They Just Don’t Understand

Paul Celucci, George Bush and a bunch of other people just don’t understand why Canada wouldn’t want to participate in balistic missile defence. For all the folks who don’t get it, here’s a little anti-BMD primer.

OK, so here’s the thinking. If you’re gonna decide whether BMD is a good idea or not here are three useful questions to ask: (1) how real is the threat, (2) does BMD work, and (3) are there any other consequences? You keeping up George?

BMD is meant to defend North America against a rogue nation that might launch ballistic missiles with nukular weapons at us. Who wants to have a nuclear weapon in a missile hurtling down at them with nothing but a brolly to hide under? Not me. So, who has a nuclear weapon on a missile ready to hurl at us? Umm … none of the rogue states. Yup, none, no one, nobody.

Of the current bad guys — Iran, Iraq, Libya, North Korea and Pakistan (although Pakistan is currently a good guy dictatorship and not an official bad guy) — none have a missile that can even get to North America. Iran can’t even get past London. If North Korea finished their next newest missile they might be able to hit Alaska but if they’re shooting for San Fran they’ll be getting nothing but air.

OK, so who has a nuclear weapon that they could mount on a missile that can’t get here? None again. Iran, Iraq, and Libya have nothing. Pakistan and N. Korea have a bomb but only Pakistan has one that fits on a missile and that missile is only good for throwing over Kashmir.

There are a few other limitations as well, like no one even has solid rocket technology and it takes a couple of days to fill and fire up a liquid one so why shoot it down after it’s launched? Why not blow it up on the ground?

OK, so the threat is, well, let’s call it non-existent from rogue states and as everyone acknowledges a defense shield would do nothing against 1000 rockets coming over the pole from Russia.

Fine, lets pretend there is a threat or fast forward 30 years and pretend some rogue is now a threat. Will BMD work? Will it protect North America? Sure it doesn’t work today but I’m going to assume that in 30 years with enough money they’ll get it to work. Shit, they’re Americans, they can make just about anything work given enough time and money.

No, sadly it won’t work. The only way it would work is if we pretend that a rogue state had the technology to build a missile that could get here but didn’t have the technology to build more than a couple. For some reason they were only smart enough to build 4 not 40. Remember, all you have to do to defeat BMD is overwhelm it.

OK, I hear some of you saying sure, but even the Soviet Union couldn’t win an arms race with America. There is no nation rich enough to win an arms race with America. Doh, it’s not an arms race. No one is building tanks, and subs and aircraft carriers and all the usual accoutrements of war. They just need to replicate a few missiles. Even freak’n North Korea, one of the poorest countries on the planet, seems able to invest in a missile program.

So, where are we at? There is no real threat and BMD will provide no protection even if was made tactically effective. Billions of dollars and we’ll be no safer tomorrow than we are today.

Any other consequences of doing this? Yup. Russia has already shown us what response is likely from other major powers. They are parading around new technology that can nullify BMD. The consequence of building a shield is that other countries will develop better weapons to maintain some sort of balance of power. It is delusional to think that countries in the rest of the world, whether collectively or individually, are going to let the US develop an effective defense and keep all their existing weapons and develop new ones.

So, there’s the little anti-BMD primer. There is no threat from rogue states today and it will not protect against the countries that can actually hit North America with a missile. Even if BMD was made to work it is easily defeated by having the bad guys build more missiles. And last but not least the natural consequence of BMD is an escallation.

Do you get it now?

To be fair, there are attractive reasons for wanting to build BMD. There are risks to building one and there are risks to not building one. There are lots of us up here who think that, on balance, it is wiser not to build it. It would be wiser to find more meaningful ways to spend those billions of dollars.

One last thing: has the currency of sovereignty been so diminished in America that the notion of not asking permission to use our air space is even considered an option? No, Mr. Celucci, Canada has not given up sovereignty over our air space so —- Fuck Off.

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