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Rice Can't Be Serious!

Think about this comment for a minute, and remember that this is a quote from the United States Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice at a press conference earlier today:

"The idea that somehow 10 interceptors and a few radars in eastern Europe are going to threaten the Soviet strategic deterrent is purely ludicrous and everybody knows it," she told a news conference.

She can't be serious.

If those 10 interceptors belonged to North Korea, and were pointed at U.S. soil, our Secretary of State would not recognize that as a threat?

If those 10 interceptors belonged to Iran, and were pointed at Israel, our Secretary of State would not recognize that as a threat?

How much damage could 10 interceptors do? The suggestion that because it's a low number it's not a threat is, in and of itself, ludicrous. The fact that this is apparently the belief of our Secretary of State is downright scary! Does she really believe that statement, and if so - what does that say about our national security under this administration?

Rice's response to Putin is either (1) disingenuous, or (2) just plain knee-jerk stoopid -- or, as I suggested in an post earlier today, intentionally designed to anger Russia and push America back towards the cold war days of old.


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Comments (21)

Heralder:

An interceptor is exactly what the name implies Lee.

They are made to be fast and they are built for primarily defense operations.

I don't believe Secretary Rice's comments to be knee-jerk, but I believe yours to be.

matt:

"The idea that somehow 10 interceptors and a few radars in eastern Europe are going to threaten the Soviet strategic deterrent is purely ludicrous and everybody knows it," she told a news conference.

Well, if they are ludicrous, and no threat to the Soviets (Russians), then what is the point of emplacing them at all?

"An interceptor is exactly what the name implies Lee."

"They are made to be fast and they are built for primarily defense operations."

So then it wouldn't be threat if Iran pointed 10 interceptors at Israel?

Heralder:

Matt:

Well, if they are ludicrous, and no threat to the Soviets (Russians), then what is the point of emplacing them at all?

"Ludicrous" is referring to the Soviet reaction.

And, they were not implemented to be a threat.

--

Lee:

So then it wouldn't be threat if Iran pointed 10 interceptors at Israel?

No. And you don't point interceptors anywhere.

My original thought was that she was referring to interceptor class aircraft, but given that this is in reference to a missle-shield, it would more likely be interceptor missles, such as the Patriot missle.

The Patriot, and programs like it, specifically designed to intercept and destroy incoming missles.

Interceptors in Eastern Europe are about as much a threat to Russia as a Police officer wearing a Kevlar vest is to a criminal.

So then, Heralder, having interceptors in place to take out missiles Russia launched in response to an attack on them is not "aggressive" in your view?

In other words, and to use your example of the Kevlar vest, having the capability of neutralizing the Kevlar vest's ability to stop bullets is not a threat to the police officer wearing the vest?

I'd see a criminal carrying such a device as a threat to my security if I was wearing that vest.

Paul Hamilton:

D-Hoggs: We've shown ourselves to be an aggressor nation with our unfounded invasion of Iraq, so any military activity at all must be considered a threat.
Also, the fact that we created and maintain an arsenal of nuclear weapons sufficient to turn all of the Soviet Union/Russia to a cinder is clearly a threat to them. And now Bush wants to bulid a whole new generation of nukes...


Heralder: I believe that all our fighter aircraft have the ability to carry offensive weapons such as smart bombs, so they aren't strictly interceptors any more.

Gary:

You don't "point" interceptors *at* countries.

And, the United States is not North Korea or Iran.

You worry too much.

Heralder:

Lee:

having interceptors in place to take out missiles Russia launched in response to an attack on them is not "aggressive" in your view?

Looking directly back at Secretary Rice's comment: "a few radars and 10 interceptors" - hardly constitutes a broad strategic initiative...which is what would be required to effectively block a Russian retaliation to an attack.

Given the small number of defenses, this would be considered for tactical usage.

Hence Secretary Rice's opinion that the reaction was "ludicrous".

D-Hoggs: "WHERE have we FLAT OUT called for the destruction of a nation as Iran has? Because if you can't point to such a threat, than lee's analogy is bogus."

Huh? Do I understand you correctly -- you're saying the only valid threats to our national security are those that are declared in advance? Interesting theory...

Gary - see my comment re: Heralder's Kevlar vest analogy? The ability to take out Russia's defensive response to an attack on them is, in my opinion, aggressive and a threat to their security. It's a threat to their ability to defend themselves from an attack, No?

Heralder - at what point does an increase in "the small number of defenses" -- which I assume you now agree can be used to neutralize (to some degree at least) a response from Russia in defense of an attack on them, become sufficient in size for Russia to be concerned?

If 10 is no big deal, what about 20? What about 50? 100?

I want our Secretary of Defense to see just "one" as a threat - but tell me how many in your view would it take before you would feel threatened?

Concerned Student:

Interceptors, as the name implies, are for defense puposes. There is no way an interceptor can be used as an ICBM since the ones that will be placed in E Europe will leave atmosphere and (if they don't hit anything) upon return burn up in atmosphere.

The point Dr. Rice is making, if anyone on the left had reading comprehension skills, is that 10 interceptors won't make a spit in the winds' difference if Russia really sends their full aresnal over... being as their arsenal consists of several hundred if not thousands of warheads and ICBM's (which ARE intended to go up and come down) The point of having 10 out in E Europe is to defend against say a lone twit getting ahold of one of Russia's ICBM's and launching it, or against another (or the same) lone twit doing the same in Iran, N Korea, or elsewhere.

The fact that Lee, nay, anyone on the left, can't comprehend what her point is shows the writers, and the left's, ignoranace of the program and lack of ability to cognitively think. Which while having an opinion about something you don't understand is fine, but you know what they say about opinions and... well anyway. Usually when I don't understand something I have read, I read it again until I do... usually slower the second time around. Maybe it will work for you all too.

Heralder:

Paul:

We've shown ourselves to be an aggressor nation with our unfounded invasion of Iraq, so any military activity at all must be considered a threat.

This is wrong on multiple facets.

Firstly, whether or not you agree with the war in Iraq, invading under the premise that they were a threat (this is a premise shared the world over pre-invasion) does not establish us an "aggressor nation"

Secondly, the invasion was not "unfounded".

Thirdly, using the logic you set forth here, if the police stormed a suspected crack house and didn't turn up anything, any further efforts by the police to fight crime would be viewed as a threat. Are you comfortable with this assertion?

I believe that all our fighter aircraft have the ability to carry offensive weapons such as smart bombs, so they aren't strictly interceptors any more.

It's true, that interceptor aircraft such as the F-18 Hornet are capable of mounting offensive weaponry as well as anti-radar weaponry.

However, I believe the interceptors mentioned are of the missle variety, such as the Patriot, which are not dual-use.

Heralder:

Lee,

I was going to reply to your question, but 'Concerned Student' covered quite well what I was going to say.

Heralder - "Concerned student "avoided the question "how many is enough for Russia to be concerned"?

If we upped the Patriot sites to 20 - would that be a concern? 50? - where is the threshold point where concern kicks in?

For Putin, the concern point is 10 - and if you're saying that's unreasonable (or ludicrous as Rice put it) please define where, in your view, the boundary of reason lies on this question.

Paul Hamilton:

>>D-Hoggs said:
>>WHERE have we FLAT OUT called for the destruction of a nation

Actions speak louder than words. We assembled to tools to utterly destroy the Soviet Union and we maintain it to this day even though the original threat is long gone. You can argue the effectiveness and appropriateness of MAD either way, but it's *not* defensive at all.

>>Heralder said:
>>invading under the premise that they were a threat (this is a premise shared the world over pre-invasion) does not establish us an "aggressor nation"

But there's plenty of evidence that even in the White House, they knew that the "premise" was false. Bush's efforts seemed to be more to politically-justify a decision he'd already made than for making the decision.

Heralder:

Lee:

"Concerned student "avoided the question "how many is enough for Russia to be concerned"?

He didn't avoid the question, he addressed the reality of it while putting the numbers in perspective, where you're resorting to abstract reasoning to prove a point.

How many is a threat, you ask?

The best estimate of Russia's current Strategic Nuclear warhead arsenal is around 3,200.

Assuming we have the launchers in exactly the right place at the right time, and Russia launched 500 missles we could neutralize about 20 of them if everything went well.

But, that's just their strategic nuclear warheads, not their ballistic missle stockpile.

Let's make a guess at 25,000.

Now, are 10 Patriot batteries a real threat to Russia?

I believe we're talking about 10 Patriot sites. According to Wikipedia (if I read it correctly) the PAC-3 upgrade provides the launcher with a total of 16 missiles loaded and fireable at once.

"PAC-3 missile canisters contain four missiles, and as such sixteen rounds in total can be placed on a launcher. "

If that's true multiply that by 10 sites and you're looking at potentially 160 ABMs fired at once, true?

How long does it take to reload and fire again?

So 160 ABMs isn't a problem - ignoring the question as to how quickly they can reload fire again - and that's based only on what Wilkipedia knows about the PAC-3 - what is there is a secret PAC-4 or PAC-5 variant capable of an even greater # of missiles launched at once?

I'd offer you a shovel, but you seem to be doing just fine on your own.

Heralder:

Lee:

If that's true multiply that by 10 sites and you're looking at potentially 160 ABMs fired at once, true?

So 160 ABMs isn't a problem - ignoring the question as to how quickly they can reload fire again - and that's based only on what Wilkipedia knows about the PAC-3 - what is there is a secret PAC-4 or PAC-5 variant capable of an even greater # of missiles launched at once?

I'd offer you a shovel, but you seem to be doing just fine on your own.

Untrue. You're assuming every single battery can simulteaneously locate, track, and fire against 16 separate incoming missles with possibly different trajectories, at the same time. You're wrong. In fact sometimes two Patriots will be fired at a single incoming missle.

You're also assuming it's a PAC-3 upgrade, rather than a PAC-1.

You're also assuming that every single missle fired will neutralize it's target (the current track record is about 70%)

You're also assuming that the radar sites will not be jammed.

And I made the assumtion that Russia would only fire 500 missles, rather than 3000.

I don't need a shovel, Lee. I have two family members that work for Raytheon in the Patriot program.

cirby:

If a handful of missiles in Europe is a "threat" to Russia, then what do you call the ring of ABMs around Moscow?

Remember, that's about a HUNDRED anti-ballistic missile missiles (about 32 long-range and about 66 short-range). Then there's a large number of other Russian "antiaircraft" missiles with extreme height and range capabilities which have an obvious ABM capacity (with the right radars, they could field several times the number they already have deployed).

Concerned Student:

Lee,

Well I read your responses but it is apparent comprehension is low on the list of things to do today. Even a battery of 10 with 16 (so 160 ABM's) won't make much of a difference when you are talking a possible salvo of thousands and many of those thousands having multiple reentry vehicles... so possibly 10's of thousands of warheads raining down on Europe. The fact of the matter, though, is that it isn't the PAC-3 being deployed there. It is a completely different system being deployed, where it is essentially an ICBM modified to a ABM shooting one on one against N-ICBM's. Read the news releases about the program itself and it will explain it better.

As a further clarification that comprehension is lacking though, I would have to say, while I didn't explicitly say it, I wasn't intending to imply, nor is the program intending to stop a Russian response. Their MAD insurance is still going to be paid up, and working just fine. The battery of ABM's are there strategically if some fool gets a hold of one of Russia's, or some other friendly or even non-friendly countries N-ICBM's. We (the US) are deploying these ABM's on the west coast and Alaska and Russia isn't bitching about it there. Europe asked us to put in a similar system for protection against their own crazies. We have ours deployed already.

Russia's argument of lessened MAD insurance, or threat against their nation is bullcrap on it's face and nothing more than whining and pandering because they have once again lost influence of former bloc countries to America. mainly because these countries have been there and done that, and would rather forge their own future than have Russia tell them how to do it. They (Russia) don't like it one bit that they lost yet again and are going to kick and scream as much as possible. It would do the left good to let them get it out and maybe next time Russia will learn a lesson rather and determine if they whine and scream enough they get what they want.

cirby:

Heralder:

You also left out "assuming it's a Patriot," instead of the much more probable GMD (the new name for the NMD program, to differentiate from the other tactical and IRBM systems).

Patriot interception versus the "real" Russian ICBMs that would be used against Europe? Not gonna happen. Too high, too fast. You have to have the warhead coming pretty much straight at you for a Patriot interception - not much crossrange capability there.

In other words, not 160 Patriot missiles, but instead only 10 of the new ones.

The only "threat" Russia sees from this is a "threat" to one possible war scenario - an "accidental" launch that kills one or more European cities, with the hope that they won't respond in kind.

Xennady:

Heralder, cirby and Concerned Student pretty much destroyed you rather silly argument here Lee so I don't have anything more to say about that.But it's so typical of you leftists that given the choice between the US and some other country, you'll pick the other country every single time.Now you're frothing at the mouth because the US is attempting to defend itself against the limited potential missile threat from Iran.Amazing.Is there anything the US can do to defend itself that you won't oppose? Yes, Lee I'm questioning your patriotism.


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