The Robot Economist has a great post up about Prompt Global Strike where he discusses, among other things, how convincing Russia and China that the program isn’t aimed at them would be a pretty tough sell:
bq. …it may be impossible to gain international acceptance of the Prompt Global Strike concept. Even if the you could conclusively mitigate the potential for a mistaken nuclear attack, *China and Russia still have cause fear Prompt Global Strike because they couldn’t defend against it.* Does the military [sic] that either nuclear power would accept the idea that the United State could launch any type of strike deep within its territory? *The Bush administration feels so insecure about such a scenario from happening to the United States that it is funding U.S. missile defense programs to the tune of $10 billion annually.*
He also helpfully provides a “link”:http://18.104.22.168/search?q=cache:IZwraNfornAJ:www.csbaonline.org/4Publications/Archive/R.20021002.MTR/R.20021002.MTR.pdf+The+Military-Technical+Revolution:+A+Preliminary+Assessment&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=1&gl=us to a 1992 Office of Net Assessment study which indicates that the Russians/Soviets had been “thinking about the implications of a long-range strategic strike for decades.”
Light weekend reading.
Paul – Thanks for the highlight.
I apologize to all of my readers for the slew of syntax errors in that paragraph. Last Thursday was a lesson in the dangers of mixing beer and blogging.
I touched up the grammar a little to make it read easier.
The main reason it would be difficult to convince China that PGS isn’t aimed at them is because it is. The only credible scenario for when we might need a PGS system (sudden target, out of range of forces off the coast, with the ability to affect a conflict within the first hour) is with China’s ASAT capability, sometime in the future when China might actually have the ability to launch an ASAT from the interior of the country after popping it out of caves with little or no notice.
China has been the elephant in the corner of the room for at least the last 10 years. Nobody says “China” when they propose a new weapon system or capability, but there it is, as big as an old grey packaderm, casting a shadow on the conversation. Missile defense had this environment, PGS does, too.