Always bear in mind the basic arms control script: 1) it’ll never work, 2) it’ll cost too much, and 3) it’ll destabilize international relations.
Act four of the script is never stated, but it’s this: mutually assured vulnerability is preferable over single superpower (with the weapons systems to stop a missile attack), that is, the U.S.
Arguing against missile defense has to be an uncomfortable subject for the arms controllers who have taken up a dogmatic, faith-based, and non-historical position that 1) arms control actually works and 2) technologies don’t mature.
So when one of the usual suspects from the arms control cult argues against missile defense, you get the standard script with a few deviations.
Reference the script’s item one: because missile defense haters have seen missile defense work as advertised in a number of tests, the standard playbook needs some adjustment. The first adjustment is an allowance and it goes like this, “OK, missile defense has worked but it’s easily defeatable.” Such thinking is the classic argument from ignorance and the idea (missile defense is easily defeatable) is asserted to be true because it hasn’t been proven false. The next argument is the first’s evil doppelganger, “And it hasn’t been tested under warfighting conditions.” No, and neither has an ICBM. Do you doubt its efficacy as well?
Missile defense, as it’s currently being set up, can be easily defeated by any country that can field ballistic missiles…
So there you have it, missile defense (with the weird qualifier “as it’s currently being set up”) will never work. These are the types of assertions the missile defense haters have been recycling since at least the 1980s. Their proof: the papers they’ve written and they studies they’ve done themselves.
Ted Postol of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and I carried out a detailed study of the planned system.
Yes, going Postol on missile defense with a self-referential study casting doubt of missile defense. I’m shocked, shocked!
So what about the irrationality of nation-states themselves? It’s all a form of cognitive dissonance…no wait, paranoia!
So, if missile defense could be so easily defeated by North Korea and Iran, why are the Russians so up in arms about it? The answer is simple: Their military planners are paid to be paranoid — just like the ones in the Pentagon — and they must assume a worst-case scenario in which they treat the system as being highly effective, even when it isn’t.
Yes, and China is doing missile defense as well. And we all have the warfighting annex addressing the alien invasion right there in the vault just in case Mars Attacks. C’mon, we’re paid to be paranoid!
The hits just keep on coming with non-sequitirs like this, which segues into step two of the arms control script:
The possible disclosure of sensitive U.S. secrets…is just one of the many risks of an ineffective missile-defense system, from engendering a false sense of security that could lead to serious policy miscalculations to greater worldwide stockpiles of military plutonium to a relaunching of the nuclear arms race with Russia.
Right. Because missile defense doesn’t work, Russia will start an expensive nuclear arms race. Why? Because they’re paranoid! And along the way, the U.S. will somehow be compelled to participate in a nuclear arms race with Russia. (Begin sarcasm font) Of course! It’s so simple; why didn’t I see any of this before?! (Close sarcasm font) And since we’re now living in financially austere times, we need to save all the money we can, so the arms controllers would say, let’s cut missile defense.
The bogusness would be incomplete without a good faulty dilemma (and step three of the script) to get off the stage:
Is it really worth giving up the Russian queen in trying — and failing — to protect from an Iranian pawn?
If the linked article represents the sort of flawed thinking that’s typical of the scientists of the arms control cult, their handlers (read bill-payers) should look for more capable thinkers.