Saturday, February 18, 2006

Why Canada should not join the US missile defense program

Bush's Missile Defense is not a viable system.

The big problem with the concept of the Missile Defense system of today is the same problem that Ronald Reagan's "Star Wars" program had. The system depends on computer software to drive the hardware, and as anyone who has had their Windows computer crash for seemingly no reason, software is not reliable.

Now think about this: If Microsoft, which admittedly hires some of the best and brightest programmers available, and deploys some of the best software development methodologies out there can't write software that can run one computer reliably, do you really think that the US Government could write software that would not only have to run hundreds, maybe thousands of computers reliably...but would have to work THE FIRST TIME the entire system is tested!

Back in the 1980s, when Reagan was the US President, I spent a lot of time in the US, and talked to a number of scientists and technology people about the "Star Wars" program. All of them told me it would never work, but would not tell the government that, as they were receiving huge amounts of money to do basic research into the science and technology. Much of that money has paid for itself today in technologies that have made our life better...but not given us the ability to build a continental missile shield.

So although the money put into the research was well worth it, let us understand that it best put to basic research, which we need to fund, not pull the wool over people's eyes saying it will protect us from incoming missile attacks from foreign powers.

From a policy point of view, it is also a bad program. Time and again, the mistake that the US has been making is relying on glitzy high tech solutions to international problems, rather than utilizing the tried and true solutions that are unglamorous and low tech. This was the basic finding of the 9/11 Commission. Too much reliance was placed upon "signals intelligence", essentially tapping of communications, rather than having people on the ground infiltrating Bin Laden's organization, and the radical Islamist movements.

Similarly, if we rely upon a glitzy high tech "Missile Shield" rather than upon tried and true methodologies like diplomacy, we will suffer possibly the destruction of our civilization. Are you willing to risk the human race on the possibility of literally a "Blue screen of Death"?



At 9:37 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

are you kidding me?? are you living in some sort of fantasy land?? well lucky for Canada unrealistic anti-violence people like you are becoming a rare breed in our nation as the youth of Canada begin to take over where the elders of Canada left us (in a terrible mess of "diplomacy is always the answer" I'll tell you what the best thing is for our country, to boost our military spending and to JOIN this defense program. Let me make something clear to you as you are seriouly in need of some modernized thinking, the object of joining this thing is to hope we'll never have to use it, but I for one think it'd be much greater to have it and not need to use it than need it and not have it to use. Do you think that if we actually start keeping pace with the rest of the world we will automatically be labelled as murders?? it's called asserting our sovereignty, and if you think for one second Canada pretending that if we condem missile defense that it somehow will make the threat disappear? listen, I can say I speak for the far more of majority of Canadians (youthful, rational thinkers that aren't afraid to step into the 21st centuary) when I say modernizing every aspect of our military and funding of our military isn't what we should do, it's what we HAVE to do to ensure we can continue to live in the greatest country in the world, and we can inturn have the ability to better help any nation on this planet against any kind of threat against any kind of terror or crisis. This will only better Canada's international reputation and the future of Canada would like it if guys like you would just keep your minority comments to yourself, it only makes Canada look worse than your generation has already made us, leave us with the decision making for now, your elder generation had your shot and you made us look like a bunch of pansies, things are changing for the better, I'd much rather Canada have the ability to make international decisions than our neighbour to the south, because I know Canadians have the ability to use this kind of technology for the benefit of Canada and the rest of the world.


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