Bob Farquhar: No Confidence
As the date for a decision from the debt supercommittee on how to reduce the federal deficit rapidly approaches, more shills for the military-industrial complex are ‘getting out the props and beating the drums’, most recently Lt. Gen. Trexler in Monday’s Telegraph exhorting the need for ballistic missile defense .
I don’t share Lt. General Trexler’s confidence in the Ground-Based Mid-Course Defense (GMD) missile system he champions. It has a dismal track record in 12 years of testing. Last year, both $200 million GMD missile intercept tests failed over the Pacific. A 2008 Operational Test & Evaluation report shows a troubled GMD system prone to failure that was not being tested incorporating operational realism. It states, ”GMD flight testing to date will not support a high level of confidence in its limited capabilities.” The case is the same today.
GMD can be cheaply and easily defeated by a potential enemy thru the use of simple countermeasures such as Mylar balloons, fake warheads and metal chaff. As far back as 2000, the Union of Concerned Scientists issued a detailed report showing the fallacies of missile defense and how easy it was to overwhelm and defeat.
No anti-ballistic missile system has ever been effective, regardless of the cost. Not the Nike series, Sentinel or Safeguard systems. Safeguard operated for less than four months before being shut down; the system was essentially self-defeating. How much more of the tax dollars we the people pay are we willing to waste on the pie-in-the-sky pipe dream of a defense against nuclear weapons? Short of eliminating nuclear weapons, there is no defense.
Lt. Gen. Trexler writes that cutting missile defense will save only one percent of the defense budget, but the reality is that we spend over $9 billion a year on it. One percent is one percent and it does add up to a lot of money, $92 billion over 10 years which is 7 percent of the amount the Super 12 needs to come up with in cuts. We cannot afford not to cut GMD, it’s a waste of our money.
Interestingly, Lt. Gen. Trexler is a consultant with Burdeshaw Associates Ltd., one of the largest so-called “rent-a-general” consulting firms in Washington that lobby on behalf of the military-industrial complex. I work for we the people and humanity, at no charge.
-- Master Sgt. Robert B. Farquhar USAF (Ret.)
Robert B. Farquhar is a retired Air Force master sergeant who served the United States for over twenty-four years. During his service he studied the effects of nuclear warfare and was trained as a fallout shelter manager. He an anti-nuclear activist in Georgia and a prolific writer, with many op-eds published and his book "Duck and Cover" is in the publishing process now. Bob lives in Bonaire with his partner, Beth.