Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Missile defense follies

The latest about the multibillion-dollar scam that is national missile defense: It appears that the system's designers are afraid to test it in the rain.

The test would be the first since a December 2002 failure in which the "kill vehicle" -- a Raytheon Co.-built 120-pound package of sensors, chips and thrusters -- failed to separate from its booster rocket. Of eight intercepts attempted so far, five hit their targets, but under highly scripted conditions.

In some cases, 'scripted conditions' means sticking a homing beacon onto the target so that the kill vehicle can find it.

The best way to stop nuclear missile attack is to buy up all the loose nuclear material so the terrorists can't get to it first. Putting international pressure on countries to stop developing their nuclear arsenal -- as the Europeans successfully did with Iran -- is also big part of the plan.

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