Though I’ve long been a fan of the Navy’s anti-missile system, I’m pleased and relieved that this worked.
And I’m always a fan of Navy says missile smashed wayward satellite headlines. If the Navy had missed, do you think the headline would have been Navy says missile missed wayward satellite, or Navy missile missed wayward satellite. It seems like people only “say” things when it’s good. As if the press is exercising some skepticism and waiting to see. If it’s bad news they pile on.
Anyway, there’s this:
The elaborate intercept may trigger worries from some international leaders, who could see it as a thinly disguised attempt to test an anti-satellite weapon — one that could take out other nation’s orbiting communications and spy spacecraft.
Within hours of the reported success, China said it was on the alert for possible harmful fallout from the shootdown and urged Washington to promptly release data on the action.
To which Mudoc says “China, STFU.”
They’re “on the alert” for debris that will re-enter the atmosphere from a very highly publicized test against an identified target with a valid reason to be shot down. Seems that they’ve forgotten their own unannounced test which left debris in orbit for everyone to play with for years to come.
And the Rooskies, of course, are onboard the concerned bandwagon as well. Someone asked me if I wasn’t worried about provoking the Russians with this test. Well, the Rooskies call our plans for a missile defense system in Eastern Europe an offensive threat, but call their own threats to target Ukraine, Poland, and the Czech Republic with nuclear missiles a defensive strategy.
I simply dismiss the complaints of China and Russia on this as windbag political rhetoric. Completely worthless.
Of course, lots of folks are going to worry about US saber rattling and side with the Commies. (Yes, I know the Rooskies aren’t Commies any more. They’re our friends again. Wink. Wink.)
This poor guy obviously wrote his story before last night’s satellite intercept: U.S. anti-missile plan is hopelessly flawed
He’s worried that we’re “sticking a finger in [Putin’s] eye” with missile defense, mostly because it doesn’t work. He bases his claim on first-hand knowledge:
I have a bit of personal experience with anti-missile missiles, in Israel during the first Gulf War. The United States deployed a Patriot anti-missile battery just outside Tel Aviv, to counter Saddam Hussein’s Scud attacks. One night, I stood on a hotel balcony to watch as a Scud arced in from the east, trailing fire in its wake. Below me, a Patriot launched with a roar.
Moments later, the two missiles met high above the city, and the Patriot exploded, destroying the Scud, just as it was supposed to. But then the fiery debris from both missiles — including the Scud warhead — rained down on Tel Aviv and destroyed two homes. What did the Patriot accomplish?
He then says that the Airborne Laser system is far better than missile interceptors, then goes on to explain why that won’t work either. Though it’s tough to argue that he’s too far off base with his criticisms of the ABL, I find it interesting that his attitude is based on experience with early-gen Patriots in 1991 and a program that has already been all but canceled. If he argued against the spotty record and high cost of the land-based system, I could buy some of what he’s selling.
Missile defense is not an offensive weapon. Shooting down satellites can be, though, and this was a legitimate demonstration that our anti-missile system has the potential to do just that, at least for low-orbiting sats. Want to argue that having the capability to shoot down satellites is bad? Go ahead, though I disagree.
And don’t argue that it won’t work, which has been a major part of the anti-anti-missile defense argument for over 20 years.
Well done, guys.
UPDATE: In the comments, responding to the fact that potential enemies are unhappy with our test:
Well, that’s a sure sign you’re on the right track in my book.
UPDATE 2: Hah.