The recent NATO summit in Bucharest hosted soon-to-be-former Russian President Putin, who has long railed against US missile defense plans. While Russia’s space program and education system are much vaunted, and Putin himself is widely regarded as a rather sharp character, one has to wonder about his competence in Physics by his arguments against the US plans for missile defense in Eastern Europe. As such, here is a little "Missile Defense for Dummies," if someone would be so kind as to pass them along to Mr. Putin or his successor, Mr. Medvedev so they may avoid further public embarrassment with such facile arguments.
1) To shoot a missile down, one has to be fired at you in the first place.
2a) 97% of 10 is pretty close to 100%.
2b) 97% of 100 mean 3 get to you. (That’s 3 NUCLEAR tipped missiles, just to remind you, each potentially carrying more than 1 warhead)
2c) 97% of 1,000 when you have 100 interceptors means at least 900 get to you.
3) Interceptors in Eastern Europe can’t stop missiles fired from Russia to North America (say hello to Messrs. Kepler and Newton), which is why the DEW Line was oriented North.
It’s pretty basic math, so why can’t a smart guy like Putin get it, and why do worldwide audiences not call him on it?
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