Global Economic Security

Battlefield -

The belligerent posture of the United States towards Iran and North Korea can well be condemned based on its own merits, threatening war where there are either no real interests at stake or where a diplomatic solution has for various reasons been eschewed.

But the real reason why the White House gets away with saber rattling is historical, that the continental USA has not experienced the consequences of war since Pancho Villa invaded in 1916. 

Americans consequently do not know war except as something that happens elsewhere and to foreigners, requiring only that the U.S. step in on occasion and bail things out, or screw things up depending on one’s point of view.

The steady ingestion of lies and half-truths is why the public puts up with unending demands for increased defense spending, accepting that the world outside is a dangerous place that must be kept in line by force majeure.

In a recent speech, relating to the North Korean threat, President Donald Trump boasted that the United States anti-missile defenses are 97% effective, meaning that they can intercept and destroy incoming projectiles 97 times out of a 100.

Trump was undoubtedly referring to, even if he was ignorant of many of the specifics, the Ground Based Midcourse Defense (GMD) installations in Alaska and Hawaii, which are part of the existing $330 billion missile defense system

What if the countermeasures were somewhat closer to 0% effective? Would that change the thinking about going to war in Korea? Or about confronting Russia in Eastern Europe? The claim of 97% reliability for the U.S.’s anti-missile defenses is being challenged by Cirincione and others, who argue that the USA can only “shoot down some…missiles some of the time.

First of all, an anti-missile interceptor must hit its target head on or nearly so and it must either actually strike the target or explode its own warhead at a close enough distance to be effective. Both objectives are difficult to achieve.

An Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) travels at 5,000 meters per second. By way of comparison a bullet fired from a rifle travels at about one fifth that speed. Even using the finest radars and sensors as well as the most advanced guidance technologies, the variables involved make it much more likely that there will be a miss than a hit.

Contrary to the Donald Trump comment, the 97% accuracy is an extrapolation based on firing four anti-missile missiles at a target to make up for the fact that in the rigged tests a single interceptor has proven to be closer to only 56% accurate, and that under ideal conditions.

The targets in tests have sometimes been heated to make them easier to find and some have had transponders attached to make them almost impossible to miss. As a result, the missile interceptor system has never been tested under realistic battlefield conditions. An Israeli high level official recently told Maria Zakharova that perception is more important than reality.

But the real danger is that it is the American people that is being fooled by the Administration. Far better to take the North Korean threat seriously and admit that a west coast city like Seattle could well become the target of a successful nuclear weapon attack.

Russia-Insider.com / AA Magnum News 2017.

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