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Old 01-13-2004, 09:27 AM   #1 (permalink)
This vexes me. I am terribly vexed.
 
Superbelt's Avatar
 
Location: Grantville, Pa
Anti-Ballistic Missile defense is unfeasible.

Fiscal Year '04 looks to approve 9.1 billion dollars for this endeavor.

Link to letter

Quote:
President William Jefferson Clinton

The White House

1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW

Washington, DC 20502

Dear Mr. President:

We urge you not to make the decision to deploy an anti-ballistic missile system during the remaining months of your administration. The system would offer little protection and would do grave harm to this nation's core security interests.

We and other independent scientists have long argued that anti-ballistic missile systems, particularly those attempting to intercept reentry vehicles in space, will inevitably lose in an arms race of improvements to offensive missiles.

North Korea has taken dramatic steps toward reconciliation with South Korea. Other dangerous states will arise. But what would such a state gain by attacking the United States except its own destruction?

While the benefits of the proposed anti-ballistic missile system are dubious, the dangers created by a decision to deploy are clear. It would be difficult to persuade Russia or China that the United States is wasting tens of billions of dollars on an ineffective missile system against small states that are unlikely to launch a missile attack on the U.S. The Russians and Chinese must therefore conclude that the presently planned system is a stage in developing a bigger system directed against them. They may respond by restarting an arms race in ballistic missiles and having missiles in a dangerous "launch-on-warning" mode.

Even if the next planned test of the proposed anti-ballistic missile system works as planned, any movement toward deployment would be premature, wasteful and dangerous.

Respectfully,

Sidney Altman
YALE UNIVERSITY
1989 Nobel Prize in chemistry

Philip W. Anderson
PRINCETON UNIVERSITY
1977 Nobel Prize in physics

Kenneth J. Arrow
STANFORD UNIVERSITY
1972 Nobel Prize in economics

Julius Axelrod
NIH
1970 Nobel Prize in medicine

Baruj Benacerraf
DANA FARBER CANCER INST.
1980 Nobel Prize in medicine

Hans A. Bethe
CORNELL UNIVERSITY
1967 Nobel Prize in physics

J. Michael Bishop
UNIVERSITY OF CALIF., SAN FRANCISCO
1989 Nobel Prize in medicine

Nicolaas Bloembergen
HARVARD UNIVERSITY
1981 Nobel Prize in physics

Paul D. Boyer
UCLA
1997 Nobel Prize in chemistry

Steven Chu
STANFORD UNIVERSITY
1997 Nobel Prize in physics

Stanley Cohen
VANDERBILT UNIVERSITY
1986 Nobel Prize in medicine

Leon N. Cooper
BROWN UNIVERSITY
1972 Nobel Prize in physics

E. J. Corey
HARVARD UNIVERSITY
1990 Nobel Prize in chemistry

James W. Cronin
UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO
1980 Nobel Prize in physics

Renato Dulbecco
THE SALK INSTITUTE
1975 Nobel Prize in medicine

Edmond H. Fischer
UNIV. OF WASHINGTON
1992 Nobel Prize in medicine

Val L. Fitch
PRINCETON UNIVERSITY
1980 Nobel Prize in physics

Robert F. Furchgott
SUNY HEALTH SCIENCE CTR.
1998 Nobel Prize in medicine

Murray Gell-Mann
SANTA FE INSTITUTE
1969 Nobel Prize in physics

Ivar Giaever
RENSSELAER POLYTECHNIC INSTITUTE
1973 Nobel Prize in physics

Walter Gilbert
BIOLOGICAL LABORATORIES, CAMBRIDGE, MASS.
1980 Nobel Prize in chemistry

Sheldon L. Glashow
BOSTON UNIVERSITY
1979 Nobel Prize in physics

Roger C. L. Guillemin
THE SALK INSTITUTE
1977 Nobel Prize in medicine

Herbert A. Hauptman
THE MEDICAL FOUNDATION OF BUFFALO
1985 Nobel Prize in chemistry

Dudley R. Herschbach
HARVARD UNIVERSITY
1986 Nobel Prize in chemistry

Roald Hoffmann
CORNELL UNIVERSITY
1981 Nobel Prize in chemistry

David H. Hubel
HARVARD UNIVERSITY
1981 Nobel Prize in medicine

Jerome Karle
NAVAL RESEARCH LABORATORY
1985 Nobel Prize in chemistry

Arthur Kornberg
STANFORD UNIVERSITY
1959 Nobel Prize in medicine

Edwin G. Krebs
UNIVERSITY OF WASHINGTON
1992 Nobel Prize in medicine

Leon M. Lederman
ILLINOIS INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY
1988 Nobel Prize in physics

Edward B. Lewis
CALTECH
1995 Nobel Prize in medicine

Rudolph A. Marcus
CALTECH
1992 Nobel Prize in chemistry

Franco Modigliani
MIT, SLOAN SCHOOL
1985 Nobel Prize in economics

Mario Molina
MIT
1995 Nobel Prize in chemistry

Marshall Nirenberg
NIH
1968 Nobel Prize in medicine

Douglas D. Osheroff
STANFORD UNIVERSITY
1996 Nobel Prize in physics

Arno A. Penzias
BELL LABS
1978 Nobel Prize in physics

Martin L. Perl
STANFORD UNIVERSITY
1995 Nobel Prize in physics

Norman F. Ramsey
HARVARD UNIVERSITY
1989 Nobel Prize in physics

Burton Richter
STANFORD UNIVERSITY
1976 Nobel Prize in physics

Richard J. Roberts
NEW ENGLAND BIOLABS
1993 Nobel Prize in medicine

Herbert A. Simon
CARNEGIE-MELLON UNIV.
1978 Nobel Prize in economics

Richard E. Smalley
RICE UNIVERSITY
1996 Nobel Prize in chemistry

Jack Steinberger
CERN
1988 Nobel Prize in physics

James Tobin
YALE UNIVERSITY
1981 Nobel Prize in economics

Daniel C. Tsui
PRINCETON UNIVERSITY
1998 Nobel Prize in physics

Steven Weinberg
UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS, AUSTIN
1979 Nobel Prize in physics

Robert W. Wilson
HARVARD-SMITHSONIAN, CTR. FOR ASTROPHYSICS
1978 Nobel Prize in physics

Chen Ning Yang
SUNY, STONY BROOK
1957 Nobel Prize in physics

Owen Chamberlain*
UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, BERKELEY
1959 Nobel Prize in physics

Johann Diesenhofer*
UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS SOUTHWESTERN MEDICAL CENTER
1988 Nobel Prize in chemistry

Willis E. Lamb, Jr.*
STANFORD UNIVERSITY
1955 Nobel Prize in physics

Missile Defense Strategy Not Feasible Warns American Physical Society

Quote:
Intercepting missiles while their rockets are still burning would not be an effective approach for defending the U.S. against attacks by an important type of enemy missile. This conclusion comes from an independent study by the American Physical Society into the scientific and technical feasibility of boost-phase defense, focusing on potential missile threats from North Korea and Iran.
Boost-phase defense (disabling ballistic missiles while they are still under power) has recently received much attention as one possible element of a National Missile Defense system.

However, the report shows that issues of timing severely limit the feasibility of this approach. The short time window available for disabling an enemy missile means that interceptor rockets would have to be based close to enemy territory to have a chance of intercepting the missile in time, if it is possible at all.

The study found that defending the United States against solid-propellant ICBMs would be impractical in many cases, because of their short burn times. According to the U.S. intelligence community, countries of concern could deploy such ICBMs within 10 to 15 years, about the same time the study judged would be required for the United States to field a boost-phase defense against ICBMs.

Even against the longer burning liquid-propellant ICBMs that North Korea or Iran might initially deploy, a boost-phase defense would have limited use due to the requirement that interceptors be based close to potential missile flight paths.

"Only two to three minutes would be available to achieve a boost-phase intercept, even assuming substantial improvements in systems for detecting and tracking missiles," said Study Group co-chair Frederick Lamb.

"Consequently, even fast interceptors could have difficulty catching liquid-propellant ICBMs and would be unable to catch solid-propellant ICBMs in time. In the most optimistic scenarios, the defense would have only seconds to decide whether to fire interceptors and could be required to make this decision before knowing whether a rocket launch were a space mission or a missile attack."

However, boost-phase defense against short- or medium-range missiles launched from ships off U.S. coasts appears technically possible, provided ships carrying interceptors could stay within about 40 kilometers of the threatening ships.

"This study was conducted for the American Physical Society by a group that included recognized experts on missile defense. The group assessed the feasibility of boost-phase intercept in terms of fundamental science and engineering requirements," said APS President Myriam Sarachik.

"It is crucial that decisions about large-scale investments in weapons systems take into account their technical feasibility. The APS hopes this report will help in evaluating whether to build boost-phase defense systems."

The APS Study Group looked at boost-phase defense systems utilizing land-, sea, or air-based interceptors, space-based interceptors, or the Airborne Laser.

The effectiveness of interceptor rockets would be limited by the short time window for intercept, which requires interceptors to be based within 400 to 1,000 kilometers of the possible boost-phase flight paths of attacking missiles.

In some cases this is closer than political geography allows. Even interceptors that were very large and fast and that pushed the state of the art would in most cases be unable to intercept solid-propellant ICBMs before they released their warheads.

A system of space-based interceptors, also constrained by the short time window for intercept, would require a fleet of a thousand or more orbiting satellites just to intercept a single missile. Deploying such a fleet would require a five- to tenfold increase in the United States' annual space-launch capabilities.

The Airborne Laser currently in development has the potential to intercept liquid-propellant ICBMs, but its range would be limited and it would therefore be vulnerable to counterattack. The Airborne Laser would not be able to disable solid-propellant ICBMs at ranges useful for defending the United States.

"Few of the components exist for deploying an effective boost-phase defense against liquid-propellant ICBMs and some essential components would take at least 10 years to develop," said Study Group co-chair Daniel Kleppner.

"According to U.S. intelligence estimates, North Korea and Iran could develop or acquire solid-propellant ICBMs within the next 10 to 15 years. Consequently, a boost-phase defense effective only against liquid-propellant ICBMs would risk being obsolete when deployed."

Although a successful intercept would prevent munitions from reaching their target, live nuclear, biological, or chemical warheads could strike populated areas short of the target in the United States or in other countries, shows the study. This "shortfall problem" is inherent in any boost-phase defense and difficult to avoid.

The American Physical Society (APS) is the professional society for physicists in the United States, with more than 40,000 members. The principal functions of the APS are the publication of professional journals and arrangement of scientific meetings. On occasion, the APS produces reports on matters of public interest that require technical understanding, and for which an impartial and authoritative analysis would be of particular use to the public and to policy makers. The last such study was on the use of directed energy weapons for missile defense. This report is another study in that tradition.
Missile defense system projected, by economists, to cost 1 trillion dollars.

Test failure
Quote:
On Tuesday, June 17, 2003, the Missile Defense Agency (MDA) conducted FM-5, the fourth intercept test of its AEGIS Ballistic Missile Defense (AEGIS BMD) system. AEGIS BMD is a ship-based technology intended to intercept missiles in the midcourse phase of flight. FM-5 was planned as an evaluation of the kill vehicle's new terminal guidance and maneuvering system. According to initial reports, the interceptor's kill vehicle failed to maneuver into a successful intercept.
This is them knowing everything about the target, they know where it will be every second of its path and they still can't hit it.

Google search for Missile Defense Failures

I think when this many Nobel Luareates, some of the smartest men in the world in the fields that really count here, tell us this. That it will not work and instead will place the United States in a more dangerous situation with hostile ICBM's waiting in "launch-on-warning" mode, we should listen to them.
Technology will advance along with us. Hostile nations will develop the technology to get around any missile defense shield we can come up with. For lack of a better word "stealth missiles". All abm will do is ensure that more warheads are pointed at us.

Other nations can just go with the easy solution, which is that as long as they start off a few hundred kilometers from our defense systems, we can't hit it. They could overwhelm out system easily by firing a couple dozen at once, or use mobile deployment sources like subs and trailers to keep their launch far enough away from our only effective means of a defense. And all for a price of 1 trillion dollars. A little coordination by a hostile force and all that money spent is worthless.

Finally, missile defense is not needed. MAD takes care of any nation what wants to try to tangle with us. The real threat is small, mobile bombs smuggled across our borders. This ABM money needs to be spent on personell and technology at our ports to detect these things. But our national 'leaders' don't want to do that.

Last edited by Superbelt; 01-13-2004 at 09:57 AM..
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Old 01-13-2004, 09:53 AM   #2 (permalink)
Junkie
 
I don't really want to take a side in this discussion because of a lack of research in this field and time to devote to it but I want to play devils advocate here quickly.

A missle shield may not protect us; doing nothing will not protect us. I'd rather have a chance at survival than no chance at survival. That being said there are probably many alternatives to the missle system (technologially & diplomatically).

In addition just because of a bunch of smart people say something doesn't make it right. Once upon a time the greatest minds in the world preached that the world was flat, once upon a time the greatest minds in the world preached that the earth was the center of the universe. There is always a possiblity that these scientest could be wrong. Perhaps the technology could be improved especially with micro-computers increasing in power.

I'm not positive on this but i'm guessing in the tests they do not program the flight path of the other missle into the intercepter but instead have a tracking system that predicts where the missle is going. The only real advantage that the intercepter gets that wouldn't normaly be given is that it is in a possition between the missle and it's target. But in a missle defense system there would be enough missles around us that this would be true most if not all of the time.

In closing i'd like to leave you with a quote I read the other day "Amatures built the arc, professionals built the titanic".
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Old 01-13-2004, 10:00 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Look at all the experts that "fixed" the Mississippi River? Anyone remember the BILLIONS of dollars of damage that was caused by the floods last decade?
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Old 01-13-2004, 10:04 AM   #4 (permalink)
This vexes me. I am terribly vexed.
 
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Location: Grantville, Pa
Those experts were the Army Corps of Engineers. The problem wasn't that there was some grand plan to "fix" the Mississippi River. The problem is that each individual county along the Mississippi wanted levies along the river. The Army couldn't stop it, they didn't have the power. Everyone got their levy and what resulted is the gunbarrell effect. The water has a narrow channel and it all gets sent to some unlucky rural saps downstream. The the whole thing fails and everyone is screwed.

This is just basic physics that the entire physics community is arguing. It's impossible to build this to be effective. And it instead starts an arms race.
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Old 01-13-2004, 11:20 AM   #5 (permalink)
Junkie
 
Location: NJ
Quote:
Originally posted by Superbelt
This is just basic physics that the entire physics community is arguing. It's impossible to build this to be effective. And it instead starts an arms race.
Well, if the entire physics community is against it, I guess it won't ever be started since there will be no one to work on it.

Anyone who thinks there isn't an arms race going on already is naive. Maybe it's not possible. Maybe it is. There's no doubt we will learn quite a bit by trying. By not trying we get no shot at defending against the most likely form of large scale attack against the nation.
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Old 01-13-2004, 11:49 AM   #6 (permalink)
MSD
The sky calls to us ...
 
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The difference between now and 10 years ago is that 10 years ago, there was no proof. Many experts (includeing some insiders from the former Soviet union say that the fear of Reagan's Star Wars program was a significant factor in the collapse of the Soviet government. Since the program has now been determined to be, at best, impractical and unreliable, it has lost its only true value.

The 9.1 billion can do much better things if distributed in other ways. If were were to equip our entire military with the body armor that they need to protect them against modern weapons and replace their Vietnam-era flak jackets and armor, the estimated cost would be just under $100M. Even if it cost ten times that much, I would still say it's worth the cost.

That money could also be put to good use giving our military a bit of extra pay.

I'm just throwing around some alternatives, not saying that anything should be definite, but I think we should show our soldiers that we appreciate their service by giving them some armor that would actually protect them, and a put a bit more into their low salaries to help out them and their families.
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Old 01-13-2004, 12:38 PM   #7 (permalink)
Junkie
 
Location: NJ
Quote:
Originally posted by MrSelfDestruct
The difference between now and 10 years ago is that 10 years ago, there was no proof. Many experts (includeing some insiders from the former Soviet union say that the fear of Reagan's Star Wars program was a significant factor in the collapse of the Soviet government. Since the program has now been determined to be, at best, impractical and unreliable, it has lost its only true value.

The 9.1 billion can do much better things if distributed in other ways. If were were to equip our entire military with the body armor that they need to protect them against modern weapons and replace their Vietnam-era flak jackets and armor, the estimated cost would be just under $100M. Even if it cost ten times that much, I would still say it's worth the cost.

That money could also be put to good use giving our military a bit of extra pay.

I'm just throwing around some alternatives, not saying that anything should be definite, but I think we should show our soldiers that we appreciate their service by giving them some armor that would actually protect them, and a put a bit more into their low salaries to help out them and their families.
No reason we can't do both. Body armor and better pay will not increase the likelihood of surviving a missile attack. Study of the problem probably will. Additionally, the research done on a nationwide scale will likely trickle down to a battlefield scale. Perhaps it will lead to protection from mortars, rpgs, artillery. Is that not also a worthy cause?
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Old 01-13-2004, 03:40 PM   #8 (permalink)
Upright
 
Its a good thing science isn't advanced by people who say it can't be done.

It only takes one person with the vision.

Ask a doctor in the 1920's if there would be an artificial heart.

If such a system worked ONCE and prevented ONE city from being destroyed, it would be worth every penny.
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Old 01-13-2004, 03:45 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Location: VA
Quote:
Originally posted by onetime2
No reason we can't do both. Body armor and better pay will not increase the likelihood of surviving a missile attack. Study of the problem probably will. Additionally, the research done on a nationwide scale will likely trickle down to a battlefield scale. Perhaps it will lead to protection from mortars, rpgs, artillery. Is that not also a worthy cause?
No reason we can't do both. And add new entitlements to medicare. and give the rich another tax cut. And spend half a trillion setting up a moon base and sending humans to mars.

See where I'm going with this?
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Old 01-13-2004, 05:39 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by Rekna
In closing i'd like to leave you with a quote I read the other day "Amatures built the arc, professionals built the titanic".
Yeah, an the Titanic hit an Iceberg, but the Ark hit a frickin MOUNTAIN!
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Old 01-13-2004, 05:47 PM   #11 (permalink)
This vexes me. I am terribly vexed.
 
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Location: Grantville, Pa
That, plus the Arc is a fairy tale.
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Old 01-13-2004, 08:53 PM   #12 (permalink)
Junkie
 
ok well professionals built the leaning tower of piza, or how about that bridge that was built by some of the brightest minds in the world that had harmonic motion rip it to shreds, how about he satilte that flew off to nowhere because it was missprogrammed, how about the gallelo teliscope that was built faultily, how about space station meer, how about challenger and columbia? The point is even the smartest people in the world can be wrong.
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Old 01-14-2004, 02:16 AM   #13 (permalink)
42, baby!
 
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Rekna, although even the smartest people can be wrong, that doesn't say anything. I can give you a list of examples where professionals build something that works perfectly after decades or even centuries (hoover dam, most of the great wall of china, many old buildings and bridges in Europe); but what exactly would that prove?

And "can't be done" is too easy an answer. In the past, we were sure we couldn't sail around the world. Nor could we fly, or go to the moon, nor do many other things we now see as normal, as you yourself said.

There is no fundamental problem with the concept of shooting down ballistic missiles. It's simply a very difficult thing to do, but that only makes it difficult, not impossible. The results may not be perfect, but the side-effects can be nice too: higher-speed computers, high-precision targeting systems, highly maneuverable missiles, etc. All these things can (and will) then be used in the civilian world too.

Another option for defending against ballistic missiles would be to shoot your own nukes into the sky, and explode them near the incoming missiles. I prefer a more accurate (and less deadly) defence.
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Old 01-14-2004, 07:10 AM   #14 (permalink)
Junkie
 
Quote:
Originally posted by Dragonlich
Rekna, although even the smartest people can be wrong, that doesn't say anything. I can give you a list of examples where professionals build something that works perfectly after decades or even centuries (hoover dam, most of the great wall of china, many old buildings and bridges in Europe); but what exactly would that prove?

And "can't be done" is too easy an answer. In the past, we were sure we couldn't sail around the world. Nor could we fly, or go to the moon, nor do many other things we now see as normal, as you yourself said.

There is no fundamental problem with the concept of shooting down ballistic missiles. It's simply a very difficult thing to do, but that only makes it difficult, not impossible. The results may not be perfect, but the side-effects can be nice too: higher-speed computers, high-precision targeting systems, highly maneuverable missiles, etc. All these things can (and will) then be used in the civilian world too.

Another option for defending against ballistic missiles would be to shoot your own nukes into the sky, and explode them near the incoming missiles. I prefer a more accurate (and less deadly) defence.
We are on the same page Dragonlich. I was arguing that we can't discount the use of a missle system just because a bunch of experts say it can't be done.
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Old 01-14-2004, 07:47 AM   #15 (permalink)
This vexes me. I am terribly vexed.
 
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Location: Grantville, Pa
Sure, we should always pursue advancements. I'm not against that. Hell I want to see us with a Mars surface research base sometime in our lifetime.
And yes the trickle down of tech would be good, but it WON'T be worth 1 trillion dollars. Focus that money directly into faster computers and precision targeting rather than the omnibus of a ABM system that too many people from a wide range of fields say won't work. Technology isn't static. We may build things to stop the rockets of today, but they won't be able to stop the rockets developed specifically to ellude the abm system. It will be a questionable system when implemented which will, guaranteed, ensure more nuclear warheads are built and pointed at the United States.

And this is three decades of physicists who say we don't have the technology, and we wouldn't be able to develop it for a very long time, to hit these targets unless we are in close proximity to where they launch. And relying on that puts us in the position to knock out of the sky an orbital rocket rather than an ICBM. And that could start off a real international conflict. You don't have to directly discount it because of all these Nobel Prizewinners, and other physical scientists but you should give some tremendous consideration to their point of view. They are the ones who have and can research this subject in the best, critical way.
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Old 01-14-2004, 08:18 AM   #16 (permalink)
Junkie
 
Location: NJ
Quote:
Originally posted by Superbelt
Sure, we should always pursue advancements. We may build things to stop the rockets of today, but they won't be able to stop the rockets developed specifically to ellude the abm system. It will be a questionable system when implemented which will, guaranteed, ensure more nuclear warheads are built and pointed at the United States.

And this is three decades of physicists who say we don't have the technology, and we wouldn't be able to develop it for a very long time, to hit these targets unless we are in close proximity to where they launch. And relying on that puts us in the position to knock out of the sky an orbital rocket rather than an ICBM. And that could start off a real international conflict. You don't have to directly discount it because of all these Nobel Prizewinners, and other physical scientists but you should give some tremendous consideration to their point of view. They are the ones who have and can research this subject in the best, critical way.
By the first paragraph's reasoning we shouldn't have bothered with radar in WWII since someone would develop a way to get around it.

As far as giving these people "tremendous consideration", I have to wonder about their objectivity when they start throwing in policy pronouncements and analysis of the world situation. You want to argue against something based on science, stick to science don't throw in analyses of the North Korea situation and criticisms on where the money can be better spent. Personally I don't think these people can research the subject in the best, critical way since they have already formed absolutist conclusions. That would eliminate them from any consideration for the project in my book.
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Old 01-14-2004, 08:32 AM   #17 (permalink)
Upright
 
Lets take a look at these experts.

I will ignore the chemisty and medicine people, they have no more clue then you or I about the project.

Leon M. Lederman
The Nobel Prize in Physics 1988
"for the neutrino beam method and the demonstration of the doublet structure of the leptons through the discovery of the muon neutrino

Murray Gell-Mann
"for his contributions and discoveries concerning the classification of elementary particles and their interactions"

James W. Cronin of Chicago University and Val L. Fitch of Princeton University - won the 1980 Nobel Prize in physics today for nuclear research that contributed to the Big Bang theory of creation.

Hans A. Bethe
"for his contributions to the theory of nuclear reactions, especially his discoveries concerning the energy production in stars"

Robert W.Wilson
1978 Nobel Laureate in Physics
for their discovery of cosmic microwave background radiation.

Guess what, THESE are not the people who would build an ABM system. They are very smart men I'm sure, and I didn't check everyone, but they have NOTHING to do with the physics involved, the systems, or the science.
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Old 01-14-2004, 08:34 AM   #18 (permalink)
This vexes me. I am terribly vexed.
 
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Location: Grantville, Pa
18 of the Nobel signatories won their award in the field of Medicine or Economics. This was not meant to be a narrow letter. They had the Physicists and Chemists in for the physical sciences applications and the Medics and Economists to provide support for policy pronouncements and analysis of the world situation. I think that covers any criticism of them sticking their nose where it doesn't belong.

How do you know they already formed absolutist conclusions? How do you know they didn't come into it with an open mind to analyze the subject before forming their opinion and then adding their name to the proclamation?
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Old 01-14-2004, 08:38 AM   #19 (permalink)
This vexes me. I am terribly vexed.
 
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Location: Grantville, Pa
Just because some of the men won their Nobel for subjects not specific to ABM doesn't mean that their education prohibits them from knowing how to analyze an abm system. Physics is broad and the knowledge necessary to receive a doctorate in the field would give any physicist the ability to make an expert opinion on the subject if he gave it some time to analyze.
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Old 01-14-2004, 08:42 AM   #20 (permalink)
Upright
 
Quote:
Originally posted by Superbelt
How do you know they already formed absolutist conclusions? How do you know they didn't come into it with an open mind to analyze the subject before forming their opinion and then adding their name to the proclamation?
How do you know they did? All I'm saying is their research has nothing to do with missile defense and their opinions on it are not expert opinions but just opinions of someone on the outside. Obviously some people are working on it and obviously progress has been made. You may recall the gulf war and the patriot missile system. Now lately some people have tried to poo-poo the patriots success, but very few of those missiles got past it.
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Old 01-14-2004, 08:52 AM   #21 (permalink)
This vexes me. I am terribly vexed.
 
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Location: Grantville, Pa
Actually a fair deal did get past the patriots. And the Physicists aren't arguing against them anyway. Long range missiles are an entirely different situation than the short range ones fired at our troops. Read the article from the American Physicists and you will see.
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Old 01-14-2004, 09:19 AM   #22 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by Superbelt
Actually a fair deal did get past the patriots. And the Physicists aren't arguing against them anyway. Long range missiles are an entirely different situation than the short range ones fired at our troops. Read the article from the American Physicists and you will see.
Ah Superbelt, its good to see you talking about science.

Destroying in the boost phase is best, but its just one possibility, and while the article talks about using a physical interceptor it doesn't mention the good old SDI like system, and energy weapons. Even so thats only part of the picture.

Tracking, id, and intercept are the three keys. Any money spent on this has long term potential in not only an ABM system but also the 'normal' battlefield (be nice to take out all those pesky air-sea missiles). It can only benefit our military and someday it may save our ass as well.

Maybe you like having pissant nations like North Korea having a gun to your head, but I don't.
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Old 01-14-2004, 09:37 AM   #23 (permalink)
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There are similar problems with all the systems.

The SDI system, for example would require such an obscene number of orbital satellites to be in any way effective that it just won't ever happen.

The laser method can only down one type of icbm. They can't target the solid fuels.
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Old 01-14-2004, 09:44 AM   #24 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by Superbelt
There are similar problems with all the systems.

The SDI system, for example would require such an obscene number of orbital satellites to be in any way effective that it just won't ever happen.

The laser method can only down one type of icbm. They can't target the solid fuels.
Currently yes, and that’s why I want to see more R&D. Lasers now are much more powerful then in the past but they still require to long of a 'burn' time, and hope to destroy the fuel. If you could increase the power to such levels that it would be able to destroy components then the fuel issue becomes moot.

SDI right now would require a boatload of satellites, but tracking has also improved every year, and what requires 1000 today might be 100 in a few years.

I will admit that at the CURRENT level of tech, SDI and ABM's are not feasible, but the one thing you can't predict is innovation.
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Old 01-14-2004, 09:54 AM   #25 (permalink)
This vexes me. I am terribly vexed.
 
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I could support SDI... research. Not development yet. And the Lasers. I can see that have other excellent applications even if it never worked. But ABM is a lost cause. I fully believe that. I think that, at least, needs to be scrapped today.
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Old 01-14-2004, 10:28 AM   #26 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by Superbelt
18 of the Nobel signatories won their award in the field of Medicine or Economics. This was not meant to be a narrow letter. They had the Physicists and Chemists in for the physical sciences applications and the Medics and Economists to provide support for policy pronouncements and analysis of the world situation. I think that covers any criticism of them sticking their nose where it doesn't belong.

How do you know they already formed absolutist conclusions? How do you know they didn't come into it with an open mind to analyze the subject before forming their opinion and then adding their name to the proclamation?
Medicine and economics has exactly what to do with North Korean intentions and global political considerations? They are assessing military threats, political gamesmanship, and relative merits of national defense against the governmental programs which they favor.

I never said they came into the discussion with a closed mind, although we don't know that they didn't. They currently have an absolutist opinion. That's all that matters with regard to future research in the field. With the exception of someone who wants a devil's advocate, who would hire someone who doesn't believe in the feasability of the program you're trying to build?
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Old 01-14-2004, 10:36 AM   #27 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by Superbelt
I could support SDI... research. Not development yet. And the Lasers. I can see that have other excellent applications even if it never worked. But ABM is a lost cause. I fully believe that. I think that, at least, needs to be scrapped today.
Just because you *belief* that ABM is a lost cause does not make it so.

Research and development in that area can (and will) produce new technology that will make it worthwile. It will easily pass the 1 trillion mark that was mentioned. Why? Because it will be available *forever*, and that is a very long time indeed...

Besides, there will probably be tons of side-effects and unintential discoveries that may change the world as we see it completely. It may be the start of a technology boom the likes we have never seen. An example: there were trials already with missiles using small "ion engines" to manouver. Extrapolate from that, and we end up with a potential for higher-speed inter-planetary space travel...

In short: we cannot know whether the money spend on ABM is wasted or not, regardless of the end results for the system itself.
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