Hey guys, what are your opinions on ballistic missile defense? Waste of money, worthwhile investment, or potentially destabilizing? Missile defense general I guess.
Also, who's down for blowing the shit out of one another to pass the time?
I don' think it's destabilising.
Either it works which means ICBMs and SLBMs are ineffectual which makes attacking impossible, or it doesn't work and we still have the status quo.
I agreed with the ABM treaty however in the 70s. Not because I thought the concept was a good idea but rather the technology wasn't mature enough at the time preventing an enormous amount of money being dumped into it. I'm all for it now.
It's not destabilizing at all. Like with any system, there's no such thing as a 100% success rate. MAD, or at least extreme damage, is still a threat since some warheads may still get through, and then for any high value targets there would be enough warheads coming in to overwhelm any ABM system in place.
It's destabilizing because it's a tremendously expensive and sophisticated technology that massively degrades the effectiveness of a country's atomic weapons.
The value of atomic weapons is in the certainty they offer. That certainty is threatened by anti-ballistic missile systems.
It's scary for Russia because much of the external policy and national security is based on being able to threaten the world with Armageddon, and frankly if Russia had counter missile systems able to seriously degrade a first strike and knew nobody else did they'd use it as leverage to force serious concessions.
What's this? The 50s?
My point still stands. The system is either perfect (lets call >99.9% "perfect") or it's not. If it's perfect then there is no point attacking because you don't achieve anything militarily, if it's not then a counter-value strike is still possible and deterrence is maintained.
It's not destabilizing. It simply means that planners have to pick out more important targets than random military bases out in the middle of nowhere that do nothing other than administrative functions or old national guard armories and and send warheads that were destined there for the important stuff. As OPpenheimer said, ABMs aren't there to guarantee a perfect curtain, their primary threat is that they could intercept a MIRV bus and ruin an entire strike plan on a site, thus necessitating the doubling of warheads for every target to ensure destruction, thus limiting the amount of targets one can attack.
Penetration aides aren't new and have been planned and worked against since they became a thing in the 70s.