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More NMD to make you nervous.
September 3, 2001 5:34 AM   Subscribe

More NMD to make you nervous. If you're in an area about to be vapourised then you are safe. If you live anywhere else you are not. I live about half a blast radius away from one of the radar stations in the UK (it doesn't look like that picture anymore - some of the golfballs are now pyramids). From direct assault I maybe won't be hit but the bombs falling out of the sky on their way from Iraq to New York are pretty much going to land on my head. Cool.
posted by vbfg (8 comments total)

 
More NMD to make you nervous.

Am I the only one who's a tiny bit sceptical about whether NMD will ever happen? I lost count of the number of times this article used the words "might", "could", "maybe" etc. The article is pure speculation, mainly because: do you really think the Americans would tell the Press how risky the whole thing was going to be?

I don't think so.
posted by poncho at 6:45 AM on September 3, 2001


poncho: this bit of Russian realpolitik may provide an insight of how NMD is potentially more destabilising as an idea than a reality.
posted by holgate at 7:16 AM on September 3, 2001


The article is pure speculation...

I've learned that anything NewScientist has to say is probably just speculation and hype.

Besides, for the missiles to fall, this "shield" actually has to work.
posted by jpoulos at 7:35 AM on September 3, 2001


Also, "shot-up missile falling on Europe" is not the same thing as "shot-up missile delivering nuclear explosion to Europe."
posted by NortonDC at 9:09 AM on September 3, 2001


NortonDc: I thought that the one of the few things that can set a nuke off is hitting the ground at several hundred miles per hour?
posted by iain at 10:58 AM on September 3, 2001


Besides, for the missiles to fall, this "shield" actually has to work.


When it does the President will get a surprising phone call. "They brought in on a damn boat, New York is toast. In fact intelligence reports that (insert evil country here) couldn't get an ICBM program going anyhow."
posted by skallas at 3:36 PM on September 3, 2001


iain--Not if theirs are designed like ours. US nukes are built with a system of intentional failure points so that rough treatment does not trigger a nuclear detonation. Even an unplanned detonation of the conventional explosive triggers can't produce a nuclear detonation.

There have been many accidental droppings of nukes and accidental detonations of the weapons' conventional explosives, but never a single accidental nuclear detonation. Look here under "Bombs and Bombers" for some publicly known examples.
posted by NortonDC at 5:04 PM on September 3, 2001


The point of this is that the missile is destroyed while the warhead remains intact and on a viable trajectory. Its just a shorter trajectory than originally intended.

Also, if anybody has learned anything from the Iraqis, its that your missile can be an even better weapon when it is breaking and falling appart all over the place.
posted by Ptrin at 5:27 PM on September 3, 2001


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