Skip to comments.Missile Defense Enters the 2012 Presidential Campaign
Posted on 09/12/2012 4:41:09 AM PDT by Kaslin
In an interview broadcast last week on a Kremlin-bankrolled television channel, Russian President Vladimir Putin re-introduced high-tech and high-stakes defense policy to the U.S. presidential election.
After assuring the audience that Russia will work "with whichever president is elected by the American people," Putin turned to the issue of missile defense and declared that if Mitt Romney became president, "the (U.S. and NATO) missile defense system will definitely be directed against Russia."
Putin then slipped in a plug for President Barack Obama's re-election, saying that "in principle" he and Obama could resolve U.S.-Russian missile defense (MD) disagreements. However, he opined that American militarists and "State Department" conservatives would limit Obama's ability to strike a deal.
Yes, Romney is a conservative warmonger and liberal Obama is an oh-so-sensible soul. Fits right into an old and slanderous frame tale. See, Ike was a golf-playing dummy and Adlai Stevenson, so eloquent and polished! Hack blarney. And for that matter, Cold War blarney repackaged.
Putin's plug may be the "space" (or quid pro quo) Obama requested last March in Seoul when an open mike inadvertently captured Obama telling then-Russian President Dmitry Medvedev that if Putin would give him (Obama) "space," he would have "more flexibility" on issues like MD "after my election."
However, the plug and re-introduction of MD as an issue comes at an awkward time. This Tuesday, Sept. 11, the 11th anniversary of 9-11, the highly respected National Research Council (of the National Academy of Sciences) released a detailed study of U.S. missile defense technology and plans.
The report is extensive (a pdf of the 239-page document is at www.nap.edu), but the NRC believes the U.S. needs to upgrade and expand its force of Ground Based Mid-Course Defense interceptor missiles (GMDs, also know as GBIs, ground based interceptors). GMDs intercept in space, mid-course in a missile's flight. The Obama administration disdains GMDs and in September 2009 nixed their deployment in Poland as part of its "reset" of U.S.-Russia relations.
Obama's nix chagrined Poland. The NRC study recommends deploying GMDs on the U.S. East Coast. This would enhance North American defense against a North Korean and an Iranian missile attack but also provide some coverage for Europe -- in other words, truly sensible souls understand European MD must include long-range interceptors and sensors. That's buried in Chapter 3, where it says, "The engagements needed for regional (Europe) defense will in virtually all cases be in midcourse ... ."
The report finds shortcomings in the Obama administration's Phased Adaptive Approach to European missile defense, promulgated in September 2009 as a palliative for Europeans who might think Obama had traded NATO MD for political favors from Moscow. NATO will need more sites for the U.S. Navy's Standard 3 (SM-3) anti-ballistic missile. The SM-3 can hit missiles at the edge of space. The report also suggests that Turkey receive the Army's Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) missile to protect eastern Turkey from Iranian missiles.
The NRC report clinically and quantitatively demonstrates that Putin's portrayal of post-Cold War Western MD systems as "directed against Russia" is a false. Putin knows the times, technology, international political contexts and threats have changed. He and his strategic advisers are well aware of the facts.
The U.S. thin-shield, layered system and the proposed NATO/European regional system are not armed and configured to challenge Russia's still potent arsenal of ICBMs. The NRC report notes that the in-place U.S. system is built to intercept a ballistic missile fired by North Korea's nutcase regime. NATO's MD would protect Europe and North America from a missile salvo fired by Iran's nutcase regime.
Boom goes London and boom Paree? That's what truly sensible souls should try to prevent
Putin wants to see Obama back in the Presidency so he can build his countries aggressive ability in complete safety.
Anyone else wonder why he is building his military?
Putin knows that is a bald-faced lie. Anyone that can count past ten without having to take off their shoes and socks knows this is a bald-faced lie.
Do the math. Look at the number of interceptors - even the more numerous SM-3s of the Phased Adaptive Approach (the GBIs that President Bush favored would have been even fewer) are far, far outnumbered by the number of missiles available to Russia.
Do the physics. (I realize an actual technical discussion scares you lib lurkers so yes, warning, inconvenient facts ahead) Take a globe and a piece of string. Stretch the string from mid points in Russia over the North Pole to various cities etc. in the US. Note the general paths (ground tracks) taken. Now stretch that same string from south eastern Europe (say southern Poland, Romania, where-ever it is that PAA is putting in SM-3s). Gee, one path is almost parallel to the others. That's bad - for missile defense. This is what is called a "tail-chase" engagement, and it is a worthless waste of an interceptor.
These here "hit to kill" interceptors, they have to engage from the front, maybe as much as 90 degrees off the flight path (? can they do crossing shots?) but better from the front quarter. They destroy the inbound missile by slamming into it. In a tail chase, well, first they may never catch it. Orbital mechanics and the laws of physics are the same for everyone. If you're on the same ballistic arc, you're flying the same speed and you don't catch up. You can try a lower, flatter, faster trajectory but that puts you in the atmosphere and you burn up, or drag slows you down and you never catch up. Even if you did catch up, your relative closing velocity wouldn't be all that great and you wouldn't hit it very hard. It is still going to rain radioactive debris all over the target area (that would be us).
The upshot of about 15 minutes worth of google-ing missile counts and fooling with a globe and string is that Putin, you, me, and everyone else knows missile defense is not about Russia, never has been. Putin is acting like a political hack and trying to help his buddy and fellow socialist hussein get re-elected.
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