FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

A Missile Defense System That Doesn’t Work for Missiles That May Not Exist

It has an appealing symmetry. George Bush is deploying a missile defense system that may or may not work to defend against nuclear weapons that might be fired from Iranian secret weapons sites that may or may not exist. This strategy is of a piece with the rest of George Bush’s foreign policy strategies that have produced such successes as, for example, Iraq.

In February it was disclosed that Mr. Bush plans to plant a missile defense system in Poland and the Czech Republic. Poland gets a missile battery and the Czech Republic gets a radar site. The United States has not declared the missile defense system fully operational. Under the former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld’s approach to things military, the fact that the system is not operational is no reason not to deploy it. In 2003 Mr. Rumsfeld testified about the money being spent on deployment of an anti-defense missile system before it even worked explaining: “I happen to think that thinking we cannot deploy something until you have everything perfect, every ‘i’ dotted and every ‘t’ crossed, is probably not a good idea 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.”

Responding to that bit of Rumsfeldian foolishness, Senator Carl Levin of Michigan said: “It would be a lot better if we have confidence that the system will work before it is deployed, because otherwise it just creates a lot more uncertainty.”

The reason the system has not been declared fully operational is because it doesn’t always work. As of January 2007 there had been 10 tests of the system and 6 of them were successful. A dummy long-range missile launched from Alaska in September was hit by an interceptor sent up from California. The success of the launch was that the interceptor got out of the silo since in 2004 and 2005 tests the interceptor missiles failed in that endeavor, thus making it unlikely that they could have brought down a missile. There was a bonus in that test. The interceptor not only got out of the silo-it destroyed the target missile. According to Rick Lehner, a spokesman for the Missile Defense Agency, the agency had only hoped for a “close approach.” The fact that it actually bumped into the missile and destroyed it was a “bonus.”

The most recent test took place in January 2007, when a dummy target missile launched from a platform in the Pacific Ocean was shot down by a missile launched from Hawaii’s Kauai Island.

Notwithstanding the success of these tests, if a hostile missile were being fired towards one of our friends there would be a 60% chance of shooting it down. There would be a 40% chance of not affecting it. The good news is that that may not really make much difference. Iran (together with North Korea) is the country against whom the defense system is supposed to defend. It now turns out there may not be all that much to defend against and hence the fact that the system may not work may be of no consequence.

According to the Los Angeles Times and other sources, in making sounds of alarm about Iran’s secret nuclear weapons sites, the United States is deploying the same kind of disinformation that characterized its Iraq effort. Although the administration has given information about suspected weapons sites to the IAEA, an inspector who commented on the information and was quoted by Julian Borger of the Guardian Unlimited said: “Most of it has turned out to be incorrect. They gave us a paper with a list of sites. [The inspectors] did some follow-up, they went to some military sites, but there was no sign of [banned nuclear] activities. An official with the IAEA who was quoted in the Los Angeles Times said, “Since 2002, pretty much all the intelligence that’s come to us has proved to be wrong.”

As a result of the foregoing, what the world now knows is that missiles that may not work will end up being deployed to defend against missiles launched from sites that may not exist. It proves, if proof were needed, that George Bush never runs out of ideas for pranks to play on the world. The pranks amuse not only the prankster but the sycophants who consort with him and enjoy playing major roles in George Bush’s Theater of the Absurd. The audience is not amused. It’s terrified.

CHRISTOPHER BRAUCHLI is a lawyer in Boulder, Colorado. He can be reached at: Brauchli.56@post.harvard.edu. Visit his website: http://hraos.com/

 

 

More articles by:
September 24, 2018
Jonathan Cook
Hiding in Plain Sight: Why We Cannot See the System Destroying Us
Gary Leupp
All the Good News (Ignored by the Trump-Obsessed Media)
Robert Fisk
I Don’t See How a Palestinian State Can Ever Happen
Barry Brown
Pot as Political Speech
Lara Merling
Puerto Rico’s Colonial Legacy and Its Continuing Economic Troubles
Patrick Cockburn
Iraq’s Prime Ministers Come and Go, But the Stalemate Remains
William Blum
The New Iraq WMD: Russian Interference in US Elections
Julian Vigo
The UK’s Snoopers’ Charter Has Been Dealt a Serious Blow
Joseph Matten
Why Did Global Economic Performance Deteriorate in the 1970s?
Zhivko Illeieff
The Millennial Label: Distinguishing Facts from Fiction
Thomas Hon Wing Polin – Gerry Brown
Xinjiang : The New Great Game
Binoy Kampmark
Casting Kavanaugh: The Trump Supreme Court Drama
Max Wilbert
Blue Angels: the Naked Face of Empire
Weekend Edition
September 21, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Alexandra Isfahani-Hammond
Hurricane Florence and 9.7 Million Pigs
Andrew Levine
Israel’s Anti-Semitism Smear Campaign
Paul Street
Laquan McDonald is Being Tried for His Own Racist Murder
Brad Evans
What Does It Mean to Celebrate International Peace Day?
Nick Pemberton
With or Without Kavanaugh, The United States Is Anti-Choice
Jim Kavanagh
“Taxpayer Money” Threatens Medicare-for-All (And Every Other Social Program)
Jonathan Cook
Palestine: The Testbed for Trump’s Plan to Tear up the Rules-Based International Order
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: the Chickenhawks Have Finally Come Back Home to Roost!
David Rosen
As the Capitalist World Turns: From Empire to Imperialism to Globalization?
Jonah Raskin
Green Capitalism Rears Its Head at Global Climate Action Summit
James Munson
On Climate, the Centrists are the Deplorables
Robert Hunziker
Is Paris 2015 Already Underwater?
Arshad Khan
Will Their Ever be Justice for Rohingya Muslims?
Jill Richardson
Why Women Don’t Report Sexual Assault
Dave Clennon
A Victory for Historical Accuracy and the Peace Movement: Not One Emmy for Ken Burns and “The Vietnam War”
W. T. Whitney
US Harasses Cuba Amid Mysterious Circumstances
Nathan Kalman-Lamb
Things That Make Sports Fans Uncomfortable
George Capaccio
Iran: “Snapping Back” Sanctions and the Threat of War
Kenneth Surin
Brexit is Coming, But Which Will It Be?
Louis Proyect
Moore’s “Fahrenheit 11/9”: Entertaining Film, Crappy Politics
Ramzy Baroud
Why Israel Demolishes: Khan Al-Ahmar as Representation of Greater Genocide
Ben Dangl
The Zapatistas’ Dignified Rage: Revolutionary Theories and Anticapitalist Dreams of Subcommandante Marcos
Ron Jacobs
Faith, Madness, or Death
Bill Glahn
Crime Comes Knocking
Terry Heaton
Pat Robertson’s Hurricane “Miracle”
Dave Lindorff
In Montgomery County PA, It’s Often a Jury of White People
Louis Yako
From Citizens to Customers: the Corporate Customer Service Culture in America 
William Boardman
The Shame of Dianne Feinstein, the Courage of Christine Blasey Ford 
Ernie Niemi
Logging and Climate Change: Oregon is Appalachia and Timber is Our Coal
Jessicah Pierre
Nike Says “Believe in Something,” But Can It Sacrifice Something, Too?
Paul Fitzgerald - Elizabeth Gould
Weaponized Dreams? The Curious Case of Robert Moss
Olivia Alperstein
An Environmental 9/11: the EPA’s Gutting of Methane Regulations
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail