Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Shocker of the day
Our missile defense system doesn't work! The most interesting passage from BBC's story:

In earlier tests, target missiles have been successfully intercepted in five out of eight attempts. Wednesday's trial had been put off four times because of bad weather at launch sites and, on Sunday, because a radio transmitter failed.
Now, I'm no defense contractor, but wouldn't you want to test the system in bad weather? Because I would think that the North Koreans would be able to fire their missiles in the rain.

This trial makes the system 5 for 9 -- as long as the people conducting the test know precisely where the missile was launched from and precisely what its trajectory is. Under real-world conditions, the system would be almost completely useless. And even if it did knock down 4 out of 8 missiles, that really isn't going to cut it. .550 is a heroic batting average in baseball, but a missile defense system really has to be flawless or nearly flawless for it to have any effect whatsoever. Juneau would be leveled by one nuclear warhead just as easily as by three, and would-be agressors will not be deterred by a defense system with a 50% success rate -- they'll just build more missiles to overwhelm the system.

But who cares? We're only dropping $100 billion on the thing anyway. These days that's just a few months worth of supplemental appropriations for the quaqmire noble quest to bring democracy to Iraq.


At 11:43 PM, Blogger jdeadzone said...

This is the biggest boondoggle ever. No scientist believes in it and there is no enemy capable of sending any missile at us. Ike warned about the military-industrial complex 45 years ago. He was right on. They are the ones pushing this and the republican right never saw a weapons system they didn't want.


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