The most important lesson that I learned from two years of NROTC training was that militaries tend to blow it by trying to use the techniques of the last war to fight future ones. The classic example was the Maginot Line fortifications that the French constructed after WWI to block any future German ground attack. Hitler’s troops simply dropped parachuters behind these structures who dropped bombs down their air vents, thus, effectively disabling them:

It looks as though the Bushies and our current Pentagon Chief are zipping along a similar misbegotten road:

Pentagon Chief Promotes Missile-Defense Plan

“The Bush administration wants to place 10 interceptor missiles in Poland and a targeting radar in the Czech Republic as part of a defense system that has already been deployed in the United States, Britain, and Greenland.” [snip]


Need it be pointed out that nuclear and other WMD’s of the future are unlikely to be fired from locations subject to nearly instant retaliation. Any half intelligent terrorist, if such be the source, has many a preferred mode of transportation to deliver disaster to enemies from anonymous locations, namely those multi-millions of shipping crates traveling around the globe and entering ports here, there, and elsewhere. Why waste time and effort launching a missile? And why are we wasting time and effort not blocking the most likely ports of entry for such weapons? I have not seen the most recent stats, but I believe only about 2% or less of such crates are subject even to superficial inspection. For the sake of future generations better ways must be found to enable us to live together in this world without such all too real threats to our existence.

“A war is just if there is no alternative, and the resort to arms is legitimate if they represent your last hope.” (Livy cited by Machiavelli)

Ed Kent 718-951-5324 (voice mail only) [blind copies]

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