Three phases of possible interception. Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD). US Missile Defense Agency THAAD Fact Sheet. http://www.mda.mil/global/documents/pdf/. thaad.pdf. US Wants THAAD in South Korea (can watch video). ID: 624614
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Ballistic Missile DefenseSlide2Slide3
Three phases of possible interceptionSlide4Slide5Slide6Slide7Slide8
Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD)
US Missile Defense Agency THAAD Fact Sheet
US Wants THAAD in South Korea (can watch video)
THAAD might not be good
Back in the “good old days” of the Cold War, arms control specialists understood that a missile defense race was just as bad as an arms race
If the United States and the Soviet Union began to pour money into what was then called ABM (anti-ballistic missile) sites, they would spur the other to increase spending on missiles to overwhelm those sites.
would then build more ABM sites. The two sides wisely concluded an ABM treaty in 1972 that limited the two sides to only one site each.
United States eventually withdrew from the treaty in 2002, the first major international arms treaty it abandoned
But THAAD is a waste of money whoever is footing the bill.
has not been demonstrated to work effectively.
pushes China and North Korea to spend more money on more missiles to overwhelm THAAD (just as the United States is moved to spend more money on missile upgrades to counteract the missile defense of other countries).
it is a poor substitute for arms control negotiations.
of letting Lockheed Martin determine the security politics of Northeast Asia, it’s crucial to bring the diplomats back to the negotiating table to address the causes of insecurity and not just the symptoms
Who is John Feffer?
is the the editor of
and the director of Foreign Policy In Focus at the Institute for Policy Studies. He is also the author, most recently, of Crusade 2.0. He is a former Open Society fellow,
fellow, and his articles have appeared in The New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Review of Books, Salon, and many other publications
What is the Institute for Policy Studies?
is a community of public scholars and organizers linking peace, justice, and the environment in the U.S. and globally. We work with social movements to promote true democracy and challenge concentrated wealth, corporate influence, and military power
“As Washington’s first progressive multi-issue think tank, the Institute for Policy Studies (IPS) has served as a policy and research resource for visionary social justice movements for over four decades — from the anti-war and civil rights movements in the 1960s to the peace and global justice movements of the last decade.
Some of the greatest progressive minds of the 20th and 21st centuries have found a home at IPS, starting with the organization’s founders, Richard Barnet and Marcus
. IPS scholars have included such luminaries as Arthur
, Saul Landau, Bob Moses, Rita Mae Brown, Barbara
, Roger Wilkins and Orlando
“THAAD’s efficacy in dispute” in South Korea also
4/02/15 article in Korean Herald. Lots of pros and cons.Slide16
A more pro-THAAD perspective
http://missilethreat.com/thaad-americas-super-shield-ballistic-missiles/Ballistic missiles are an increasing threat to the security of the United States, U.S. forces deployed abroad and our allies. Missilethreat.com is a clearinghouse for information on ballistic missile proliferation and the defenses being developed by the United States and others.Slide17
Problems with BMD
Ballistic missile interceptors undermine deterrence by theoretically being able to prevent effective retaliation.
weapons allegedly deter would-be attackers by promising devastating retaliation.
If a nation has BMD, it cannot be deterred.Slide18
Problems with BMD
Ballistic missile interceptors have not been very successful even when programmed with the target missile’s location.
are travelling 16,000 mph as they near their targets and they can maneuver and wiggle.Slide19
Missile interceptor fails latest long range test
Update: June 1, 2015
EKV – Exoatmospheric Kill Vehicle
Problems with BMD
A BMD system would involve very complicated system computer technology which can never be tested as a system until it needs to work
ICBMs can deploy hundreds of decoys that are indistinguishable from the real warheads, compromising BMD.Slide22
Problems with BMD
Offensive missiles are cheaper than interceptors, so a BMD system can be cost-effectively overwhelmed by a nation producing more offensive missiles.
BMD does not protect against terrorist weapons that could be delivered by a boat, a small airplane, a van, or in a shipping container
Problems with BMD
BMD undermines disarmament with false promises of safety
Problems with BMD
BMD is very expensive and takes money away from foreign aid, education, environmental remediation, renewable energy, and other arenas that would actually make the world
BMD needs are endless. You can never have enough BMD.Slide25
President Eisenhower’s Cross of Iron speech
Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed.
world in arms in not spending money alone
is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children.
is not a way of life at all, in any true sense. Under the cloud of threatening war, it is humanity hanging from a cross of iron.Slide26
Cruise Missile Defense
Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Adm. James
surprise cruise missile strike (say, from ships or submarines offshore) could decapitate the US leadership and stop us from retaliating against a subsequent ICBM strike,
said: That’s “why homeland cruise missile defense is shifting above regional missile ballistic defense in my mind, as far as importance goes.”
“Cruise missile defense is a different animal,” said
. “In 2003, we intercepted a number of Iraqi ballistic missiles, but we missed all five Iraqi cruise missiles fired, including one that nearly hit the Marine headquarters in Kuwait on the first day of the war.
BMD leads to weapons in space
BMD, especially if it leads to weapons in space, is decidedly hegemonic and unfriendly and sparks unfriendly responses in nations who are not staunch allies. Russia, in particular, is threated by US BMD. China is threatened by the possibility of weapons in space
The US withdrew from the ABM treaty in 2002 in
to research weapons in space, forbidden by that treaty.Slide28
ABM Treaty Withdrawal an Attack on American Security
Thursday, December 13, 2001
by the Federation of American Scientists
Scientists who built the first atomic bomb founded the Federation of American Scientists in 1945. More than half of the current American Nobel Laureates today serve on the FAS Board of Sponsors. FAS conducts research, analysis, and advocacy on public policy issues created by advances in science and
decision to withdraw from the ABM treaty is both unnecessary and unwise.
is ironic that as we rediscover the need for international cooperation, we are taking an action almost universally opposed by our allies
And our allies are not the only ones who support the ABM treaty: Scientists are nearly unanimous in calling national missile defense unworkable
It is distressing that President Bush has chosen to listen to the demagoguery of missile-defense enthusiasts instead of to the wisdom of
In a letter to Congress sent a month ago, fifty-one American Nobel Laureates in the sciences, addressing the technical feasibility of NMD, wrote:
a bullet with a
under laboratory conditions is feasible, it is far more difficult to design a system that can survive and provide effective protection against a surprise attack that employs varying countermeasures, some of which may surprise the defense.
inherent advantages of the offense exceed the advantages of superior American technology
President Bush has lost focus on where his priorities should be.
President must invest at least as much energy into securing loose nuclear materials as he has into pushing missile defense
If not, at the end of this road we will find terrorists with nuclear weapons.
We must remember, however, that the declaration is merely one of
America has not yet actually withdrawn from the ABM treaty. The next six months will be crucial in determining
FAS urges Congress to act vigorously against ABM treaty withdrawal.
also calls on Russia, China, and other states to renew their commitments to multilateral arms control and nonproliferation.Slide32
America has always sought to lead the world by example. Yet if other countries were to follow the example we have just set, the framework of international law would disintegrate.
President Bush has just released
first shot, and it has landed squarely in the heart of American security.
Ballistic missile defense and space weapons
What are space weapons?
Space weapons usually refers to weapons orbiting the earth in low-earth orbit.
Low earth orbit is 100-1200 miles up.
Space weapons could target other space weapons or strike targets on earth.Slide34
Why space weapons?
Boost-phase defense against ballistic missiles.
Strike the missiles when they are moving slowly over their own territory.
Strike land targets using space weapons in orbit.
Trouble is, other nations are strongly upset at the prospect of US space weapons orbiting Earth.
Another trouble is, using anti-satellite weapons (ASATs) to eliminate space weapons in orbit would create much more space debris, threatening all satellites in orbit.Slide35
Space Debris is already a problem
Anti-Satellite weapons (ASATs) are also a problem
The High FrontierSlide38
The High Frontier
Is this vision real?
Check out this posting by the former US Space Commandwww.fas.orgPut Vision for 2020 into the search machine.Slide40
US Space Command becomes the Joint Functional Component Command for Space branch of US Strategic CommandSlide41
US Space Security
So what’s good about BMD?
Americans in general support BMD because BMD appears to make us safer.
more BMD we have, the safer we will be, or so it seems.
military-industrial complex loves BMD! The need for ABM interceptors is essentially infinite, hence unending highly paying jobs are available to those in the military-industrial complex.
BMD can be exported also!Slide43
Rogue states with ballistic missiles
It might be a good idea to have a small number of ground or ship based interceptors that could shoot down a ballistic missile launched by a rogue state like North Korea.
Have to be careful not to mess with China’s deterrence. Not good to stimulate a large increase in China’s minimalistic nuclear
Iron Dome: the public relations weapon
The unsheltering sky
Even with new technology, America’s multi-billion-dollar efforts to build a shield against long-range ballistic missiles looks doomed
Sep 6th 2014 |
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The Fallacy of Proven and Adaptable Defenses