AerospaceFan
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As The World Watched The Middle East....

Fri Jul 14, 2006 4:18 am

The broad expanse above Las Cruces, New Mexico, from the air into space itself, was cleared for this test -- a firing of America's THAAD ballistic missile defense system.

In the night, the blast of a Scud simulacrum announced the beginning of the latest trial of one of America's last defenses from an incoming ballistic missile.

And then, the show began.

(Excerpt)

Quote:
The THAAD was launched close to the southern end, on the east side of the Organ Mountains. The object of the THAAD missile is to provide a weapon to intercept incoming missiles during the "terminal" phase, when only seconds remain before it would strike an intended target.

A crowd of roughly 75 spectators, military personnel and defense department contractors, gathered near the WSMR Museum in the predawn hours to view the test.

As the target missile launched, it streaked into the still-dark sky, looking like a comet with a long, white tail. As it got to the second firing stage, red fire bloomed out of the leading edge of the missile.

Minutes later, the THAAD was launched, giving a little pirouette before speeding upward. ^1

For the rest of the story, please read the following source.
________________________________________

1. Source: http://www.lcsun-news.com/news/ci_4044160
What's fair is fair.
 
Derico
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RE: As The World Watched The Middle East....

Fri Jul 14, 2006 4:21 am

Good. Now I hope Brazil and Argentina see what is going on around the world and start building their own nukes ASAP.
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AeroWesty
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RE: As The World Watched The Middle East....

Fri Jul 14, 2006 4:23 am

Quoting Derico (Reply 1):
Now I hope Brazil and Argentina see what is going on around the world and start building their own nukes ASAP.

Huh?!?
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aloges
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RE: As The World Watched The Middle East....

Fri Jul 14, 2006 4:26 am

Quoting AeroWesty (Reply 2):
Huh?!?

My thoughts exactly. With Derico, you never know if he's "kidding" or serious.

In any case, the last thing the two countries need is nuclear weapons. I'm partial to "less poverty and corruption" and "more development" myself.
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aerobalance
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RE: As The World Watched The Middle East....

Fri Jul 14, 2006 4:39 am

Cool, rock on dude!

 Smile
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Bobster2
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RE: As The World Watched The Middle East....

Fri Jul 14, 2006 4:49 am

We'll be destroyed by terrorists with backpacks, or something equally unstoppable. But in the meantime our defense contractors will get rich on these useless anti-missile schemes. Enjoy your money while it's still worth something, don't bother saving it for the future we don't have.
"I tell you this, no eternal reward will forgive us now for wasting the dawn." Jim Morrison
 
Derico
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RE: As The World Watched The Middle East....

Fri Jul 14, 2006 4:52 am

Quoting Aloges (Reply 3):
In any case, the last thing the two countries need is nuclear weapons. I'm partial to "less poverty and corruption" and "more development" myself.

And what good is that if countries like Iran, North Korea, etc, WILL have nukes... and then they bomb your country to pieces because they woudn't dare nuke the US or Europe?

The rest of the world is moving ahead with weapons. It is absolutely naive and suicidal to not do the same and 'hope' for the best.
My internet was not shut down, the internet has shut me down
 
AerospaceFan
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RE: As The World Watched The Middle East....

Fri Jul 14, 2006 4:54 am

Quoting Bobster2 (Reply 5):
We'll be destroyed by terrorists with backpacks, or something equally unstoppable

Bobster, I don't know that we can ignore one threat just so the other isn't neglected. Perhaps we should address both.
What's fair is fair.
 
AeroWesty
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RE: As The World Watched The Middle East....

Fri Jul 14, 2006 4:56 am

Quoting Derico (Reply 6):
The rest of the world is moving ahead with weapons. It is absolutely naive and suicidal to not do the same and 'hope' for the best.

Except that it makes you a target. I'm not one for drawing a bullseye on my ass then going out and mooning the world.
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AerospaceFan
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RE: As The World Watched The Middle East....

Fri Jul 14, 2006 5:01 am

Why would anyone want to arm themselves with nuclear weapons if they are otherwise in compliance with international rules? Japan hasn't ever developed or deployed nuclear weapons, and since World War II, they've done quite well.
What's fair is fair.
 
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AirPacific747
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RE: As The World Watched The Middle East....

Fri Jul 14, 2006 5:01 am

Quoting Derico (Reply 6):
And what good is that if countries like Iran, North Korea, etc, WILL have nukes... and then they bomb your country to pieces because they woudn't dare nuke the US or Europe?

The rest of the world is moving ahead with weapons. It is absolutely naive and suicidal to not do the same and 'hope' for the best.

Why would they dare attacking South America if they don't dare attacking Europe or the US? They would get nuked back anyway no matter who they attacked, especially if you are a part of NATO. Then an attack against your country would be an attack against every country in NATO. No need for more nuclear weapons.
 
Bobster2
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RE: As The World Watched The Middle East....

Fri Jul 14, 2006 5:14 am

Quoting AerospaceFan (Reply 7):
I don't know that we can ignore one threat just so the other isn't neglected.

We're not ignoring missiles. If North Korea puts one on the launchpad we can destroy it before it launches. Other, more rational, countries are deterred by "MAD".

A country like North Korea would get much more bang for the buck by putting their weapons on ships and sailing them to the U.S. Or giving them to terrorists for backpack weapons. They would use the delivery method that is least likely to be stopped. Certainly they wouldn't fire their valuable nukes into a missile defense.

Assume your enemy will use the cheapest, most reliable, and most secret delivery system. We are assuming they will use the system that we can defend against, which is an expensive folly on our part.
"I tell you this, no eternal reward will forgive us now for wasting the dawn." Jim Morrison
 
AerospaceFan
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RE: As The World Watched The Middle East....

Fri Jul 14, 2006 5:20 am

Quoting Bobster2 (Reply 11):
If North Korea puts one on the launchpad we can destroy it before it launches.

But we didn't. Also, pre-emptive action of this kind of frowned upon.

I've read your entire message, and I still don't know what is so "expensive" about protecting against ballistic missiles, especially compared with the costs -- in lives as well as material damage -- that a single ballistic missile can inflict.
What's fair is fair.
 
Bobster2
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RE: As The World Watched The Middle East....

Fri Jul 14, 2006 5:35 am

Quoting AerospaceFan (Reply 12):
But we didn't. Also, pre-emptive action of this kind of frowned upon

We didn't because they didn't. We would if they did. (I'm not sure what that means  Smile ).

A missile defense would be most useful if it were secret. Then we could stop a surprise attack with a surprise defense. The enemy would loose the billions of dollars they invested in developing nuclear weapons.

But we give demonstrations of our defense system. So our enemy changes their attack plans. They have the edge because their plans are secret. Ours are out in the open. Instead of wasting their investment on a doomed missile they do something else with their assets.
"I tell you this, no eternal reward will forgive us now for wasting the dawn." Jim Morrison
 
AerospaceFan
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RE: As The World Watched The Middle East....

Fri Jul 14, 2006 7:19 am

Quoting Bobster2 (Reply 13):
But we give demonstrations of our defense system. So our enemy changes their attack plans. They have the edge because their plans are secret. Ours are out in the open. Instead of wasting their investment on a doomed missile they do something else with their assets.

Well, we'll have to disagree. So long as there are enemy states with ballistic missiles that might be able to reach our territory, we'll need a defense. Using defensive missiles is better than massive destruction, anyway.
What's fair is fair.
 
Bobster2
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RE: As The World Watched The Middle East....

Fri Jul 14, 2006 8:43 am

Quoting AerospaceFan (Reply 14):
So long as there are enemy states with ballistic missiles that might be able to reach our territory, we'll need a defense

Are you aware that THAAD is an area defense? That's what the AD in the acronym stands for. Are you aware that the area is several hundred square miles? Are you aware that the United States covers 3.5 million square miles? Are you aware that 100 THAADs would protect roughly 0.5% of the U.S? Are you aware that optimists hope for success against 75% of incoming missiles? If we need a defense, what happens to the 99.5% of us not defended?

THAAD doesn't even sound like a defensive weapon at all. It sounds like an offensive weapon that would be deployed to protect combat troops concentrated in several hundred square mile areas. If you could only defend a small area like that, wouldn't you use it to protect military assets instead of wasting it on civilians at home?
"I tell you this, no eternal reward will forgive us now for wasting the dawn." Jim Morrison
 
AerospaceFan
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RE: As The World Watched The Middle East....

Fri Jul 14, 2006 12:44 pm

Quoting Bobster2 (Reply 15):
Are you aware that THAAD is an area defense? That's what the AD in the acronym stands for. Are you aware that the area is several hundred square miles?

I don't understand how you would discount the utility of a weapon that could defend entire cities or military installations. Patriot missiles (especially the PAC-3) currently serve to defend areas of Japan from North Korea. The utility of the Patriot missile, which is also limited in range, hasn't been questioned.
What's fair is fair.
 
andessmf
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RE: As The World Watched The Middle East....

Fri Jul 14, 2006 12:55 pm

Quoting AeroWesty (Reply 8):
Except that it makes you a target. I'm not one for drawing a bullseye on my ass then going out and mooning the world.

Whether you like it or not, sometimes you are a target just because of who you are. There are areas in the world where a bullseye in your ass would be considered free expression, and others where it could be considered a legitimate target.
 
AirCop
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RE: As The World Watched The Middle East....

Fri Jul 14, 2006 1:07 pm

Step out to get the morning newspaper on Wednesday and saw the contrail in the sky here in Central Arizona..

Quoting AerospaceFan (Reply 14):
So long as there are enemy states with ballistic missiles that might be able to reach our territory, we'll need a defense.

At least we don't have to worry about North Korea. Rocket scientists needed, see the great leader.

Quoting Bobster2 (Reply 15):
Are you aware that optimists hope for success against 75% of incoming missiles? If we need a defense, what happens to the 99.5% of us not defended?

Not a bang for the buck..But then again 99.5% of us won't be attacked at the same time.
 
AerospaceFan
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RE: As The World Watched The Middle East....

Fri Jul 14, 2006 1:12 pm

Speaking of North Korea, one theory that I've heard on the radio is that the Taepongdong was actually deliberately destroyed by forces unknown. So far, it hasn't advanced to the level of Art Bell / George Noory-style "plausibility", but who knows? We might be hearing about it soon on Coast to Coast AM.
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Bobster2
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RE: As The World Watched The Middle East....

Fri Jul 14, 2006 2:53 pm

Quoting AerospaceFan (Reply 16):
I don't understand how you would discount the utility of a weapon that could defend entire cities

And how would cities feed themselves? Do major cites grow corn, cattle, chicken, soybeans, hogs, wheat, potatoes, oranges, and apples? What if highways, railroads, and airports outside the area defense are destroyed? What happens when the radiation blows in to the cities and contaminates the water supply. Cities spared might still have to evacuate. And we're talking the best case scenario. The worse case is the enemy sends 4 missiles at 1 THAAD and 1 or 2 will get through.

But most important, a continuous nuclear missile attack on undefended land would cause a complete breakdown of order. Farmers won't be out tending their fields. They'll be dealing with blast and radiation, and fear. Farmers or anybody else with food stores would hoard the food and take up arms against city folks coming to get it. Thought you could walk to Kansas and bring home some wheat? That's right, you'd have to walk. No gas trunks will be driving after the war starts.

Now, on the other hand suppose we act nicer to countries so they don't feel the need the nuke us? Even Bush is pushing for negotiations with N. Korea.
"I tell you this, no eternal reward will forgive us now for wasting the dawn." Jim Morrison
 
AerospaceFan
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RE: As The World Watched The Middle East....

Fri Jul 14, 2006 3:05 pm

Quoting Bobster2 (Reply 20):
And how would cities feed themselves? Do major cites grow corn, cattle, chicken, soybeans, hogs, wheat, potatoes, oranges, and apples?



Quoting Bobster2 (Reply 20):
But most important, a continuous nuclear missile attack on undefended land would cause a complete breakdown of order. Farmers won't be out tending their fields. They'll be dealing with blast and radiation, and fear. Farmers or anybody else with food stores would hoard the food and take up arms against city folks coming to get it. Thought you could walk to Kansas and bring home some wheat? That's right, you'd have to walk. No gas trunks will be driving after the war starts.

I don't understand these statements. Are you saying that this is an argument for not protecting cities? (Surely not because unprotected areas would be worse off? This strikes me as equalitarianism taken to a strange level -- that is, if field-dwellers must suffer, why shouldn't city folk?) Rather, you make the point that city folks would suffer -- yes, that's true. But I would argue that where there is life, there is hope. To argue otherwise is to advocate a counsel of despair. No one is arguing that nuclear war is a good thing. To the contrary -- a nuclear bomb can ruin your whole day. I'm not questioning that.

What I am questioning, however, is why it is better to leave cities unprotected simply to avoid the expense of building missiles.

And you've still left completely unaddressed the question of why the threat -- if credible, and if carried out -- of massive destruction of the enemy is better than the ability to defend oneself from their weapons without actually having to massively destroy them.

The argument later on in your message, that it's best to prevent people from hating us, is a bit better, but it's also a bit utopian. Like it or not, there are people out there who don't like us whatever it is that we do. And some of them are powerful enough to create serious problems of a ballistic variety.

Quoting Bobster2 (Reply 20):
The worse case is the enemy sends 4 missiles at 1 THAAD and 1 or 2 will get through.

(Taken out of order.)

Yes, but I like these odds better than if we didn't have ballistic missile defense to begin with. Considering that having ballistic missile defense does not mean that pre-emptive strikes are made more likely by countries, such as North Korea, that cannot afford massive numbers of weapons, I fail to see the logic in accepting worse odds when we have the ability to improve them.

More generally, the alternative to ballistic missile defense you've suggested is mutual deterrence. One should note that mutual deterrence only works with rational state actors. Where your enemy is not rational, it won't work. It'll fail. With very bad consequences, indeed.

Finally, there are neo-hawks now from the Clinton Administration who say that we should have taken out North Korea's long-range missile while it stood on the launch pad. The consequences of this pre-emptive strike could have included a conventional war between North Korea and South Korea. I might say that the kind of strategic thinking that this represents -- delay action until it becomes unavoidable, and thereafter, strike without due attention to the possibility of retaliation -- seems highly dangerous.

[Edited 2006-07-14 08:19:42]
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