evil. It's kinda like how we don't go around murdering and raping each other, ya know, cuz it makes others feel bad. Perhaps you're a robot? :>

RE: We need...
By thurston on 11/1/2010 7:41:52 PM , Rating: 4
You are correct genocide would work, but I like to think my country is above genocide.

RE: We need...
By Myg on 11/2/10, Rating: -1
RE: We need...
By oab on 11/2/2010 8:23:58 AM , Rating: 4
Genocide - Genocide is the deliberate and systematic destruction, in whole or in part, of an ethnic, racial, religious, or national group. -Wikipedia

It is obvious that abortion (as currently practiced in the US) does not meet the definition of genocide.

RE: We need...
By Jabroney701020 on 11/2/10, Rating: 0
RE: We need...
By Kurz on 11/2/10, Rating: 0
RE: We need...
By clovell on 11/2/2010 3:26:02 PM , Rating: 1
There are worse fates than death. It's obvious you've yet lived enough to understand this.

An unwanted or unplanned pregnancy more often has no moral redemption. Foster care, abuse, neglect, poverty, maiming, psychological trauma, rape, murder - all outcomes of such a pregnancy, in first, second, and third worlds, totalitarian, democratic, liberal, and communist societies.

The easiest way to solve a problem, is often to avoid it.

Also, anyone who is truly well-versed in the actual factual debate surrounding the equivocation of abortion to murder has a working knowledge of Peter Kreeft's "The Unaborted Socrates", and understands that semantics is exactly the hangup.

Beyond that, you're right. People's hearts won't change. Countries with proper family planning controls will continue to have higher indexes of personal prosperity and happiness. Women who are able to decide for themselves will not have to resort to cross-border trips or shady doctors, or rape, or malpractice maiming or deaths without legal recourse.

A pregnant mother and her child have a certain set of rights. To grant those rights to one is to take from another. It is necessarily barbaric. It is necessarily morbid. It is necessarily hard. That is reality. That is not a 5 millenia old black & white fairytale. It is reality.

To equate abortion to the Nazi holocaust is to demean the sacrifices of our grandfathers, to casually disregard the conviction and the level of hatred of the nazi movement for the humanity & rights of others. It demonizes a woman's right to exercise equal control of her life, and dismisses the agony she feels from the innate burden she bears from either choice.

So, in response to that mindset - This is very important, so I want to say it as clearly I can -




RE: We need...
By Jabroney701020 on 11/2/2010 4:26:55 PM , Rating: 2
I agree and disagree.

Firstly, I disagree in that I did not completely compare the two in every way. I have equated genocide (every one, not just the Holocaust) and abortion on only 2 levels, the morality and the morbidity. I did not and do not intend to even attempt to compare them on any other level.

Secondly, I agree with the harsh reality and trauma that any and probably every woman must face during such decision making and procedures of the abortion. It's worse than anything that I (a man) will probably ever be able to understand fully (I say fully because there are levels of understanding below full understanding). My wife has been raped 3 times in her life, once while we were married, and the psychological fallout from that devastated our lives for a couple of years. But, if she were to get pregnant from the man that did that to her I made the choice and prepared my heart to raise that child, as did she (luckily she did not get pregnant from the incident).

God's Word and the limited life experience that I do have show me that life has very hard choices to make but there is a standard to which we should conduct ourselves to help us make those choices.

John 15:13
Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.

I feel and have conducted my life by loving others more than I love myself, regardless of good or bad. I've had a lot of good and I've had a lot of bad. I currently am divorced from my wife after months of counseling following suicide attempts and drug abuse started 2 years after the last rape. I have full custody of both of our children, one is an infant, the other is my step-daughter by birth but my daughter in heart and I am fighting to raise my kids as well as I can because I am putting them before myself. I put my wife before myself as well but could not allow continuous threats of suicide and drug usage around my kids. Currently we are very happy and stable (2 years after the separation) and my ex-wife is doing a lot better as well and I help to maintain good relationships between her and my kids to this day.

Again, this is my level of understanding of hardship and suffering, still not quite on par with rape victims and victims of torture, etc.

I still feel that we all should love others more than ourselves, including mothers-to-be who were raped thinking more of the baby inside of them than of themselves.

ONCE AGAIN......I do have a good life, hapiness and a victorious outcome in life........women considering abortion might possibly have horrible, horrible, horrible, horrible painful lives...............I still feel the standard of loving others more than yourself is more basic and more important than that.

There is no true justification for ending a life. Not even to save your own.

A husband should step in between his wife and a pointed gun, even if it means that he will get shot by a mugger. Sucky situation, but reality on occasion. A father should run into the street to push his child out of the way of an oncoming vehicle, even if it means that he will get hit and die instead. Also a sucky situation.

Rate me a -5 and discontinue my account on DT if you want. This is what I feel is right, always and forever.

RE: We need...
By Kurz on 11/3/2010 9:49:22 AM , Rating: 2
Lol we would never discontinue your account.

We will have dissagreements take in case Reader his average of posts was -1 and he had to type in a code each time he posted.

I for one could in no shape or form support a child 4 years ago (Condom Broke). I was living paycheck to paycheck as was my girlfriend of the time. We continued to date and be together for a quite awhile after the abortion. We were quite happy at least I thought so.

Till I realized she was not really interested in me, Honestly I come from a household of "Lets stay together for the kids" It wasn't pretty.

Oh well to be honest I really don't think a bunch of cells as a individual. Since it isn't viable without the mother's conscent. You don't become a moral human being right off the bat. You have to mature, learn and assimulate into the culture you were brought up in.

When the baby is close to his/her 1 year birthday do you see the symblance of a personality.

RE: We need...
By mmatis on 11/1/10, Rating: -1
RE: We need...
By R3T4rd on 11/2/10, Rating: 0
RE: We need...
By Reclaimer77 on 11/1/10, Rating: -1
RE: We need...
By thurston on 11/1/2010 7:49:19 PM , Rating: 5
Why not just start posting.

If the Liberals didn't <blank> then <insert bad thing> wouldn't happen.

RE: We need...
By ekv on 11/1/2010 8:14:17 PM , Rating: 2
I'm just curious what the budget for the Exoatmospheric Kill Vehicle, etc., is? and/or, what is the budget for GMD? I think the SM-3 is already purchased and field-tested [though testing suggests a round of necessary updates].

RE: We need...
By Reclaimer77 on 11/1/10, Rating: -1
RE: We need...
By eskimospy on 11/1/2010 10:58:48 PM , Rating: 3
Absolutely not. Star Wars was expensive to build, easy to overwhelm, in violation of treaties and destabilizing to the international order.

In other words, stupid in every respect.

RE: We need...
By ekv on 11/2/2010 12:14:31 AM , Rating: 3
And today we have 747's with lasers that can -- and have! -- shot down ballistic missiles. We have, today, missiles (deployed on the West Coast) that can intercept ICBM's. Etc.

Good start if you ask me.

RE: We need...
By eskimospy on 11/2/2010 10:08:55 AM , Rating: 3
None of this really addresses the shortcomings of the system. The problem is structural, one that any system designed for the mid course guidance intercept phase will run into. They are easily overwhelmed by decoys and volume by any real missile threat, and lesser countries interested in a chemical/biological/nuclear attack on us are unlikely to use ballistic missiles to do it anyway. If you're a small country interested in launching a nuclear attack on the US that is large enough to enrage us but not large enough to destroy us (ie: any rogue nation attack), it's a really bad idea to leave your fingerprints on the deed by virtue of a big glowing missile launch. So, this BMD system is largely useless.

The one thing it WOULD be good at is what makes it so destabilizing, however. It would mostly be useful after a first strike US nuclear attack on a strong nuclear adversary that wipes out most of their nuclear capability, leaving our BMD system to mop up their counterattack. This doesn't seem to be a priority for us (thank god), so I question this system's utility.

Star Wars was a ridiculous waste of money, and current BMD systems are not much better.

RE: We need...
By bh192012 on 11/2/2010 7:27:51 PM , Rating: 2
Why would NK care about the fingerprints on the missle, any more than they would the fingerprints from the nuke it's attached to? Both will point to NK. NK doesn't have enough decoys to matter. If Kim wanted to send us a couple of parting gifts from his deathbed, I'll be glad we have some interceptor capability. I'm sure he'd gladly watch us squirm v.s. China after destroying SF and LA.

RE: We need...
By ekv on 11/3/2010 1:50:13 AM , Rating: 2
No, I'm not addressing the shortcomings of the system. If that's what you're expecting then perhaps you'd also like to provide a research grant to go along with that? I promise the research paper will be top quality. Honest 8)

Further, you suggest "chemical/biological/nuclear attack" by lesser countries. An asymmetric or unrestricted approach to warfare is certainly possible given the irrational leaders of N. Korea and Iran. Each backed by China and Russia, respectively. But consider: in such a situation, leaving a "fingerprint on the deed" would not be an issue but rather a source of national pride. Especially if you're a pawn in a greater match. In this scenario, having a BMD system is invaluable. [Queen's Gambit Declined, anybody?]

As for destabilizing international relations ... I disagree. If we have the system, and we are a good people -- that wants to make a buck and provide for our family -- then you MUST think twice before trying anything stupid. That is not destabilizing.

I will grant you that whatever BMD system we have now is far from perfect. I doubt it is even funded, for crying out loud. However, I reiterate, what we have is a good start. It is interesting, not terribly expensive, productive and has great potential. [Things you cannot say about the War on Poverty].

RE: We need...
By Reclaimer77 on 11/2/2010 11:49:04 AM , Rating: 1
I always love this duplicitous tone on a tech site. I notice how when the discussion is about some green energy tech or things like the Tesla, people rush to point out how it's an early tech, how making it now will scale down costs later, and how all the shortcomings will be improved over time etc etc.

But when the discussion is about anything military or defense based, it has to be perfect the first time, right out of the box, or it's too expensive and stupid and ineffective in every respect and we shouldn't try.

RE: We need...
By Scabies on 11/2/2010 12:14:32 PM , Rating: 2
apple users

Dumb idea
By Ammohunt on 11/1/10, Rating: -1
RE: Dumb idea
By Iaiken on 11/1/2010 3:08:58 PM , Rating: 2
cruise missiles armed with tactical nuclear weapons if necessary

o/` You don't win friends with salad...

RE: Dumb idea
By nstott on 11/1/2010 3:12:22 PM , Rating: 2

RE: Dumb idea
By BladeVenom on 11/1/2010 4:18:50 PM , Rating: 4
What country would tolerate letting a foreign power fly war drones over their country?

Even if you ignore the diplomatic side of it, stealth technology isn't perfect of foolproof.

RE: Dumb idea
By ekv on 11/1/2010 8:29:26 PM , Rating: 2
In the case of N. Korea, you certainly would not want to give them any pretext of provocation. You can fly your defensive drones in stand-off patterns outside their sovereign airspace. In addition, I believe Aegis class cruisers are already patrolling just outside N.Korea territorial waters.

Direct diplomacy with N.Korea is not wise.

RE: Dumb idea
By OUits on 11/1/2010 6:07:51 PM , Rating: 2
You're kidding me right?

You call this idea stupid then you advocate for a preemptive nuclear strike? How does your tuberculosis cough drop analogy follow that one? Your line of reasoning is alarmingly irrational.

RE: Dumb idea
By Ammohunt on 11/2/2010 3:23:17 PM , Rating: 1
Hardly, its a real simple analogy; treat the symptoms not the problem.

Not sure of the scope of your reality bubble but being older than 15 I lived during the cold war and clearly understand that a threat of nuclear attack (from nutt jobs willing to carry out such an attack) warrants any type of preventative measures to include limited non-convetional preemtive strikes when the advantage is there.

"Death Is Very Likely The Single Best Invention Of Life" -- Steve Jobs

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