The United States is currently developing a National Missile Defense to defend the country from nuclear missile attacks launched by less developed small states. The need for this defense has been justified largely by questionable assertions that such states could rapidly develop nuclear weapons and long-range ballistic missiles, and that they would also not be deterred by US military capabilities. For reasons that will be explained during the talk, this missile defense cannot work unless its "Kill Vehicles" can tell the difference between warheads and decoys. In June 1997 a flight test designed to observe a mock warhead and multiple decoys showed that the Kill Vehicle could not determine the difference between warheads and decoys. The Pentagon dealt with this result by altering and concealing parts of the data from the experiment, and by also tampering with the analysis of the remaining data. In addition, all the follow-on flight development tests for the National Missile Defense, out to June 2004, were altered to conceal the fact that the National Missile Defense Kill Vehicle could not determine the difference between warheads and the simplest of decoys.
ANL Physics Division Colloquium Schedule