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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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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.

“Then they pop up and say ‘Hello, surprise! Give us your money or we will shut you down!' Screw them. Seriously, screw them. You can quote me on that.” -- Newegg Chief Legal Officer Lee Cheng referencing patent trolls

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