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Democrats and ballistic missile defense

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Kramania
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Democrats and ballistic missile defense

Postby Kramania » Wed Sep 13, 2017 8:01 am

From the Washington Post:

With last weekend’s surprise nuclear test, North Korea has reached final stage of its crash course to develop thermonuclear weapons that can reach and destroy U.S. cities. So why are we not on a crash course to protect our cities from North Korean nuclear missiles?

Answer: Because for more than three decades, Democrats have done everything in their power to prevent, obstruct or delay the deployment of ballistic missile defense.

Opposition to missile defense has been an article of faith for Democrats since President Ronald Reagan announced the Strategic Defense Initiative in 1983. Sen. Edward M.Kennedy led the early opposition to what Democrats derisively labeled “Star Wars,” denouncing missile defense as a “mirage” and “a certain prescription for an arms race in outer space.” Running against Reagan in 1984, Walter Mondale called it a “dangerously destabilizing” and unworkable “hoax.”

Reagan nonetheless moved forward with research and development, and his successor, George H. W. Bush, put missile defense on track for deployment with the Global Protection Against Limited Strikes (GPALS) program. But as soon as President Bill Clinton took office in 1993, he terminated GPALS and cut national missile defense funding by 80 percent, while downgrading it from an acquisition program to a technology demonstration program. Clinton also signed an agreement to revive the moribund Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty, which banned deployment of missile defense and whose status had come into question with the 1991 collapse of our treaty partner, the Soviet Union.

Then Republicans took over Congress, and passed a defense authorization bill in 1996 that required deployment. Clinton vetoed it on the grounds that there was no threat. Secretary of Defense William Perry declared “we do not need a national missile defense system because . . . no rogue nation has [intercontinental ballistic missiles] . . . and if these powers should ever pose a threat, our ability to retaliate with an overwhelming nuclear response will serve as a deterrent.” In other words, national missile defense would never be needed — even to protect against a regime such as North Korea.

When President George W. Bush came to office, he revitalized missile defense efforts and withdrew from the ABM Treaty. Democrats were more upset than the Russians. Sen. Joseph Biden declared “The thing we remain the least vulnerable to is an ICBM attack from another nation” adding “This premise that one day Kim Jong Il or someone will wake up one morning and say, ‘Aha, San Francisco’ is specious.”

Bush deployed the first ground-based interceptors in California and Alaska, and put in place a plan to deploy 44 interceptors by 2009. He reached a historic agreement with Poland and the Czech Republic to deploy defenses. And he dramatically increased funding for three critical programs: The first two — the Airborne Laser and the Kinetic Energy Interceptor — would take out a ballistic missile in the “boost phase” of flight, the most vulnerable eight minutes when a missile is still over enemy territory and presents a large, slower-moving target because the small nuclear warhead at the top has not yet separated from the large rocket filled with highly explosive fuel. The third — the Multiple Kill Vehicle — would place multiple warheads on our ground-based interceptors, so that instead of hitting a “bullet with a bullet” we could fire five or 10 bullets at each target, dramatically increasing chances of success.

If we had continued the Bush program over the past eight years, we would now have a robust array of defenses against any North Korean ICBM. We would be able to target a North Korean missile in the boost phase, and if that failed we would have 44 ground-based interceptors armed with hundreds of warheads that could be fired to take it out in mid-course.

But we did not continue the Bush program. President Barack Obama slashed funding for ballistic missile defense by 25 percent. As part of his failed “reset” with Russia, he scrapped Bush’s agreement with Poland and the Czech Republic. He reduced Bush’s plan from 44 ground-based interceptors to just 30. (He belatedly changed course in 2012 after North Korea tested the Taepodong missile, but the United States still has not recovered from the delay.) And he cancelled the Airborne Laser, Kinetic Energy Interceptor and Multiple Kill Vehicle programs. As a result, North Korean now has eight minutes of unchallenged flight during which their missiles are most vulnerable, and we have dramatically reduced the chances of hitting a North Korean missile as it descends on a U.S. city.

Amazingly, on taking office, President Trump’s budget continued Obama’s missile defense cuts, reducing funding by another $300 million . Trump has since recognized his mistake, promising “We are going to be increasing the anti-missiles by a substantial amount of billions of dollars.” Time to do so is short. He should immediately deliver Congress an emergency supplemental spending bill to speed the deployment of ground-based interceptors, and he should revive the Multiple Kill Vehicle, the Airborne Laser and Kinetic Energy Interceptor — and then work with Congress on a long-term plan to build and deploy space-based interceptors.

In 1983, Reagan asked “Isn’t it worth every investment necessary to free the world from the threat of nuclear war?” For the Democrats, the answer was no. No one is happier about that today than Kim Jong Un.

With North Korea's maniac dictator now in possession of nuclear weapons and the ballistic missiles needed to deploy them, people are now waking up to the reality of the need for ballistic missile defense. Unfortunately, we still remain a ways away from an effective ballistic missile shield due to the simple fact that Democrats for decades have been doing everything in their power to prevent the development of a means of countering ballistic missiles. Even Trump initially cut funding to ballistic missile defense. It seems only now with Kim Jong-un threatening to nuke us (and now having the means to back up those threats) are the Democrats waking up to this reality. Now we have to do everything in our power to make up for lost time and develop an effective ballistic missile defense.

Thoughts?
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Postby Valgora » Wed Sep 13, 2017 8:09 am

I support an anti-nuclear missile defense system because it would make nuclear missiles more or less obsolete.

Money could be put into a missile defense system if we stop wasting money on the F-35.
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Postby Genivaria » Wed Sep 13, 2017 8:16 am

I've always loved the missile defense idea in theory, making it WORK is another thing.
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Postby Kramania » Wed Sep 13, 2017 8:21 am

Genivaria wrote:I've always loved the missile defense idea in theory, making it WORK is another thing.

But we can make it work.
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Postby Alvecia » Wed Sep 13, 2017 8:21 am

Kramania wrote:
Genivaria wrote:I've always loved the missile defense idea in theory, making it WORK is another thing.

But we can make it work.

We have the technology
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Postby Colbert Super PAC » Wed Sep 13, 2017 8:25 am

Alvecia wrote:

We have the technology

We have the capability to make the world's first bionic man-er, ballistic missile defense.
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Postby The Huskar Social Union » Wed Sep 13, 2017 8:26 am

Alvecia wrote:

We have the technology

But i dont want to spend a lot of money.
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Postby Genivaria » Wed Sep 13, 2017 8:29 am

Kramania wrote:
Genivaria wrote:I've always loved the missile defense idea in theory, making it WORK is another thing.

But we can make it work.

That is from....just last month!?
Holy shit that's recent.
K, NOW I'd say is a good time for people to seriously start talking about this.
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Postby Alvecia » Wed Sep 13, 2017 8:30 am

Genivaria wrote:

That is from....just last month!?
Holy shit that's recent.
K, NOW I'd say is a good time for people to seriously start talking about this.

Next thing you know we'll be building missles to shoot down the missiles built to shoot down missiles.
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Postby Kramania » Wed Sep 13, 2017 8:33 am

Genivaria wrote:

That is from....just last month!?
Holy shit that's recent.
K, NOW I'd say is a good time for people to seriously start talking about this.

Now stop fucking cutting funding to it.

Or, er, tell your local congressman to support it.
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Postby Aclion » Wed Sep 13, 2017 8:43 am

The Huskar Social Union wrote:
Alvecia wrote:We have the technology

But i dont want to spend a lot of money.

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Postby Emerald Ilses Empire » Wed Sep 13, 2017 8:47 am

One thing however worth mentioning is the actual capabilities of North Korea's ICBM as pointed out by Real Engineering. While investing in Missle defense systems is definetly a good idea, North Korea's present capabilities of creating a fully functional ICBM capable of successfully delivering is dubious, so this crisis isn't as urgent as it seems.


EDIT: Added a space where one was lacking.
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Postby Mezonpotania » Wed Sep 13, 2017 8:50 am

Why did they call it star wars? I mean, that just raises more support for it on the spot, I fully support building this defense system
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Postby Kramania » Wed Sep 13, 2017 8:52 am

Mezonpotania wrote:Why did they call it star wars? I mean, that just raises more support for it on the spot, I fully support building this defense system

Because they were trying to be witty but they failed because they aren't.
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Postby Valgora » Wed Sep 13, 2017 8:52 am

Mezonpotania wrote:Why did they call it star wars? I mean, that just raises more support for it on the spot, I fully support building this defense system


It was called Star Wars to make parallels between it and science fiction. Of course that was a while ago and are technology has improved since then.
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Postby Mezonpotania » Wed Sep 13, 2017 8:54 am

Valgora wrote:
Mezonpotania wrote:Why did they call it star wars? I mean, that just raises more support for it on the spot, I fully support building this defense system


It was called Star Wars to make parallel between it and science fiction. Of course that was a while ago.

They must be really uneducated to call THAT fiction.
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Postby Constitutional Technocracy of Minecraft » Wed Sep 13, 2017 8:55 am

Emerald Ilses Empire wrote:One thing however worth mentioning is the actual capabilities of North Korea's ICBM as pointed out by Real Engineering. While investing in Missle defense systems is definetly a good idea, North Korea's present capabilities of creating a fully functional ICBM capable of successfully delivering is dubious, so this crisis isn't as urgent as it seems.


EDIT: Added a space where one was lacking.

I've also seen that video. The main problems with North Korea's ICBMs are; the fact that it does not have working re-entry vehicles yet (you can see one North Korean missile "warhead" breaking up and falling into the sea on Japanese CCTV from one of North Korea's missile tests, and that North Korea does not have a reliable guidance system for their ICBMs (further complicated by the fact that China will not give them access to their satellites)

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Postby Valgora » Wed Sep 13, 2017 8:56 am

Mezonpotania wrote:
Valgora wrote:
It was called Star Wars to make parallel between it and science fiction. Of course that was a while ago.

They must be really uneducated to call THAT fiction.
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Well, it was back when the first idea of a ballistic missile defense system was made. And I believe it involved lasers as well.

It's not that difficult to see why they would call it Star Wars to compare the plane to science fiction.
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Postby Mezonpotania » Wed Sep 13, 2017 1:52 pm

Valgora wrote:
Mezonpotania wrote:They must be really uneducated to call THAT fiction.
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Well, it was back when the first idea of a ballistic missile defense system was made. And I believe it involved lasers as well.

It's not that difficult to see why they would call it Star Wars to compare the plane to science fiction.

Welp, lasers are really common, some blue beam ones are really strong too, so I don't think that lasers are far off, the US navy has made an anti-drone defense system using lasers, and in mexico there is an asteroid destroying laser too.
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Postby Valgora » Wed Sep 13, 2017 1:54 pm

Mezonpotania wrote:
Valgora wrote:
Well, it was back when the first idea of a ballistic missile defense system was made. And I believe it involved lasers as well.

It's not that difficult to see why they would call it Star Wars to compare the plane to science fiction.

Welp, lasers are really common, some blue beam ones are really strong too, so I don't think that lasers are far off, the US navy has made an anti-drone defense system using lasers, and in mexico there is an asteroid destroying laser too.


The idea of the ballistic missile defense system ain't new.

The laser has been around for a long time, but only recently do we have powerful enough ones for military applications.

Also, I've never heard of or read about some asteroid destroying laser in Mexico. I could find anything about it looking it up. If you have a credible article, please link it.
Last edited by Valgora on Wed Sep 13, 2017 2:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Grenartia » Wed Sep 13, 2017 2:32 pm

Kramania wrote:-snipped by Gren-
With North Korea's maniac dictator now in possession of nuclear weapons and the ballistic missiles needed to deploy them, people are now waking up to the reality of the need for ballistic missile defense. Unfortunately, we still remain a ways away from an effective ballistic missile shield due to the simple fact that Democrats for decades have been doing everything in their power to prevent the development of a means of countering ballistic missiles. Even Trump initially cut funding to ballistic missile defense. It seems only now with Kim Jong-un threatening to nuke us (and now having the means to back up those threats) are the Democrats waking up to this reality. Now we have to do everything in our power to make up for lost time and develop an effective ballistic missile defense.

Thoughts?


Ignoring this hardon for making Democrats look like they support the destruction of America, thing is, counterintuitively, countermeasures against missiles are more likely to destablize things, through contributing to accelerating the arms race, than to preserve peace.

There's no such thing as an "effective ballistic missile shield", with current scientific knowledge. 90% of missile defense efforts have been concentrated on kinetic kill, which is easiest during the midcourse phase of a missile attack (kinetic kill during the boost phase being impractical due to most launch sites being deep inside enemy territory, and kinetic kill during the terminal phase being difficult due to the incredibly short window of time available to neutralize the target before it reaches its destination).

Taking out a missile during the terminal phase is equivalent to defending yourself from being shot by a machine gun by shooting its bullets with bullets from a pistol, with the added difficulty that the incoming projectiles accelerate to very high speeds just before impact.

The remaining 10% of efforts involve shooting incoming missiles with lasers, which presents problems with optical effects, and getting enough energy delivered to the target in a very short amount of time.

Things only get worse when you account for countermeasures the missiles themselves often have (dummy warheads that can't be distinguished from the real ones, for instance). Modern ICBMs usually carry more countermeasures than actual warheads, specifically so that odds are more likely that the enemy uses their limited resources targeting the countermeasures than the actual warheads.

This starts running into an economic issue. Side A spends trillions of dollars on missile defense that even without countermeasures, has limited reliability against massive attacks. Side B spends a few billion dollars on more missiles with even more dummy warheads, thus overwhelming Side A's defenses even more.

Side A has, therefore, effectively wasted resources that could have been better spent, on a system that can't do what it was supposed to. Side B wins.

Even if we focus on midcourse efforts (i.e., when the missile is in space, before its deployed its warheads), kinetic kill is hard to achieve, and energy kill still requires something on the order of x-ray lasers that get their energy by literally blowing up a nuke (the idea is called a bomb-pumped laser, and was one of the ideas SDI sought to implement). But that involves overcoming obvious technical challenges (i.e., targeting the missile and delivering the energy before the laser's power source literally destroys the laser, or causing a devastating EMP event over your own territory or allied or neutral territory), violating the Outer Space Treaty and the Partial Test Ban Treaty, and the obvious economic handicap of spending billions of dollars on a defense system that can only take out one missile at a time (there've been some proposals that allow taking out multiple targets at once, but then you run into a problem of efficiently defending against single launches to deplete your defenses before starting with the massive wave).

Basically, short of literally having city-sized force fields, the only real defense against nukes is mutually assured destruction.

Also, it should be noted that KJU currently lacks the warheads necessary for mutually assured destruction. An EMP is the more likely method of attack, and that involves midcourse defense to effectively counter.
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Postby Valrifell » Wed Sep 13, 2017 2:35 pm

Valgora wrote:I support an anti-nuclear missile defense system because it would make nuclear missiles more or less obsolete.

Money could be put into a missile defense system if we stop wasting money on the F-35.


Quite to the contrary, actually. If we have effective means of stopping nuclear weapons, it invalidates MAD and then there's no good (amoral) reason to not blast anyone without missile defense into a smoldering crater.

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Postby Grenartia » Wed Sep 13, 2017 2:35 pm

Kramania wrote:
Genivaria wrote:I've always loved the missile defense idea in theory, making it WORK is another thing.

But we can make it work.


Actually, kinetic kill systems have a spotty track record. This is simply nuclear security theater.
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Postby Grenartia » Wed Sep 13, 2017 2:37 pm

Alvecia wrote:
Genivaria wrote:That is from....just last month!?
Holy shit that's recent.
K, NOW I'd say is a good time for people to seriously start talking about this.

Next thing you know we'll be building missles to shoot down the missiles built to shoot down missiles.


Actually, at a certain point, you'd be better off targeting the AABM missile sites. Which is colloquially known as a pre-emptive strike, AKA, an act of war.
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Postby Kramania » Wed Sep 13, 2017 2:43 pm

Grenartia wrote:
Kramania wrote:-snipped by Gren-
With North Korea's maniac dictator now in possession of nuclear weapons and the ballistic missiles needed to deploy them, people are now waking up to the reality of the need for ballistic missile defense. Unfortunately, we still remain a ways away from an effective ballistic missile shield due to the simple fact that Democrats for decades have been doing everything in their power to prevent the development of a means of countering ballistic missiles. Even Trump initially cut funding to ballistic missile defense. It seems only now with Kim Jong-un threatening to nuke us (and now having the means to back up those threats) are the Democrats waking up to this reality. Now we have to do everything in our power to make up for lost time and develop an effective ballistic missile defense.

Thoughts?


Ignoring this hardon for making Democrats look like they support the destruction of America, thing is, counterintuitively, countermeasures against missiles are more likely to destablize things, through contributing to accelerating the arms race, than to preserve peace.

There's no such thing as an "effective ballistic missile shield", with current scientific knowledge. 90% of missile defense efforts have been concentrated on kinetic kill, which is easiest during the midcourse phase of a missile attack (kinetic kill during the boost phase being impractical due to most launch sites being deep inside enemy territory, and kinetic kill during the terminal phase being difficult due to the incredibly short window of time available to neutralize the target before it reaches its destination).

Taking out a missile during the terminal phase is equivalent to defending yourself from being shot by a machine gun by shooting its bullets with bullets from a pistol, with the added difficulty that the incoming projectiles accelerate to very high speeds just before impact.

The remaining 10% of efforts involve shooting incoming missiles with lasers, which presents problems with optical effects, and getting enough energy delivered to the target in a very short amount of time.

Things only get worse when you account for countermeasures the missiles themselves often have (dummy warheads that can't be distinguished from the real ones, for instance). Modern ICBMs usually carry more countermeasures than actual warheads, specifically so that odds are more likely that the enemy uses their limited resources targeting the countermeasures than the actual warheads.

This starts running into an economic issue. Side A spends trillions of dollars on missile defense that even without countermeasures, has limited reliability against massive attacks. Side B spends a few billion dollars on more missiles with even more dummy warheads, thus overwhelming Side A's defenses even more.

Side A has, therefore, effectively wasted resources that could have been better spent, on a system that can't do what it was supposed to. Side B wins.

Even if we focus on midcourse efforts (i.e., when the missile is in space, before its deployed its warheads), kinetic kill is hard to achieve, and energy kill still requires something on the order of x-ray lasers that get their energy by literally blowing up a nuke (the idea is called a bomb-pumped laser, and was one of the ideas SDI sought to implement). But that involves overcoming obvious technical challenges (i.e., targeting the missile and delivering the energy before the laser's power source literally destroys the laser, or causing a devastating EMP event over your own territory or allied or neutral territory), violating the Outer Space Treaty and the Partial Test Ban Treaty, and the obvious economic handicap of spending billions of dollars on a defense system that can only take out one missile at a time (there've been some proposals that allow taking out multiple targets at once, but then you run into a problem of efficiently defending against single launches to deplete your defenses before starting with the massive wave).

Basically, short of literally having city-sized force fields, the only real defense against nukes is mutually assured destruction.

Also, it should be noted that KJU currently lacks the warheads necessary for mutually assured destruction. An EMP is the more likely method of attack, and that involves midcourse defense to effectively counter.

Your entire argument essentially boils down to "we shouldn't pursue ballistic missile defense because it won't make peace with North Korea".

That's asinine. If a country is threatening to use ballistic missiles on us the only sane response is to try and build a defense against them. Yet for whatever reason you seem to want to leave us vulnerable because of some absurd scenario you just concocted in your head.
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