Saturday, April 07, 2007

Now, I have no use myself for SDI (anti-ballistic missile defense), but this criticism is sort of ridiculous:
Torrential rains wiped out a quarter of the U.S.’ intercontinental ballistic missile interceptors in Ft. Greely, Alaska last summer — right when North Korea was preparing to carry out an advanced missile launch, according to documents obtained by the Project On Government Oversight.

“The flooding occurred during a three-week period between the end of June and early July 2006,” POGO notes, in a statement. “The flooding damaged 25% of the U.S. interceptor missiles’ launch capability. These silos house the interceptor missiles that would be used to attempt to intercept a missile aimed at the United States. No interceptors were in the flooded silos.”

This surely makes the designers look dumb (your missile silos aren’t water proof!?!?), but it’s not a criticism of the proposed system at all. The basic problem with SDI is not that its expensive or that the designers are dumb (they’re probably not). The problems, as I see them, are (a) SDI is basically untestable, so you won’t know if you actually have a missile shield, and (b) its probably easy to defeat the SDI system by using stealthy warheads or (more likely) just using a whole frakking lot of warheads. I’m willing to go out on limb here and guess that your standard ICBM is a lot cheaper than an anti-missile missile.

Does anyone know if the DoD has a office for “How do I defeat that ridiculously expensive platform on the cheap?” I would sign up for that. Having read about Rumsfeld’s tenures as secretary, I won’t hold my breath.