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US nuclear safety claim is a 'dangerous fantasy'
Date:10/31/2010

n Russia's strategic nuclear forces in a manner that would create policy concerns relating to New START or other future arms reduction agreements. (New START is a treaty signed earlier this year by President Barack Obama and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev limiting nuclear weapons. Both countries will be limited to 1,550 ready-to-use, long-range nuclear weapons in addition to the other parts of their nuclear stockpile.)

The current GMD and SM-3 systems have fundamental flaws determined by the laws of physics that cannot be overcome, based on technology they both share. These flaws relate to their ability to accurately target the correct part of the target missile in flight. Newly developed Iranian missiles without tail fins, or warheads attached to rocket bodies that tumble end over end, like those that defeated the Patriot Missile Defense in the Gulf War of 1991, would easily beat these interceptors before they could locate, maneuver, and hit the nuclear warhead. Decoys deployed in the near vacuum of space would also defeat the defense. These decoys will travel along with warheads because there is no air-drag to cause them to slow down. Since the defense would not be able to identify the warheads among the decoys, it would not know how to aim its interceptors.

The Defense Department's strategy relies on these nuclear defense systems performing to near perfection, even when confronted by the overwhelming complexities and uncertainties of real combat against nuclear-armed ballistic missiles. The authors are concerned that the Defense Department has shown no test-based evidence that these defense systems can ever work in combat, yet claims that the continental United States is already defended from missile attack, and that these systems are also an effective deterrent that can offset cuts to nuclear-strike forces.

"These claims are fantastical, audacious, and dangerous," says Lewis.

The proposed alternative, based on unmanned dro
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Contact: Mithu Lucraft
mithu.lucraft@sagepub.co.uk
44-207-324-2223
SAGE Publications UK
Source:Eurekalert

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