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The architecture of the U.S. missile defense program

A hit-to-kill sequence of an EKV colliding with a ballistic missile.  (Source: Raytheon)
Capable of protecting parts of North America from surprise attack, the U.S. finally realizes "Star Wars"

It took nearly 25 years, but President Reagan's vision of a ballistic missile defense to safeguard the U.S. has finally come to fruition. After a final successful test last week, the system's tracking radars and interceptor rockets are now ready for use and capable of responding to an unannounced attack on North America.

General Victor Renuart Jr., senior commander for defense of United States territory, said that while the system is still being upgraded with additional radars and interceptors, it can already guard the U.S. West Coast against a limited attack from Asia. 

As more components come online in California and Alaska, the system will be able to protect larger areas from more complex attacks.

When first proposed, critics originally called the system "Star Wars" and derided "Ronnie Raygun's" scheme as scientifically impossible. Despite repeated criticism, research development that began shortly after Reagan's 1983 speech continued.

Early work focused on exotic beam weapons to knock out incoming missiles. But the development of ultra-high-speed electronics soon enabled the approach used today- - the EKV, or Exoatmospheric Kill Vehicle. The EKV collides directly with incoming missiles, using its own kinetic energy to destroy the target, an approach described as "hitting a bullet with another bullet."

Renuart claims the system, while operational, still has not received the military's claim of "fully operational." He claims in July 2006 parts of the system were tested as North Korea staged missile testing around that time. 

Raytheon reported successful test interceptions on five separate occasions since October 1999.

The most recent test was held last Friday.  A target missile was launched from Kodiak Island, Alaska, and tracked by radar at Beale Air Force Base, outside of Sacramento. The interceptor was launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base, near Santa Barbara, California, and scored a direct hit.

Shortly after the testing, Lieutenant General Henry Obering III, director of the Missile Defense Agency, said, "Does the system work? The answer is yes to that."

Plans for European expansion of the system call for missile interceptors in Poland and a tracking radar in the Czech Republic to defend against the threat of Middle Eastern ballistic missiles.



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M.A.D anyone?
By Combatcolin on 10/3/2007 4:31:45 PM , Rating: 2
The simple but brutally effective concept of your nuke us we nuke you has now been altered.

Russia now have to do something to re-even the balance.




RE: M.A.D anyone?
By KristopherKubicki (blog) on 10/3/2007 4:37:15 PM , Rating: 3
Who said anything about Russia?


RE: M.A.D anyone?
By Polynikes on 10/3/2007 5:20:12 PM , Rating: 5
I saw a program on TV sometime in the past several months about how young Russians are being indoctrinated to hate the US. They worship Putin, an ex-KGB slimebag. Sounds to me like Russia really wants another Cold War. With some of the stuff Putin's been doing, trying to stay in power and such, I wouldn't be surprised if he didn't establish another dictatorship.


RE: M.A.D anyone?
By Amiga500 on 10/3/2007 5:32:18 PM , Rating: 4
Try looking in as well as out. Both sides are pretty much as bad as each other in their manipulation of both their own public, and the rest of the world.

(I'll probably get voted down for this by people either too stupid, or too "patriotic" to open their eyes)


RE: M.A.D anyone?
By mdogs444 on 10/3/07, Rating: -1
RE: M.A.D anyone?
By Le Québécois on 10/3/2007 8:18:35 PM , Rating: 3
Is there something wrong with Canada?


RE: M.A.D anyone?
By mdogs444 on 10/3/07, Rating: 0
RE: M.A.D anyone?
By erikejw on 10/3/07, Rating: 0
RE: M.A.D anyone?
By mdogs444 on 10/3/2007 9:44:29 PM , Rating: 2
All citizens do have access to healthcare. No one is turned down from emergency room treatment, not even illegal aliens.

Everyone in Canada loves the healthcare system - when they aren't sick. But when they do get sick and find out they have to wait 6 weeks to see a doctor, they come to the US.

Hmmm.


RE: M.A.D anyone?
By siberus on 10/3/2007 10:12:07 PM , Rating: 4
Vicious circle?

Americans coming to Canada for drugs and Canadians going to the US for MRI's.


RE: M.A.D anyone?
By mdogs444 on 10/3/07, Rating: 0
RE: M.A.D anyone?
By psychmike on 10/4/07, Rating: 0
RE: M.A.D anyone?
By masher2 (blog) on 10/4/2007 1:09:32 AM , Rating: 3
quote:
Drug companies spend far more on advertising in the US than they do on research
Where do people dream up this stuff? The two largest pharmaceutical-only companies in the US are Pfizer and Merck. In 2006, Pfizer spent $7.6B on R&D, and $1.1B on advertising. Merck spent $4.8B on R&D, and $1B on advertising.


RE: M.A.D anyone?
By psychmike on 10/4/07, Rating: 0
RE: M.A.D anyone?
By masher2 (blog) on 10/4/2007 1:40:09 AM , Rating: 2
Show your own statistics then. But don't expect us to accept statements like that on faith.


RE: M.A.D anyone?
By psychmike on 10/4/2007 2:18:58 AM , Rating: 3
Good on you for calling me out. It's easy to get lazy but let's try to keep the standard of discourse high.

OK, here goes, the September 2003 issue of the Journal of the Canadian Medical Association, a peer-reviewed publication discusses how direct to consumer advertising costs (cited as comparable to what you stated) do not include sample costs, educational materials for physicians, drug representatives' salaries, or sponsored conference costs.

Paranthetically, the line between advertising and education is really blurry. I point you to the current issue of General Psychiatry (Volume 42, Number 18), hardly a fringe publication, in which Dr. Stone describes how drug research is currently being disseminated in the medical community. Basically, the drug companies produce a paper (with cherry picked subjects and measures, non-responding subjects excluded, and non-significant findings buried), give it to a prestigious researcher who attaches his or her name without involvement, and gets it published in a peer reviewed journal. The drug company gets to cite favorable research, the researchers gets to add a publication credit to his or her CV, and everyone's happy. Oh, except possibly the patient. I kid you not, the good psychiatrists in the bunch are calling the current process nothing less than fraudulent.

The Indiana University's HR Services HR website has less detailed, but more accessible information "http://www.indiana.edu/~uhrs/benefits/bulletin/200..." on drug costs. They say that total marketing and administration costs (I don't know how much is admin but this likely includes marketing surveys and physician usage tracking) are 3x research costs.

Mike


RE: M.A.D anyone?
By Kanti on 10/4/07, Rating: 0
RE: M.A.D anyone?
By psychmike on 10/4/2007 5:59:49 AM , Rating: 3
Based on your content, I believe that your compliment is in response to my post but it looks like it's attached to Siberus's. If it is indeed in relation to my post, thank you for the complement and for sharing your thoughts as well. It's nice to know I'm not shouting into the wind.

Indeed, the ways that corporations externalize the cost for things like research while claiming the profits is one of the reasons why healthcare is falling apart in both our countries. A recent issue of New Scientist (past 4 months?) described an analysis of pharmaceutical research and found marked differences in probabilities for efficacy and significant side effects when research is conducted in public university settings versus privately-funded research. Very troubling since the trend is certainly towards privately-funded research. A physician-researcher here in Toronto, Dr. Nancy Olivieri, identified potentially life-threatening side effects during a clinical trial of a medication to treat a blood disorder. The drug company shut down the research and threatened her with legal action if she disclosed her findings. To their shame, the hospital and her university took the side of the company. Fortunately, she is someone of great character and courage and got the word out. I wonder how often the opposite happens.

Our healthcare system is just as much in bed with corporate interests as yours. General physicians have to know an incredible amount of information but too often rely on diagnostic tests with high sensitivity and poor specificity, leading to many false positives. These tests have some drug name and logo stamped to the bottom of them. Most GPs simply don't practice medicine as much as they do pharmacotherapy. Where is the line between medicine and advertisement when diagnosis, research, and treatment are all driven primarily not by empiricism but by market forces? Even the effectiveness of the invisible hand of capitalism is predicated on all actors having adequate and accurate information and this clearly isn't happening in many areas.

In all of this, I am saddened by how several American posters on this thread seem deeply cynical of their fellow citizens. It has been said that public healthcare would remove people's incentives to maintain their own health - as if being healthy were not reward enough. It has been said that dollars spent on others' health or education is dollars out of one's own pocket - as if there weren't clear economic and social benefits for providing these services, let alone our moral and ethical obligation to our fellow citizen. Why is it that those folks assume the worst of their neighbours when I assume that most Canadians are generally like me - we require some incentive to work hard but generally don't abuse the system. We try our best but sometimes fall down for reasons beyond our control. We take pride in our work and want to be contributing members of our society. We bend the rules in our own favor but seldom break them. How strong can a country be when there is so much distrust between its citizens?

There is so much that is wonderful about America. It has pioneered ideas of equality and inclusiveness. I hope we all rediscover that the weight of our civic responsibilities is much lighter when we carry it together. I hope we all rediscover that it is not a burden to be a citizen but a privilege.

Mike


RE: M.A.D anyone?
By 1078feba on 10/4/2007 12:56:50 PM , Rating: 5
quote:
I am saddened by how several American posters on this thread seem deeply cynical of their fellow citizens


It's not cynicsm, it's a fundamental difference in morals. Wanting to help is laudable, but looking around and deciding that everyone must is immoral. You are taking away my very fundamental human right to decide on my own & are effectively telling me that I am unfit to think for myself.

It makes no difference what argument is built upon that foundation, no matter how humanely conceptualized or altruisticly intentioned, it is immoral...the road to hell being paved with, as the saying goes.

This is not to say that we can't or shouldn't do better. But let's make sure that the primary reason for doing so is not to allow us to feel better about ourselves when glancing in the mirror.

quote:
It has been said that dollars spent on others' health or education is dollars out of one's own pocket - as if there weren't clear economic and social benefits for providing these services, let alone our moral and ethical obligation to our fellow citizen.


Same argument, same basic flaw. Not only that, as someone who works for the government, I am absolutely dumbfounded by your blithe matter-of-fact tone & forgone-conclusion-esque style in pronouncing that a system of complete gov't managed healthcare is more efficient than private. A point of view that so flies in the face of reality that no matter how much hard evidence can piled in front of you to the contrary, you will never understand because you do not want to.

quote:
I hope we all rediscover that the weight of our civic responsibilities is much lighter when we carry it together.


I see a little further down this thread that someone already mentioned it, so I will just toss this in: we do, in point of fact, carry the weight of our civic responsibilities, by giving to charities. America leads all nations on the face of the planet in this regard, and by a wide margin. I live in NOLA, and I was here for Katrina. I, and many others, actually turned down money from the Red Cross, money that all my fellow Americans, from all walks of life and economic strata, gave, and then probably in some way had make do with less. Name another country that parked an aircraft carrier off the Indonesian coast after the tsunami, capable of producing 900,000 galllons of potable water a day.

quote:
I hope we all rediscover that it is not a burden to be a citizen but a privilege.


On this point, you hit a four-bagger. I quite simply could not agree more. The problem is, you see this as a mandate to enforce on others what you see as the "moral & ethical" thing to do. I see it as allowing my fellow Americans to think for themselves, and doing as they see fit to help when and where they are able.


RE: M.A.D anyone?
By psychmike on 10/4/2007 1:16:33 PM , Rating: 1
Thanks for your thoughtful reply.

We can argue about public versus private enterprise. I am not naive, I know that public employees can drag their heels forever and be inefficient. But I also believe that corporations value efficiency and costs over inclusiveness and fairness and healthcare is simply something too important to deprive someone of.

More interesting is your statement about imposing an obligation on someone else. I think that is a fundamental difference between Canadians and Americans and one with strengths on both sides. I do not think that my fellow citizens are unable to think for themselves. But I do think that we have agreed as a society that this is something that is important to us and that we value and have asked our government to administer it for us, much like any other function of government, like building roads. Our healthcare system is incredibly popular. In most polls and surveys, the majority of Ontarians anyways want services expanded, not curtailed.

You are absolutely right about the generosity of Americans. Unmatched per capita in charitable donations domestically and internationally and much of it coming from middle-income individuals. When I lived in the US, I was touched by how much personal support and kindness that was extended to me.

Perhaps in the end, Americans are more afraid of governments and Canadians are more afraid of corporations but perhaps we can agree that both of us want to keep greedy powers in check.

Mike


RE: M.A.D anyone?
By Koshi on 10/4/2007 5:30:34 PM , Rating: 1
1078feba

quote:
I see it as allowing my fellow Americans to think for themselves, and doing as they see fit to help when and where they are able.


Your arguments would be completely sound, were everyone decently paid and comfortably insured, employees of the government. In reality however, those of your rank comprise a tiny percentage of your population.

How freeing it must be to be able to choose all your coverage options when you can't afford the coverage in the first place. You aren't acknowledging the reality that a vast amount of your population can't afford proper coverage or worse coverage period. How many hundreds of thousands of your people have to make the choice between having food on the table or being prepared for the chance that they may become ill.

quote:
It's not cynicsm, it's a fundamental difference in morals. Wanting to help is laudable, but looking around and deciding that everyone must is immoral. You are taking away my very fundamental human right to decide on my own & are effectively telling me that I am unfit to think for myself.


That argument makes no sense. You pay taxes I assume, right? How much choice do you have in that? Are you aware or have any control over where those tax dollars go? Your government helps itself to a percentage of your income each pay day. Every time you buy groceries, or clothes, etc (Except Oregon to my understanding), you have to pay a percentage of the total cost to the government. Do you cry foul over your fundamental human rights when you pay taxes? Whats so wrong with having guaranteed health care covered in your tax dollars?

quote:
Same argument, same basic flaw. Not only that, as someone who works for the government, I am absolutely dumbfounded by your blithe matter-of-fact tone & forgone-conclusion-esque style in pronouncing that a system of complete gov't managed healthcare is more efficient than private. A point of view that so flies in the face of reality that no matter how much hard evidence can piled in front of you to the contrary, you will never understand because you do not want to.


Care to back any of that up? I'd be very interested in seeing the hard evidence you've got on the subject. I'm curious, because I work for the Canadian Department of Vital Statistics, and I've got access to heaps of cold statistical information that can back a pretty strong case to the contrary of what you are claiming. Although, I'm taking liberty with your definition of efficient on the matter. ;)

Now, to be fair, as a Canadian, I will certainly admit our system is not without its flaws. Not by a long shot.
But as far as serving every citizen, period? Sorry, but a Universally available system makes way more sense.


RE: M.A.D anyone?
By Ringold on 10/4/2007 2:17:42 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
I hope we all rediscover that the weight of our civic responsibilities is much lighter when we carry it together.


The founding fathers would likely dare suggest it to be much more secure, or at least that personal liberty is much more secure, when we take not the path that is easy (socialism) but the path that is difficult (individual responsibility).


RE: M.A.D anyone?
By Frallan on 10/4/2007 4:58:58 AM , Rating: 2
Damn!!! One of the hard to almost impossible questions again...

Do i vote up or post..

Since im Posting i just want to say that this was a post indicative of why I read Dailytech and the comments - a true golden nugget of knowledge.

Thx
/F


RE: M.A.D anyone?
By masher2 (blog) on 10/4/2007 5:03:26 PM , Rating: 4
quote:
"They say that total marketing and administration costs (I don't know how much is admin but this likely includes marketing surveys and physician usage tracking) are 3x research costs"
Unfortunately, this is just the website for a University's HR department. The claim is unsourced, and without any supporting data.

Worse, even if true, it doesn't support your original claim, as "administrative" costs are by far the lions share of drug companies charges. Why? Because that little line item includes the two most expensive charges a drug company faces, a) getting FDC approval for new drugs, and b) the contingency fund for paying settlements for drug liability suits.


RE: M.A.D anyone?
By sxr7171 on 10/4/2007 12:55:45 PM , Rating: 2
Solicitation of professionals is nothing like it was in the 80s. Back then, if you were a doctor you could expect expensive gifts, nice meals, and even vacations courtesy of the drug companies. These days, you might get a pen or a pad of paper.


RE: M.A.D anyone?
By psychmike on 10/4/07, Rating: 0
RE: M.A.D anyone?
By JonnyDough on 10/4/07, Rating: 0
RE: M.A.D anyone?
By Hawkido on 10/4/2007 5:42:54 PM , Rating: 2
Its nice for the government to decide everything for you... like the price of drugs, and the cost of healthcare. They even decide how long you wait to see the heart specialist. My grandma only had to wait 2 weeks out of the suggested 4 week queue to see the heart specialist in Canada(they sent her to the morgue... she musta got tired of waiting.) I know this is an isolated incident... My Grandpa got put in the same queue in Quebec, he lived but they said the heart damage went untreated too long and now his heart is hanging by a thread. It funny because they moved to Canada for the free health care 10 years ago. I guess you get what you pay for.


RE: M.A.D anyone?
By dever on 10/5/2007 1:36:06 PM , Rating: 2
"government negotiates" = forced pricing. Making it illegal to charge above a certain price in Cananda creates higher prices elsewhere.

The problem is a lack of competition and over-regulation. If allowed to thrive in a truly free market, everyone could pay the lowest possible prices for drugs.


RE: M.A.D anyone?
By Targon on 10/4/2007 7:59:51 AM , Rating: 3
And insurance companies allow the drug companies to keep the prices much higher than they should be based on volume produced. In many industries, if the volume of goods sold is very high, and the cost to produce(not develop) the product is low, prices go down. Insurance companies allow people to continue buying overpriced drugs rather than not buying them and forcing the prices to go down.

The government COULD be spending more efforts to regulate the costs of medical procedures and medications which would reduce(not eliminate) the need for insurance just to pay for medications and some medical procedures.


RE: M.A.D anyone?
By psyph3r on 10/3/2007 11:25:10 PM , Rating: 5
i don't think anybody in the us understands how socialized medicine works. It really isn't as bad as america thinks it is. we are the only top 25 country without socialized medicine. we are 37th in the world on health. something wrong with that equation? I believe france is the highest. None of them would trade their citizenship in their country for our health care. they would almost all laugh at you.


RE: M.A.D anyone?
By psychmike on 10/4/2007 12:17:31 AM , Rating: 2
You have no idea what you're talking about. We see physicians whenever we want to. I have a GP who can usually see me within the same week but if I want to go sooner I can visit any walk-in clinic I like and wait 15 minutes. How long do you wait in your hospital emergency rooms? I worked in one last year and the average wait time for a non-emergency was about 2 hours with a total visit lasting about 5 hours.

Talk to the Chair of Health Policy at Harvard. He says that the American system is great for developing expensive technologies and treatments but are lousy at delivering services and promoting prevention. How does healthcare work when the only services that are promoted are the ones that make someone a buck? Where's the benefit in spending time with someone and discussing their diet and exercise instead of writing a script for a statin which comes with its own side effects?

If a for-profit healthcare system is so great, why does the US spend more (2x) per capital on healthcare than Canada and most European countries and yet lags on primary indices of health like infant mortality, birth weight, chronic disease?

There are LOTS of things that corporations are good at - generating innovation, finding some efficiencies, etc. But those are at odds with several other factors intrinsic in healthcare delivery - things like accessibility, non-externalization of costs, and accountability. Check out the recent issue of General Psychiatry. Want to know how drug research is done? The pharm companies cherry pick their samples, cherry pick their measures, drop out subjects that don't respond to treatment, and until recently only had to publish the results they wanted. Is THAT likely to produce good medicine?

I don't mean to shame you but you have no idea how foolish you sound to anyone who knows anything about the issues. It's fine to be patriotic but loving one's country means knowing about it and wanting it to be better for all its citizens.

Mike


RE: M.A.D anyone?
By Ringold on 10/4/2007 12:54:58 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
If a for-profit healthcare system is so great, why does the US spend more (2x) per capital on healthcare than Canada and most European countries


I won't counter your cherry picked examples of the time it takes for one procedure or another with examples of my own of equal bias, but I can respond confidently to the above.

The reason is simple. We've got a bastard system; companies and government both hold up parts of the market and a failure to have sensible regulation means that the insured face almost none of the consequences of maintaining their own health and the uninsured have a hard time finding affordable insurance because no measure has been taken to force a little risk-pooling. It's the worst of both worlds. Is anyone actually even defending the current system anyway? What I see is a debate between the Romney/Swiss system and Canadian or Canadian-lite systems, not the status quo.


RE: M.A.D anyone?
By psychmike on 10/4/2007 1:06:37 AM , Rating: 1
Good points but I don't believe I am cherry picking the data - I've acknowledged what a market-based system does well (innovation, local efficiencies) and what it does poorly (provide access, administrative efficiency, prevention). If there's something I'm not seeing, please point it out.

I'm surprised that you identify the lack of individual incentives as a rationale for private healthcare. People make silly decisions all the time but no one wants to be sick. There are quality of life, work, relational, social reasons people should look after their health. By your thinking, people should engage in more risky behaviour in Canada because of socialized medicine but this simply isn't so. In fact, our indices of chronic health issues are better than those in the US so clearly people don't require a cost incentive to try to stay healthy.

I don't know Romney's proposed system but will read up on it. The Swiss system isn't really much more private than what we have in Ontario. Here, the government provides basic healthcare (GP visists, life saving operations) while medication, dentistry, optometry, psychology, physiotherapy is paid for privately but most people have private insurance through their workplace.

Mike


RE: M.A.D anyone?
By masher2 (blog) on 10/4/2007 1:19:16 AM , Rating: 3
quote:
"How long do you wait in your hospital emergency rooms? I worked in one last year and the average wait time for a non-emergency was about 2 hours
Well obviously if you're in an emergency room for a non-emergency, you're not going to be seen extremely quickly.

quote:
why does the US [lag] on primary indices of health like infant mortality, birth weight...
Because of drug use among mothers, primarily.


RE: M.A.D anyone?
By psychmike on 10/4/07, Rating: 0
RE: M.A.D anyone?
By psychmike on 10/4/2007 6:24:27 AM , Rating: 2
Masher2, are you being disingenuous are do you simply have reading problems? Clearly, I was responding to Mdogs post that all Americans have access to healthcare via emergency rooms. If that is the base level of accessible healthcare versus the Canadian system where most (certainly not all) people have a family physician, access to free walk-in clinics staffed by physicians, and can visit emergency, clearly we have better access.

Why don't you simply take a poll with stratified sampling for income and ask 10,000 Americans and 10,000 Canadians who is happier with their healthcare system? Let the results speak for themselves. We are more highly taxed than you are but we also appreciate the safety net that public healthcare provides for us. We believe that most of the other citizens in our society are good people who deserve support when they fall on hard times.

As for your comment about drug using mothers, I feel sorry for you if you look around your country and see so many others as being part of the problem and a threat to your welfare. I choose to believe that most Americans are not as cynical, selfish, and afraid as you appear to be.

Mike


RE: M.A.D anyone?
By mdogs444 on 10/4/2007 8:29:35 AM , Rating: 1
quote:
Why don't you simply take a poll with stratified sampling for income and ask 10,000 Americans and 10,000 Canadians who is happier with their healthcare system?


That would all depend on which group you ask. If you ask middle class americans who work hard for their money, and want to maintain their current lifestyle with feeling they have to support people who dont want to work, then they will say the current system. If you ask low income americans, then sure, they will say a universal system. In my opinion, laziness is no longer an excuse to expect other people to support you out of their hard earned money. My father worked two jobs, 85 hrs / week to be able to provide the lifestyle he wanted for his kids, and was taxed in a high income bracket so that his money would go to supporting people who are lazy and dont want to work.

I know thats not all his money went to, and i know that not all people who dont have jobs are lazy, but implementing a larger wealth redistribution method is stupid. It will encourage those who dont have good jobs or high paying jobs to stay as they are because they are getting even more free money, and it will discourage people who want to get great jobs because they will be losing out on even more of their money.

It defeats the purpose of the "american dream" unless you your dream is to be a pantywaist mooch.


RE: M.A.D anyone?
By psychmike on 10/4/2007 12:33:47 PM , Rating: 3
Hence my statement about polling a stratified sample.

I know how you feel. My dad worked very hard too, from literal homelessness to making a good life for our family. People do need incentives to work. I would never advocate a welfare system that had no incentives for people to try to better themselves. BUT healthcare is one of those things like education where I believe access is crucial to a well-functioning society. People don't choose to get sick and often illness has huge consequences for the whole family and for society. As I mentioned earlier, if I may also offer a personal example, my own mom received a kidney transplant when I was much younger. She likely wouldn't have been able to get coverage for this due to early risk factors. If we would have had to pay for this, it would have bankrupted our family. We would have had to sell our house, forgo university, and lived in debt for decades. Instead, she got her operation, got better, went on to go back to work, and my sister and I finished graduate school and are now professionals who pay our share of that higher tax bracket too. If you're a pragmatist, health is just one of those things that has wide ranging social and financial costs and I'd rather help pay for someone's GP visit before they develop an acute condition that takes 10x more to treat, affects their employability, and the lives of many people. But more than that, I guess us Canadians feel morally and ethically that healthcare is something that all of our citizens should have access to.

Mike


RE: M.A.D anyone?
By masher2 (blog) on 10/4/2007 11:21:55 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
As for your comment about drug using mothers, I feel sorry for you if you look around your country and see so many others as being part of the problem and a threat to your welfare. I choose to believe that most Americans are not as cynical, selfish, and afraid as you appear to be.
You type this, then have the gall to call me disingenuous?

You asked why the US lags certain other nations in infant mortality and birthweight, attempting to link that to problems with our healthcare system. You ignore the fact that problem has a much more immediate cause-- illicit drug use among mothers, at a rate well above other industrialized nations.

Then you attack me as "selfish and afraid" for merely pointing out that link? Where did I say or even imply that it was a "threat to my own welfare"? Nowhere of course, and you and I both know that.

Your "misconcomprehension" was clearly intentional, and intended as a personal slur. You should be ashamaned of yourself.


RE: M.A.D anyone?
By psychmike on 10/4/2007 12:55:26 PM , Rating: 2
I honestly do not mean to offend you. You seem like a very intelligent person but you have been responding to my other posts very selectively and in a way that seems to oversimplify and even mock the issue (e.g., suggesting that I do not understand that non-emergency wait times would be longer in an emergency setting, stating that implementing a healthy lifestyle is simply common sense - are so many people just stupid in your mind?).

When you bring up the example of drug using mothers, it is simply inflammatory to pick a group of people who likely won't garner much sympathy to illustrate your fear that the healthcare system would be abused. You state that this population is responsible for the poor health statistics that I cite. Well, please back up YOUR statements. Show me your data that this sample contributes in a statistically significant way to overall population healthcare costs or outcomes. As you state, I do not doubt that the US likely has a larger population of this kind than many industrialized nations but I still do not know that it is very large overall. MY hunch is that lower birth weights, etc. are better accounted for by lower access to prenatal care for the general population.

As for my statement that you seem selfish and afraid, let us put the lie to it. Do you believe that drug using mothers should receive health benefits or would you prefer to let them fend for themselves? What of their children? Much more likely to be born prematurely, with complications, some form of pervasive developmental disorder. Should we just deal with the mess for a lifetime or do we try to mediate these harms?

Again, practically, I've described how private healthcare works. You pay your premiums and then require services. The adjuster who decides if you should get that benefit is typically not educated in healthcare and almost never at an advanced level. They have personal financial incentives to keep the benefits that they allow low. If they deny your claim they then send you to an insurer's examiner. Often, this is someone who gets paid largely on insurance work. They also have personal financial incentives to disallow the benefit. If they deny the claim, it may go to lengthy arbitration or mediation or court. Does THAT sound like a fair system for someone who is ill to have to go through? At what point is an objective expert making a decision based on your welfare? At what points can corporate biases wreck the process?

You seem like someone who is concerned with fairness. Does that sound very fair to you either? I understand that there are some new proposals being put forward and I hope they work better than this model.


RE: M.A.D anyone?
By masher2 (blog) on 10/4/2007 5:21:01 PM , Rating: 1
> "When you bring up the example of drug using mothers, it is simply inflammatory to pick a group of people who likely won't garner much sympathy "

You selected the group, not me, when you singled out infant birth weight and mortality as a critical metric. The root of that problem is drug use among mothers, and no amount of your shucking and jiving will hide that fact.

Here's a study on expectant mothers who agreed to a substance abuse program. The results are astounding. Premature deliveries dropped by 70%! Low birthweight dropped by 84%! Infant mortality by 67%. There's no denying statistics like that:

http://pn.psychiatryonline.org/cgi/content/full/36...

Now, how about you stop selectively replying to my posts? Do you still deny that any substantive number of adults in the nation don't already know that exercise and diet will improve their health? What's the source of your belief that physicians don't already spread this knowledge? (Mine certainly does...he hasn't missed a beat in 11 years yet).

You accuse me of calling people stupid, yet you call them ignorant. People already know the advantages of diet, exercise, and moderating in alchohol and tobacco use. Many simpy don't want to give up these pleasures, and live a more ascetic lifestyle. Simple fact, and it is not calling anyone "stupid" to point it out.

> "[The insurer] also have personal financial incentives to disallow the benefit.."

Misleading and inaccurate as usual. An insurer attempts to disallow noncovered benefits. There is a strong disincentive to disallowing ones which are covered. First, you open yourself to an expensive civil suit...possibly even a crushing class active suit if the action is widespread. Secondly, you risk annoying your paying customers and the root source of all your income.

In 20+ years, my various insurance providers have paid countless hundreds of claims all without a quibble. Over all those years, only one was ever improperly denied. I issued a complaint; they investigated, and paid it. End of story.



RE: M.A.D anyone?
By howtochooseausername on 10/12/2007 2:09:53 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Because of drug use among mothers, primarily.


So what's your source for that statement? It seems awfully callous if not just mean.


RE: M.A.D anyone?
By anonymo on 10/4/2007 6:58:51 AM , Rating: 3
6 weeks, lol I would be dead!

At least I don't have to pay $100k for a broken limb.


RE: M.A.D anyone?
By InsaneGain on 10/4/2007 12:56:30 PM , Rating: 4
quote:
Everyone in Canada loves the healthcare system - when they aren't sick. But when they do get sick and find out they have to wait 6 weeks to see a doctor, they come to the US.

Typical ignorance. It is a well published fact that the US spends double per capita on health care than other industrialed nations, yet actual quality for the average American is worse. http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/18674951/
Informed Americans all know there is a major problem with their health care system.
"Congress, President George W. Bush, many employers and insurers have all agreed in recent months to overhaul the U.S. health care system"
health care costs in the U.S. a major issue for their economic competitiveness. Did you not read about the huge problems the U.S. auto sector is having with health care costs??? Did you not hear about the desperate negotiations GM is having with the UAW regarding health care costs? The US health care system is bankrupting US Industry.
BECOME MORE INFORMED BEFORE SPOUTING YOUR MOUTH OFF ABOUT OTHER COUNTRIES HEALTH CARE SYSTEMS.


RE: M.A.D anyone?
By onelittleindian on 10/3/2007 10:06:28 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Healthcare for all citizens is a real problem.
Its not a problem if health care grew on trees. But it doesn't.

It has to be paid for by other people. That means "free" health care for all is nothing but forcing Person A to work so that Person B can have health care.

Sounds like slavery for me, however nice you dress it up.


RE: M.A.D anyone?
By mdogs444 on 10/3/2007 10:12:23 PM , Rating: 1
Thank you. Universal Healthcare = Distribution of Wealth.

I make more than someone else, so I should give them some of my money. It completely throws out what this country was founded on - land of opportunity. The ability to be as successful as you can be.


RE: M.A.D anyone?
By treehugger87 on 10/3/07, Rating: 0
RE: M.A.D anyone?
By onelittleindian on 10/3/2007 10:24:38 PM , Rating: 5
> "Haha, you pay taxes. Wonder where those go"

Most of them already go to redistributing wealth. Does that make it right?

I know the world would be a much better place if we just let our paternalistic government spend all our money for us, but I can't help but want to keep at least a little of my own money now and then.


RE: M.A.D anyone?
By mdogs444 on 10/3/2007 10:35:47 PM , Rating: 1
Our taxes go for everything in our country - things we want the money to go to, and things we dont.

National security (you should pay us for yours), funding our military (RCAF - thats like our local air show), welfare system (which i think sucks), healthcare, police, fire department, etc, etc, etc.

But hey, we prefer to keep Canada around - we like your beer.


RE: M.A.D anyone?
By myhipsi on 10/5/2007 12:24:15 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
But hey, we prefer to keep Canada around - we like your beer.


.... and our oil, coal, electricity, softwood, zinc, uranium... shall I go on?

Here's a tip. Try being a little less arrogant and pompous and try to learn a little more about your northern neighbor instead. Contrary to what you may believe, there's more to Canada than Beer and Hockey.


RE: M.A.D anyone?
By derwin on 10/3/2007 11:51:55 PM , Rating: 1
Infact, Universal Healthcare would probably reduce your healthcare costs... If you didnt need to pay shareholders a slice of the pie, it would be cheaper for you, as you are only paying for services provided, not also so someone somehwere can make a buck off of your brain tumor.

I don't see people complaining when we keep our citizens alive by manning the walls with gunmen, why can't we line our streets with doctors too, and keep our people more than alive, but healthy too?

P.S.
Any aspect of a large government = Redistribution of Wealth.

Another part of this great country (beyond our ability to make vast amounts of personal wealth) is that we CARE about eachother- you know, "proud to be an American," and all that? Thats what I think a lot of people have lost. You really would rather have a new car than pay an extra 2000 a year to ensure your fellow AMERICANS have adequate health care?

You are not the kind of american that I feel I should really care about, but I do anyway.


RE: M.A.D anyone?
By Ringold on 10/4/2007 12:08:43 AM , Rating: 1
quote:
Infact, Universal Healthcare would probably reduce your healthcare costs...


Go away, find a community college, take ECO2001 while sober, and ponder that again.

If you can't part with $300 for a university course or $150 for a cheap CC, then a library works.. might even have Bernankes textbook; double bang for your library buck. Removal of willful ignorance and insight in to the mind of the worlds most important central banker.


RE: M.A.D anyone?
By psychmike on 10/4/2007 12:38:26 AM , Rating: 3
I guess you disagree with the Chair of Healthcare Policy at Harvard. You're so smart, why don't you explain how a company that has to generate a profit can deliver services for less money than an organization which does not? Currently, the administrative costs for private healthcare range from 20-30% above which socialized medicine costs to deliver. You also seem to believe in economic incentives. Why don't you tell me the economic incentive for working with patients for an hour around preventative care (diet, exercise) instead of taking 5 minutes to write them a script that produces side effects. Physicians in your country have a disincentive towards providing effective service because they are paid for the number of services provided, not the effectiveness of the service. This encourages brief visis requiring multiple return visits. Canada is no different in this regard - we have a publicly funded system but most services are provided by for-profit physicians.

If American healthcare is so wonderful, why do you spend 2x per capita what other industrialized countries do and lag on primary indices of health? It's because your system is great at producing expensive technological systems that generate profit (that's why we come down to use your MRIs) but lousy at providing accessible service.

Mike


RE: M.A.D anyone?
By Ringold on 10/4/07, Rating: 0
RE: M.A.D anyone?
By psychmike on 10/4/2007 1:14:11 AM , Rating: 1
Nice to spar with you again!

YOUR private schools produce better results than your public schools. Private service providers must ALWAYS offer something that the public system does not provide - better teachers, smaller classes, more computers - in order to compete. That means that the private system will always have higher costs than the public system. It does, however, produce a profit by being able to exclude students, ahem, customers who cannot pay. If the goal of education is to produce an informed electorate, good citizens, or a well-trained workforce, not providing education has huge costs for your society.

Our public schools do just fine thank you. Your university system is a little different. There is something very admirable about how your best schools produce amazing innovations and discoveries but that is a much more complex issue involving patents, foreign scholarships, etc.

Mike


RE: M.A.D anyone?
By Ringold on 10/4/2007 2:22:31 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
YOUR private schools produce better results than your public schools.


Sadly, because of America's backwards attitude towards encouraging competition, most of the private school studies that show positive results happen to be those done internationally. Much to my own shame, some come out of Europe.

It's not just ours that do better, therefore, but it appears to be universally better. Which makes sense, seeing that economic principles apply universally..


RE: M.A.D anyone?
By psychmike on 10/4/2007 3:06:58 PM , Rating: 2

It's an easy argument to compare a private system in the same community favorably to a public system in the same community. The private system must offer some advantage or why would people pay? The point is that the private system isn't doing better simply because of competition, it is pulling the best resources (teachers) from the public system. The only fair comparison that can be made is between a private system and a public system in unrelated but similar communities in order to control for the interaction between the systems. So, you are the one who brought up education. Show me one study that shows that private American grade schools outperform public Canadian schools.

Whatever studies you produce that show public schools outperform private schools does not address the issue of whether it is either practical, responsible, or ethical to neglect those who cannot afford the service. If people opt out of public education and pay for it privately, what happens to the public system? It crumbles. What happens to the children who can't afford a better education? They go to schools with poor infrastructure, worse teachers, larger classes. It just perpetuates the status quo rather than creating a fair base by which all people can reach their full potential based on their merits (not the wealth of their parents).

Mike


RE: M.A.D anyone?
By psychmike on 10/4/2007 1:24:37 AM , Rating: 4
I completely agree with you about how private enterprise generates local efficiencies and is great at promoting innovation. Where you and I will have to disagree is where it is appropriate to apply economic principles.

To me, these things fall apart when socially, morally, we do not want to exclude people from the system. To me, things like healthcare and education are basic rights of citizens, not just those that can afford it. I'm not just idealistic about it, I'm also practical. By and large, I don't see people abusing the system - running into the hospital for unnecessary services, trying to learn too much in school - but I see lots of people benefiting from it who otherwise would have a much worse quality of life. General access to education and healthcare promotes healthy citizens who can work, participate in democracy, and become productive members of society. I just don't see the good in the alternative.

I don't want to get too personal, but my mom had a kidney transplant when I was a kid. If we had to pay for it, it would have absolutely ruined our family. We would have had to sell our house, forgo an advanced education, and worked for years to get out of debt. I doubt that she would have been able to get private insurance because she had diagnosed renal problems from childhood. Because she got the operation for free, she got better, went back to work for 20 years and my sister and I both attended graduate school and have become professionals. For that, I am very grateful to live in Canada. It gives me no pleasure to suggest that a family in the US in exactly the same situation may not have had such a happy ending to their story.

Mike


RE: M.A.D anyone?
By masher2 (blog) on 10/4/2007 1:44:28 AM , Rating: 3
> "...for working with patients for an hour around preventative care (diet, exercise) instead of taking 5 minutes to write them a script..."

Is there anyone in the US who doesn't already know that exercise and a good diet will better their health? Those who don't do it don't WANT to do it...and having a paternalistic doctor lecture them isn't going to change things.


RE: M.A.D anyone?
By psychmike on 10/4/2007 2:24:42 AM , Rating: 3
No, it's not as simple as that. In fact, very little is as simple as you often describe. There's a whole field of research involving treatment non-compliance of which I am sure you are unaware. Regardless, my point is that private healthcare does not create incentives for outcomes, only services delivered.

Mike


RE: M.A.D anyone?
By Spivonious on 10/4/2007 9:18:42 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Regardless, my point is that private healthcare does not create incentives for outcomes, only services delivered.


That's pretty much up to the doctor. A good, morally-centered doctor doesn't just prescribe medicine to get the patient out the door, doesn't schedule repeat visits when one longer visit could help the patient more. Why do you think doctor's offices are always running behind schedule? Emergency rooms have a 2+ hour wait for non-emergency patients. Well, duh! If it's not an emergency, then wait until the family doctor's office opens and go see him; he knows more about you than some ER doc anyway! If you can't afford the family doc, then go to one of the many free clinics available! The city I live in has under 200,000 people and it has three clinics.

Since you live in Canada, you have no personal experience with the U.S. healthcare system. You are basing your entire argument off one article in a psychiatrist's journal.

I would much rather prefer to have my place of business pay for my healthcare rather than raising taxes even higher to support those who refuse to support themselves. Welfare doesn't encourage people to get jobs, so why would free healthcare encourage people to be healthier? We already have programs in place to help those who can't afford healthcare (Medicare, Medicaid). Don't make me throw away any more of my hard-earned money.


RE: M.A.D anyone?
By psychmike on 10/4/2007 1:02:06 PM , Rating: 2
I have no doubt that there are good physicians out there. I simply ask you if a system in which physicians are paid to deliver services (effective or not) is likely to work as well as one in which they are paid for improved health outcomes.

As for my not having experience living in the US, you are simply wrong. I lived and worked in Rochester, NY for a year. I've worked in both private and public healthcare settings. Now, your turn. Have you ever lived in Canada? If not, can I discredit your opinion as to which system is better?

I hope that gives me some credibility to offer my opinion but I don't require it. I stand on the internal consistency of my argument, the moral and ethical basis of my perspective, and the research I have cited in the many posts above.

Mike


RE: M.A.D anyone?
By psychmike on 10/4/07, Rating: 0
RE: M.A.D anyone?
By mdogs444 on 10/4/2007 8:35:36 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
You really would rather have a new car than pay an extra 2000 a year to ensure your fellow AMERICANS have adequate health care?


Yes, i would. I already pay over 35% of my income in taxes. If i want to support more people, then it should be my choice, not my duty. If people on or below the poverty level want my help, then they'll have to show that they are trying to work harder to get to where they need to be, not just standing on the corner with their hands out asking for a free ride. I volunteer much of my time after work at the non-profit hospital system that i work for, i make donations several times a year for kids who cannot afford to have a good christmas. People need to start earning their keep around here instead of living with the mentality that they are "entitled" to more of what i work for. Entitlement is the form of selfishness that hurts this country, not people who want to keep what they actually earn.


RE: M.A.D anyone?
By blaster5k on 10/4/2007 10:17:50 AM , Rating: 2
It's worth pointing out that Americans give more money per capita to charity and other causes than any other nation -- and by a pretty wide margin.

http://abcnews.go.com/2020/Story?id=2682100&page=2

Many of us who pay taxes (50% of our population pays 96% of taxes) aren't too wild about automatic income transfers, but that doesn't mean we don't care.


RE: M.A.D anyone?
By psychmike on 10/4/07, Rating: 0
RE: M.A.D anyone?
By Keeir on 10/4/2007 1:08:20 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Infact, Universal Healthcare would probably reduce your healthcare costs... If you didnt need to pay shareholders a slice of the pie, it would be cheaper for you, as you are only paying for services provided, not also so someone somehwere can make a buck off of your brain tumor.


Something to keep in mind is that with the advent of globalized companies, the internet, cheap airfare, etc. Healthcare and Healthcare costs are now a global market. A global market that is criss-crossed with tarrifs, local laws, "entitlements", and subsidies. There is almost no way to know what the effect on the entire world healthcare system would be if a major money supplier (the US) tried to force thier balance into a even or par basis (IE only pay exactly what they consume).

One noteable example would be in the development and sale of pharm. drugs. Pfizer, a world-wide drug company with operations pretty much everywhere in the world, financial statement

http://media.pfizer.com/files/annualreport/2006/fi...

check page 77 for info. Pfizer makes roughly 50% of its revenues on the United States, year after year. Pfizer also has revenues from the United States that are a better match with long term assists. Reducing the United States contribution to revenues by 1/3 by having volume pricing/controled pricing would reduce pfizers revenue by around 9 billion (more than what they spend on R&D). This loss of revenue would fall heaviest on R&D, profits, and growth of business. None of these things would be desirable in the long-term future of healthcare.

quote:
Another part of this great country (beyond our ability to make vast amounts of personal wealth) is that we CARE about eachother- you know, "proud to be an American," and all that? Thats what I think a lot of people have lost. You really would rather have a new car than pay an extra 2000 a year to ensure your fellow AMERICANS have adequate health care?


I see this as silly. I already pay a significant amount so other Americans can have healthcare. I pay it in the form of higher drug costs, higher insurance priemiums, medicare taxes, general taxes, etc. Taxing me -more- to provide services that I don't agree with is not patriotic or intelligent. I also see most "public" systems in the United States being run into the ground. The public schooling system, the public transportation systems, the public road systems, the army/national defense, etc based on these experiences, a public healthcare system would be 1. overbudget, 2. easy to exploit/wasteful, 3. Not provide benifical services.


RE: M.A.D anyone?
By psychmike on 10/4/2007 12:23:23 AM , Rating: 3
Only if one sees things as being zero sum which is simply not true. Investing in your fellow citizen's healthcare means reducing long term costs due to unemployability, emergency care, etc. It's not a coincidence that all other developed countries have socialized medicine programs. You don't have to be an idealist - it's simply practical.

Besides, I thought the idea of civil society was to care about the welfare of your fellow citizen - something that brings people together instead of breeding resentment and selfishness. Americans have a reputation for being incredible generous and compassionate people. I hope they continue to live up to that great history.

Mike


RE: M.A.D anyone?
By Ringold on 10/4/2007 12:31:52 AM , Rating: 2
All developed countries have socialized medicine?

Really then? Switzerland is down there with Zimbabwe, is it?

What we (and I refer generally to conservatives, though definitely not a monolithic group) rail against is full-scale government take-over of the industry. A free-market approach, like that implemented by Romney and like that implemented by Switzerland, I believe, would be widely accepted here.

The problem is that it doesn't expand federal government power enough; in fact, it could be a significant reduction in the scope of government power if implemented properly. Hence plans that look very little like the aforementioned successes, and hence the staunch resistance.


RE: M.A.D anyone?
By psychmike on 10/4/2007 12:48:19 AM , Rating: 2
That's not accurate and you know it. Switzerland operates a mixed system where the private insurers are heavily regulated and required to provide accessible and affordable coverage. Switzerland also has very high healthcare costs compared to other industrialized countries. Citizens are required to have basic coverage which is standardized across the country.

It may surprise you that Ontario (programs are run provincially) operates a mixed system as well. Basic health coverage (GP visits, serious operations, diagnostics) is universal but medication, dentistry, optometry, psychology is not covered. Most people have private insurance for these costs. The costs of administering the public system are significantly below those for the private system and there is increasing scrutiny and cynicism about how private insurers are dealing with their clients, much like in the US.

Mike


RE: M.A.D anyone?
By Ringold on 10/4/2007 1:05:20 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Switzerland operates a mixed system where the private insurers are heavily regulated and required to provide accessible and affordable coverage. Switzerland also has very high healthcare costs compared to other industrialized countries.


They also are the last bastion of biotech research and production in the Old World.

I don't see how it's a mixed system any more than MA. now is. They get large tax rebates and get to choose their plan, level of coverage and provider. Providers can compete on price with a given level of services (heavily regulated, as you point out). This is in fact virtually the same system advocated by conservative king of thrift talk show host Clark Howard for the better part of a decade. Free market elements aplenty that retains many of the mechanisms that control costs while maintaining quality, insuring widespread availability, and not doing undue harm to present system.


RE: M.A.D anyone?
By psychmike on 10/4/2007 1:31:20 AM , Rating: 2
Sorry, I don't really know what they do in MA, I worked in NY last year and there were plenty of folks walking around un- or under-insured.

I don't recall the details but I believe the last time we got into a discussion we came to a similar conclusion - that private enterprise with government regulation to ensure access and affordability - may be a good way to go.

Mike


RE: M.A.D anyone?
By werepossum on 10/4/2007 7:06:23 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Sorry, I don't really know what they do in MA, I worked in NY last year and there were plenty of folks walking around un- or under-insured.


I bet 90% of them had cell phones and color televisions, too. My point being the USA has the richest poor in the world. Everyone has to make choices, and many choose to spend their limited resources on amenities to make their lives more enjoyable. This also means they have to wait in emergency rooms and free clinics for hours when they need health care.


RE: M.A.D anyone?
By psychmike on 10/4/2007 3:15:37 PM , Rating: 2
How is it a private system based primarily on market forces when the government sets minimum levels and price caps for basic service? How is it based on market forces when people are required to pay for it and the government offers tax breaks for it? THAT's the invisible hand at work???

In both the Ontario system and Romney's system, people are required to pay either directly or indirectly for health care and have access to a base level of service. In both systems, people can opt for higher private coverage. In both systems, the provider of the service is often for profit (in Ontario, GPs work for themselves but there are salary caps). In Romney's system, however, the payor is private and makes decisions to pay or not pay for benefits whereas in the Ontario system, it is the healthcare professional who decides. In Ontario then, there is an proximal incentive to provide services whereas in Romney's system there is a proximal disincentive to provide services.

Mike


RE: M.A.D anyone?
By mdogs444 on 10/4/2007 8:41:20 AM , Rating: 1
quote:
You don't have to be an idealist - it's simply practical.


No, you just have to be a socialist, which I am not. In my opinion, if we still wanted MORE government control, then we wouldn't have left Britain to begin with.

quote:
Americans have a reputation for being incredible generous and compassionate people. I hope they continue to live up to that great history.


We are very generous and compassionate people. We give billions and billions each year to aid our people and people across the world. But when people start holding their hands out expecting the US to just give them stuff because they believe they are "entitled" to it, then it becomes a different problem.


RE: M.A.D anyone?
By psychmike on 10/4/2007 12:57:35 AM , Rating: 2
In your system, you're still paying someone else to make a profit instead of looking out for your best interests, something that is supposed to be inherent in a feudiciary relationship.

If you get sick and apply for treatments or benefits, your adjuster will likely be someone with an undergraduate general education. They will ask their own specialists to examine you. All parties have a vested interest in not providing you with services since they are evaluated based on how little they pay out. Given the complexities of medicine, it is often not difficult to find some excuse to exclude the service.

I'm all for fairness, but the insurer doesn't have an incentive to be fair to you either. In fact, they have an incentive not to be.

Mike


RE: M.A.D anyone?
By The Boston Dangler on 10/3/07, Rating: -1
RE: M.A.D anyone?
By mdogs444 on 10/3/07, Rating: -1
RE: M.A.D anyone?
By The Boston Dangler on 10/3/07, Rating: -1
RE: M.A.D anyone?
By Ringold on 10/4/07, Rating: 0
RE: M.A.D anyone?
By The Boston Dangler on 10/4/07, Rating: -1
RE: M.A.D anyone?
By rdeegvainl on 10/4/2007 3:14:31 AM , Rating: 2
responding with "IDIOT" and i'll quote from you on this "only serves to highlight the fact that you are a C**T."


RE: M.A.D anyone?
By mdogs444 on 10/4/07, Rating: -1
RE: M.A.D anyone?
By mdogs444 on 10/4/2007 8:46:32 AM , Rating: 1
quote:
i've been reading some of your posts. you seem very, ahem, fair and balanced.


Yes, Im definately not fair and balanced, if you are a pantywaist liberal. Fair and Balanced does not translate to "take from the rich and give to the poor" mentality.

quote:
not only are you another right-wing whack job, but you're in dire need of an ass kicking.


Ill take that as a compliment. I take pride in being a patriot and supporting our country through all times - good and bad - instead of being a tree hugging, flag burner like who you wants to complain everytime that someone wont give you something for nothing.

My first love is my country. My second love is pissing off liberals like you.


RE: M.A.D anyone?
By clovell on 10/4/2007 5:52:28 PM , Rating: 3
Hoo-ah!


RE: M.A.D anyone?
By treehugger87 on 10/3/2007 10:16:51 PM , Rating: 3
How can you say that? Point out minor flaws in a perfectly good system(Canada), while your own is obviously in serious trouble and even looking to places like Canada and GB as an example.

In Canada you may have to wait if you are having an elective surgery or non-life threatening operation. But, using the example of waiting weeks and then going down to the USA is a RARITY. I remember it would make headlines in local news if someone had to go to the US for a treatment they couldn't recieve in Canada, and 99.9% of the time it was a surgery that was only too "experiemntal", for lack of a better word, for Canadian hospitals and was only offered in the states. American healthcare is corrupt and social status dependent . The Poor who are uninsured can't afford it and the rich get world class treatment, not to mention the chance of assuming the finicial burdened of medical costs because of the profiteering insurance companies.

And as for Canada having no principles: The US is creating whole generations of new anti-american generations in the middle-east, no wonder you need a missile defense system. While, Canada peacekeeps the messes you made we don't have to worry about the implications of a missile attack on Canadian soil. Canada doesn't make enemies, therefore i think we have our principles in line, unlike you.


RE: M.A.D anyone?
By mdogs444 on 10/3/07, Rating: 0
RE: M.A.D anyone?
By derwin on 10/4/2007 12:07:27 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
what we consider poverty - about $21,000/year.

Are you trying to imply that we have a high standard for poverty? Have you ever tried to live in america on 21k/yr?

Did you go to college?

Thats about the best you can live on 21k a year. Rent a shamble and share it with four other people, drive a POS car, eat ramen noodles, maybe save enough to take your girl out every other friday (to TGI Fridays at best) - and dear god if you had to actually pay for things like health insurance, children, bills not split five ways.

The only difference is in college you can hold your head up, because you know something better is coming. What if you had to live your whole life like that? How in hell would you pay for anything for your kids??

Living off the government my ass, welfare pays less than the poverty line, if you are dumb enough to try and live off the government, be my guest - your kids will be starved, retarded and you will be nothing but a lump on a couch. If you want to screw your life over to not do anything, thats fine by me as long as most of the people we are helping with this program actually use it to better themselves, not to mention you would have wasted so much time trying to convince the government you are trying, your dumbass could have (if they are there to have) found a job and worked it well for the amount of effort it takes to jump through the loops (finding a job, getting educated, etc) it takes to stay for a prolonged period of time on welfare.

Wouldn't you call sending kids to public school living off the government too? You don't need a job to send your kids to school. Oh wait - you need a lot of money to live in a nice school district - strange catch, but irrelevant to my argument.

quote:
Yeah we are doing such a bad thing - trying to get woman to have rights in the middle east, and not have them stoned to death for wanting to get an education. Whoa, we are guilty as charged!

And try to wipe yourself after you spew something that, well, full of s**t.
Would you REALLY appreciate it if Canada came down and destroyed our country in the name of universal healthcare? I think you would hate canada more than love them, even if they left your country in shambles and set up a very weak universal healthcare system for you.

quote:
Now get back on your high horse, put on your mounty hat, and ask your government what your allowed to do tomorrow.

Uh, need I actually say shutup, or was that implyed by your ignorance?


RE: M.A.D anyone?
By Ringold on 10/4/2007 12:21:20 AM , Rating: 2
If you bothered to drill down in to the statistics on those living in "poverty" in America, you'd realize how misinformed that rant was.

Of course, we can't have any of that, can we? I've only been reading posts a few minutes and already a second post full of slander in place of fact and logical argument.

Have you gone to college? Did you dare step in to an unholy, dirty capitalist building that fell under the auspice of the College of Business rather than liberal arts or even engineering?


RE: M.A.D anyone?
By masher2 (blog) on 10/4/2007 1:39:20 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Thats about the best you can live on 21k a year. Rent a shamble and share it with four other people, drive a POS car, eat ramen noodles, maybe save enough to take your girl out every other friday
I lived on about $8K a year while in college. Translating that to 2006 dollars works out to $15K.

That's far less than your $21K, and yet I didn't live in a "shamble with four other people". I had one roommate, but the place was clean, in good repair, and more than liveable. My car was well-used, but it got me where I needed to go, I ate a diet far more varied than just ramen noodles, and I went out at least 2 or 3 times a week...though admittedly, very rarely to a fancy restaurant.

> "What if you had to live your whole life like that?"

Let's turn that question around? What if you knew that no matter how badly you did in school -- whether you even chose to go to school or work a day in your life -- you'd still have a comfortable, well-off lifestyle that was worth "looking forward to".

Why on earth would most people ever strive for anything else? Why study hard, then get out and work hard all for a job making $60K, then give up $20K of it in taxes...if the government will give you a free $40K for doing nothing whatever.

Honestly, living on the dole isn't something one should "look forward to". It should be something to save you from death and starvation...and buy you time to get OFF it.

> "if you are dumb enough to try and live off the government, be my guest - your kids will be starved..."

Funny, we have 15 million children in welfare families in the US and none are starving to death. In fact, the government long ago gave up the free food distribution programs, as the recipients refused to accept it (true story).

> "Wouldn't you call sending kids to public school living off the government too?"

Public schools are paid for by property taxes. If you own a home in your county of at least median value and have less than 3 kids, odds are the schools are making a profit off you, not the other way around.


RE: M.A.D anyone?
By mdogs444 on 10/4/07, Rating: 0
RE: M.A.D anyone?
By Flunk on 10/4/2007 1:44:23 AM , Rating: 5
I think you mean if you DID have the stomach to stand up for your principles. Canada never invaded a foreign country with no provocation.

Plus our core principles of peaceful co-existance, social services and free press seem to be holding up just fine. Do you even understand what Canada stands for?

Easy answer (for retards): Beer, Beavers and Hockey.

Real answer : Look it up before you insult an entire country.


RE: M.A.D anyone?
By mdogs444 on 10/4/07, Rating: -1
RE: M.A.D anyone?
By InsaneGain on 10/4/2007 10:18:36 PM , Rating: 3
Mdoggs444 said:
quote:
If our country didnt have the stomach to stand up for its principals and national security, wed be Canada by now

Try reading or watching news about world events some time. You would then know that following the 9/11 attacks on the United States , Canada was the third largest military contributor to the invasion of Afghanistan, after the U.S. and the U.K.. In July 2006, the Canadian military took over responsibility for security in the most dangerous region of Afghanistan, Kandahar. Canadians successfully led the fight in the Afghan Battle of Panjwaii against an estimated 1500 to 2000 Taliban. Canada is the only nation so far that has deployed tanks in Afghanistan, and recently bought four C-17 Globemaster III aircraft to transport the heavy tanks from Canada. Canada has suffered 71 fatalities in Afghanistan, the second highest in the Allied Forces. Canada has helped clear 10-15 million mines in Afghanistan.


RE: M.A.D anyone?
By clovell on 10/3/2007 5:50:27 PM , Rating: 2
No, I don't hate Russia. Nice try, though.


RE: M.A.D anyone?
By evildorf on 10/3/2007 6:02:12 PM , Rating: 3
I won't vote you down, but I will tell you that you're wrong. Russia can have its state-controlled media and steady drumbeat of cold-war style statements and actions from its President, who may or may not leave government at the end of his legal term. I'll stick with the US system, thanks.


RE: M.A.D anyone?
By Scrogneugneu on 10/3/2007 8:31:21 PM , Rating: 5
Funny, for a moment there I was convinced you were describing the US government.


RE: M.A.D anyone?
By mdogs444 on 10/3/07, Rating: -1
RE: M.A.D anyone?
By InsaneGain on 10/4/2007 12:25:10 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Try looking in as well as out. Both sides are pretty much as bad as each other in their manipulation of both their own public, and the rest of the world.


Please do tell exactly how many dissidents or investigative journalists critical of the Bush administration, or even political opponents have been mysteriously thrown out of building windows, shot, or poisoned?
Comparing the USA to a re-emergent Stalin era Russia indicates a very naive understanding of the situation.


RE: M.A.D anyone?
By djkrypplephite on 10/3/2007 6:45:31 PM , Rating: 2
They're already going back to state-owned industries. I believe oil and TV are both state again. Could be wrong, though.


RE: M.A.D anyone?
By erikejw on 10/3/2007 9:31:17 PM , Rating: 2
Objective TV and papers are more important than their ownership, FOX anyone?


RE: M.A.D anyone?
By mdogs444 on 10/3/07, Rating: 0
RE: M.A.D anyone?
By Kaleid on 10/3/2007 8:01:01 PM , Rating: 2
Maybe they do, but USA certainly does.

Google PNAC + "Full spectrum dominance".


RE: M.A.D anyone?
By punko on 10/4/2007 9:27:59 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Russians are being indoctrinated to hate the US. They worship Putin, an ex-KGB slimebag.


I guess the indoctrination has started on both sides of the Atlantic.


RE: M.A.D anyone?
By Mr Alpha on 10/3/2007 4:47:52 PM , Rating: 5
I'm not so sure.

Russia has more than one nuke and if they fired them all they probably could overwhelm the defense, especially if they added lots of decoys. So the question is: How many nukes getting through is acceptable?


RE: M.A.D anyone?
By KristopherKubicki (blog) on 10/3/2007 4:55:18 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Russia has more than one nuke and if they fired them all they probably could overwhelm the defense, especially if they added lots of decoys.

This is always one thing that sort of irked me. Even on the U.S. MRV, many of devices are decoys.

I've always been curious, does it matter?


RE: M.A.D anyone?
By masher2 (blog) on 10/3/2007 5:12:20 PM , Rating: 3
There is a certain level of decoy discrimination technology in the system. How much exactly we'll never know, as its highly classified...but the next phase of testing will include multiple decoys per target, so we'll at least get some hint.

Of course, with enough interceptors, decoys become irrelevant. As long as we're willing to use expensive EKVs to take out cheap decoys, the system still can be made inpenetratable. And when even a decoy needs be launched from an ICBM, the term 'cheap' may be a bit of a misnomer.


RE: M.A.D anyone?
By KristopherKubicki (blog) on 10/3/2007 5:15:55 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
And when even a decoy needs be launched from an ICBM, the term 'cheap' may be a bit of a misnomer.

Well that's almost my point. Why bother with a decoy at all, just load up another nuke.


RE: M.A.D anyone?
By ziggo on 10/3/2007 5:20:58 PM , Rating: 2
Mass,I dont know what the factor is, but a the tradeoff of warhead to decoy is not 1/1


RE: M.A.D anyone?
By ghostbuster on 10/4/2007 12:09:37 AM , Rating: 2
There are treaties limiting the number of warheads on ICBMs. SS-18 carries 10 warheads and 40 decoys, but that's an extreme case.


RE: M.A.D anyone?
By FastLaneTX on 10/4/2007 12:28:12 AM , Rating: 3
If Russia, China, North Korea, Iran, or whoever else is launching nukes at us, do you really think they will care what those treaties say? They'll wait until just before launch and switch out all the decoys with real warheads. Frankly, I'm sure we'd do the same if we had reason to use ours...


RE: M.A.D anyone?
By Calin on 10/4/2007 2:38:59 AM , Rating: 2
If your decoy is ONLY for suborbital phase (in void), the decoy don't need to have a significant mass. So, you could use 90% of lift capacity for 10 warheads, and 10% of lift capacity for 40 decoys. When the warheads and decoys hit the atmosphere, the decoys will slow like a feather in air - while in void the feather and the hammer will fall just as fast.
All you need for a decoy is a thing which will return radar waves, and fly somewhat "in formation" with the warheads (separation of warheads will be made so that a single nuclear-tipped interceptor missile won't take out more than a few


RE: M.A.D anyone?
By rdeegvainl on 10/4/2007 3:54:30 AM , Rating: 2
cause in the off chance that if all the nukes go through not only will they succeed in destroying America they are gonna just make the nuclear winter longer or stronger? I don't know the details but if they are trying for a preemptive strike to cripple America and not have MAD, you don't want to put to much into it. Though using nukes and not expecting a retaliation would be a nearly impossible event, unless they think they have some ace that we can't counter.


RE: M.A.D anyone?
By Frallan on 10/4/2007 5:59:26 AM , Rating: 2
Well there is this small thing about the "Stableness" of the country. And for some reason China and Russia are deemed stable and therefore less likley to launch. The Star Wars of old was supposed to be an umbrella against Soviet atack. The tar Wars of today is supposed to be able to take out Rouge Country attacks or Terrorist attacks.

If Russia decided to launch (after som preparation since i dont belive they have kept all their strategic forces well supplied) there is no stopping MAD unless the USSC decides not to retaliate sacrificing of US of A to help humanity. And even then it will be doubtful if we will be able to live on as a spieces.


RE: M.A.D anyone?
By Amiga500 on 10/3/2007 5:28:48 PM , Rating: 2
They already have, and its operational.

Its called the Topol-M, essentially it is an ICBM that maneuvers throughout the flight profile.

As anyone who has a basic grasp of projectiles will know, an ICBM that can radically alter heading throughout flight is nigh-on impossible to intercept.


RE: M.A.D anyone?
By masher2 (blog) on 10/3/2007 5:36:05 PM , Rating: 4
Not at all. Simple manuevering doesn't make interception impossible. What's required is that the target be able to manuever faster than the incoming interceptor.

Even the Russians don't think the Topol-M is immune to interception...which is why it also carries decoys and other countermeasures.


RE: M.A.D anyone?
By Amiga500 on 10/3/2007 5:46:25 PM , Rating: 2
No, doesn't quite work like that. If an ICBM is travelling at 10km/s, a small bearing change of even 5 degrees totally screws up any intercept solution. [i.e. the intercept missile has to do a long curve around to make up the ground]

Just ask the F-15 pilots that thought they could intercept the SR-71.


RE: M.A.D anyone?
By clovell on 10/3/2007 5:53:21 PM , Rating: 2
So close on it from multiple directions.


RE: M.A.D anyone?
By masher2 (blog) on 10/3/2007 6:07:30 PM , Rating: 3
No object moving 10 km/sec can turn even 5 degrees instantly..it has to do so over a period of time. And as it maneuvers, so does its tracking interceptor.

The important metric here is the turn rate performance. Small course changes are not an effective countermeasure against an interceptor with a good rate of turn.

The Topol-M is billed as the most manueverable ballistic missile in the world...and even its designers don't believe that manueverability alone makes it immune to interception. It's a tool in the arsenal, nothing more.


RE: M.A.D anyone?
By Griswold on 10/4/2007 3:29:42 AM , Rating: 3
You apparently dont know how the topol-m (thats not even the accurate name anymore) MaRV works. It does not have a symmetric shape. All it has to do is roll in order to perform evasive maneuvers. Paired with the fact that it does these maneuvers at a random pattern, the likelyhood of interception is below 5% - yes, that is what its designers say and they do think that it is almost (nothing is perfect) immune to interception. And it is so, because your countermeassure needs to predict when it turns, what direction it turns to and the angle. Good luck with that.


RE: M.A.D anyone?
By masher2 (blog) on 10/4/2007 11:34:14 AM , Rating: 3
> "You apparently dont know how the topol-m (thats not even the accurate name anymore) MaRV works"

Incorrect. Topol-M and MaRV are two different concepts. Topol is the boost platform; MaRV is just a MiRV, modified to be manueverable on reentry. You can pair the two together, in fact...and yes, I know how both work.

> "your countermeassure needs to predict when it turns, what direction it turns to and the angle. Good luck with that"

No again. You don't need to predict future course to intercept a target. If you *can* extrapolate accurately, it reduces the rate of turn you need to intercept....but its not a hard and fast requirement. A little thought should convince you why this is true.

Futhermore, you're forgetting that no missile can perform a true "random walk" and still strike its target. It's very limited in the total magnitude of 'random' course corrections it can make, and still strike anything but a random point on the hemisphere.

Is Topol-M 95% succesful at evading US interceptors? I seriously doubt it, especially since Russia doesn't have the final performance parameters of those interceptors. So how could they assign a percentage, unless they simply pulled it out of their ass? Quite obviously, this is just more tough talk from Putin, designed to put a crimp in the US program.


RE: M.A.D anyone?
By Calin on 10/4/2007 3:00:06 AM , Rating: 2
A 1-ton warhead traveling at 10km/s. A 5 degree bearing change means almost 9% of delta-V, or let's say 1km/s of extra velocity.
Anyway, the ballistic missiles fly at some 5km/s, so you need 500m/s of delta-V. Let's say the exhaust is at 3.3 km/s (ten times the sound speed) relative to the rocket. You need to exhaust about 13% of rocket mass as exhaust gases.
This might not look like much, but again, once you start maneuvering, you are a hot target, and from infrared sensors you might have an idea of the energy you burn, and of the delta-V you generate (heavy warhead - lots of heat for low delta-V).
In the end, it's much cheaper to create delta-V for a small interceptor (maybe a few kilograms for the impact head) than for the much heavier warhead


RE: M.A.D anyone?
By Amiga500 on 10/4/2007 4:30:19 AM , Rating: 2
There are more ways to move a body than use a rocket attached to the back of it ;-)

The US aren't gonna use a rocket to keep the FALCON in the air, and the Russians definitely are not gonna use a rocket to perform course changes on topol.


RE: M.A.D anyone?
By Amiga500 on 10/3/2007 5:50:33 PM , Rating: 2
BTW its generally taken as a given that an A2A missile has to be 4x more maneuverable than the aircraft its after to nail it.

For example, currently the aircraft limit is around 9-10g's, and most missiles are at about 40g's (with some like the 9X box-office or Python 5 at 60g's).


RE: M.A.D anyone?
By Kabir on 10/3/2007 6:25:45 PM , Rating: 2
I'd like to see the interception rate against Topol-M missiles and how much it would cost. The greatness of a weapon system is determined by the opponent it is against.

Russian have been pretty quiet by this system for many years. Chinese also shut up a couple of years ago. If they have something that can easily penetrate this system, then for them, this system is just another way US government milks their taxpayers.


RE: M.A.D anyone?
By masher2 (blog) on 10/3/2007 6:49:42 PM , Rating: 3
> "Russian have been pretty quiet by this system for many years"

Quiet? Are you kidding? They've been screaming bloody murder non-stop. They've even threatened nations like Poland and the Czech Republic for considering to host radar or interceptor sites. Veiled threats to the US have been a dime a dozen.

Unlike most other new Russian technologies which tend to kept fairly secretive, Topol-M has been loudly trumpeted to the world. Why do you think that is? It's because the mere existence of Topol-M is seen as another way of blocking the introduction of an effective missile defense shield.


RE: M.A.D anyone?
By wordsworm on 10/3/2007 8:13:00 PM , Rating: 3
I wonder how the US would react if Russia decided to set up anti-missile technology in Cuba.
quote:
It's because the mere existence of Topol-M is seen as another way of blocking the introduction of an effective missile defense shield.
It's also an ace that lets the world know that Russia is still in the game.


RE: M.A.D anyone?
By Amiga500 on 10/4/2007 4:18:05 AM , Rating: 4
I believe (but I am open to correction on this) the main Russian dispute centres around the radar site in Poland.

Would you be happy if the Russians sited a massive radar in Canada or Mexico that could look hundreds of kms into the US?

No, and they aren't happy either.


RE: M.A.D anyone?
By Calin on 10/4/2007 2:44:12 AM , Rating: 2
A non-maneuvering missile is like a hole in the sky. You only get some small radar signature, and we're talking about a distant and fast moving target.
Maneuvering thru the flight profile is only possible with thrusters, and you now have an infrared signature to help.
Intercepting a maneuvering missile requests a higher delta-V on interceptor - but it also requires a higher fuel loadout on the missile, so you've lost payload capacity, you've lost some stealth, and when the decoys don't maneuver, the missile is easier to detect.


RE: M.A.D anyone?
By Comdrpopnfresh on 10/3/2007 6:50:24 PM , Rating: 2
The russians came out with a public announcement of a new nuke a few months ago before some conference in spain (it was the one where bush had an upset tummy). They said the missile could get through any conceivable defense system based on current technology.
Plus, these tests are usually rigged to some to degree to illustrate that it is possible, or feasible. Whether or not it will work in a real situation- one can only hope we won't ever have to find out


RE: M.A.D anyone?
By Ringold on 10/4/2007 12:27:49 AM , Rating: 2
The Russians also said they were turning out ICBM's like sausages when in fact they had approximately 4.

A grain of salt is prudent..


RE: M.A.D anyone?
By adiposity on 10/4/2007 11:36:35 AM , Rating: 2
Yeah, and we said we had a missile defense system that could stop them and we were full of it. Oh wait...


RE: M.A.D anyone?
By mikeyD95125 on 10/3/2007 9:10:28 PM , Rating: 2
Well good thing this system doesn't only target Russian missles or we'd be screwed :P

My dad worked his ass off for years on the booster system that launched the kill vehicle. Hes very proud of the system. I guess its something for not seeing him for days at a time because he was working :)

But hes retired now


RE: M.A.D anyone?
By BoyBawang on 10/4/2007 12:04:52 AM , Rating: 2
That defense is not secure against Russia few months from now.
Due 2008 GARY KASPAROV will become President of Russia. No form of defense may stand against him! Not even the Sicilian Defense System.. :)


RE: M.A.D anyone?
By Wightout on 10/4/2007 12:55:29 AM , Rating: 2
You mean like create a doomsday device and not announce it to the world?


RE: M.A.D anyone?
By Deuterium2H on 10/4/2007 1:21:25 AM , Rating: 2
Man, none of you folks seem to have even a basic grasp as to the purpose and capabilities of the National MDA (Missile Defense Agency) program.

The latest intercept was a successful test of the GMD portion of our strategic BMD strategy. GMD = Ground-based Midcourse Defense, and involves tracking, acquisition, engagement and intercept of ICBMs that are in the "mid-course" phase of their flight profile. The Mission, purpose, and capabilities of the USA's National Ballistic Missile Defense is to provide a LIMITED capability to intercept and destroy a SMALL number of ICBMs launched by Rogue Nations or terrorist states.

The BMD system is not designed for, nor does it have the capability of protecting the US from medium to large scale launches, as could be carried out by Russia. The limited numbers of ground and sea-based interceptors would be overwhelmed by even a SMALL fraction of Russia's ICBM force.


RE: M.A.D anyone?
By Suomynona on 10/4/2007 2:15:59 AM , Rating: 2
This is going to start problems. We may see WWIII in the next 4-10 years, if not sooner. Bad move, USA. A shame citizens can't vote on things such as this, before they are implemented. Of course..there may be more to this than you know.


RE: M.A.D anyone?
By imaheadcase on 10/4/2007 4:32:46 AM , Rating: 3
quote:
This is going to start problems. We may see WWIII in the next 4-10 years, if not sooner. Bad move, USA. A shame citizens can't vote on things such as this, before they are implemented. Of course..there may be more to this than you know.


If you leaved citizens opinions up to stuff like this, you would pretty much have this whole thread of people calling names and not using reason and common sense.


RE: M.A.D anyone?
By Calin on 10/4/2007 2:25:12 AM , Rating: 2
This is against ballistic missiles. However, long range cruise missiles can carry nuclear warheads, and be launched from submarines.
What I don't know (and don't really want to find out) is how many targets can be aquired, tracked and destroyed - a nuclear attack will be an all-out proposition, with ballistic missiles launched from ground sites and from submarines, nuclear tipped cruise missiles launched from long range planes and smaller submarines, and some other things the russians probably thought of.
The military won't consider it operational until it will be able to track and intercept a big number of missiles.


RE: M.A.D anyone?
By Griswold on 10/4/2007 3:21:28 AM , Rating: 2
This offers no protection against sophisticated ballistic missile technology such as russia employs (think of MaRVs instead of MIRVs) - and it will always be several steps behind the offensive capabilities.


RE: M.A.D anyone?
By P4blo on 10/4/2007 5:45:14 AM , Rating: 2
Yes because the US is just dying to nuke Russia aren't they!?? Putin, who still seems to live in the cold war era, (maybe he's being nostalgic?) clearly has no concept of reality. the US is doing this as a shield against rogue countries led by untrustworthy, ruthless dictators. Actually, maybe Putin should be worried! LOL

The muppet has been sending repeated bear flights over UK airspace recently just to stir things up. He's much more of a loose cannon than any guided missile defence system.

Getski over it.


RE: M.A.D anyone?
By 1337n00blar on 10/5/2007 2:30:15 PM , Rating: 2
not yet - this system can only counter very simple attacks. if russia or china launched all of its arsenal at us, no way we could handle it. and this system can't handle low flying nukes from submarines that are right off shore. this system doesn't cancel out MAD, it just protects the US against low level attacks (Korea) or accidental fires


RE: M.A.D anyone?
By 91TTZ on 10/6/2007 3:49:33 PM , Rating: 2
The missiles launched from subs are not low flying, even if they're flying short range. And they wouldn't be flying short range anyway.

A popular misconception is that nuke subs surface right off the enemy coast and launch the missiles. This is incorrect. The range of the SLBMs is sufficient to reach the target from nearly anywhere on Earth. The


Sure...
By JasonMick (blog) on 10/3/07, Rating: 0
RE: Sure...
By enlil242 on 10/3/2007 4:42:01 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
without fear of reproduction


LOL, do you mean retribution? China already fears "reproduction" That's why they limit their citizens to one child. ;-)


RE: Sure...
By JasonMick (blog) on 10/3/07, Rating: 0
RE: Sure...
By Spuke on 10/3/2007 5:21:33 PM , Rating: 3
This isn't to guard against China launching an all out attack. This is prevent the idiots with a missile or two from attacking us on a whim.


RE: Sure...
By ElFenix on 10/3/2007 5:27:18 PM , Rating: 3
actually i think you mean repercussion.


RE: Sure...
By clovell on 10/3/2007 4:49:59 PM , Rating: 2
I disagree, Jason. China has to cross an ocean to get to us to invade. What's to say we can't drop a few hundred of these as their fleet crosses the pacific and cut their force in half?

May not happen, but it's only to say that restricting the future capabilities of this system while generously extrapolating on the potential Chinese response is sort of begging the question, no?


RE: Sure...
By JasonMick (blog) on 10/3/07, Rating: 0
RE: Sure...
By Desslok on 10/3/2007 4:53:59 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
they could pretty much invade us or beat our combat forces on any world arena, without fear of reproduction.


China could never "Invade us" they simply do not have the troop transports to do it and even if they did our Navy would cause them to have such heavy losses in ships that even the Chinese would have to thanks but no thanks to that option.

So the sea route of invasion is out. Come over through Russia and down through Alaska? Not likely either the Russians hate and fear the Chinese.



RE: Sure...
By JasonMick (blog) on 10/3/2007 4:58:22 PM , Rating: 2
Well nothings to stop them from conquering Russia. The Russia military isn't too strong these days. They have trouble containing their own internal break-away provinces.

Again, a beach head invasion may be unlikely, but without nuclear deterrents, China could theoretically bit by bit conquer most of Eurasia in a blitzkrieg-esque campaign.


RE: Sure...
By Desslok on 10/3/2007 5:04:37 PM , Rating: 3
The Russian military might be in a state of disrepair at the moment but I can assure you as soon as China starts rolling across those borders the Russians will fight tooth and nail for every square inch of their soil. Don't believe me ask survivors of Hitler's Barbarossa(sp) campaign.

The German Army was 50 miles outside of Moscow when the winter came. You can also see what happened to Napoleon's army when he tried to invade Russia.


RE: Sure...
By Kabir on 10/3/2007 6:09:55 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Again, a beach head invasion may be unlikely, but without nuclear deterrents, China could theoretically bit by bit conquer most of Eurasia in a blitzkrieg-esque campaign.


We know better. Mongolians has done that. It didn't work too well. So, why bother?


RE: Sure...
By Kanti on 10/3/2007 6:33:58 PM , Rating: 3
This is all moot.

China would never physically attack us for two reasons. First, it would completely destroy their economy. Second, they don't need to, they already own us thanks to right wing borrow and spend economics. All they would need to do is call in our debt, and we'd be bankrupt. The dollar would be worthless, inflation would far exceed the pre-WWII German Mark, and the inability to pay for imports would mean a near total collapse, since we no longer manufacture essential products.

No country that has the ability to launch an ICBM would ever need attack us with one. They either have better delivery methods, or an investment in our stability. We're too essential to the world economy (for now), so the only people who would ever attack us or our allies would be lone groups of zealots, not developed states. This shield system is just stupid for so many reasons. It would only be useful in the case of WWIII, and lets face it, just for the reasons outlined above, if there's ever a WWIII, it's because the US will start it.


RE: Sure...
By masher2 (blog) on 10/3/2007 5:02:04 PM , Rating: 5
> "Right...so >10% failures is working?? This is what they call "a mission critical application". You don't get it right "most of the time".

Poor logic, for several reasons. First of all, a 90% chance of saving Los Angeles from an incoming nuke is far better than a zero chance. The idea that a system incapable of preventing all attacks is worthless is itself nuts.

But there's a much larger problem with the logic. An interceptor that fails 10% of the time does not equate to a system that fails 10% of the time. There's no reason multiple interceptors can't be assigned to the same target. Assign two to each target, and your failure rate drops to 1%. Assign four, and your failure rate is only 0.01%.

> "Nuclear politics has maintained a fragile world peace for many years now"

MAD maintained peace by holding the lives of innocent civilians hostage for the good behavior of their leaders. I call that immoral and unethical. What about you?


RE: Sure...
By johnsonx on 10/4/2007 11:06:31 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
First of all, a 90% chance of saving Los Angeles from an incoming nuke is far better than a zero chance.


As an Orange County resident, I'd be kinda hoping for that 'bad-luck so sorry' 10% for L.A.

Ok, fine, I'm kidding. Sort of. Ok, Ok, I'm kidding really... yeah.


RE: Sure...
By drank12quartsstrohsbeer on 10/3/2007 5:05:45 PM , Rating: 2
"Right...so >10% failures is working??"

What part of research and development do you not understand?

Is your new operating system 100% working? Does the new office suite work flawlessly? Given the complexity of the system, i think a 10% failure rate is pretty darn good for this stage.


RE: Sure...
By pauldovi on 10/3/2007 5:09:11 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
So basically once China gets a little more advanced and develops this system/steals it from us, they could pretty much invade us or beat our combat forces on any world arena, without fear of reproduction.


That is pretty humorous. China doesn't even have the capabilities to invade Taiwan... their very close neighbor.

They cannot touch our Air Force... F-22 / E-3 / B-2.... our Air Force could destroy there with only a fraction of its actual force without losing a single aircraft. If you do not control the air, you have already lost the war. Iraqi Freedom proved that the US military has fully integrated the USAF with the Army. The USAF was fully responsible for flank / rear defense, air support no longer took hours. Blue Force Tracker is one of the central parts of this.

Navy -> Our submarines cannot be touched. We could put a naval blockade on any country (including China) within hours that their military could not defeat. Then when the carrier battle group gets there it is all over for China.

Army - M1 Abram anyone?


RE: Sure...
By Spuke on 10/3/2007 5:29:24 PM , Rating: 2
China is not some 3rd rate military and is quite capable of giving us a run for our money. Suffice it to say our important advantage over them is we're throwing ourselves into some kind of military conflict every so often. Iraq is training, Afghanistan is training. When was the last time China had a war?


RE: Sure...
By pauldovi on 10/3/2007 5:36:15 PM , Rating: 2
I don't think you understand. The capabilities of the United States military is so far advanced compared to any other country that a conflict is out of the question for them.

China's military is completely based off of native or modified Russian technology. Russian technology was a decade behind our at their prime.

Do you realize that the Chinese do not have an Air Force or Navy that could even compete with 10% of the United State's effective naval and aerial force? How do they compete with the F-22, which they cannot detect? How do they stop the B-2 which they cannot detect? How do they destroy the 668i or Seawolf which they cannot detect? And in a land battle... what weapon would penetrate the M1A2's armor? What army would get past the aerial onslaught?

Hate to tell you... the Chinese military would have no chance.


RE: Sure...
By masher2 (blog) on 10/3/2007 5:50:31 PM , Rating: 5
Depends on the style of conflict. For a conventional ground war in Asia, China would easily beat the US. For force projection elsewhere, they still don't hold a candle to the US.

However, the Chinese military is growing at a rate far faster than the US. If you extrapolate the budget curves for both militaries, China becomes a serious threat in the force projection arena sometime within the next 20 years or so.


RE: Sure...
By MrBungle123 on 10/3/2007 6:02:42 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Depends on the style of conflict. For a conventional ground war in Asia, China would easily beat the US.


how do you figure?


RE: Sure...
By Master Kenobi (blog) on 10/3/2007 9:03:43 PM , Rating: 2
The problem is that 70% of China's military is in Infantry. The rest isn't using state of the art aircraft or systems. The infantry aren't a problem it's called Cluster Bombs, and we love them.


RE: Sure...
By pauldovi on 10/3/2007 6:04:19 PM , Rating: 2
People tend to look at this in the wrong circumstance. The US will never invade China... we are not aggressors.

However, look at this reasonable scenario. North Korea and China invade South Korea, Taiwan, and Japan. The US would have an advanced awareness of this due to the required troop build up which would be noticed by numerous intelligence gathering measures.

As a response the US would sail 1-4 Carrier Battle Groups to the region to support the 2 already there. Boomers and attack subs would be deployed to support those already there. The US Air Force would go on alert, moving its F-22 squadrons along with support aircraft and intelligence aircraft from Alaska and other locations to Japan. The US Amry's rapid deployment forces including airborne divisions would be rushed to Japan, South Korea, and the Philippines to help the forces already located there. Several Marine battalions would soon follow.

By the time Chinese and North Korean forces even began moving, the US would have a massive naval and air presence in the area and a large defense force on the way.

The conflict would end there... What are you going to do against that kind of force? Chinese and North Korean and and naval forces would be destroyed instantly. Without control of the sky you can't wage any form of war...


RE: Sure...
By Kabir on 10/3/2007 6:16:17 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
People tend to look at this in the wrong circumstance. The US will never invade China... we are not aggressors.


I think many Chinese still remember the threat US made during Korean war.

Even before that, in 1900 (Qing Dynasty), US also joined with other 7 countries to invade China.

Usually, people don't know the history of their own country invading others. Just like many Chinese don't know their country invaded Vietnam and naturally think "we are not aggressors". People are not too different from each other.


RE: Sure...
By Chernobyl68 on 10/3/2007 5:57:50 PM , Rating: 2
Also, you don't have to penetrate an Abram's armor to disable it. We've lost Abram's tanks in Iraq to cheap stuff like RPGs.


RE: Sure...
By Chernobyl68 on 10/3/2007 5:53:50 PM , Rating: 2
they certainly have everyone beat as far as numbers go.

Tom Clancy's "Bear and the Dragon" is an interesting story along these lines.


RE: Sure...
By mdogs444 on 10/3/2007 5:38:39 PM , Rating: 2
Are you insane? You are blind as a bat.

China has a million man army, and technology to use. They not a joke anymore.

Stay off the moveon.org and mediamatters.org websites, tune into FoxNews or read a book and learn something.


RE: Sure...
By pauldovi on 10/3/2007 5:48:51 PM , Rating: 2
I don't think you quite understand. How does China get these soldiers into battle? What good are a BILLION men on the ground when you don't have air superiority or you do not command the sea? How easy is it for the USAF to destroy supply lines to feed this massive army? How easy is it for the USAF to destroy the weapons, food, and other production capabilities for this massive army? How easy is it for the USAF to destroy the command and control for this huge army?

Didn't Iraq prove that a conscript army doesn't work? Any army will surrender and desert when faced against overwhelming technology which they have no means to defend themselves against.

Again... China doesn't even have the logistical capability to attack Taiwan...


RE: Sure...
By masher2 (blog) on 10/3/2007 5:57:01 PM , Rating: 2
> "What good are a BILLION men on the ground when you don't have air superiority "

The US maintained a high degree of air superiority all through the Korean War. And yet Chinese-backed North Korea managed to fight us to a standstill.

Air superiority (and technology in general) is only a force multiplier. Sometimes a very large one...but if the opposing force is large enough, you don't need that multiplier.

> "China doesn't even have the logistical capability to attack Taiwan"

Of course they do. They don't have the capability to do so without cracking the golden egg, though.

If China wanted the island at all costs, they could take it nearly overnight. Doing so in that manner, though, would cause a huge loss in civilian life, and extensive damage to the island's manufacturing base...meaning the prize wouldn't be nearly so valuable.


RE: Sure...
By pauldovi on 10/3/2007 6:07:03 PM , Rating: 2
The technological advantage of the USAF in the Korean War cannot even be compared to its advantage today...


RE: Sure...
By masher2 (blog) on 10/3/2007 6:18:42 PM , Rating: 2
You're still dodging the issue. The US had dominating air superiority in the Korean War, and an even more crushing advantage during the Vietnam War. Yet in both cases, we were fought to a standstill.

Some younger people have somewhat skewed viewpoints about air superiority, probably due to the last two conflicts with Iraq, where the flat desert terrain multiplies its benefits even further. But its important to remember that, as invaluable as it is, air superiority doesn't win wars for you. It's a force multiplier, nothing more.


RE: Sure...
By RaisedinUS on 10/3/2007 6:41:58 PM , Rating: 2
Had we fought to actually WIN and not let the politicians run the "show"................


RE: Sure...
By Kabir on 10/3/2007 6:57:10 PM , Rating: 2
Now, Those younger people tend to believe US warplanes will never got shot down. I think Chinese are more than happy to let them keep think in that way.


RE: Sure...
By pauldovi on 10/3/2007 9:20:06 PM , Rating: 2
The F-22 cannot be shot down by any other fighter in any air force, including the F-15 in the USAF.

Same goes for the B-2...

Please inform me how these aircraft can be contested?


RE: Sure...
By rdeegvainl on 10/4/2007 4:28:50 AM , Rating: 2
Have you heard of Serbia? A third world country, they took down one of our AMAZINGLY superior stealth aircraft and put another out of comission permanately though it did make it back alive. The US was scrambling for days trying to figure out where they got the technology from to destroy these things. Turns out an large amount of low tech firepower is able to destroy these things without even aiming.
Serbia now sells shirts that have a picture of the stealth plane and it says at the bottom "WE GOT ONE"


RE: Sure...
By pauldovi on 10/4/2007 10:23:29 AM , Rating: 2
Serbia did not shoot down a "AMAZINGLY superior stealth aircraft". The F-117 is hardly stealth compared to the F-22 and B-2. It can easily be been by sophisticated RADAR. It is also plagued with flight control issue and general stability issues. The Air Force has quietly reduced the role of the F-117 in the USAF.

The F-117 is a 2st generation stealth product. The B-2 and the F-22 are 3rd generation stealth. Both have RADAR signatures smaller than birds. Sure you can see them, but you will also see every thing small bird size and larger between you and the F-22.


RE: Sure...
By Frallan on 10/4/2007 7:26:45 AM , Rating: 2
Acctually it isn't that hard - The Swedes can both from land and Air ;) however so can everyone with the help of a targeting radar and bad weather :)


RE: Sure...
By werepossum on 10/3/2007 7:24:08 PM , Rating: 2
The US did NOT have dominating air superiority in Korea, not in the sense of Iraq. Soviet Mig-15 fighter jets were superior to the US F-86 Sabre jets and heavily outnumbered us, and the US air corps was hard-pressed during the early part of the war. But I grant your point to some degree, as we did have air superiority in the latter stages. Pilot quality and training makes a huge difference. Similarly Russian-made strategic submarines are probaby as good as US boomers - but US crews are much better.

China will probably go the Russian route, adding enough air defense assets to make forward strikes unsurvivable. Nonetheless I don't think China will invade the USA - at this rate, they'll very shortly own it.

And to the liberals quite correctly decrying right-wing borrow-and-spend policies, let me point out that China owes its domestic manufacturing capability as well as its nuclear strike capability to Bill Clinton, who removed all limits of what technology could be sold to China as well as allowed campaign controbutor Loral to fix China's ongoing problems with space launches, which just happens to be the same technology as ICBMs. Both parties suck.


RE: Sure...
By masher2 (blog) on 10/3/2007 7:39:08 PM , Rating: 2
> "The US did NOT have dominating air superiority in Korea..."

792 MIG-15s shot down, versus 78 Sabres. That's over a 10:1 kill ratio.

Was it to the level of Iraq? No of course not...but then, I think nothing in history was quite to that degree.


RE: Sure...
By werepossum on 10/3/2007 8:29:02 PM , Rating: 4
quote:
792 MIG-15s shot down, versus 78 Sabres. That's over a 10:1 kill ratio.


quote:
Claims
The numbers shown above, and used throughout, are claims, and are almost certainly in excess of the actual number of MiGs downed. During the war the USAF pilots claimed over 800 enemy planes. Postwar research revised that figure downward to 379, which closely matches the admitted Russian losses of 345. The Air Force has not disclosed, perhaps does not fully know, which pilot claims to revise, so the contemporary numbers stand, although, as in all claims for aerial victories, the claims exceed the other side's documented losses.
quote:


The above is excerpted from the Korean section of "acepilots.com". Its source material is noted, some from the history section of the navy site.

quote:
The US Joint Chiefs of Staff define air superiority as "that degree of dominance in the air battle of one force over another which permits the conduct of operations by the former and its related land, sea and air forces at a given time and place without prohibitive interference by the opposing force."


The above is excerpted from the FAS site "http://www.fas.org/spp/aircraft/part07.htm".

My point was that the US fighters were terribly outnumbered and forced to fight to accomplish any air support missions. That's air dominance, but not air superiority, and was due primarily to the vast difference in skill and tactical doctrine (in Soviet-trained air forces, little individual initiative is taken, for fear of being shot; individualistic fighter pilots in totalitarian regimes tend to fly away) and also somewhat because we introduced better Sabre variants later in the war. Had we been able to achieve air superiority, we could have bombed and strafed much more, and almost certainly would have stopped the Chicoms much earlier.


RE: Sure...
By pauldovi on 10/3/2007 9:12:52 PM , Rating: 2
I think you fail to understand the difference between a "total war" and a "limited war". In both Korea and Vietnam we were not technically at war and far from a "total war". The case you are describing is a total war.

Your simplistic view that the flat terrain of Iraq had anything to do with air superiority is amazing.

Do you realize the massive advancements in precision weapons, integration systems, and communications since Vietnam.

Then again the military showed its advancement in Iraqi Freedom with complete integration of ground and air forces.


RE: Sure...
By masher2 (blog) on 10/3/2007 9:39:10 PM , Rating: 2
> "In both Korea and Vietnam we were not technically at war and far from a "total war". The case you are describing is a total war"

Actually, I haven't described any particular case. In fact, I find it far more likely that any future conflict with China would be of the limited variety as well.

And it wasn't just the US that "limited" itself in Korea and Vietnam. China limited its own involvement as well.

> "Your simplistic view that the flat terrain of Iraq had anything to do with air superiority is amazing"

Terrain doesn't affect who has air superiority, but it most certainly affects its resultant value. On mountainous and/or heavily-overgrown terrain, the benefits that air superiority convey can be somewhat less well exploited. This should be obvious to anyone.


RE: Sure...
By pauldovi on 10/4/2007 10:27:23 AM , Rating: 2
Albeit this is true in pre-1990's conflicts, terrain really had little to do with the effectiveness of US Air Force effectiveness. Has the Air Force been limited in Afghanistan? Hardly.

With munitions that can see their targets through clouds and still go through a window in a building, I doubt thick vegetation is going to be an issue. Targeting systems and Blue Force Tracker integration is so sophisticated now that the Air Force can literally support ground troops in real time in all weather conditions.


RE: Sure...
By MrBungle123 on 10/3/2007 6:13:21 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Air superiority (and technology in general) is only a force multiplier. Sometimes a very large one...but if the opposing force is large enough, you don't need that multiplier.


precision guided cluster bombs can make for kill ratios in the hundreds to 1, not even china has the man power to incur those kinds of losses.


RE: Sure...
By MrBungle123 on 10/3/2007 5:52:57 PM , Rating: 2
No nation on earth stands a chance in a blue water battle with the US navy, the chinese may out number us but they have to get across the ocean first. 4 or 5 carrier battle groups and a fleet of attack submarines with the help of satellite surveylence would prevent them from crossing in any significant numbers. The ones that did make it would have to deal not only with the most advanced army on earth waiting for them but 60 million hunters with high powered hunting rifles waiting for them in every city, town, forest, culvert, farm house etc. A full scale invasion of the US main land is suicide... even for China.


RE: Sure...
By Chernobyl68 on 10/3/2007 5:55:49 PM , Rating: 2
the "fleet" of submarines is getting smaller every year. They're very expensive to build and most are getting old.


RE: Sure...
By Kaleid on 10/3/2007 8:07:07 PM , Rating: 1
Fox News had the least informed viewers on Iraq (msnbc close second, best PBS)
Study Leo Strauss + PNAC + Full spectrum dominance


RE: Sure...
By Pwnt Soup on 10/3/2007 6:09:32 PM , Rating: 2
china has the one thing nessary too win a protracted war, they dont care what people think or say about them, even their own people. they dont have too BS the people like our leaders do, they just do as they please with no regard too how their people will suffer or complain.


RE: Sure...
By Pwnt Soup on 10/3/2007 5:57:33 PM , Rating: 3
this system will protect against high altitude threats, what about low flying threats, land based ones or even underwater ones? there are too many other ways for nukes too be used too even think they will "go away" as sugested... like it or not, nukes will be a part of global policy and peace keeping for many more years. it also means dont bet on the threat of nukes ever going away either. just because they or us cant "lob them up and over" does not mean they cant be used in other ways.


RE: Sure...
By sapiens74 on 10/3/2007 6:05:30 PM , Rating: 2
We are talking about Nuclear missiles, so stopping one out of however many saves a Major City and/or millions of lives

Worth every penny of my tax dollars


RE: Sure...
By Kabir on 10/3/2007 6:53:16 PM , Rating: 2
How about building one that can defend the earth against huge meteor running towards us? Hey, it is even more than a major city and millions of lives. It is thousands of cities with billions of lives. :)

I am sure it will worth every penny of YOUR tax dollar. :)


RE: Sure...
By viperpa on 10/3/2007 7:01:15 PM , Rating: 2
The system is not a fail safe system but more of a deterrent. The system is not meant to defend against a full nuclear strike. The system can defend against a rouge country that fires maybe 4 or 5 missles or a terrorist organization.

Even if Russia fired 300 hundred nuclear missles and we knocked out 40% of them, that's still leaves 60% that can reach us. 180 nuclear missles can still do a lot of damage.


RE: Sure...
By Kabir on 10/3/2007 7:08:22 PM , Rating: 2
1. Missile seems to be more complex than nuclear warhead. China developed nuclear warhead quickly but they took a long time to develop long range missiles. For rouge countries, they are better off with suitcase versions or dirty bombs.

2. Percentage doesn't work that way. War is full of surprises. What if the first 100 warheads are targeting those defense systems? What if they first knock out US satellites? Oh, by the way, Chinese just did that to one of their satellites.


RE: Sure...
By Master Kenobi (blog) on 10/3/2007 9:10:45 PM , Rating: 2
Yea and keep in mind the U.S. and Russia have had anti-satellite technology since the 80's. Welcome to the club china /clap. The U.S. Military could cut GPS access to everyone but the U.S. Military's channels, ever wonder what that might do?


RE: Sure...
By rtrski on 10/3/2007 11:10:37 PM , Rating: 2
Finally get the European Space Agency to get its s**t together? :)


RE: Sure...
By FuzionMonkey on 10/3/2007 11:44:57 PM , Rating: 2
Thats why a lot of other nations are building up GPS networks. But yeah, right now pretty much all GPS satellites are US controlled.


2 words: cruise missle
By RamarC on 10/3/2007 4:23:59 PM , Rating: 2
no space based shield will be able to protect against them and low yield nukes can now fit on medium-range cruise missles.




RE: 2 words: cruise missle
By Homerboy on 10/3/2007 4:29:03 PM , Rating: 2
Correct... sadly ICBMs are the least of our worries at this point.


RE: 2 words: cruise missle
By fic2 on 10/3/2007 4:54:31 PM , Rating: 2
Agree. How does this do against a U-Haul packed with fertilizer, nails and couple of pounds of nuclear waste?


RE: 2 words: cruise missle
By masher2 (blog) on 10/3/2007 5:04:27 PM , Rating: 4
That U-Haul might kill a few hundred people if it were lucky. Knock out an incoming nuke headed for Manhattan, and you just saved a few million. Rather a difference there, wouldn't you say?

In any case, you're framing a false dilemma. We don't have to protect against one or the other. We can (and should) guard against both. And we'll use different systems for those two different threats.


RE: 2 words: cruise missle
By KristopherKubicki (blog) on 10/3/2007 4:33:38 PM , Rating: 3
In theory, if you can intercept a ballistic missile before re-entry, cruise missiles are a piece of cake.

MRVs travel in excess of Mach 20 and systems like EKV are designed to knock it out before the missile has entered U.S. "space." Most cruise missiles travel at sub-Mach 1 speeds with a few exceptions in the sub-Mach 2 range.

I think there are quite a few technologies out there designed to defeat those kind of threats -- none of them are nearly as massive or impressive as something like EKV. That's not to diminish their importance, but intercepting those kind of devices is something we're already pretty good at.


RE: 2 words: cruise missle
By masher2 (blog) on 10/3/2007 4:55:20 PM , Rating: 4
The problem with cruise missile interception is simply curvature of the earth. The missile flies so low that line-of-sight reduces radar detection range to 20-40 miles.

So the OP is partially correct. This missile shield -- in its present architectural form of Alaskan-based radar protecting the entire West Coast -- cannot defend against cruise missiles. However, the technology itself can, and one day will. It's just not neccesary right now.

The true fact is that, while most any nation with a will can today build ballistic missiles and nuclear weapons, almost no one can build long-range, nuclear-enabled cruise missiles.


RE: 2 words: cruise missle
By Desslok on 10/3/2007 4:35:21 PM , Rating: 2
Cruise missiles have always been able to carry a nuclear warhead. That is not a new development.

To use a cruise missile you would need either a plane or a ship and with either you will more than likely be on radar and will be spotted when you launch.

I believe the newest version of the Patriot is able to be used against cruise missiles.


RE: 2 words: cruise missle
By Orpheus333 on 10/3/2007 4:42:19 PM , Rating: 2
I was just looking into that and it does appear Patriots are able to defend against artillery, ballistic missiles and cruise missiles...


RE: 2 words: cruise missle
By RMSe17 on 10/4/2007 8:15:20 AM , Rating: 2
I doubt they can defeat Russia's latest and greatest... which incidentally are for sale to whoever wants them. So if those countries in the Middle East, the ones who had people come out and cheer the fall of the towers, the ones who call for the destruction of Israel, get their hands on them, we may have a problem. Of course I think we don't know the real capability of the missile defense system... if the enemy knows exactly what it can do, sure it can be a deterrent, but it also gives them a base for improving the design of he threat to counter our defenses.


RE: 2 words: cruise missle
By 91TTZ on 10/6/2007 3:51:04 PM , Rating: 2
Russia's nuclear missiles are not for sale to whoever wants them. In fact, they're not for sale to anybody.


RE: 2 words: cruise missle
By masher2 (blog) on 10/3/2007 4:47:54 PM , Rating: 2
Cruise missiles are substantially more difficult to build than ballistic missiles. They also carry smaller payloads...and designing lightweight, miniaturized nuclear warheads is far harder than just building a bomb. Putting a nuclear warhead on a cruise missile is therefore considerably more difficult.

But the largest difference is simply range. A "long range" cruise missile is any with a range of over 1000km. The very longest have a range of only 3000km...and only the US and Russia have access to those.

So in short, if a nation wants to attack us via cruise missile, they need not only the missile itself, but a launch platform capable of getting fairly close to the US itself. That means either nuclear subs...or a "sneak attack" thats telegraphed well in advance.


RE: 2 words: cruise missle
By Chernobyl68 on 10/3/2007 6:39:29 PM , Rating: 2
nulcear tomahawk range (about 1000miles) is about 3x that of a conventional tomahawk (about 300 miles), as the warhead is considerably smaller, and the other space is used for fuel.

of course if you're including launch vehicle (bomber, submarine...) then the range is considerably more, but I don't think we have any "cruise" missiles that travel 3000 km.


RE: 2 words: cruise missle
By