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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.
The U.S. government failed to effectively account for nearly $715.8 million in weapons and equipment allocated to Syrian partners as part of the multinational counter-ISIS fight, according to a new report from the Defense Department inspector general.
Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii), has long been seen as an apologist for Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad, whom she met during a secret trip to Damascus in January 2017.
Most recently, a video was posted on Twitter shows Gabbard evading a question about whether Assad is a war criminal.
Since Gabbard is the only actively serving member of the military who is running for president — she is a major in the Hawaii Army National Guard — Task & Purpose sought to clarify whether she believes Assad has used chlorine gas and chemical weapons to kill his own people.
The Army is almost doubling its purchase of new bolt-action Precision Sniper Rifles as its primary anti-personnel sniper system of choice, according to budget documents.
Air Force gunsmiths recently completed delivery of a new M4-style carbine designed to break down small enough to fit under most pilot ejection seats.
NEWPORT -- The Office of Naval Inspector General has cleared former Naval War College president Rear Adm. Jeffrey A. Harley of most of the allegations of misconduct claimed to have occurred after he took command of the 136-year-old school in July 2016, The Providence Journal has learned.
Harley, in one of a series of interviews with the The Journal, called the findings "deeply gratifying." He said many of the most sensational allegations -- "offers of 'free hugs' and games of Twister in his office" -- reflected a misunderstanding of his sense of humor, which he describes as "quirky," but which he says was intended to ease tensions in what can be a stressful environment.
The allegations, reported last year by the Associated Press, prompted a national controversy that led to Harley leaving the college presidency after almost three years in office.