Missile defence Shield

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Missile defence Shield

Postby Paranoid__Android » Fri Nov 14, 2008 12:14 am UTC

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/7724934.stm

With the state of relations with russia at the moment and the recent crisis in Gorgia will this be the final straw to a new cold war?

in case you dont know what the shield is:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/americas/5106762.stm

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Re: Missile defence Shield

Postby Vox Imperatoris » Fri Nov 14, 2008 12:46 am UTC

If they can get this stuff to finally work, I would definitely support it. I don't see any downside to the U.S. being able to totally counter any Russian nuclear strike. The only real danger is that we'll overestimate their own capability and get arrogant (like we were with "smart bombs" before the Iraq War in thinking they could immediately take out Saddam and all his top commanders).
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Re: Missile defence Shield

Postby ++$_ » Fri Nov 14, 2008 12:54 am UTC

I don't think we'll ever get it to work, because the Russians can almost certainly develop a decoy-missile program for much less money per unit.

Right now, what we're seeing is Russia holding out for a more reasonable deal under the Obama administration, which they know they will get because the Obama administration is almost certain to be more reasonable.

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Re: Missile defence Shield

Postby Katrina » Fri Nov 14, 2008 1:00 am UTC

The shield isn't actually that functional atm.

[see: CRS report on shield - bleh, link to follow].

However, Russia has stated that it will both use political force and electronic jamming against these sites. Going into Georgia was part and parcel of this.

And no, I don't think the US poking Russia with a large stick is smart. There's absolutely no reason for it: Russian nukes are kept safe, and up to date (barring the old ones, but the US is facing the same problems in keeping maintenance up - see RWWs) and the US has no reason to be active in this area. Not to mention the obvious part: if Russia gets more annoyed, and less focused on Capitalism (which it has been), then China will love the influx of material and expertise.

Smart people have been worrying about Siberia, the raw resources there and Chinese interest for over 7 years now. This is the kind of stupidity that removes this as an issue, and makes the world into a dangerous place: why?

So that stupid neo-cons can remain "in touch" with the world, even when it has moved way beyond their experience or ability to deal with. I hope that Obama might go some way to slapping these leeches hard and get them off the books. Russia has gone a whole lot further in development than the US in the last 7 years. As has China. Watching the dinosaurs trying to put back the clock is sad, and dangerous.

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Re: Missile defence Shield

Postby TheKrikkitWars » Fri Nov 14, 2008 1:10 am UTC

Personally I'm much happier with the idea of M.A.D. than some sort of NMD arms race.

It's worth noting that whilst the likelihood of the use of battlefield and tactical nuclear weapons is stable or increasing, the likely hood of a full on nuclear war in the traditional sense is rapidly decreasing. I can only see a real use for a missile shield that can counter IRBM's and Tactical/Battlefield missiles at a battalion level, deploying systems such as M-THEL, MIM-104F (Patriot PAC-3), or even YAL-1 is a much more practical and pragmatic approach to missile defense systems, than the convoluted "star wars" style systems advocated towards the end of the cold war.
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Re: Missile defence Shield

Postby Vox Imperatoris » Fri Nov 14, 2008 1:24 am UTC

I wouldn't say the likelihood of a traditional nuclear war is decreasing; it is increasing or at least stable. Not that it is remotely probable even then, but after its enormous drop after the end of the Soviet Union, Russia is now becoming steadily more oppressive and xenophobic, just in a more fascistic way than communistic.

(To be very clear, I do not lie awake at night afraid of the coming of the "Ruskies". But Russia's political future doesn't seem to bode sunshine and happiness for the U.S.)
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Re: Missile defence Shield

Postby Katrina » Fri Nov 14, 2008 1:30 am UTC

Vox Imperatoris wrote:I wouldn't say the likelihood of a traditional nuclear war is decreasing; it is increasing or at least stable. Not that it is remotely probable even then, but after its enormous drop after the end of the Soviet Union, Russia is now becoming steadily more oppressive and xenophobic, just in a more fascistic way than communistic.

(To be very clear, I do not lie awake at night afraid of the coming of the "Ruskies". But Russia's political future doesn't seem to bode sunshine and happiness for the U.S.)


Can I ask your reasons for this, please? And if possible, what part of the world you live in / media sources?

(I have a little history with Russia, I'm genuinely interested in this thought pattern: I'll respond honestly with my own concerns about Russia after I get where you're coming from :) )

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Re: Missile defence Shield

Postby Guest » Fri Nov 14, 2008 1:38 am UTC

Everyone (including myself) is always quick to condemn the American provocation and sabre rattling and criticises them for wanting to antagonise Russia. The 'Russia just wants to be treated as an equal' argument. I agree with that, but it seems to me that it is quite likely that the Russian leadership might be just as keen to retain the cold war dichotomy as the Americans are. As long as Russians are anti-American there will be popular support for the current occupiers of the Kremlin, and it's much less likely to bring about democratic reform. In the same speech where he proposed stationing missiles in Kaliningrad Medvedev said he would look to amend the constitution to lengthen the presidential term from 4 years to 6 years. It is currently being examined in the Duma as we speak and is expected to be law by the end of the year. A lot of Russians are unhappy about it and want a referendum, on the blogosphere level at least, but there is also seems there is a general consensus among the population that only Putin's government is competent and strong enough to stand up to the American encroachment and protect their national interests. The small democratic parties are seen as fools who would sell Russia's resources to the West and give up their interests in the same way as Yeltsin. So by keeping up the rhetoric Putin gets a free pass to remain in power until 2024.

If they had really wanted the US to stop with the missile shield, surely Medvedev would have been more discrete and not shot off a challenge to Obama only a few hours after his victory? Obama is already criticised for being weak and now if he bows to the Russians it will only strengthen that perception. The only solution that seemed possible was a discrete face saving deal like the Cuban one, but now that seems unlikely...

Well, that's only a theory, and I do think Russia is entirely justified to be annoyed about it. And I don't think many people believe it is aimed at Iran because Russia would probably fit the Bush administration's definition of a 'rogue state' at the moment.

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Re: Missile defence Shield

Postby Mzyxptlk » Fri Nov 14, 2008 7:11 am UTC

A working missile shield will not decrease the chance of nuclear war; it'll increase it, just like any escalation in nuclear technology is bound to. If you think Russia and China are just going to accept that the US can hit anywhere at any time, without needing to worry about retribution, you are sorely mistaken. It'll unbalance the world because it neutralises Mutual Assured Destruction. This analysis is backed by the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, the keepers of the Doomsday Clock. Since 1953, the clock has only once been closer to midnight than it is now. In 2002, when the US withdrew from the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty, they put the clock 2 minutes forwards.

Of course, that only applies if it'll work, which scientists are doubting.

The US claims it's meant to protect against rogue states, particularly Iran, but you don't need to be a rocket scientist to figure out that Iran has nothing to gain by using (as opposed to owning, which has definite advantages) a nuclear weapon, especially not on a Western country. They would be wiped off the earth in hours. Compare North-Korea.
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Re: Missile defence Shield

Postby Dazmilar » Fri Nov 14, 2008 6:35 pm UTC

Mzyxptlk wrote:A working missile shield...


Not to feed any conspiracy theorists that sneak around the message boards, but the key word in this technology upsetting the balance of MAD is "working." If you develop a missile shield but make sure it always fails in any publicized tests, then you gain the protection you want from rogue states but don't upset the balance. Of course, this assumes that your development of said missile shield won't prompt other nations to also develop broken missile shields. We can't have a broken missile shield gap, after all.

Mzyxptlk wrote:The US claims it's meant to protect against rogue states, particularly Iran, but you don't need to be a rocket scientist to figure out that Iran has nothing to gain by using (as opposed to owning, which has definite advantages) a nuclear weapon, especially not on a Western country. They would be wiped off the earth in hours. Compare North-Korea.


A kind of reasoning that works so long as whoever you're talking about is somewhat rational.

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Re: Missile defence Shield

Postby Seraph » Sat Nov 15, 2008 7:00 am UTC

A working missile shield will not decrease the chance of nuclear war; it'll increase it, just like any escalation in nuclear technology is bound to. If you think Russia and China are just going to accept that the US can hit anywhere at any time, without needing to worry about retribution, you are sorely mistaken. It'll unbalance the world because it neutralises Mutual Assured Destruction.

How would the missile shield neutralize MAD?

Russia has a sufficiently large number of weapons that they could overwhelm any sort of defense the US would deploy under the current plan.
As for China, unless they're really good at hiding their weapons China doesn't have the capability required for MAD to work. The current estimate is that they could deliver 7 warheads to the US, is a pathetic showing compared to the nuclear holocaust the US could rain on China.

The US claims it's meant to protect against rogue states, particularly Iran, but you don't need to be a rocket scientist to figure out that Iran has nothing to gain by using (as opposed to owning, which has definite advantages) a nuclear weapon, especially not on a Western country. They would be wiped off the earth in hours. Compare North-Korea.

Who's to say that the Iranian government would be the one to use it? A rogue state isn't necessarily going to have a PALS system to prevent a commander somewhere from flipping out and launching a weapon. Heck, the lack of even a dual-key type system could mean that a single compromised man who worked closely with a missile might be able to arm and launch the thing.

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Re: Missile defence Shield

Postby Dream » Sat Nov 15, 2008 7:19 am UTC

Seraph wrote:How would the missile shield neutralize MAD?

It might encourage the US to strike first, and would certainly encourage Russia or China to develop enough new nukes to counteract it. Basically, it would upset the balance of power that MAD relies on.
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Re: Missile defence Shield

Postby clintonius » Sat Nov 15, 2008 4:13 pm UTC

Particularly if we finalize the technology first, and/or if ours is significantly better. It has the effect of demonstrating to other countries that we feel safer about a potential nuclear war than they do or should. Also, not to say this is an entirely reasonable view considering the difference between a standard military strike and a nuclear one, but this technology combined with our recent willingness to act unilaterally may seem disquieting to other nations.
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Re: Missile defence Shield

Postby ddxxdd » Sat Nov 15, 2008 8:04 pm UTC

clintonius wrote:Particularly if we finalize the technology first, and/or if ours is significantly better. It has the effect of demonstrating to other countries that we feel safer about a potential nuclear war than they do or should. Also, not to say this is an entirely reasonable view considering the difference between a standard military strike and a nuclear one, but this technology combined with our recent willingness to act unilaterally may seem disquieting to other nations.


Is it just me, or is everyone here saying that it's bad to gain an advantage in a nuclear escalation?

We need that advantage. Every time we have harsh negotiations with Russia, there's a possibility of nuclear escalation. Every time we take action against Russia for invading a sovereign nation, there's the potential for nuclear escalation. Every time we chastise China for human rights violations, we have an image of nuclear escalation in our minds. So if we have an advantage in nuclear defense, we have an advantage in every single interaction between us and Russia or China.

With that being said, I think we should only spend billions of dollars of more money into the defense shield if we can financially benefit from freer trade and greater capitalism in Russia (somewhere to the tune of $1 trillion in cheaper goods).
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Re: Missile defence Shield

Postby Mzyxptlk » Sat Nov 15, 2008 10:58 pm UTC

ddxxdd wrote:Is it just me, or is everyone here saying that it's bad to gain an advantage in a nuclear escalation?

No, it's not. What we're saying is that it's a bad thing to take measures which increase the risk of nuclear war.

ddxxdd wrote:Every time we have harsh negotiations with Russia, there's a possibility of nuclear escalation. Every time we take action against Russia for invading a sovereign nation, there's the potential for nuclear escalation. Every time we chastise China for human rights violations, we have an image of nuclear escalation in our minds.

While this is all true, let's look at it from the other side for a minute. Every time the US invades a sovereign nation, there's the potential for nuclear escalation. Every time the US place sanctions on largely peaceful nations, there's the potential for nuclear escalation. Every time the US support Israel breaching international law, there's the potential for nuclear escalation.

The inhabitants of the United States and the European Union aren't the only people which deserve protection. The rest of the world deserves it too. Simplistic though it may seem, the best way to create safety and stability is not by creating ever more destructive weapons; it's by following the anti-ballistic missile and the non-proliferation treaties.
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Re: Missile defence Shield

Postby ddxxdd » Sat Nov 15, 2008 11:32 pm UTC

Mzyxptlk wrote:
ddxxdd wrote:Is it just me, or is everyone here saying that it's bad to gain an advantage in a nuclear escalation?

No, it's not. What we're saying is that it's a bad thing to take measures which increase the risk of nuclear war.

And wouldn't a missile defense shield do the opposite? Or does Russia WANT to get obliterated in a one-way nuclear war?

Mzyxptlk wrote:
ddxxdd wrote:Every time we have harsh negotiations with Russia, there's a possibility of nuclear escalation. Every time we take action against Russia for invading a sovereign nation, there's the potential for nuclear escalation. Every time we chastise China for human rights violations, we have an image of nuclear escalation in our minds.

While this is all true, let's look at it from the other side for a minute. Every time the US invades a sovereign nation, there's the potential for nuclear escalation. Every time the US place sanctions on largely peaceful nations, there's the potential for nuclear escalation. Every time the US support Israel breaching international law, there's the potential for nuclear escalation.

The inhabitants of the United States and the European Union aren't the only people which deserve protection. The rest of the world deserves it too. Simplistic though it may seem, the best way to create safety and stability is not by creating ever more destructive weapons; it's by following the anti-ballistic missile and the non-proliferation treaties.


1. A defense shield isn't so much a weapon as it is a method of neutralizing weapons, correct?
2. If you think that the US is doing wrong, then wouldn't you support Russia, China, or Pakistan getting a missile shield? and vice versa?
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Re: Missile defence Shield

Postby Guest » Sun Nov 16, 2008 12:17 am UTC

ddxxdd wrote:And wouldn't a missile defense shield do the opposite? Or does Russia WANT to get obliterated in a one-way nuclear war?


Even if the US obliterated Russia without taking a single retaliation nuke (which is extremely unlikely, given ICBMs are one of the few areas where Russia is still competitive), it would be far from a win for anyone. The world as we know it would be destroyed. I don't think China would be too happy about having a nuclear wasteland on its borders, nor would Europe (who would be left without an energy supplier to take them through the nuclear winter). Either the rest of the world would bow to the new Nazi USA or they would launch their own nuclear war against them.

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Re: Missile defence Shield

Postby ddxxdd » Sun Nov 16, 2008 12:56 am UTC

Guest wrote:
ddxxdd wrote:And wouldn't a missile defense shield do the opposite? Or does Russia WANT to get obliterated in a one-way nuclear war?


Even if the US obliterated Russia without taking a single retaliation nuke (which is extremely unlikely, given ICBMs are one of the few areas where Russia is still competitive), it would be far from a win for anyone. The world as we know it would be destroyed. I don't think China would be too happy about having a nuclear wasteland on its borders, nor would Europe (who would be left without an energy supplier to take them through the nuclear winter). Either the rest of the world would bow to the new Nazi USA or they would launch their own nuclear war against them.


Well in that case, I'd say that if the US was actively trying to alter Russian behavior, we would use conventional methods UNTIL Russia tried to nuke us.
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Re: Missile defence Shield

Postby cspirou » Sun Nov 16, 2008 2:21 am UTC

I thought I posted on here before but I don't see it. So I was either dreaming or someone deleted it without telling me.

I don't think it matters whether or not the shield works. It's a huge pork barrel project for eastern Europe who's justification is based on fears and not reality. We're not going to have a rogue "terrorist" nation develop missiles or nuclear warheads. The enemies we have that are likely, Iran and North Korea, value their own existence way too much. They are not so stupid that they wouldn't expect massive nuclear retaliation if they sent a bomb anywhere near an ally. The only real thing the shield accomplishes is pissing off Russia.

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Re: Missile defence Shield

Postby ddxxdd » Sun Nov 16, 2008 4:48 am UTC

cspirou wrote:I don't think it matters whether or not the shield works. It's a huge pork barrel project for eastern Europe who's justification is based on fears and not reality. We're not going to have a rogue "terrorist" nation develop missiles or nuclear warheads. The enemies we have that are likely, Iran and North Korea, value their own existence way too much. They are not so stupid that they wouldn't expect massive nuclear retaliation if they sent a bomb anywhere near an ally. The only real thing the shield accomplishes is pissing off Russia.


Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Kim Jon Il value THEIR OWN existence, not necessarily the health and well being of their respective countries. But with that being said, the nuclear defense shield is pretty much a waste of time and money unless it's extremely cheap or it's gonna be used to deter Russian aggression.
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