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The Military Government

How Quickly Will the Latest Arms Race Accelerate? 197

First time accepted submitter tranquilidad writes "Russia was concerned enough about the U.S. development of a Prompt Global Strike (PGS) capability in 2010 that they included restrictions in the New Start treaty (previously discussed on Slashdot). It now appears that China has entered the game with their 'Ultra-High Speed Missile Vehicle.' While some in the Russian press may question whether fears of the PGS are 'rational' it appears that the race is on to develop the fastest weapons delivery system. The hypersonic arms race is focused on 'precise targeting, very rapid delivery of weapons, and greater survivability against missile and space defenses' with delivery systems traveling between Mach 5 and Mach 10 after being launched from 'near space.'"
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How Quickly Will the Latest Arms Race Accelerate?

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  • Pointless (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Akratist ( 1080775 ) on Tuesday January 14, 2014 @01:18PM (#45952881)
    Or, every nation building new nuclear weapons could maybe scrap the idea and work on space exploration, fusion power, renewable food production, anagathics, or a hundred other good ideas that might actually be of some use instead of a one-time "End it all in case of national butthurt" button.
  • by TWiTfan ( 2887093 ) on Tuesday January 14, 2014 @01:24PM (#45952979)

    Rapid delivery of lots of money into giant contracting company's pockets.

  • Re:Pointless (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 14, 2014 @01:25PM (#45952997)

    America, the most powerful military force in the world, runs on butthurt. Without butthurt how would we play the victim of worldwide terrorism instead of...

    the financier.

  • by nani popoki ( 594111 ) on Tuesday January 14, 2014 @01:34PM (#45953145) Homepage

    Insanity -> mad -> M.A.D. -> mutually assured destruction. There's definitely a connection here.

    It's not like this should be news to anybody. Humans have been throwing rocks at each other for thousands of generations. We've just gotten better at it lately.

  • by Adam Colley ( 3026155 ) <mog&kupo,be> on Tuesday January 14, 2014 @01:36PM (#45953183)

    It was Einstein...

    "I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones."

  • by xtal ( 49134 ) on Tuesday January 14, 2014 @01:38PM (#45953215)

    Nobody remembers the cold war, except the old fogies. I'm an old fogie now, I guess.

    Look kids - every day there are thousands of nuclear missiles aimed at cities in an uneasy truce to ensure that our governments maintain control. It's easy to pretend power doesn't matter, but let's be clear: Power is everything, and the power of the western world is enforced under threat of nuclear annihilation if we're messed with.

    That's never going to change, and it's better to accept it and deal with it than pretend China and the USA and Russia will one day magically extinguish Prometheus' flames.

    I hope they enjoyed the time not worrying about the bomb. As global energy resources (OIL) get tight, you'll see more of this type of thing starting up until the war is on again.

    How'd that line go? Oh yeah. Judgement Day is inevitable.

  • by Frans Faase ( 648933 ) on Tuesday January 14, 2014 @01:40PM (#45953229) Homepage
    Why this arms race? There can only be one reason: access to natural resources. Some natural resources (such as cheap fossile fuels) are on the decline, and China wants to keeps ite growing population happy, otherwise those in power might lose their position. The other superpowers also want to keep their positions. Cheap natural resources (ranging from water to fossile fuels to rare earth metals) are an essential fact for a healthy economy.
  • by 0123456 ( 636235 ) on Tuesday January 14, 2014 @01:40PM (#45953253)

    America, with dozens of aircraft carriers and thousands of jet fighters and bombers, is extremely well prepared to fight WWII.

    Just about seventy years too late.

  • Re:Pointless (Score:5, Insightful)

    by DoofusOfDeath ( 636671 ) on Tuesday January 14, 2014 @01:47PM (#45953381)

    Or, every nation building new nuclear weapons could maybe scrap the idea and work on space exploration, fusion power, renewable food production, anagathics, or a hundred other good ideas that might actually be of some use instead of a one-time "End it all in case of national butthurt" button.

    Probably 97% of humans agree with you. The problem we all face is the persistent 3% that does not.

  • by istartedi ( 132515 ) on Tuesday January 14, 2014 @01:53PM (#45953485) Journal

    Back in the 90s a business student told me we needed free trade with China because they would become more powerful than us. That's one kind of loser talk.

    The other kind of loser talk is from the parent. It's hubris.

    Overestimating an opponent (note, not an enemy, an opponent) and underestimating are both bad IMHO.

    If I had to lose sleep over one thing about our military, it'd be aircraft carriers in a naval battle with China. Giant siting ducks. They've been the backbone of the navy for decades now. Just think about that. That's an awful long time for opponents to think about strategies against it.

    We shouldn't be beating our chest and bragging. We should be figuring out what to do if carriers become sitting ducks under some new weapons system. WW2 proved the carrier. WW3 might disprove it.

    We should also take a page from their book--the Art of War, and try to prevent opponents from becoming enemies. We've been doing a pretty sucky job of that lately.

  • by intnsred ( 199771 ) on Tuesday January 14, 2014 @02:23PM (#45954077)

    Perhaps. Perhaps not.

    The reality is that the US and west never stopped waging the Cold War. We broke the understanding with Russia and pushed NATO eastward, even incorporating parts of the former USSR into NATO.

    Then we tore up the ABM treaty and put anti-missile bases in Eastern Europe claiming we were doing that because of Iran. The Russians didn't find that laughable claim one bit funny and understood that the west was seeking to negate their nuclear deterrence.

    NATO has been used offensively both inside and outside of Europe and shows that it has nothing to do with "defense".

    We portrayed a rag-tag group of Muslim fundamentalists as some sort of existential threat to the US and west, but now the US gov't has made a "pivot" and is portraying China as militarily aggressive because they are squabbling over some worthless islets with their neighbors. It's clear that China is the focus of a new Cold War.

    It's clear the US is in search of a "new enemy" because that's what keeps Americans distracted from how much we waste on our military and our continuing economic decline.

    "Were the Soviet Union to sink tomorrow under the waters of the ocean, the American military-industrial establishment would have to go on, substantially unchanged, until some other adversary could be invented. Anything else would be an unacceptable shock to the American economy." -- Ambassador to the USSR and US State Dept. strategist George F. Kennan.

  • by thrich81 ( 1357561 ) on Tuesday January 14, 2014 @03:04PM (#45954871)

    "Go ahead and ask your friendly neighborhood Chinese exchange student about whose nation should be humiliated in the next 20 years" -- if by that you mean, which nation do the Chinese still resent the most, which nation has killed the most Chinese people ever, and which nation the Chinese government is most using as a bogeyman to whip up nationalistic fervor? -- that would be Japan. By the way, if the US ever pulls out of the western Pacific or looks like it is going to, Japan will field nuclear weapons within in six months, followed almost simultaneously by S. Korea, and maybe Taiwan.

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