Hmm. A nodeshell. How tempting.

contemplates leaving well enough alone

Shakes head Nah.

ABM etiquette: Missile Defense for the Rude

It's terribly sad, but it appears that the majority of policymakers in Washington, DC presently are in need of a major Miss Manners course in BMD politeness. So, here are some tips that would really, really make life smoother for everyone on the planet if they'd care to follow along.

  1. Never deploy without telling your allies. It's rude, and you'll need their goodwill to base your interceptors, sensors, and the like.
  2. Never, never, never try to fix the results of system tests. Especially when the system in question has never had a successful one to date. It really throws the whole scheme in doubt.
  3. Always make sure you've done your basic science before trying to build one.
  4. Please ask the U.S. taxpayers carefully if they really wish to spend multiple billions of dollars on something that you (due to #2) just proved doesn't work and will annoy other large countries in the world, some of whom have nuclear forces even though their economies may not be doing so hot.
  5. Have the cojones to simply tell the U.S. Air Force and the aggregate Aerospace industry that just because they might have to give up some perks is no reason that the government has to support them by producing and deploying stuff that (so far) doesn't work at all.
  6. Consider the effect that tearing up one of the most successful arms control treaties ever will have on the future willingness of other states to work with the U.S. on this issue.
  7. Let go of the missile envy. Really. Just let go.
  8. Understand that if you absolutely have to defend against rogue state solitary strikes, terminal-phase intercepts are the worst way to go about it.
  9. Corollary: Use boost-phase. It's much cheaper, much more effective, and is much less likely to make larger nations upset with you. Plus, you can probably get away with doing it without tearing up any treaties.
  10. Don't be blinded by cool technology. Remember that the best way to get something somewhere reliably is FedEx, not an ICBM. Those are big, visible, expensive and hard to build. FedEx and DHL are cheap, sneaky, fast and easy to hire. So are Colombian drug smugglers.

This has been presented in the hopes that certain people in Washington suffering severe proctomedullitis may be offered some relief.

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