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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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  • When Vermont Attacks (Score:4, Interesting)

    by bill_mcgonigle ( 4333 ) * on Tuesday January 14, 2014 @01:30PM (#45953065) Homepage Journal

    Who here believes that Vermont would maintain a huge hypersonic nuclear missile delivery system?

    The danger to human society is these huge nation-states. The only rational thing to do is to reduce the size of these states to the point where they don't pose such risks. Yeah, that's a hard planet-wide challenge, and we have a few of them to contend with, but articles like these show that there's still far too much effort going into the wrong projects.

    It might take more courage to make these required changes than currently exists within humanity.

  • Re:Pointless (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 14, 2014 @01:51PM (#45953443)

    We have three countries running on that. Don't forget that China wants its empire back and some revenge at Europe due to the Opium Wars and some avenging for Japan's occupation. Russia wants the USSR back where it had most of the world in an iron grip.

    Of course, China is smart... once they get into space, they can just shoot metal rods from orbit... which land with so much kinetic energy that a nuke isn't necessary to level a city.

  • by pablo_max ( 626328 ) on Tuesday January 14, 2014 @02:06PM (#45953715)

    In the USA that would, without question be true.
    Remember, President Dwight Eisenhower famously warned the U.S. about the "military–industrial complex" in his farewell address. []
    And, just as he foretold, it has come to pass.
    The internal economic situation in China however, is different. I do much work in China and have a lot of close friends there. Several are actually pretty high up in the PRC Army. There is certainly corruption, but it is a different kind. This is more of the bribes kind which is common in the east.
    As I heard from my friends, regarding new weapons, someone will think of something that they want and say to such and such this thing now and do not fail to build it.
    There is a strange mix of capitalistic and communistic economic policies at play and so it is hard to gauge cost overruns like in the west. In any case, weapons development is not about filling the pockets of your brother in-law but about fulfilling the request from the military. Now, if you are in charge of the project, that is not to say your brother in-law does not now have a good chance to fill his pockets.

  • Re:Pointless (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Ravaldy ( 2621787 ) on Tuesday January 14, 2014 @02:25PM (#45954097)

    Yes, 97% of readers (including me) agree but when actually in the decision making seat it's different. What I mean is that defending what we already have is more important than advancement. We always work hard to protect what we have. A good example of this is insurance. We buy insurance on the most ridiculous things because we fear losing in the end. The reality is that statistically you probably would come out a winner if you didn't buy insurance or extended warranties. It's just what we do.

    My 2 cents.

  • by thrich81 ( 1357561 ) on Tuesday January 14, 2014 @03:13PM (#45955043)

    True about NATO expanding after the fall of the Soviet Union. However it is also true that every nation which entered NATO practically begged for it. They had their taste of Warsaw Pact life and wanted their best chance of avoiding a repeat. So what do you do when newly freed people ask to join your alliance -- tell them they are shit out of luck and first targets in Putin's next attempt to rebuild the USSR? The answer is probably, 'yes' from a cold, self interested view of the original NATO members, but it doesn't seem quite right.

Loose bits sink chips.