Saturday, May 26, 2007

Star Wars, nothing but Star Wars


Speaking of the Strategic Defense Initiative (Star Wars), otherwise known as Reagan's fantasy umbrella, we have this in today's NYTimes:
A highly anticipated test of a new Pentagon system to defend against long-range ballistic missiles was halted early on Friday because the target rocket fell far short of the designated interceptor range in the Pacific, officials announced.

Since the attacking rocket and dummy warhead never reached the area to be defended, the missile interceptor was never launched from its base at Vandenberg Air Force Base, north of Santa Barbara, Calif., officials said.

The Missile Defense Agency will categorize the aborted mission as a “no test,” because no new information was generated on the overall system, including the interceptor, radar and command systems.

Cool. Not only did it fail, but they get a do-over statistically, as well. Must be the new math. Or something.

I understand the concept, just like I understand how the transporter on Star Trek worked. I also understand that neither one is currently viable, given the state of the art in physics.
After that, another test was delayed until this week while experts perfected a system to relay test information to ground monitors from the interceptor, although that system would not be on board in wartime.

WTF? I can buy a GPS for my car, my phone can email pictures to my computer at home, yet they can't make a missle talk to a computer on the ground?
The Bush administration envisions a limited system of 40 missile interceptors at Fort Greely, Alaska; 4 at Vandenberg; and 10 in Poland. The administration calls the system a counter to a small-scale attack like one that might be initiated by countries like Iran and North Korea.

Democrats in Congress have proposed cutting money to delay the Polish program and tracking radar in the Czech Republic. In Moscow, Kremlin officials have warned that deploying the American missile-defense components to Central Europe would damage relations.

I envision 50 MPG. I envision teleportation and telekinesis. I envision dieting by just thinking about it. I also envision responsible adult diplomacy.

I don't envision an invisible protective dome protecting us from other countries we have tried really hard to piss off. So can these idionts just stop and find another way to waste money?