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China and US Turn Missile Technology into Game of Rock, Paper, Scissors

Written by on Wednesday, July 25th, 2012

What’s the most dangerous weapon ever created?

I’d bet my bottom dollar that you thought of the nuke. Ever since World War II, the nuclear bomb has lingered as an ever-present threat. Nowadays, people aren’t really all that scared about the possibility of entering another war — they’re concerned that the war will result in military officials pushing that big red button and sending an arsenal of intercontinental ballistic missiles to cities full of unsuspecting people.

At the end of the day, a country’s military strength can be measured by its missile and anti-missile capabilities. Having strong guns, smart bullets, and high-tech drones is nice and all, but the ability to launch or destroy ICBMs can make the difference between surviving a disagreement and having the nation’s capital reduced to a radioactive wasteland.

China’s been putting all of its missiles in one basket, so to speak, by relying on ICBM capabilities for its national defense. As if the country’s staggering 1.3 billion population or its upcoming stealth fighter jet, the Chengdu J-20, weren’t intimidating enough, China wants to send a powerful message with its impressive array of nuclear missiles: “Don’t mess with us.”

Meanwhile, the US has been deeply entrenched in troubles throughout the Middle East, and some of the countries there are researching ICBM capabilities. These missiles aren’t powerful enough to travel from Iran to DC (not yet, anyway), but they’re certainly beefy enough to hit one of our buddies in Europe. That threat has encouraged the US to develop a mobile missile defense system that can be deployed in Europe to defend our allies against missile threats.

This new mobile defense system is causing Chinese military officials to sweat. If these land- and sea-based anti-missile systems can be deployed throughout Europe, then buying cialis they could just as easily be used in the Pacific. If that happens, then their nuclear trump cards will be transformed into China’s most expensive fireworks show.

Their solution? Build bigger, badder, smarter missiles. China is modernizing its nuclear arsenal, and it’s also supplementing its offensive might with 2,000 non-nuclear cruise and ballistic missiles.

Unfortunately, the US and China are entering into a miniature missile-based arms race wherein each country is trying to one-up the other. For example, China has built a massive missile that can completely sink a US warship. Once the ships with their anti-missile defense systems are gone, China will be able to fire nukes without any of them getting intercepted. The US has responded by researching technology that can confuse, divert, or destroy these ship-destroying missiles before they get close.

You see where this is going? Neither nation can ever really be content to stop, because it’s too dangerous to stop. The US can’t afford to let down its guard while China is stockpiling missiles, and China has to figure out a way to get around the missile shield, because the US could totally neuter their military. Even if China decided to get into a war with someone other than America, the US could intercept the missiles before they get close to South Korea, Australia, Europe, or wherever else China wanted to bomb.

Fortunately, we’re not too far along in this missile/anti-missile arms race. The US anti-missile program is in its baby steps, and China is still tinkering with its nukes. Hopefully, this arms race will be less like a cut-throat marathon run and more like a friendly jog around the neighborhood. America’s survived one Cold War. Do we really want to try our luck a second time?

If you want advice about the world of military aviation, there’s no better people to turn to than men and women who have sat in the cockpit and flown some of the world’s most advanced aircraft. With over 50 current and ex-warfighters on call, Strike Fighter Consulting Inc. can give you access to up-to-date, first-hand technical and tactical expertise.

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