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4-13-11 - MORE ON BALLISTIC MISSILE DEFENSE...

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4/13/11 MORE ON BALLISTIC MISSILE DEFENSE SYSTEM (ballistic missiles are exoatmospheric vs. cruise missiles) For plan 2 o Countries w/ a strategic interest in having a deterrent is undermined by the US’s attempt to defend from a rogue state missile o This system is not particularly ambitious, but its technicalities make it hard to sell it to partners o Is actually an offensive weapon – b/c if you take out a nuke, it’s a first strike capability weapon and the US can bully the other state (prevents the other state from retaliating) o So other states may start an arms race – destabilizing WMD TERRORISM At the core of the case the administration made for the invasion of Iraq. Iraq supports terrorists and is pursuing WMDs; the terrorist group may attack the US; if Iraq still has WMDs we can’t retaliate The vulnerability of a state depends on 4 factors o 1. Adversary’s access to a particular weapon type o 2. Mechanism to deliver that weapon to US territory o 3. Our ability to defend ourselves o 4. The effect if we can’t defend ourselves Chemical weapons o CBN (WMD). Are far closer to conventional weapons w/ local, conventional effect than biological or nukes o So easy to obtain, easy to weaponize, relatively hard to defend yourself, but very hard to have a devastating effect by a chemical weapon Precursor materials, i.e. what you need for the recipe, are widely online Producing significant quantities of chemicals is very easy Effects are not easy to deploy outdoors and have it spread o Psychological effect – effects are contained in space in time, so not as worrisome Biological weapons o Relatively easy to obtain pathogens o Problem is in not procuring the raw materials; it is in weaponizing them o Very hard to create a biological weapon that concentrates the weapon enough o Main Problem: biological weapon has a panic effect > chemical or nuke If it has a long incubation period, a biological weapon prevents you from kowing whether you are exposed i.e. by the time there is a breakout in Seattle, it may have traveled to LA
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