No Real Surprise

Untitled document There are reports that the US has moved it's anti-missile system into operational mode in the face of North Korea's apparent intent to launch a multi-stage missile. I don't think that's really as big a deal as the breathless reporting makes it sound. The system has been deployed, quite openly, in a posture to defend against a missile from North Korea for a while now. We posted about it here. I suspect it's more a case of letting the North Koreans know we are watching them closely. The old cold war dances continue.

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6 Responses to No Real Surprise

  1. Jim O'Hara says:

    Has this shield ever been tested with successful results, even using optimal testing conditions? I’ll save you the research:

    Test year: 2000. Result: failure
    http://www.fas.org/spp/starwars/program/news00/000122-nmd1.htm

    Test year 2004. Result: failure
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/4097267.stm

    Test year 2005. Result: failure
    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/6968453/

    Nice to know we’re spending a million dollars an hour in Iraq, but we only have a non/quasi-functional defense system against 30+ year old ICBM technology. If we spent two billion a week on a missile defense system instead of nation building in Iraq, we might have something a little more reliable.

    I find it amazing that you can rant about how dangerous Saddam was to America and how Iraq HAD to be invaded, meanwhile with our full knowledge N. Korea actually developed nuclear weapons and now apparently has a delivery system that could hit US soil!

    Perhaps worse, you are saying “no real surprise” they have WMD – poo pooing a country whose leader has killed MILLIONS more of his people than Saddam ever had.

    Jim

  2. Gaius says:

    I’m well aware of the problems. It also takes time to work out a new system.

    So you’re arguing we need to go to war with North Korea?

  3. Jim O'Hara says:

    > So you’re arguing we need to go to war with North Korea?

    Unless a country directly threatens or attacks us, I’m against invasion. But if given the choice of invading and occupying Iraq, a country of rival ethic groups, or North Korea, an ethnically homologous group, I’d invade N. Korea. Just like Japan, the populous would quickly fall in line once the authority figures were removed. Plus South Korea is there to provide the infrastructure. Not to use over-use a phrase once used for Iraq, but North Korea actually would be a cakewalk.

    In summary, a left-wing nation building plan has a much higher probability of success in N. Korea than Iraq. Preferrably the UN would be behind this effort.

    > It also takes time to work out a new system.

    We had a missile defense system that worked, but it was dismantled because of politics– mostly idiot Democrats. It was called brilliant pebbles. It worked. Now we’re trying to build some missile interceptor system that is lining the pockets of defense contractors, and it doesn’t work. I doubt it ever will.

    Jim

  4. EpsteinsMothersDoctor says:

    Gaius: I don’t think Mr O’hara was advocating the US go to war with North Korea. Rather, I think he the point he made is that the billions of dollars the US government extorts annually from its citizens might be redistributed more wisely.

    Or perhaps, not extorted in the first place.

  5. BubbaB says:

    Yeah, I notice that you ignored the several successes. I was working on the missile defense program when they had multiple successes (5 in-a-row, if I remember correctly.) You seem to ignore the basic fact that, if anybody were to launch a missile at us, we wouldn’t just fire one EKV at that missile. We would fire multiple EKV’s, to improve the chances of hitting that one missile.

    Several of the failures were with the rockets, not the EKV’s. If a rocket failed on launch, do ya think they would sit around and say, “Oh, well, that rocket failed, I guess North Korea will take out San Francisco.” Wait a minute. Maybe that would be okay. I digress…

    And trust me, the Pacific Fleet would have first dibs with their Aegis system. The current missile defense system waits until the missiles have hit their apex, in the upper-atmosphere (thus: EKV = Exo-atmospheric Kill Vehicle). The Aegis system, if my puny understanding is correct, can take out the missile before it hits the upper atmospher, or upon re-entry. We have multiple opportunities to destroy their missile in flight.

    And then, they would know our full fury…

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