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Thursday, February 19

The Empire Strikes Back  

I doubt no one on our end had thought of this during either Reagan or Bush's grandstanding about missile defense, but it tends to make the entire concept of a missile shield (at least one using current technology) pointless. I know Rumsfeld and some others have dreams at night about orbiting laser guns that shoot missiles launched at the US right out of the sky, but we're not there yet. For the moment we're stuck with trying to hit one bullett with another bullett. Now the Ruskies have developed a bullett that will evade our bullett. Does it work? Probably not that well right now, but with some development I'd bet this thing would be more successful at evasion than our defense would be at collision.
In Washington, Gen. Richard Myers, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, was asked by reporters about the Putin statement. "If you're in that business — intercontinental ballistic missiles and warheads — you want them to be survivable, and maneuverability is one way to increase their survivability against any potential defenses," he said. Putin said that Russia had no intention of immediately deploying new weapons based on the experimental vehicle. Baluyevsky concurred. "We have demonstrated our capability, but we have no intention of building this craft tomorrow," he said, adding that Russia had told the United States about its plans to conduct the experiment.
Comically the Baluyevsky also noted that the test craft had "ceased to exist." It's important that the US guard itself against rogue nations and asymmetric threats, but as we do so, we need to outthink our adversaries not pump money into 20-year-old pipe dreams that will be obsolete the moment they're activated.


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