Shoot Down This Request

The Register Guard (Eugene, OR), February 25, 2003 | Go to article overview
Save to active project

Shoot Down This Request


Byline: The Register-Guard

PAUL MAGINOT, France's minister of war in the 1920s, devised what he believed was a failproof plan to protect his country from a German invasion. The Maginot Line, which spanned the length of the French-German border, was regarded as one of the most costly and technologically advanced homeland defenses in history.

In 1940, Germany invaded France and the Maginot Line proved both ineffective and irrelevant. The reason: the Germans simply sidestepped the vaunted defense and used Belgium as their point of entry.

President Bush's proposed missile defense system, which he believes will help safeguard the United States from missile attacks by rogue nations such as North Korea, Iran and Iraq, is every bit as fanciful - and useless - as the Maginot Line.

After years of development and testing - and billions of dollars - the Pentagon's midcourse interceptor system still can't discriminate between a live warhead and decoys that any rogue nation capable of launching an intercontinental ballistic missile is capable of lofting into space. Among scientists who have scrutinized flight tests, many say the system not only doesn't work now but that it may well be unable to function effectively in the foreseeable future.

Now the Bush administration is proposing to exempt the missile defense system from the real-world operational testing and congressional oversight that is legally required of every new weapons system. If Congress is foolhardy enough to agree with this request, it would be the first time a major weapons system has been formally exempted from the testing and oversight requirements.

The president's audacious request is potentially detrimental to national security, which should be based on proven results and not untested hypotheses. Shrouding development and deployment of an antimissile program in secrecy will only increase the likelihood that the end product will prove no more effective than a battery of water balloons launched by bungie cords.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited article

Shoot Down This Request
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?