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Posted on December 22 at 1:56 p.m.
How Do We Define Success? On December 5, a rocket launched from Vandenburg AFB in California intercepted a rocket launched from Kodiak, Alaska
1. It wasn't a resounding "success": According to Lt. Gen. Patrick O'Reilly, head of the Missile Defense Agency, "...the target did not release planned countermeasures designed to try to confuse the interceptor missile. O'Reilly did not say what those countermeasures were, but they often include decoys or chaff to throw off shoot-down attempts." Apparently the technology to shoot down a real enemy missile, which would have countermeasures, is not yet working.
2.It wasn't a truly realistic test: The "test" was very tightly controlled - everybody knew when the interceptor would be launched and its probable path (they've launched targets from KLC before). Furthermore, the velocity of the target drone is about 40% less than that of an actual "enemy" missile. One wonders what would happen if they actually had to scramble an interceptor with no prior warning. Now that would be a TRUE test.
Kodiak, Alaska Rejects Missile Defense - OverwhelminglyResults from the Kodiak Daily Mirror online poll, December 5 through December 12:
The U.S. missile shield...
is unnecessary - 67.17%
is important for the nation's defense - 21.59%
will never work - (5.1%)
will ramp up a new arms race - (6.15%)
[percentages based on 667 responses]
Over 78% of the respondents voted anti missile defense. While online polls are generally considered "unscientific", it seems clear a community that is home to a facility used in missile defense tests rejects the notion that it is actually needed.
On Missile Defense Success Questioned