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A Northrop-Grummond built DSP satellite. These current satellites only detect ballistic missile launches, rather than shoot them down.
New $5M study is first allocated since work was halted 15 years ago.

Congress recently approved a $5 million grant to begin study of space-based missile defenses. This marks the first time money has been allocated to the program since work on space-based systems was canceled in the 1990s by President Clinton. Two years ago, Congress rejected a similar proposal.

According to Senator Jon Kyl (R-AZ), the threat of missile proliferation has grown rapidly since the 1990s. A total of 120 nations now have ballistic missile technology, he said, and nations like North Korea and Iran are not only developing the technology, but selling it on the open market. Missile defense systems are growing as well; 27 nations now have some form of missile defense.

The most recent annual report from the Pentagon highlighted the growing threat of accidental or intentional launch of ballistic missiles, as well as the vulnerability of U.S. satellites to attack, as evidenced by China's 2007 missile test, which destroyed a satellite in orbit.

A defense official commenting on the proposal told the Washington Times that space-based ABM systems are necessary for global, rapid defense, "It's really the only way to defend the U.S. and its allies from anywhere on the planet". The official said such defenses were last considered during the late 1980s, as part of the Global Protection Against Limited Strike, or GPALS, a multi-prong system which used ground and sea-based interceptors, along with space-based platforms. The plan was cancelled by the Clinton Administration, which focused all work on short-range missiles only.

The U.S. announced last year that its ground-based Star Wars' missile defense system was operational and ready for use, though capable at present of covering only parts of the U.S. Plans to expand the system in Europe are under way.

Despite claims to the contrary, China is also apparently working on similar proposals, says China military affairs specialist Richard Fisher. The program, which China says it halted in the 1960s, has apparently been restarted with such systems as the SC-19 anti-satellite missile. According to Fisher, China is also trying to deploy space-warfare weapons, aircraft carrier groups, and a much larger MIRV'ed version of its nuclear ballistic missile arsenal.

Fisher, author of the new book, "China's Military Modernization: Building for Regional and Global Reach", says that by 2020, China "will be well on their way to assembling all the elements of global power that [the U.S.] has today".

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RE: Sounds great but...
By InvertMe on 10/17/2008 2:00:13 PM , Rating: 2
All the military in the world wont save you from an airborn virus that you can see, smell or know it's there until you fall over dead. (I know a little dramatic)

I kinda think that's what the OP was getting at.

RE: Sounds great but...
By jadeskye on 10/17/2008 2:04:01 PM , Rating: 2
i agree. safety always has been an illusion. in my opinion the whole purpose of 9/11 was to shatter that illusion and i'd say it did a fairly good job of it.

Shame that in this case theres little one can do to prepare for such eventualities.

RE: Sounds great but...
By 67STANG on 10/17/2008 5:32:58 PM , Rating: 3
Sure there is, at least on an individual basis.... move to a small city or town.

RE: Sounds great but...
By onelittleindian on 10/18/2008 1:41:25 AM , Rating: 4
safety always has been an illusion. in my opinion the whole purpose of 9/11 was to shatter that illusion
I've never heard such a load of fatalistic, runny-nosed, flower-power whooey in my life. Safety is not an illusion. We've stopped a lot of terrorist attacks since 9/11, and pretty much everyone in the world knows that if you want to attack the US, you better plan on it being a suicide mission.

All 9/11 did was prove airplanes make great weapons. IF you're willing to die to use them. And with locked cabin doors, federal air marshals, and all the other new safety procedures, they ain't so great any more. Pretty soon jets will have autopilots that prevent them from being intentionally crashed at all.

If your dumb *** thinks safety is all "just an illusion" its only because you've lived your whole stupid life in a country that keeps you safe. Try living in a country that's gone through genocide, civil war, or something really dangerous and you'll won't ever say anything so stupid again. That is, if you live...which I seriously doubt you would. Low intelligence has a way of being weeded out of the gene pool in situations like that.

RE: Sounds great but...
By Reclaimer77 on 10/18/2008 1:37:04 PM , Rating: 2
^^ +6 post.

RE: Sounds great but...
By spuddyt on 10/19/2008 1:14:00 PM , Rating: 3
I think you are misinterpreting his meaning - he means Total safety is an illusion, like america almost believed that no one could touch it in any way back before 9/11, but now people feel the need to have extra security at airports, look out for suspiscious characters on trains, etc. you can almost always increase your relative safety, but as long as human beings are mortal, and as long as people can come and go as they wish, total safety is impossible

RE: Sounds great but...
By thepalinator on 10/17/2008 2:46:36 PM , Rating: 5
When that virus has to be researched, weaponized, and then delivered, a military will certainly help save you. You think brewing up some world-destroying killer virus is quick and easy?

RE: Sounds great but...
By sgw2n5 on 10/17/2008 3:09:11 PM , Rating: 1
Not near as difficult as one might think it is. There are at least 10,000 people in the US alone that could do this.

Microbiology isn't rocket science.

RE: Sounds great but...
By thepalinator on 10/17/2008 3:42:38 PM , Rating: 5
Nowhere near that many. Yeah, cultivating a virus isn't hard, but making and distributing a succesful weaponized one is a LOT harder.

Compare the anthrax attacks on the US. The FBI estimated that only about a dozen people had the skills to do that, and even still it only killed five people. The guy would have better luck with a gun in a crowded room.

Making a virus that kill millions (and not kill you in the process) IS rocket science. It's harder, actually.

RE: Sounds great but...
By kenji4life on 10/17/08, Rating: 0
RE: Sounds great but...
By 1078feba on 10/17/2008 10:30:46 PM , Rating: 5
three words: it's a movie.

RE: Sounds great but...
By onelittleindian on 10/18/2008 2:01:54 AM , Rating: 3
Most people think all those things you see in Hollywood movies are really true. Things like "grenades explode in big clouds of flame" or "cars blow up if you shoot them" or "all big corporate CEOs have gangs of hired thugs willing to commit murder for them".

RE: Sounds great but...
By Chillin1248 on 10/18/2008 5:42:26 AM , Rating: 2
I always wished my Quartermaster would ask for some "Hollywood Grenades" to be shipped in, they seem to be 15X more effective than any grenade I've ever seen.

Alas, we are still stuck with the M61.


RE: Sounds great but...
By masher2 on 10/18/2008 12:46:11 PM , Rating: 2
My favorite Hollywood myth is the shooting victim who gets knocked back several feet from the bullet's impact.

RE: Sounds great but...
By kenji4life on 10/18/08, Rating: 0
RE: Sounds great but...
By energy1man on 10/18/2008 8:38:10 AM , Rating: 2
Anthrax is a bacterium, not a virus. Overall your point is still mostly valid, though a bacterial infection would be harder to spread than a viral one.

RE: Sounds great but...
By bfonnes on 10/18/2008 8:25:03 PM , Rating: 2
I don't recall that time you're talking about killing anyone... Article?

RE: Sounds great but...
By Josett on 10/20/2008 12:15:27 PM , Rating: 2
Pick [insert harmful substance], fill up some syringes with it, go to a supermarket and stick it in the fruit/milk/... packs.
There you have it.

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