ILSM on Star Wars

This one is by ILSM…


There was a “successful” Star Wars missile intercept on Friday Sep 29, where a “vehicle” launched from Alaska was “tracked” and “intercepted” by a star wars “missile” fired from California. The “intercept” took place over the Pacific Ocean.

James T. Hackett writes in the Oct 5 Washington Times that the success proves “critics” of star wars wrong.

He makes a few wild claims about star wars “working” then quotes Charles McQueary, DoD Director of Operational Test and Evaluation, that two flight test a year are just fine to justify continuing to spend billions to deploy unproven technology.

The tests are meaningless, extremely expensive, the vehicles are not reusable, they are all “successes” and they are not going to slow the flow of money, so two a year are just fine.

The system is not needed and will not work.

Hackett of Heritage Foundation, a group who has never seen a reason to stop spending money on unneeded and faulty weapons, claims the test to be useful and that the test was done using operational resources. Here he presents a half hearted respect for the operating use of the weapons. But his use is misleading. There was nothing operational about the test. It was highly scripted and would have been scrubbed had any issue arise during the “count downs”.

Star wars is going to have as much success getting an interceptor off on time as NASA has launching the shuttle.

The crews operating the weapons and surveillance were supposed to be operators, they were but they are the operators doing the laboratory tests and the implication that they are just like regular GI’s is misleading at best.

The workers setting the equipment up are highly skilled well paid contractor technicians, like those NASA uses to launch the shuttle.

Mc Queary, has a PhD in Engineering Mechanics and has been involved in the profit side of the military industrial complex for most of his working life. He certainly understands the need to “accept risk” from too little testing to keep the checks flowing to the contractors.

The tests had nothing to do with proving the system is ‘worth the expenditure of the taxpayers’ grandchildren’s scarce resources’. OMB Circular A-109 requires test be continuously performed and results evaluated to assure the effective use of scarce resources.

This is what Mises recognizes; that the technology is driven by monopoly power and political influence.

Here is what is wrong with limiting tests: In Apr 2000 the Osprey, MV-22 killed 22 marines, all GI marines, not scientists, because the test program did not do enough flight test to understand all the conditions the aircraft would confront.

Then in Dec 2000, another crash resulted from a flight issue where the software testing was too short to show fatal situations where the system “reacted” to the total loss of the airplane.

It is well and good for the insiders who make a lot of money and have no kids’ lives depending on the system to say we can spend all that money and not worry about testing it properly.

I am beginning to like

This is titled “A World Without NASA”.

You could as easily put war machine, Homeland Insecurity, Dept of Energy or Transportation in there, as well possibly as HHS.

The linked article discusses opportunity costs from government control of science and technology similar to the arguments about opportunity losses due to the war machine.

“It is impossible to predict the opportunity costs that were foregone with the redistribution of billions of dollars confiscated from taxpayers. Not only did individuals have less money to invest in alternative methods of space-based aviation and research, but entrepreneurs had to compete against a well-financed monopoly.”

I would highlight the idea of well financed monopoly.

The military industrial complex with all the vices of the monopoly is eating the trough of the nation.


This one was by ILSM.