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peter2002
Feb 24, 2003, 12:25 AM
Bush has stooped to a new low. Bush sneaked into the massive 2004 budget to exempt the "Star Wars" missle defense system from oversight and most importantly - certification of operation testing. The $70 billion system would be the first defense system approved for deployment that has not proven to work in the history of the USA.

Pete :mad:
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WASHINGTON -- The Bush administration is proposing to exempt the Pentagon's controversial missile defense system from the operational testing legally required of every new weapons system in order to deploy it by 2004.

Buried in President Bush's 2004 budget, in dry, bureaucratic language, is a request to rewrite a law designed to prevent the production and fielding of weapons systems that don't work. If the provision is enacted, it would be the first time a major weapons system was formally exempted from the testing requirement.

The proposal follows administration moves to bypass congressional reporting and oversight requirements in order to accelerate development of a national missile defense system.

One of Bush's goals when he took office was to implement a missile defense system-- an idea first proposed by President Ronald Reagan-- and he almost immediately expanded both the scope and the funding of the controversial program, which had encountered scientific and budgetary difficulties in recent years.

Last year, to help achieve that goal, Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld gave the Missile Defense Agency unprecedented managerial autonomy and removed procurement procedures that were intended to ensure new weapon programs remain on track and within budget.

Administration officials believe the unusual measures are necessary because of a growing missile threat from rogue countries such as North Korea, Iran and Iraq.

But critics maintain the new independence and secrecy of what has become a vastly expanded missile defense program increases the chance that the Pentagon will spend tens of billions of dollars on an antimissile system that doesn't work.

Much is at stake. While the exemptions granted previously gave the missile defense program an unprecedented degree of autonomy from congressional oversight, they did not exclude it from testing.

Highlighting its technical weaknesses has been opponents' best hope for slowing the long-debated program. In recent years, critics repeatedly have used Pentagon data from missile defense flight tests to challenge whether the experiments were as successful as claimed.

The latest proposal from the Pentagon would exempt the missile defense deployment from a law that requires the Defense Department to certify that appropriate operational testing has been completed before putting weapon systems into production. The Bush administration announced in December a goal of having a limited ground-based system operational at Fort Greely in Alaska and at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California by Oct. 1, 2004.

"The moves last year were just about reporting requirements. This is different," said Philip Coyle, director of operational testing and evaluation for the Pentagon from 1994 to 2001. "This is about obeying the law. Without these tests, we may never know whether this system works or not, and if they are done after this system is deployed, we won't know until we've spent $70 billion on a ground-based missile defense system."

The proposed waiver has raised concerns of Senate Democrats, including Dianne Feinstein of California, missile defense critic Carl Levin of Michigan, the ranking member of his party on the Senate Armed Services Committee, and Rhode Island's Jack Reed.

In a letter to Rumsfeld dated Wednesday, Feinstein wrote: "I believe that any deployed missile defense system must meet the same requirements and standards that we set for all other fully operational weapons systems. Indeed, given the potential cost of a failure of missile defense, I believe that, if anything, it should be required to meet more stringent test standards than normally required."

Feinstein's letter came one week after Rumsfeld had been grilled on the issue by Levin and Reed at an Armed Services Committee hearing.

"That law exists to prevent the production and fielding of a weapons system that doesn't work right," Levin said.

Rumsfeld replied that an exemption made sense in the case of missile defense.

"I happen to think that thinking we cannot deploy something until you have everything perfect, every 'i' dotted and every 't' crossed, it's probably not a good idea," Rumsfeld said. "In the case of missile defense, I think we need to get something out there, in the ground, at sea, and in a way that we can test it, we can look at it, we can develop it, we can evolve it, and find out-- learn from the experimentation with it."

Rumsfeld pointed out that two other weapon systems in recent years-- the Predator unmanned aerial vehicle and the Joint-STAR aircraft radar systems-- were deployed before they were tested operationally. But those systems did eventually go through operational testing, and neither went into full production until that testing was completed.

There is no guarantee that the operational testing will ever take place if the law is changed to allow the missile defense system to be deployed.

In its first two years in office, the Bush administration has replaced President Clinton's plan for a relatively simple missile defense system with one more elaborate, with land- and sea-based interceptors, airborne lasers and space-based weapons.

In fiscal 2002, the Bush administration spent $7.8 billion on missile defense, 47 percent more than the Clinton administration did in its final year.

The administration announced in December that it intends to begin deploying up to 20 ground-based interceptors that can shoot down long-range missiles and up to 20 sea-based interceptors to defend against short-range and medium-range missiles. Last spring, the Pentagon broke ground for six interceptor missile silos at Fort Greely, Alaska, about 80 miles southeast of Fairbanks.

The new missile site is portrayed by the Pentagon as primarily a "test bed" for gauging how interceptors and command and control networks withstand the Alaskan cold. But defense officials have made no secret of their intention to be able to use the site as an operational antimissile system should the need arise. The facility is scheduled for completion by September 2004.

http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-na-missile24feb24,1,5024689.story?coll=la%2Dhome%2Dheadlines

alex_ant
Feb 24, 2003, 12:44 AM
One of the great things about G.W. is that he makes life easy for people who like to pick on him. :)

macfan
Feb 24, 2003, 01:34 AM
peter,
Once again you have taken a story and come to a conclusion that is less than appartent from what is presented. A couple of things to note. We have deployed systems in the past that have not been put through their paces and tested adequately. We had some horrible torpedos in the early years of WWII, for example. More recently, JSTARS was a prototype in the first Gulf War, and was deployed with great success.

This missile defense concept looks to be an expansion of proven technology with some new things as well. I am not comfortable with a lack of oversight, but this concept, both the idea of having a missile defense system and getting it deployed quickly, seems like a very good idea given the North Korea situation. Maybe this should have been started back when North Korea started developing its longer range missiles (1980s? early 1990s?). In any event, having a system in the field will allow it to evolve under more realistic condiditions.

TMay
Feb 24, 2003, 04:14 AM
...knowing that the probability of any party, including the North Koreans, launching ballistic missles at us any time soon is quite small. This is just posturing to get funds ramped up for missle defense deployment, even though there isn't a chance that the system is deployable anytime soon. I have no doubt that given the time and funds, that this sytem will be reliable enought to deter a rogue nations attack. Still, without oversight, this will become a financial windfall for the defense industry.

The President has done an amazingly inept job of funding local emergency services, the first line of defense in a chemical and biological attack. A report by Gary Hart, et al,

http://www.chron.com/cs/CDA/story.hts/editorial/outlook/1788090

indicated that the U.S. is no better prepared for security now than it was on 9-11. States and communities haven't the funds to do this, need federal help, and rather than provide them this, the President is giving tax breaks to his campaign financiers.

With the ability to strike at will at almost anyplace on our mostly unprotected coastline, why would any terrorist or hostile power even go to the trouble of a ballistic missile attack that would surely lead to immediate nuclear counterstrike? And whatever happened to the war on terror?

Read this. If this turns out to be accurate...

http://www.pbs.org/now/transcript/transcript_hersh.html

Backtothemac
Feb 24, 2003, 08:42 AM
Hey May, I will say this slowly for you. Iraq is part of the war on terror. There, someone finally said it. Gary Hart can go play with some bimbo's ass on the back of a boat. The point is not to spend billions here on equipment that may or may not ever be used, but to secure the boarders, remove the terrorists, and protect the National Security by prempting the acts themselves. He has funded small pox vaccine for first responders, and missile defense is require going forward in the world. Just ask the N. Koreans.

See that is the problems with Democrats. They are too narrow sighted to see the big picture. One of my professors in Grad School gave me a C (which is like an F in Grad School) on an objective study into the threats of America in the 00's. Well, I contended that terror and N. Korea were the real threats as well as Iraq. Including, and focusing on Osama, and Al Queida, the Islamic Jhiad, and Nukes in N. Korea. I proposed a 9/11 senerio, the current Iraq standoff, and the Nuke problem in N. Korea.

He said it was not plausible, or likely that any or all of them would happen, especially N. Korea. I proposed that they would blackmail us for aid by using a nuke. I also forcasted that it would become a nuclear exchange. He said they would never abandon the Clinton treaty. Wow, was he dead on.

2 phd's, worked for the CIA under Clinton, has advised the NSA when Clinton was in office. Man, was he right. I deserved that C didn't I.

uhlawboi80
Feb 24, 2003, 09:01 AM
All i have to say is this: to all of you who flamed me in other thread for saying bush was killing us by returning to Reagonomics....HA.

Do you need Bush to wear a Reagan mask to make it more obvious. He will sink the economy just like reagan did and the president after him (his father in Reagans case) will get screwed by the bad economy summing up during his presidency.

agreenster
Feb 24, 2003, 11:29 AM
Im not for war at all, but this isnt about war. This is about DEFENSE. If we can come up with a way to keep our soil from being attacked, Im all for it.

agreenster
Feb 24, 2003, 11:37 AM
Originally posted by Backtothemac

2 phd's, worked for the CIA under Clinton, has advised the NSA when Clinton was in office. Man, was he right. I deserved that C didn't I.

Have you contacted him since all the 9/11 stuff? You ought to fax him your thesis with the grade and everything and see what he has to say now.......

IJ Reilly
Feb 24, 2003, 12:23 PM
Originally posted by agreenster
Im not for war at all, but this isnt about war. This is about DEFENSE. If we can come up with a way to keep our soil from being attacked, Im all for it.

So if it's for "DEFENSE," it doesn't matter if the system actually works, or how much it costs?

Note also the scheduled deployment date: September, 2004. The only reason for this requested waiver is get something on the ground by election day -- anything, functional or not. Talk about the tail wagging the dog. Talk about manipulative, cynical politicians using the public purse to keep themselves in office.

Despite all the massive efforts on the part of party loyalists to knit him a suit of body armor, this emperor has no clothes.

Cappy
Feb 24, 2003, 12:25 PM
Sometimes I wonder how old some folks are in this forum and really understand much about how the economy works. I won't proclaim to be an expert but the comments on how the previous republican preidents hurt the economy are all false in the big picture. You can't turn the economy around overnight and they recognized that. The economy was looking pretty good and rising before Bush senior left office. Clinton really had nothing to do with that. It was during his term that the analysts were seeing the decline long before Bush junior even stepped into office.

As for the defense issue there has been effort put into local help as someone above pointed out in the small pox area. Why not other areas? Because the threat is not as great as the media would have you believe. Yes, it is an issue and some can be hurt or killed but in the grand scheme the greater emphasis is on what is the greater danger. It's a matter of priorities based on the money and resources available.

Let me ask this...if you had a choice that you're taxes would go up by 5% to allow for the increased local services you're criticizing for not having, would you do it? I'm betting most would not.

rainman::|:|
Feb 24, 2003, 12:28 PM
Originally posted by agreenster
Im not for war at all, but this isnt about war. This is about DEFENSE. If we can come up with a way to keep our soil from being attacked, Im all for it.

we've come up with a way that is

a) predicted not to work
b) not being tested

and it costs $70 billion. sound like a good defense program? i'd rather see that money go into benevolent human aid that would help the US atone for it's very poor world image and be a defense in the long run.

partisan rhetoric about bush's administration notwithstanding, i don't think this is a good idea.

on a related note, anyone see the new Bill Maher show the other night? this was a topic of conversation. some ignorant woman was babbling about how you should be convicted of treason if you don't believe in the missile-defense system, because there's no reason to oppose it. i've never wanted to hit a woman so badly in my life...

i hope bush wasn't watching, or else he'll probably try it... :rolleyes: :)

pnw

idkew
Feb 24, 2003, 01:03 PM
i have an idea-

lets get rid of any technology that is currently not working correctly. we should stop space travel b/c a shuttle blew up and a few probes lost contact. we should get rid of smart bombs because every once in a while one is a little less smart and hits the wrong target.

basically, lets get rid of all scientific study since it is not immediate.


in other words, things take time to get working. do you think the first computer was put together in one day and worked the first time it was switched on? it sure sounds like a lot of you think it should have.

and for you democrats - why do you care how much it costs? if you have it your way, you wouldn't pay for it, only the filthy rich would.

idkew
Feb 24, 2003, 01:06 PM
Originally posted by paulwhannel
we've come up with a way that is

a) predicted not to work
b) not being tested


and 9/11 was predicted not to happen.

TMay
Feb 24, 2003, 01:31 PM
Originally posted by Backtothemac
.

See that is the problems with Democrats. They are too narrow sighted to see the big picture. One of my professors in Grad School gave me a C (which is like an F in Grad School) on an objective study into the threats of America in the 00's. Well, I contended that terror and N. Korea were the real threats as well as Iraq. Including, and focusing on Osama, and Al Queida, the Islamic Jhiad, and Nukes in N. Korea. I proposed a 9/11 senerio, the current Iraq standoff, and the Nuke problem in N. Korea.

He said it was not plausible, or likely that any or all of them would happen, especially N. Korea. I proposed that they would blackmail us for aid by using a nuke. I also forcasted that it would become a nuclear exchange. He said they would never abandon the Clinton treaty. Wow, was he dead on.

2 phd's, worked for the CIA under Clinton, has advised the NSA when Clinton was in office. Man, was he right. I deserved that C didn't I.

Strictly speaking, and even though the N. Koreans were interested in circumventing the deal, it wasn't until President Bush created the "axis of evil" that N. Korea actually abrogated the agreement. Bush had no interest in continuing the agreement, and by threatening use of military force against N. Korea, he created this new crisis. Even the esteemed Colin Powell had stated that this was a good agreement, and Donald Rumsfeld, on the board of ABB that got the $200m contract to build the 2 reactors in N. Korea as part of the original agreement, didn't seem to have any problem with this project going forward.

In as much as it was an external force, in this case the verbiage of this administration that instigated the abrogation of this treaty, I will have to side with your professor. I will back you that the N. Koreans are using the threat as a means of gaining much needed economic assistance, but I still find it hard to imagine that they would launch a nuclear strike against the U.S. (they are only developing the Taepon 2 at this time) when they have the ability to hold S. Korea hostage to conventional weapons. Even S. Korea finds that Bush has created a crisis.

On your scenario of 9-11, this in itself isn't much support for your argument of prescience, as you haven't provided any details, nor is the your foresight of the Jihad.

I too can point to my prescience in that I had a discussion with one of my ME professors not long before 9-11 (I graduated in 1981 and I manufacturer telecom stuff for his EE son's company) to the effect that it was within the realm of virtually any engineering student to design and build a UAV to deliver a small payload and strike anywhere within 60 miles of the coast line, and for less than $10K. Launch from a small pleasure craft, fly at low speed(65MPH) at low altitude to mimic a boat, go feet dry and follow the freeway system to your destination. In an urban area, ATC radar will think you are traffic "noise", and you can slip through unannounced, at least the first time. Of course, hijacking aircraft and slamming them into buildings worked the first time as well, but I doubt it will be successful ever again.

And isn't that what terrorism is all about, scaring people and killing their countries economy?

macfan
Feb 24, 2003, 01:53 PM
TMay,
Strictly speaking, and even though the N. Koreans were interested in circumventing the deal, it wasn't until President Bush created the "axis of evil" that N. Korea actually abrogated the agreement.

Actually, no. They were developing a nuclear capability all along. You should go do a little research on the matter before making assumptions about cause and effect between Bush's 2002 State of the Union Speech and North Korea's nuclear weaopns program. What is going on now is virtually a replay of what was going on in 1993.

In as much as it was an external force, in this case the verbiage of this administration that instigated the abrogation of this treaty,

Strictly speaking, since that is what you seem to like, there was no "treaty." Again, the North Korean decision to develop nuclear weapons pre-dated Bush's speech, and, indeed, his election.

Even the esteemed Colin Powell had stated that this was a good agreement,

It would have been a good agreement if the North Koreans had followed it, and the spirit of it, but they did not. Colin Powell is "esteemed," and rightly so. He is not, however, infallible.

Backtothemac
Feb 24, 2003, 02:04 PM
Originally posted by agreenster
Have you contacted him since all the 9/11 stuff? You ought to fax him your thesis with the grade and everything and see what he has to say now.......

Yea, I called him and left a message on his voicemail. It was quite funny.

TMay,
What macfan said :)

Actually, since the arguement was over 20 pages typed, I can't post it here. Basically, it included all of the factors that we are looking at. An attack by Osama, Iraq continuing to refuse to disarm. The UN being slowed by the French and Russians (I never thought the Germans would), and leaving the US vunerable to attack from terror organizations and state sponsored terrorism.

TMay
Feb 24, 2003, 04:28 PM
I will concur that it (the 1994 agreement not to produce plutonium) was an agreement not a treaty. Still, the 1994 agreement was not abrogated until after Bush came into office. There is some evidence that there is enough uranium for one or two bombs which would be in violation of the 1967 Nuclear non-proliferation treaty, and the spirit of the 1994 agreement.

I stand by the original 1994 agreement being a good agreement and also a good example of containment. Evidently, even the Bush Administration is beginning to see this.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/korea/article/
0,2763,893034,00.html

"Reversing their previous hardline position, US officials agreed on Wednesday to accept negotiations without preconditions, although they insisted that there would be no new incentives for the North to scrap its plutonium and uranium arms programmes."

So what happened to the promises of 1994? In the US, Newt Gingrich happened. Clinton faced a Republican Congress led by a rightwing ideologue convinced that the North Korean regime was in a terminal state. (The same argument has been used for decades to nix negotiations with Cuba.) The US fell into technical default on the agreement and the nuclear power stations were never completed. Despite this, North Korea pursued diplomacy with South Korea, Japan and Israel. (The Israeli negotiations, in which Israel had agreed to buy a North Korean gold mine in return for a promise to stop exporting missiles to Iran, were halted by the US.)

http://www.guardian.co.uk/korea/article/0,2763,871868,00.html

"According to reports in Tokyo, however, the North's leader, Kim Jong-il, is prepared to scrap his country's nuclear arms programme in return for a US reaffirmation of a 2000 joint communique in which the two nations declared they had "no hostile intention" towards each other. It remains unclear whether the Bush administration will put its name to a deal which was agreed during the Clinton era.

Before the current crisis, White House hawks pilloried Bill Clinton for being too soft on the North. But the doves in Washington have gained ground as it has become clear that South Korea, China and Russia would not tolerate any escalation of the crisis.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/korea/article/0,2763,465777,00.html

"After meeting Kim Dae-jong this week, Mr Bush said he was "concerned about the fact that the North Koreans are shipping arms around the world".

We want to make sure that their ability to develop and spread weapons of mass destruction was in fact stopped and that we could verify that in fact they had stopped it," he said.

We're not certain as to whether or not they're keeping all terms of all agreements."

There is one agreement between the US and North Korea , the 1994 accord which ended Pyongyang's processing of plutonium at a suspected nuclear weapons plant.

US officials told the New York Times yesterday that there was no evidence that North Korea was violating the terms of this agreement. "


http://www.guardian.co.uk/korea/article/0,2763,888461,00.html states the following:

"Impoverished, friendless North Korea's behaviour is often described as mysterious or irrational. But its aims at this point appear straightforward: survival, leverage, recognition, aid (especially fuel). Plainly, it should respect the nuclear non-proliferation treaty. Clearly, it should halt its missile trade. But equally clearly, it is not going to do so while it feels itself to be under existential threat from a US president who condemns it as an "evil, outlaw" regime, who "loathes" its leader, and who is busily expanding his own nuclear arms and missiles.

Bush administration policy, compared with that of Pyongyang, is indeed inscrutable. It now transpires that the White House knew of proscribed nuclear activity in North Korea in November 2001, but did not tell Congress. It also knew but initially kept quiet about Pakistan's provision of uranium enrichment expertise in return for North Korean missile technology, because it needs (for now) to keep Pakistan on side. It backs North Korea's containment even as George Bush insists that containment is for cissies. It stresses diplomacy but, having undercut Seoul's and Tokyo's fence-mending, refuses direct talks. This confusion and deceit stems from Mr Bush's insistence on "doing" Iraq first, regardless of relative threat levels. But North Korea, exploiting the Iraq preoccupation, may not politely wait until the US is ready to attack. Its next gambler's throw could be a provocative nuclear or missile test. Thus does Mr Bush's blind obsession with Saddam risk not one war but two."

IJ Reilly
Feb 24, 2003, 04:39 PM
Notice how quickly the discussion was deflected away from the Bush administration's efforts to deploy a missile defense system bypassing any certification that it actually works, "coincidentally" only two months before a national election. Some people really don't seem to want to discuss accountability where their party is concerned. I can hardly blame them, I suppose, given the very low level of accountability they've held the Bush people to date. Just don't think nobody notices this rope-a-dope technique for evading the issue.

uhlawboi80
Feb 24, 2003, 04:41 PM
well cappy (i assume you were directing your comments as me),

regardless of age, ive taken quite a few courses on economic cyclic relationships and i understand the economy better than most. Of course the economy was on the decline before W took office, i never said he started the decline. Of course, i stand by my contention that the economic issues of the last 20 years were begun and perpetuated by Reagans policies. Unfortunately for Bush Sr., he inherited an economy aproaching a cliff. Greenspan was forced to take some actions that in the short run reflected negatively on the administration of the time. Though Bush Sr.'s sensible economics help keep the ship afloat. Clintons era, the economy was recovering on its own, from the tech sector mostly. The dot.com bubble was sure to burst as was expected and did happen. After 9/11 of course spending would jump and the economy would be hurting a bit.

My point is, and i think Greenspan would agree, Bush's crazy budget hike along with long term tax breaks arent the answer. not now. Bush Sr. has even commented (in smaller circles and not to the press) in my presence of Jr.'s reagan-esque apprach to economics. When reagan did it it led to immediate dis-inflation and eventual deflation. We are just feeling the deflation now because the tech market is sagging. It was coming anyway, just postponed by the 90's tech boom.

the IMF's policies have also indirectly affected the US via their international funding and pushs for tax hikes and increased government spending abroad in the mid 90's...but thats a different ball game all together.

oh, and I'm not attacking all former republican presidents, but thanx for your over generalization.

if you are actually interested in this stuff id try reading some books by Gary Shilling, he certainly analyzes this stuff much better than do I.

Backtothemac
Feb 24, 2003, 04:41 PM
Originally posted by IJ Reilly
Notice how quickly the discussion was deflected away from the Bush administration's efforts to deploy a missile defense system bypassing any certification that it actually works, "coincidentally" only two months before a national election. Some people really don't seem to want to discuss accountability where their party is concerned. I can hardly blame them, I suppose, given the very low level of accountability they've held the Bush people to date. Just don't think nobody notices this rope-a-dope technique for evading the issue.

WHAT! I answered that question, go read it. It is not that difficult to figure out. I hold Bush to the same accountability that I held Clinton, Bush 1, Reagan, Carter, and Ford to. Oh, and what "national election" are you refering too?

IJ Reilly
Feb 24, 2003, 04:59 PM
Originally posted by Backtothemac
WHAT! I answered that question, go read it. It is not that difficult to figure out. I hold Bush to the same accountability that I held Clinton, Bush 1, Reagan, Carter, and Ford to. Oh, and what "national election" are you refering too?

No, sorry, "it's okay, I trust them" is not an answer to the question of accountability, something the Bush administration abhors.

As for the national election, I believe we still have one scheduled for November 2004.

rainman::|:|
Feb 24, 2003, 06:51 PM
Originally posted by idkew
i have an idea-

lets get rid of any technology that is currently not working correctly. we should stop space travel b/c a shuttle blew up and a few probes lost contact. we should get rid of smart bombs because every once in a while one is a little less smart and hits the wrong target.

basically, lets get rid of all scientific study since it is not immediate.


in other words, things take time to get working. do you think the first computer was put together in one day and worked the first time it was switched on? it sure sounds like a lot of you think it should have.

Yes but the problem with scientific evolution is that it requires testing, it's a basic principal. If this thing goes up, untested, we'll be depending on something that will probably fail in it's current state, but it would be too expensive to replace so why bother developing one that actually works--

i'm all for testing the thing out, putting it through revisions and perfecting it, *then* spending $70 billion.

we're being scared into buying a $70 billion pre-alpha state system. and you people complain about safari *beta* :rolleyes: :)

plus, if bush gets his way, testing will be purely optional for weapons... imagine what would have happened if the US had not tested atomic weaponry, and the bomb on hiroshima was a 60 megaton instead of 1/60 megaton blast. how would they know any better? they wouldn't have tested it.

advancement comes in it's own time. let's put up a missle defense system when we know how it works, and what we're doing. it'll still be before any other country gets it, and the threat of missles is minimal right now. i'd rather wait 5 years for a missile defense system that works than get one now that we cannot trust.

pnw

IJ Reilly
Feb 24, 2003, 07:49 PM
Originally posted by paulwhannel
Yes but the problem with scientific evolution is that it requires testing, it's a basic principal. If this thing goes up, untested, we'll be depending on something that will probably fail in it's current state, but it would be too expensive to replace so why bother developing one that actually works--

That's all well and good, but those of us who believe in accountability don't have the argument to defend, because at least some degree of accountability is built into the system (not much, mind you, but some). The Bush administration is asking for a huge and unprecedented exception from all oversight. The people who think Bush administration needs to be handed a blank check have some explaining to do. As for whether we get it, well, let's just say I'm not holding my breath in anticipation.

AllenPSU
Feb 26, 2003, 09:18 PM
Originally posted by peter2002
[B]Bush has stooped to a new low. Bush sneaked into the massive 2004 budget to exempt the "Star Wars" missle defense system from oversight and most importantly - certification of operation testing. The $70 billion system would be the first defense system approved for deployment that has not proven to work in the history of the USA.

Pete

The article you quoted is not entirely accurate. I would recommend you read the actual wording in the budget and then do a little research on the testing that has already been done. This waiver only concerns a small portion of the total system that uses portions of an already tested system.

More documents are available at Defense Link.

AllenPSU
Feb 26, 2003, 09:23 PM
Originally posted by IJ Reilly
Note also the scheduled deployment date: September, 2004. The only reason for this requested waiver is get something on the ground by election day -- anything, functional or not.

Fist of all portions of the system have already been tested. The deployment date has more to do with a need for the system than for the election. Remember the events in 2001 (9-11, PRK missile tests, nuclear declarations, etc.) and you will see why this program was accelerated.

TMay
Feb 27, 2003, 08:31 AM
Originally posted by AllenPSU
Fist of all portions of the system have already been tested. The deployment date has more to do with a need for the system than for the election. Remember the events in 2001 (9-11, PRK missile tests, nuclear declarations, etc.) and you will see why this program was accelerated.

According to this article;

http://slate.msn.com/id/2079062/

For example, the report concludes that the system Bush wants to begin fielding next year "has yet to demonstrate significant operational capability." The test program to date "has suffered from the lack of production-representative test articles and test infrastructure limitations." (Translation: The mock-warheads that the MD's interceptors have been shooting down do not resemble the warheads that a real enemy would fire our way.) Even after the system is fielded and tests continue, the report notes, "it will be very difficult to estimate operational ? performance in real engagement conditions."

According to the trade papers' summaries, the report also notes that the program currently lacks an effective rocket-booster for launching the interceptors toward their targets, as well as X-band radars needed to detect enemy missiles in flight. Tests to date have been limited in many ways: no realistic decoys, slower-than-normal velocities, trajectories that do not resemble the real flight-paths that a missile or an anti-missile would really follow.

Furthermore, the attempt to upgrade the Navy's Aegis anti-aircraft system into an anti-missile system has apparently been a failure. Tests have been particularly simplistic, and the system as it exists can offer only a "limited expectation of success," the report states. The element known as Theater High-Altitude Area Defense, which is intended to destroy enemy missiles as they re-enter the atmosphere and head toward their targets, is in deep trouble, having failed the last six consecutive tests. This rather crucial program "has no operational capability," the report concludes, "because there is no deployable hardware."

The report's author, Thomas Christie, the director of the Pentagon's operational test and evaluation office, even gets personal in his analysis:

One of my chief concerns is the potential for [Missile Defense] systems to circumvent the rigorous acquisition process and enter into full-rate production or into the hands of our warfighters without learning the operational capabilities and limitations demonstrated by adequate operational testing and evaluation.

In other words, pushing the program into production and deployment is not only premature but potentially counterproductive.