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    Council Member LawVol's Avatar
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    Default A Maginot Line In The Sky by Ralph Peters

    After the carnage of the First World War, France responded to the horrors of trench warfare by building the ultimate trenches - the infamous Maginot Line, a system of almost 5,000 individual fortifications arrayed along hundreds of miles of front to a depth of 20 miles.

    Only the Great Wall of China was longer - and the Maginot Line was vastly more complex. A marvel of military engineering, the problem was that it required an enemy who played by French rules.

    What happened? Paris poured so much money and effort into its network of fortresses that the generals couldn't believe it wouldn't work - the Germans would simply have to behave as required.

    The Germans didn't. France fell.

    Now the United States sits in imagined security behind its own array of crucial strategic assets - our network of satellites.

    Beat our satellites, beat us.

    The Chinese know it. The Russians know it. And religious fanatics are bound to figure it out.
    The rest of the article is here:
    http://ebird.afis.mil/ebfiles/e20071026556165.html

    Ed. by SWCAdmin, for our non-.mil audience, the original link at the NY Post.

    Thoughts?
    Last edited by SWCAdmin; 10-26-2007 at 08:59 PM. Reason: provide primary link
    -john bellflower

    Rule of Law in Afghanistan

    "You must, therefore know that there are two means of fighting: one according to the laws, the other with force; the first way is proper to man, the second to beasts; but because the first, in many cases, is not sufficient, it becomes necessary to have recourse to the second." -- Niccolo Machiavelli (from The Prince)

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    nice analogy

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    Council Member Armchairguy's Avatar
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    Default Couldn't read the article but agree

    The reliance on satellites, especially GPS without alternatives is dangerous. I've thought that where possible towers and buoys could be used as a backup to GPS. It could be further extended by using positions of ships, aircraft and some ground units with continually updated positions acting as positioning points on their own. It probably wouldn't hurt to have access to the European and Russian GPS systems as well.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Armchairguy View Post
    The reliance on satellites, especially GPS without alternatives is dangerous
    I believe the alternative is: artillery and B52s. We've still got lots of both. Also, I think cruise missiles follow the terrain, not GPS, and we've got lots of those too. Plus, we're not going to run out of laser guided bombs any time soon.

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    Council Member Armchairguy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rank amateur View Post
    I believe the alternative is: artillery and B52s. We've still got lots of both. Also, I think cruise missiles follow the terrain, not GPS, and we've got lots of those too. Plus, we're not going to run out of laser guided bombs any time soon.
    That's true but with newer rounds like Excalibur, a recent variant of MLRS, guided bombs (that can work in bad weather as opposed to laser guidance), as well as telling where the average soldier is being dependant on GPS. It's better to have a backup that makes these things function as they are supposed to.

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    Default Actually, we aren't as dependent on GPS as you might think...

    Quote Originally Posted by Armchairguy View Post
    That's true but with newer rounds like Excalibur, a recent variant of MLRS, guided bombs (that can work in bad weather as opposed to laser guidance), as well as telling where the average soldier is being dependant on GPS. It's better to have a backup that makes these things function as they are supposed to.
    JDAMs are GPS-aided weapons. They have a very accurate INS that does the actual guiding. If the GPS never locks on, or is denied, the weapon will still guide, albeit slightly less accurately. However, JDAMs going INS-only have been generally been as accurate as the GPS-aided spec for the weapon.

    The same holds true for a number of other weapons.

    George

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    Council Member LawVol's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Armchairguy View Post
    The reliance on satellites, especially GPS without alternatives is dangerous. I've thought that where possible towers and buoys could be used as a backup to GPS. It could be further extended by using positions of ships, aircraft and some ground units with continually updated positions acting as positioning points on their own. It probably wouldn't hurt to have access to the European and Russian GPS systems as well.
    I recall reading somewhere about an idea to equip all aircraft (civilian and military) with some sort of responder that would act similar to a satellite. The idea is that with the amount of air traffic (especially commercial), we'd have near total global coverage. I've tried to locate the article again, but no luck.

    Another aspect to this is China's anti-satellite shot back in January. If memory serves, the shot was from a mobile platform. The stuff I read didn't go much into specifics about the platform, but I wonder if this is something that can be built or bought by terrorists? Is it possible that a terrorist group could shoot down a key satellite that could cause immense damage for a lengthy period of time? Or what about a rogue nation doing the same thing? Or let me go way out on a limb here: is it possible that a critical satellite that controls movement in Iraq be taken out to coincide with a Tet-like offensive? I don't know the tech side here, so maybe I've ventured into the realm of the impossible.
    -john bellflower

    Rule of Law in Afghanistan

    "You must, therefore know that there are two means of fighting: one according to the laws, the other with force; the first way is proper to man, the second to beasts; but because the first, in many cases, is not sufficient, it becomes necessary to have recourse to the second." -- Niccolo Machiavelli (from The Prince)

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    Digital warfare system hunts Iraq rebels

    TIKRIT, Iraq - On mud-spattered computer screens in their Humvees, American soldiers scan digital street maps, monitor enemy positions, zoom in on individual buildings through satellite imagery and download instructions from commanders.

    Back on base, senior officers watch raids unfold on large screens showing real-time footage from aerial drones and displaying maps with moving icons for ground and air forces. Their locations are tracked by global positioning satellites.

    The two dozen components making up this high-tech digital warfare system are known as Army Battle Command Systems. The technologies, originally designed for battlefield combat involving tanks and helicopters, now are being adapted for hunting rebel leaders and trailing street fighters....
    No longer do you have guys on a map putting little stickers where things are at, said Capt. Lou Morales, a division training officer. Its digitally done. ... It allows commanders to move more rapidly, more decisively, more violently.
    The 4th ID doesn't use paper maps anymore (at all). They didn't even take any to Iraq. Kill the GPS and what happens? What about EMP(ElectroMagnetic Pulse)?

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    Default no scientific

    I am not fully up on this as I am not scientific but, and perhaps someone out there knows the truth here, would not an EMP caused by a nuke be the real concern about a terrorist/ or threat nation attack on our satelite system?

    From my cursory knowledge a nuke exploded in orbit could cause major issues for satelites, particularly the EMP. Not something a nation would do as it would adversely effect their own satelites but a terrorist? Maybe.

    http://www.defensetech.org/archives/001526.html
    Last edited by TROUFION; 10-29-2007 at 04:13 PM. Reason: found a quick link to the EMP argument

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    If a terrorist got ahold of a working nuclear weapon, I doubt our biggest concern would be an orbital detonation to destroy our satellite network. I'd be more concerned about them parking it in downtown DC.

    How are terrorists getting into orbit, anyway?

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    Quote Originally Posted by TROUFION View Post
    From my cursory knowledge a nuke exploded in orbit could cause major issues for satelites, particularly the EMP. Not something a nation would do as it would adversely effect their own satelites but a terrorist? Maybe.
    GPS? Not likely. A 50 MT weapon would generate irradiance on the order 10 W/m^2 at GPS satellite altitudes (I = E/(4*pi*r^2)). The irradiance from the sun incident on satellites in the Earth sphere is roughly 1400 W/m^2, not including particle bombardment outside of the radiation belt; you can imagine the tolerances built into our sats to withstand that kind of punishment. My understanding is EMP launchers are sub-orbital--LEO. Nobody can launch one into GTO without somebody noticing, and if the Chinese have ASAT that can reliably strike up that high we're screwed no matter which way you slice it.
    Last edited by Presley Cannady; 01-09-2008 at 04:15 PM.

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