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Russia Claims Its New ICBM Can Evade US Defenses. Don’t Worry, We Couldn’t Stop The Old Ones Either
Russian President Vladimir Putin unveiled on Thursday a new nuclear-tipped intercontinental ballistic missile he said would render defense systems “useless,” but surprise, assholes: Our current missile defenses probably couldn’t stop your old ones, either.
The new ICBM has a longer range and “can reach almost any target in the world,” according to NBC News. And ol’ Vlad, with some bravado, boasted, “missile defenses will be useless against it.”
Now is about the time I think of President Ronald Reagan’s push for a strategic defense initiative — often referred to as “Star Wars” — which was billed as a potential shield against Soviet nukes. It was basically Reagan holding zero cards while claiming he had a full house, and the Soviets kept spending money trying to counter it until they went bankrupt.
Which brings us to today, as we look at Russia’s super secret amazingly-awesome new nuke. Moscow, with a defense budget barely more than 10% of the Pentagon’s, is spending its taxpayer money on something that doesn’t need to be developed and that most likely will never be used.
And what's more, U.S. missile defense — if you can even call it that — is a joke. They are, in the words of the Union of Concerned Scientists, "hugely expensive, ineffective, and offer no proven capability to protect the United States."
Just look at the track record. The Missile Defense Advocacy Alliance keeps a running tally on its website, which shows a success rate for various missile defense types that are all over the place. The Aegis Ballistic Missile system has an 84% success rate, while the Ground-Based Midcourse Defense system boasts a success rate of 56%.
Boy, that makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.
Still, the U.S. does have one better option, which it has already deployed to the Korean peninsula: THAAD, or Terminal High Altitude Area Defense. The new-ish interceptor has a powerful radar and a 100% success rate, but, and this is a big but, it has never been tested against a salvo of multiple missiles at once.
"The use of multiple shots, timed ever-more-closely together, appears destined to rehearse saturating a defensive system by presenting it with an overwhelmingly complex radar picture,” Joshua Pollack, editor of the U.S.-based Nonproliferation Review, told Reuters.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Known for acting on impulse, President Donald Trump has adopted an uncharacteristically go-slow approach to whether to hold Iran responsible for attacks on Saudi oil facilities, showing little enthusiasm for confrontation as he seeks re-election next year.
After state-owned Saudi Aramco's plants were struck on Saturday, Trump didn't wait long to fire off a tweet that the United States was "locked and loaded" to respond, and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo blamed Iran.
But four days later, Trump has no timetable for action. Instead, he wants to wait and see the results of investigations into what happened and is sending Pompeo to consult counterparts in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates this week.
That sound you're hearing is Army senior leaders exhaling a sigh of relief, because the Army has surpassed its recruiting goal for the year.
After failing to meet recruiting goals in 2018, the Army put the pedal to the metal and "did some soul searching," said Acting Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy, to ensure that they'd meet their 2019 goal. It must have paid off — the service announced on Tuesday that more than 68,000 recruits have signed on as active-duty soldiers, and more soldiers have stuck around than they expected.
Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein transformed into the Cigarette Smoking Man from "The X-Files" on Tuesday when explaining why UFO enthusiasts should avoid storming the mythical Area 51 installation in Nevada.
"All joking aside, we're taking it very seriously," Goldfein told reporters during the Air Force Association's annual Air, Space, and Cyber Conference. "Our nation has secrets, and those secrets deserve to be protected. The people deserve to have our nation's secrets protected."
SAN DIEGO — A San Diego-based Navy SEAL acquitted of murder in a closely watched war crimes trial this summer has filed a lawsuit against two of his former attorneys and a military legal defense nonprofit, according to a complaint filed in federal court in Texas on Friday.
NATIONAL HARBOR, Maryland — The Air Force is reviewing whether some airmen's valor awards deserve to be upgraded to the Medal of Honor, Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein said on Tuesday.
Goldfein revealed that several airmen are being considered for the nation's highest military award during a press conference at the Air Force Association's annual Air, Space, and Cyber Conference. He declined to say exactly who could receive the Medal of Honor, pending the outcome of the review process.