Everybody has probably heard about how the United States shot down a supposedly dangerous satellite with a ship-based kinetic kill interceptor. Now, US Secretary of Defence Robert Gates is saying that this proves missile defence works. Of course, this is absurd. Satellites follow very predictable orbits. As such, it is pretty easy to hit them with missiles. Commanders won’t have that advantage when trying to shoot down the incoming missiles of their enemies: especially since those missiles will often employ physical or electronic countermeasures.
It is also worthwhile to consider what they would be saying if this test had failed: “Of course, downing an ailing satellite is completely different from missile defence! The fact that this test didn’t succeed in no way suggests that America’s $12.8 billion per year missile program is ineffective, nor that missile defence technologies aren’t worthy of billions more taxpayer dollars.”
It’s a good thing Canada never bought into the idea.