Re: Interceptor downs missile in test over Pacific

El Castor wrote:

Islander <nospam@xxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:

Jerry Okamura wrote:

"Islander" <nospam@xxxxxxxxxxx> wrote in message news:ApadnfUL7-z9uGfZnZ2dnUVZ_r-dnZ2d@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Jerry Okamura wrote:

<dezakin@xxxxxxx> wrote in message news:1157226950.297329.181920@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Earl wrote:

jgrove24@xxxxxxxxxxx wrote in

El Castor wrote:

Interceptor downs missile in test over Pacific
Fri Sep 1, 2006 2:42 PM ET

By Jim Wolf

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. military shot down a target
ballistic missile over the Pacific on Friday in the widest
test of its emerging antimissile shield in 18 months, the
Defense Department announced.

The Pentagon's Missile Defense Agency said it had
successfully completed an important exercise involving the
launch of an improved ground-based interceptor missile
designed to protect the United States against a limited
long-range ballistic missile attack.

It would impress if they tried it during a rain shower and
randomly launched a target..everybody knew the target was
fired, so no BFD.

There are 3 items needed to be able to intercept 24/7

1) a radar system capable of detecting the launch and alert the
defense forces.

We built that in the '60s to handle the Soviets -- all we could
do was eliminate the launching country.

2) an interceptor that works. Demonstrated both with Navy system
and land based system. The Navy missiles were available some
time ago.

3) a system of launch locations on high alert ready to launch
when needed.

Just a matter of building the launch tubes and have rotating
silos on call. Just a variation of what we had before with SLBMs
and ICBMs.

All the components exist or just need to be paid for. No real
technical issues, just political ones. Do the politicians think
you are worth protecting?

Back in the ancient days we could spot a soviet mass launch, and
get the word out to our facilities in time to be of use.

Because of our close in SLBMs we could have HBombs exploding in
the Soviet Union about the time our cities started to evaporate.
And this was maintained 365/24/7 for decades.

So now we just launch interceptors instead of city killers.
(SLBMs were targeted at air fields, radars and other problems
for the bombers -- but the Soviets, with their poor roads put
them in cities.)

Note that the military will never promise full protection. It
will do its best but Murphy is in command -- so some missiles
will get through, unless you are willing to pay for 1000%
overlap coverage. Insurance is expensive.

Balloon decoys add maybe 1% to the cost of a ballistic missile and
completely defeat interceptors. Its a total waste of money.

What good does a balloon decoy? An ICBM when it is launched already knows where it is headed isn't it? Is it going to change direction because of some ballon decoy?

Good grief Jerry! You have it backwards. There are a number of problems that one needs to solve in targeting an ICBM. One of these is the release of decoy targets by the ICBM to confuse interceptor missiles. Balloon decoys are a part of that strategy because they are light weight (soas to not take up too much of the payload) and because they disperse rapidly and continue traveling at close to the same rate of speed as the warhead in the rarefied atmosphere at the apogee where critical targeting is done. Add to this the practice of using multiple warheads, aimed at different targets and you have a very confusing mixture of targets and decoys. At a minimum this delays targeting until the ICBM is further in its trajectory, even with the technical approaches that Earl has mentioned.

I understand decoys, but ballons? Even if you released ballons, as part of the missile it would seem to me, that they would very soon start to go a whole lot slower than the missile or its warhead itself....what am I missing?

The basic offensive strategy is to force the defense into delayed targeting. The less time that you have to solve the targeting problem, the more chance that some warheads will make it through to the target.

In this case, it is not at all clear that the problem can be solved sufficiently well to be worth the cost. As Earl has pointed out on several occasions, some missiles will get through. Better to not have a false sense of security that might tempt you to assume a more aggressive behavior than you would if you know that you are not protected.

Ah, but you see, even if "some" missiles do get through, that also means "some" missiles will not get through. On one hand, every missile lands (assuming it does not malfuction) and on the other hand, only some of the missiles land.

Overall, it is not a good idea to use a strategy where any missles get through. This is why giving the politicians a false sense of security is a bad idea. It is much better to adopt strategies that eliminate the need for any nation to rely on offensive missiles.

Good point. When do you intend to convert to Islam and throw a black
sheet over your wife?

This afternoon I played back a recording that I made of "Faith and Reason," the PBS special series with Bill Moyers and in this case, the interview with Salman Rushdie. If there was ever a man who should have a problem with Islam, one would think that it would be Salman Rushdie. If you recall, Ayatollah Khomeini issued a fatwa calling for Muslims to kill him for the sin of writing a book, The Santanic Verses. Rushdie hid for 10 years until after Khomeini died the Iranian government backed away from the fatwa.

The interview was interesting because, despite the fact that Rushdie is an atheist, he has no problem with religion including Islam per se. He does have a very serious problem with fundamentalism in all its guises and has been actively involved in activities to promote free speech.

In the interview he discusses the enormous gulf that exists between the West and the Arab world and the need to bridge that gulf. He argues that fundamentalism (and by extension terrorism) cannot be defeated except through better understanding of our different cultures. Islam has to be motivated to not only eliminate fundamentalism, but to eliminate intolerance. That cannot be done by force.

This is clearly not our strategy in our "war against terrorism" and we are witnessing the results of our heavy handed methods. We are, in fact, moving Islam closer to fundamentalism, world wide.

This is what I mean when I say we need a different strategy. Our military cannot solve this problem for us and our policy in using the military is only making things worse. With all the money that we have wasted on SDI and the ABM, with no assurance that it will protect us, how much could have been done to bridge the gulf?

After all, it was not threats that convinced the Iranians to lift the fatwa against Rushdie -- it was Iran's interest in improving relations with Britain.

If you are interested, the text of the interview is at: