Missile Defence - some more thinking...

Missile Defences are filling a lot of Mrs Clinton’s of time as she travels the world. Yet they are not particularly desirable or conducive to the global stability one might hope she is seeking to contribute to.

1. Missile Defences are part of an offensive, not of a defensive, strategic posture: you – pre-emptively – attack your opponent’s ‘deterrent’ missiles and then hope your missile defences will suffice against his reduced retaliation; this seems to be Israeli General Gantz’s approach; he sees Israel’s Iron Dome as “enabling” to his offensive forces

2. President G.W. Bush declared ‘pre-emption’ lawful

3. MD are proliferatory because your opponent will add to his deterrent missiles – no-one with a deterrent force will wish to see it negatived by MD

4. Alternatively MD will disrupt Deterrence

5. When your opponent adds to his deterrent missiles, you will need to expand your MD forces, because you need several more interceptors than he has missiles

6. This means new arms races as each of the several sides (US, Israel, India, China, Poland, Japan, Taiwan, etc., etc.) seeks to improve its own various systems, and to overtake or bypass its opponents’

7. MDs are anyway not reliable: there is, and can be, no certainty they can work as claimed – all tests are against ‘own’ targets and even one nuclear warhead getting through is too much

8. A new confidential report on ship-borne AEGIS details their problems: Admiral Balisle’s report has been described by one retired naval intelligence official as “utterly damning”

9. They are endlessly expensive – technologically and financially a black hole

10. They have to be launched automatically – there can be no time for civil, or even military, consultation; which means they cannot be proper for NATO, whatever NATO’s Secretary General’s views or cooperation with Russia

11. What is automatically identified as an ‘incoming missile’ may be no such thing, and the launching of an ABM against it could be seen as an act of war

12. Missile Defences require – and are already securing – the Militarization of Space; how this would fit with Mr. Obama’s new Space proposals is not clear

13. The Russians have declared that the New SALT would collapse if the US go ahead with such Missile Defences as they (the Russians) find unacceptable – there is in the pre-amble a statement about the close relationship between “offensive” and “defensive” missiles, but nothing more

14. The UK is already plugged in to the US Missile Defence system, by way of the US bases at Fylingdales and Menwith Hill

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