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Tuesday, November 16, 2004

First Light

Another Orwellian acronym, this time for an airborne anti-missile laser system.

From Reuters:
A Boeing Co.-led team has successfully fired for the first time a powerful laser meant to fly aboard a modified 747 as part of a U.S. ballistic missile defense shield, officials said on Friday.
Of course they did. They wouldn't have any incentive to lie, now would they?
Demonstrated progress, particularly in achieving "First Light," would be critical to continuation of the project, negotiators from the House of Representatives and Senate armed services committees said in a report last month accompanying the 2005 Defense Authorization Act.

Congress authorized President Bush's request for $474.3 million for the program in fiscal 2005, which began October 1, as part of the $10 billion budgeted for missile defense development and deployment.
And the likelihood that they're lying in order to keep their jobs is the GOOD scenario. If the thing actually works?
Pentagon officials envision several such aircraft flying by turns near North Korea or another potential foe's territory. The goal is to detect, track and destroy a missile when that would be easiest, before it releases a warhead that could be tipped with chemical, nuclear or germ weapons.
Which means it crashes in Japan. And that the North Koreans will just develop enough missiles to overwhelm the system. Or that they'll improve their surface-to-air missile capabilities so they can blow the 747's away before lauch. Mostly, it just means another hugely expensive arms race. And it's all "justified" because the US continues to demonstrate to the world what happens when you DON'T have nuclear capability--you get Fallujahed.