Why the National Missile Defense Should Not be Deployed
Sentence Outline -- Final Draft
Abstract. The proposed National Missile Defense will not protect the
United States against the weapons of mass destruction. First, the
technology is not ready yet. With one of the defense's tests being a
failure and the other a very questionable "success", the President and
Congress can not in good faith affirm the proposed system's maturity,
much less its reliability or operational effectiveness. Second, the
planned system could not defeat very simple countermeasures that any
enemy could make. The decision to deploy the planned National Missile
Defense system should not be made at this time.
- The deployment decision should be delayed until, first on paper and then
in practice, the sytem shows it readiness and ability to intercept
missiles and defeat countermeasures.
How NMD is supposed to operate
- The latest version of NMD includes 250 ground-based interceptors,
ground-based X-band radars, and space-based spy satellites employing IR
- In order to detonate, the kill vehicle must hit the target
Technology is not ready yet
- The track record of US's "hit-to-kill" technologies is abysmal.
- These data underline the necessity to verify that the technology is
ready before deploying it.
- To ensure that NMD technology is mature, a prototype of the full
system must be successfully tested.
- The performance of the NMD system in the only "successful" test
indicates that kill vehicle's infrared sensor technology is immature.
- With the current testing schedule, not enough tests will be carried
out to give a statistically significant measure of the proposed system's
reliability and effectiveness.
Inherent Ineffectiveness of the Proposed National Missile
- The performance of NMD under real-world conditions, operational
effectiveness, is essential, because the countries employing ballistic
missiles will also use countermeasures to try to defeat the missile
- The inability of the proposed NMD system to defeat even the simplest
countermeasures in theory, much less in practice, renders it inherently
Biological/Chemical Weapons: Overwhelming NMD with a Large Number
of Real Targets
- The proposed NMD system will have zero effectiveness against
biological/chemical weapons that are delivered in submunitions, another
name for small (<10 kg) warheads.
- Not only will this method of delivery defeat the proposed system, it
is much more efficient at dispersing the agent over larger areas than a
unitary warhead would be.
Metallized Balloons: Overwhelming NMD with a Large Number of
- Releasing a large number of metallized balloons, only one of which
contains the nuclear warhead, can overwhelm the proposed NMD system.
- The release of the balloons above the atmosphere and the presence of
metal coatings render X-band radars useless.
- The infrared sensors of the kill vehicle can be prevented from
discriminating a balloon with a warhead by covering balloons with
appropriate surface coatings for daytime attacks or inserting small
heaters in them for nighttime attacks.
Cooled Shroud: Making the Infrared Sensors Near-Sighted
- The attacker can choose to go the opposite route: instead of
introducing additional sources of infrared radiation, it can cut down
(by a factor of a least one million) the infrared output of the warhead
by enclosing it in a shroud cooled to liquid nitrogen temperature.
- While the missile range will be affected by the additional baggage,
it would still be capable of reaching the United States.
- As figure 1 shows, the cooled shroud literally makes infrared
sensors very "near-sighted".
- The consequences of such a drastic reduction in acquisition range
render interceptors useless.
- The decision to deploy the National Missile Defense should not be
made because the technology has not demonstrated its readiness yet and,
more importantly, because the design of the proposed defense makes it
vulnerable to very simple countermeasures.
Want to print this page? Use this
To cite this page:
Missile Defense - Sentence Outline -- Final Draft
[Tuesday, 17-Jul-2018 15:13:52 EDT]
Edited by: email@example.com on
Friday, 06-Oct-2000 10:35:13 EDT