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US Scientists Say Missile Defense System Will Not Work


WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A panel of prominent U.S. scientists on Tuesday opposed plans for a national anti-missile shield, entering a fierce public debate before President Clinton decides whether to deploy the system this summer.

The 11 scientists, some of whom have worked in government missile programs, said the proposed system, in which a land-based missile would intercept an incoming missile carrying a nuclear, biological or chemical weapon, would not work.

``Any country capable of deploying a long-range missile would also be able to deploy countermeasures that would defeat the planned National Missile Defense system,`` their report said, adding, ``It makes no sense to begin deployment.``

The report, written under the auspices of the Union of Concerned Scientists and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Security Studies Program, said attackers could use decoys and other means to deceive the heat-seeking anti-missiles.

It said biological or chemical weapons could be split into a number of small warheads which would be released during the missile`s flight and avoid destruction.

Nuclear warheads could be protected by being enclosed in cooler shrouds or could be placed in balloons with numerous empty balloons deployed with them, making it impossible for the U.S. missile to select the right target.

``Deployment of the planned NMD system would offer the United States very little, if any, protection against limited ballistic missile attacks, while increasing the risks from other more likely and more dangerous threats to U.S. national security,`` it said.

-- r2d2 (@ .), April 14, 2000


Wonder how much of this is just plain "Weird Science" and how much is a Leftist Political Agenda?

-- Questions (, April 14, 2000.

So r2d2, what do you recommend? Capitulation? A return to MAD? A non-verifiable treaty? Escalation? Come on, it's not enough to just carp.

-- Lars (, April 14, 2000.

Lars -

I say we go ahead and blow a few trillion on the sucker. After all, making the peons finance pyramids went out of style ages ago.

-- r2d2 (@ .), April 14, 2000.

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