Thursday, July 13, 2006

THAAD Test, and Other Good Anti-Missile News

Captain’s Quarters, via a tip from a reader, brings news of the “phenomenal” success of a Theater High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) missile test.

Although he repeats (only for a short while I'm sure) the source’s incorrect identification of the weapon as a Terminal High Altitude Area Defense missile, and he somewhat over-exercises inductive logic in his commentary as to what it all means, the Captain's most central points are (as usual) "spot on". Especially:
1.The ‘technology’ is coming around (there was never any real doubt among those involved: as always, it is only a question of time and money if the laws of physics aren’t being violated)

2.The point that a system will not have to have 100% successful, to be considered successful. To argue otherwise, would be to say that since we can’t save New York and Los Angeles, there’s no value in trying to save either one of them.

3.The capability is absolutely necessary for today and tomorrow in dealing with rogue states and shadow organizations.
Contrast the Captain’s serious and cogent observations with the vacuous arguments (if they could be called ‘arguments’) being put forward against the Captain’s post over at Oliver Willis’site. While Mr. Willis has little more than a ‘yes, but’ moment in the main post, things go downhill from there. Willis’ comments section seems to be bi-polar: almost 50-50 in the early going between the “Hey, this is goodness” and “Hell no it isn’t” camps. The “no it isn’t” crowd is:

1. Spouting soundbites: “Slightly better working crap is still crap.”; “Now they want to make the mistake of the French Maginot line”

2. Propagating myths: “If I remember correctly, one of the early experiments was largely successful due to the homing beacon inside the missile it was trying to shoot down.” (Kudos! At least he/she caveated up front.BTW-- they didn’t remember correctly.)


3. Bringing messages from alternative universes:

“Missile defense is a Pentagon welfare project and a major boondoggle destined for the same scrapheap the Osprey and the Sgt. York (and soon to be the B-2) quietly reside.
Will missile defense ever be proven as 100% effective? - where it just takes one nuclear warhead to make a bad day?” (Earth to Moonbeam: the only system on the scrapheap is the Sgt. York: cancelled due to extended teething problems that were eventually overcome but not before it became politically unviable)
Now, if anyone wants a little MORE good anti-missile news, here’s a brand new press release (with photo) about Skyguard, something we’ve been working on for a while. Think of it as Son of M-THEL, Grandson of THEL.

Update: Dang. I read the Captain's post fairly soon after he put it up. Work rules frown on me using using company computers to blog, so when I got home later that night, I didn't notice one of his readers had already mentioned the Theater-Terminal disconnect. My Apologies.

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