QUOTE(Bikerdad @ Jan 31 2006, 06:07 AM)
... Then the pre-obsolete missile defence system will be the stupidest money the US military has ever spent.
I doubt it, the annals of stupid military spending have some doozies. Whether or not SDI will work can be a worthy topic in another thread. I'm curious though, what would you have us do as a defense against small nuclear powers?
You are correct of course, it won't be the stupidest money ever
spent, but it will be awfuly stupid.
Since we have a system that does not work, and if it ever does work is already obsolete, it is a waste of time and a collosal waste of money.
In answer to your question, at the moment there are no small nuclear powers which threaten the United States where a fully effective missile shield would make any difference. This whole ystem is premised not on the concept of a nuclear ttack against the US, but of a nuclear attack in the form of a single ICBM with the range to hit the continental United States.
Let us be very clear on that. Even if the missile shield somehow worked to cull anticipated capacity, and even if the enemy does not have a misile like the Topol-M, the misile shield would be INEFFECTIVE against the following attacks:
-Short range, intermediate range or submarine launched missiles
-Concealed Launch missiles (like NK did in its missile tests over Japan, which the world was not aware of until afterwards)
-Cruise or skimmer-type misiles, such as the US Tomahawk or the Russian Sunburn.
-Nuclear weapons introduced into the country through stealth, which according to the CIA is the single most likely scenario for a nuke going off insie the US.
So in answer to your question, the way to defend yourself against a nuclear armed nation is to secure the borders and try and prevent the attack before it happens. The misile shield, which does not work, is already obsolete, and only would work best case against a very specific and highly unlikely kind of attack, is staggering waste of money and time.
One last observation regarding the notion that greed of the military industrial complex is responsible for our being involved in wars. Stupid, stupid, stupid. The military-industrial complex can go on making plenty of money on weapon systems without them ever being put to the test.
Thats not the case. Nothing increases defence spending like an actual conflict, and there is nothing like a war to spawn innumerable contracts for weapons replacements, remember that after Shock and Awe and afghanistan, the US hd burned through 85% of its stockpile of smart misiles and bombs. Those all need to be replaced...
The Federal government's #1 responsibility is protecting the nation. All other spending is secondary. Given that the total military budget, including what's being spent in Iraq and Afghanistan, is far less than the Fed's revenues, by definition, the deficit can't be a result of defense spending. Of course, if your definition of the Federal gov't's priorities differs from mine, as I suspect it does, then you'll reach a different conclusion.
Firstly, yes my spending priorities do differ from yours, but for the sake of argument lets presume your spending priorities for the moment.
Your logic makes no sense. Even if we accept that the primary role of the government is defence of the state, that ONLY allows for expense in cases where there is a threat to the state that can be reasonably stopped. The fact that defence is a priority in your mind STILL does not mean that ANY and ALL spending by the defence department, regardless of how wasteful or irrelevant is a priority.
The Iraq war did not make the US safer, it did the opposite. The Misile shield has not made the US safer. Might as well start building the anti-sun-eating-alien ray I spoke of earlier: after all this ray would qualify as defence spending, and thus is more important than providing health care, right?
Not true. You are not factoring in the fact that no nation is going to be willing to send a nuclear missle at Seattle if it could possibly be shot down. Seattle is saved regardless, since the attack was never initiated.
This is the classic flaw in the way the anti-missle program is regarded. All it has to do to be almost 100% successful is exist. No rogue nation is going to risk potential destruction for nothing, and no large nation is going to risk total annihilation given a chance they'd get nothing or limited results in return. Further, it might allow us to withhold retaliation until after the strike, possibly averting the nuclear war altogether. Why wouldn't we want that?
That makes no sense.
Firstly, no rational state would fire an atomic weapon at the United States anyways. It would be an inherently irrational action. In doing so, they have clearly already accepted the inevitable annihilation as a result.
Secondly, anyone who can read CNN.com or Janesdefence.com knows that the missile defence does not work, hardly a deterrent.
Thirdly, your statement presumes that the attack comes from a state government that can be identified, targeted and destroyed.
Fourthly you ignore the possibility that the launch against the US is in itself a retaliation for a US attack.
Fifthly, you assume, improbably, that the attack would take the form of an ICBM, as any other attack as listed above would make the shield useless, but an ICBM which has not incorporated the already existing technology to defeat the missile shield.
The reality is, any nation or body or entity desperate or angry enough to be willing to nuke the US is not going to be deterred by the fact that an inoperational system exits which will not prevent the attack. Even if it did work, it would not act as a deterrent in the same desperate case.
Further, development of such weapons is probably the only thing that would render nuclear missles obsolete. Isn't that what we should be striving for? How much would that be worth?
ICBMs were already obsolete. They were rendered obsolete over two decades ago by the development of SLBMs, skimmer mssiles, cruise missiles and so on. Now they have been rendered FURTHER obsolete by the development of a new generation of ICBMs which are already immune to the missile shield, which by the way, does not work