Washington's latest missile-defense blunder.

Military analysis.
June 28 2006 12:01 PM

Washington's Latest Missile-Defense Blunder

Let's hope North Korea backs down soon.

(Continued from Page 1)

Let's return to the baseball analogy: So long as the pitcher releases the ball, anyone with a good video camera can tell how good his arm is, even without seeing the ball cross the plate. Similarly, North Korea will be able to tell, and show others, whether its missile works, even if the United States ultimately shoots down its payload.

The United States has backed itself into a no-win situation. For now, the United States would do best to stick to research and development on missile defense and save activation for genuinely dangerous situations. By wielding its missile defense now, it has increased the stakes for itself while leaving them unchanged for North Korea. Ironically, American military moves have made a diplomatic solution all the more urgent.

Advertisement

Correction, June 30, 2006: This piece originally claimed that the United States "has never shot down a satellite." In fact, the United States shot down a NASA satellite in September 1985, when it was legal for Washington to test ASATs against its own satellites. (Return to the corrected sentence.)

TODAY IN SLATE

Politics

The Democrats’ War at Home

How can the president’s party defend itself from the president’s foreign policy blunders?

Congress’ Public Shaming of the Secret Service Was Political Grandstanding at Its Best

Michigan’s Tradition of Football “Toughness” Needs to Go—Starting With Coach Hoke

A Plentiful, Renewable Resource That America Keeps Overlooking

Animal manure.

Windows 8 Was So Bad That Microsoft Will Skip Straight to Windows 10

Politics

Cringing. Ducking. Mumbling.

How GOP candidates react whenever someone brings up reproductive rights or gay marriage.

Building a Better Workplace

You Deserve a Pre-cation

The smartest job perk you’ve never heard of.

Hasbro Is Cracking Down on Scrabble Players Who Turn Its Official Word List Into Popular Apps

The Ludicrous Claims You’ll Hear at This Company’s “Egg Freezing Parties”

  News & Politics
Politics
Sept. 30 2014 9:33 PM Political Theater With a Purpose Darrell Issa’s public shaming of the head of the Secret Service was congressional grandstanding at its best.
  Business
Moneybox
Oct. 1 2014 8:34 AM Going Private To undertake a massively ambitious energy project, you don’t need the government anymore.
  Life
The Vault
Oct. 1 2014 10:49 AM James Meredith, Determined to Enroll at Ole Miss, Declares His Purpose in a 1961 Letter
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 30 2014 12:34 PM Parents, Get Your Teenage Daughters the IUD
  Slate Plus
Behind the Scenes
Sept. 30 2014 3:21 PM Meet Jordan Weissmann Five questions with Slate’s senior business and economics correspondent.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Oct. 1 2014 10:44 AM Everyone’s Favorite Bob’s Burgers Character Gets a Remix You Can Dance to
  Technology
Future Tense
Oct. 1 2014 10:27 AM 3,000 French Scientists Are Marching to Demand More Research Funding
  Health & Science
Bad Astronomy
Oct. 1 2014 7:30 AM Say Hello to Our Quasi-Moon, 2014 OL339
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 30 2014 5:54 PM Goodbye, Tough Guy It’s time for Michigan to fire its toughness-obsessed coach, Brady Hoke.