Quote Originally Posted by Fiddytree View Post
Missile defense systems have limited use. They become political targets more than they do anything else. As such, I have no problems using them for political leverage. Putin can shove it up his bum.
Anti-missile defenses are also anti-aircraft defenses - and potentially aircraft and ship offensive weapons. They Navy currently is test a laser-gun on a couple of ships specifically for the purpose of defending the ship against incoming missiles and aircraft.

Anti-missile-missile systems are fairly limited in potential given the speed of incoming missiles. The anti-missile-missile(s) location must be very close to the incoming to have a chance of reaching it in time. Given the speed of light, lasers have no such time-to-reach nor range limit.
This is a massive potential technological break-thru happening now that can radically redefine the value of missiles, aircraft and cruise missiles.
If the Navy testing proves positive, it would mean the potential to not only use lasers against aircraft and missiles in a battle zone re-defines that airspace, but also for the first time would allow a missile defense system for our cities and domestic military bases.

Such an "arms race" wouldn't necessarily affect the USA economically, since we already spend MASSIVELY on the military and weapons systems anyway. It would just mean some shifting. But countries such as Russia and China - which both lack that technological development and our military budget level - face a prospect of having to massively spend to match such systems - plus an increasing need to revamp all air warfare technology. The deterrence and threat factor of ICBMs, cruise missiles and bombers diminishes if they can be shot down.

However, it isn't Russia and China that we are worried of, so much as rogue nations. For example, if Pakistan were to fall to Islamic radicals, we suddenly would be facing a rouge nation run by religious zealots - or even worse breakdowns where radical insurgents gain control of any of Pakistan's nuclear arsenal. Such potential is why I advocate developing domestic anti-missile and anti-aircraft defense beyond just figuring we'll launch fighters to try to stop them somehow in time.

Russia joining in to do so for itself doesn't poise a threat to us. I can understand why Russia doesn't want to increase it's military budget to try to do so. But the threat to the us isn't the old Cold War USSR threat.