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DeepModem Mom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-24-04 04:10 AM
Original message
WP: Missile Defense Agency Faulted on Testing... (bombshell!)
Missile Defense Agency Faulted On Testing and Accountability

By Bradley Graham
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, April 24, 2004; Page A07

A congressional audit of the Bush administration's efforts to build a nationwide defense against ballistic missile attack warned yesterday that the system, due to be fielded later this year, will be "largely unproven" because of a lack of realistic testing.

The report, by the General Accounting Office, said that the eight flight intercepts attempted so far have been largely "repetitive and scripted," and that critical parts of the system have yet to be flight-tested together.

Some elements that were to be part of the initial deployment phase have been deferred because of developmental glitches and production delays, the report noted. Nevertheless, the cost in 2004 and 2005 for developing and fielding the initial system -- which is to include 20 missile interceptors and several ground- and sea-based radars -- rose by $1.12 billion, to $7.36 billion, over the past year, the report disclosed.

Some of the report's sharpest criticisms were reserved for how the Pentagon's Missile Defense Agency has accounted for its activities. The report faulted the agency for frequently shifting goals and providing incomplete information about costs and performance to Congress....
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Direckshun Donating Member (303 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-24-04 04:17 AM
Response to Original message
1. ...
Has anything positive ever occurred with Star Wars? To me it seems like the greatest waste of tax money this country has ever spent.

You want missle defense? Have the superior military and look as badass as you can.

Can somebody convince me that we need to poor any more money into this endeavor?
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aquart Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-24-04 04:28 AM
Response to Reply #1
5. Let me guess: Bush donors?
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BiggJawn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-24-04 09:05 AM
Response to Reply #1
14. Second biggest waste.
IMO, the BIGGEST waste of our tax dollars was the 74 megabux spent to discover that a sitting President got his helmet polished and tried to hide it.

But that was more important than going after a President who's lies have killed 700 Americans and thousands of Iraqis....
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izzie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-24-04 04:18 AM
Response to Original message
2. They have been talking about these rigged test for years.
In a way it is sad. As they want more money for test where they had to tell the missile were the thing was to shot down. Seems to me I have been reading about this forever and still they pour in more money.
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DeepModem Mom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-24-04 04:25 AM
Response to Reply #2
4. Millions of taxpayer dollars going into a black hole...
of campaign pay-offs -- why can't we make this an issue with voters? And why is this story not on page one?
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Zech Marquis Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-24-04 08:16 AM
Response to Reply #4
12. I recall one test
Edited on Sat Apr-24-04 08:17 AM by Zech Marquis
that was shown for CBS and Dan Rather. This was back in the Big Dog era, and the general in charge had this look of "I've just dumped in my pants here on natiional tv" when the test failed...

so much money wasted on that superannon (canned), the Commanche (canned), and F/A-22 (should be canned)--just killing of the Raptor coulld fud alot of good enovironmental plans that ave been shllved by the :puke: heads...
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xchrom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-24-04 04:23 AM
Response to Original message
3. what a waste
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Snazzy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-24-04 04:30 AM
Response to Original message
6. Article hints at future spending underestimates
"Funding for these projects has absorbed more research and development dollars than any other military program -- more, in fact, than the Army's entire R&D budget. The administration's request for fiscal 2005 tops $10 billion."

"Among the gaps in program information provided by the Missile Defense Agency, the report cited cost estimates. The agency has projected that $53 billion more will be needed for missile defense between 2004 and 2009 but has not specified likely additional costs for operations, maintenance and other "lifecycle" expenses, the report."
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tkmorris Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-24-04 04:42 AM
Response to Original message
7. Cold War holdover
A missile defense system is certainly possible, but there are a ton of reasons not to build one at the moment. An effective one would be more expensive than anyone will admit for starters, and furthermore it's biggest proponents have a propensity for funneling large sums of money to their favorite donors rather than the people who can make it happen. We can no longer even begin to afford it; Bush's tax cuts and the various military actions have drained the coffers dry.

In addition, it isn't needed. Perhaps an argument could have been made that it was needed in say, 1985, but not now. The United States' biggest enemies do not have the capability to even reach our shores with a missile at the moment, and likely won't for some years yet. Russia can, but they are not the threat they once were and aren't likely to become one soon.

Any missile launch against the US is the equivalent of standing toe-to-toe in the middle of the ring and duking it out. We will know immediately upon launch where it came from and have the ability to strike back a hundred-fold. No nation would dare try it currently, and any non-nation groups haven't the ability.

The real threat to the US is non-conventional weaponry, primarily from organizations not associated with foreign nations but rather with an ideological cause. It does little good to secure our skies against incoming ICBM's when our borders are porous to shipment of biological agents and other more covert modes of attack.

Star Wars in it's current incarnation is designed to do nothing more than siphon off massive amounts of our country's wealth into the pockets of defense contractors and others to whom the politicians who vote for such White Elephants owe their office. Regrettably, it is succeeding, billions of dollars have already been poured down this hole.
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huckleberry Donating Member (729 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-24-04 08:23 AM
Response to Reply #7
13. That's it in a nutshell! Excellent post!
Here we are pouring taxpayer dollars into missile defense that doesn't work and isn't needed, when we should be protecting our ports, transportation, borders, etc, against guys with box cutters!
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TexasProgresive Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-24-04 06:14 AM
Response to Original message
8. Stupid is as stupid does
Do you remember the bushites saying that the attacks on September 11th were proof that we need SDI. These idiots think they can spin any event to support their empty and worthless agendas.
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VolcanoJen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-24-04 06:24 AM
Response to Original message
9. Great find, DeepModemMom!!!
Page A07, eh? Interesting when they bury the proof deep within the proverbial pudding...
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ConcernedCanuk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-24-04 06:37 AM
Response to Original message
10. imagine if they spent that money on silly stuff like peace initiatives ?

Like spend a few bucks on how NOT to make the world want to hate it,

instead of just pissing everybody off and then worrying that one or more of them may want to get even for it's bullying tactics?

Haven't they ever hear of pulling back, regrouping and rethinking?

Nope, nope, they just sent out more bombs and death around the globe

THAT'll sure teach the world to love them right?


I think I'm passing through anger to disgust.
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enough Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-24-04 07:52 AM
Response to Reply #10
11. Or on oceans.
Yesterday our legislators said there was no way they could find $4 billion for the initiative to save the oceans, but for this boondoggle, there's an unending supply.
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priller Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-24-04 09:24 AM
Response to Original message
15. Not really a bombshell at all
It's long been known that missile defense simply doesn't work. And many scientists say it will be many years before the technology is advanced enough to make it work. Actually trying to deploy a system today is just an enormous wasted of money, and it's all for show.

And is makes us less safe. Assuming the missle shield did work somehow, the way to defeat is either (a) overwhelm it with many missiles and/or decoys (which leads to an arms buildup, or (b) don't use missiles.

That was one more sign back in 2001 that the Bushies were idiots, because they were all such big proponents of missile defense. It's one of the biggest stinking money holes the Pentagon has ever devised.
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DeepModem Mom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-24-04 09:56 AM
Response to Reply #15
16. It seemed to me a bombshell that needs exploding...
into public awareness. And, as the article says, this report is the "most extensive assessment so far," and carries with it the urgency of the Pentagon's "preparing to start lowering the first interceptor missiles into newly built silos in Alaska and California and declare the system operational during the summer or autumn." That said, all you say is true, priller -- I just wish the press would make more people aware of this massive and misguided boondoggle.

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