Why the National Missile Defense Should Not Be Deployed
Sentence Outline -- First Draft
The proposed National Missile Defense will not protect the United States
against the weapons of mass destruction. First, it has not shown that
its technology is ready yet. With one of the defense's tests already
completed being a failure and the other a questionable "success," the
President and Congress could not in good faith affirm the proposed
system's maturity, much less its reliability or operational
effectiveness. Second, and more important, point is that even on paper
the planned system could not defeat very simple countermeasures that the
enemy will use to assure the mission's success. The decision to deploy
the planned National Missile Defense system should not be made at this
How NMD is supposed to operate
- The United States will decide in the fall of 2000 whether to begin
deployment of a limited missile defense (NMD), "capable" of protecting
all 50 states against ballistic missiles launched by one of the rogue
states--North Korea, Iraq, Iran, Syria and Lybia.
- The latest version of NMD includes 250 ground-based interceptors,
ground-based X-band radars and space-based-spy satellites employing IR
- By that time [when earlier paragraph said intercept would occur],
the enemy target wold be released from the booster that carried it from
the ground. or The task of hitting such a small target, often
compared with hitting a bullet with a bullet, is technologically very
Technology is not ready yet
- The track record of US's "hit-to-kill" technologies is abysmal.
- In view of these data, it is essential to verify if the technology
is ready before deploying it. or perhaps this
This decision to deploy should be on three
criteria: technological maturity, operational effectiveness, and
- To ensure the NMD technology is mature, a prototype of the full
systems must be successfully tested.
- The performance of the NMD system in the only "successful" test
indicates kill vehicle's infrared sensor technology is immature.
- Even by 2005, not enough tests will be carried out to give a
statistically significant measure of the proposed system's reliability
- The reliability of the NMD system can be estimated only if the
actual production level (as opposed to surrogate or prototype) hardware
is used during the tests.
- The performance of the NMD under real-world conditions, i.e.,
operational effectiveness, is essential, because countries employing
ballistic missiles will also use countermeasures to try to defeat the
Inherent Ineffectiveness of the National Missile Defense
- The inability of the proposed NMD system to defeat even the simplest
countermeasures in theory, much less in practice, renders it inherently
- 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.
- Releasing a large number of metallized balloons, only one of which
contains the nuclear warhead, can overwhelm the proposed NMD system.
- The release of balloons above the atmosphere and the presence of
metal coatings render X-band radar 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.
- 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 at least a million) the infrared output of the warhead
by enclosing it in a shroud cooled to liquid nitrogen temperature.
- The design of a very effective shroud is extremely "simple."
- The amount of nitrogen required for cooling the shroud from 300 K to
77 K and keeping it at that temperature for the duration of the flight
is surprisingly small-- 46 kg.
- The additional baggage carried by a booster will not significantly
alter the missile's range.
- As figure 1 shows, the cooled shroud literally makes infrared
sensors very "short-sighted."
- The consequence of such a drastic reduction in acquisition range
renders 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. Even assuming that
it can be effective, NMD's maturity, operational effectiveness, and
reliability cannot be estimated until after 2005. In view of the proposed
NMD's susceptibility to countermeasures, the design should be
reassessed before continuing with the testing program.
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Missile Defense - Sentence Outline -- First Draft
[Thursday, 20-Sep-2018 06:22:08 EDT]
Edited by: email@example.com on
Sunday, 22-Feb-2004 10:44:05 EST