]]]]]]]]]]]      THE DISINFORMATION LASER AND SDI       [[[[[[[[[[[[[[ 
                  by Lt. Col. Simon P. Worden                (9/24/88)
  [Kindly sent in on disk by Hane Orient, MD (Freewoman 85716ORIE]
       (This is a "preprint" of a paper to be published.)

     "It'll cost a trillion dollars."  "SDI weapons will blow up the
world."  "It won't work."  "It can't work."  "It is destabilizing."
We've heard all of these and hundreds more. Unfortunately, many of
them have become conventional wisdom. Even the Nation's military
experts have fallen victim to these views-- the Joint Chiefs of Staff
now advocate restructuring SDI away from space-based defenses based on
an opinion that space*based defenses are too expensive and won't work.

     How did the public become indoctrinated in anti-SDI"wisdom?" To
be sure, anti-SDI scientists were part of the problem.  A left-leaning
press another source.  However, a little understood channel of anti-
SDI information has been the Soviet Union.  It works like this.
Soviet publications or Soviet scientists pick up some obscure analysis
by Western anti-SDI authors, or sometimes plant the information at
international"peace" conferences.  The information is then amplified
by what I'll call the Soviet political "laser."  Physical lasers work
as follows. In a container we place some atoms in "excited
states,"meaning each atom holds some extra energy it can release.  Two
small mirrors are placed at the ends of the container.  A little bit
of light of just the right color is put into the container and it
bounces back and forth between the two mirrors.  With each bounce, the
light beam picks up a little more energy from the atoms until it is
strong enough to break out of the container through the mirrors.  The
amplified light beam or laser can then do its intended damage.  The
political disinformation laser works the same way.  A little bit of
disinformation is placed into apolitically charged environment.  It
bounces back and forth between Soviet disinformation artists and
Westerners who sympathize with Soviet positions, gaining a little more
strength and political credibility with each bounce.  Finally, the
disinformation emerges as a fully credible accepted fact --ready to do
its political mischief.

     The Soviets have used their political laser with great effect
against SDI.  Their very first use was to spread the trillion dollar
cost estimate for a deployed system.  Within a week after the
President's March 23, 1983 speech launching the program,Soviet Academy
of Sciences head Velikov said and was quoted in the Los Angeles Times
that a deployed missile defense would cost between one half and one
trillion dollars.  Throughout 1983,other press reports merely cited
"defense experts" as saying the system would cost about a trillion
dollars.  The anti-SDI Union of Concerned Scientists published a
completely discredited report in March 1984 citing a cost of
"trillions."  Since their weapons numbers were off by factors of 25-50
their costs should have gone down accordingly.  However, the standard
numbers accepted by the Western press and cited by the Soviets as
having originated in analyses by Western defense experts remains at
the trillion dollar level.  Soviet disinformation had become accepted

     An interesting case study of the Soviet technique in action is
shown by retired Air Force Lt Col Robert Bowman.  Colonel Bowman is
probably the most widely traveled and heard SDI opponent. There is
scarcely a college in the United States that has not gotten a dose of
Bowman's views of SDI.  Unfortunately,this has been the only view most
have heard of SDI.  The Administration is to blame for this and not
Bowman -- having decided that it is beneath the dignity of the
Government to debate with retired Lt Colonels on college campuses.
Bowman is a bit of a disinformation artist himself.  His literature
presents him as "the former head of 'Star Wars'."  In actual fact he
ran a small office at the Air Force Space and Missile Systems
Organization in Los Angeles during the late 1970s -- retiring after
this job. His office channeled some of the Defense Advanced Research
Projects Agency laser research money to contractors -- a few tens of
millions in all.  Lasers now account for about 10% of the SDI budget,
the rest includes sensors,battle management systems, space launch, and
kinetic energy weapons.  Bowman could scarcely call himself the
previous head of SDI -- even if you accept the bizarre prospect that a
Lt Colonel preceded a Lt General as SDI program director.

     In the May issue of National Review the Marshall Institute
published an update on SDI -- listing answers to 20 questions on SDI's
progress, strategic rationale and technical approach. Bowman published
a rebuttal.  His rebuttal is an interesting case study of the Soviet
political laser in action.  Let's examine some of Bowman's points to
see its workings.

     Bowman's points against SDI and the Marshall Institute critique
can be refined to three.  First, Bowman contends that SDI isn't
defensive at all, but a way to make America's nuclear forces an
effective first strike asset.  Second, he maintains that the Soviet
Union isn't really doing their own version of SDI.  And third, Bowman
claims that SDI is irrelevant due to global plutonium poisoning
possibilities.  If we were to intercept ballistic missiles Bowman
claims that the plutonium in the intercepted warheads would itself
poison and destroy all life on the planet.

     Is SDI designed to give us an effective first strike capability?
It has always been U.S. policy that our strategic nuclear forces are
for retaliation only.  Stated Soviet doctrine in the 1970s emphasized
their own first strike, or more correctly preemptive strike
capability.  Consider Soviet Defense Minister Sokolovskiy's 1968
statement, "possibilities exist not to allow a surprise attack by an
aggressor; to deliver nuclear strikes on him at the right time."  This
means that the Soviets are ready in a crisis that they see
degenerating into war to strike first in order to control the
situation.  However, with the U.S. effort to restore our deterrent in
the late 1980s, every move by the United States has been cited by the
Soviets as leading to an U.S. first strike capability -- U.S. ICBM
modernization, NATO INF deployment, and most recently SDI.  Every
Soviet anti-SDI tract focuses on this "first strike" objective. For
instance the Soviet 1985 pamphlet Star Wars, Delusions and Dangers
says, "The purpose of the space shield is to frustrate the Soviet
Union's retaliatory strike, to 'finish off' at launch those of its
missiles that survive the nuclear first strike of the USA".  But the
facts don't support Soviet charges.

     How might a strategic defense support a first strike strategy?
According to the Soviets a side might strike first against enemy
nuclear retaliatory forces.  This could take the form of an attack
against missile silos, sub pens, and bomber bases, or more easily
against the command and control facilities necessary to launch nuclear
forces.  Of course, no first strike would get all of these nuclear
weapons, but the response would be"ragged." That is the few surviving
weapons would arrive intermittently, and in an uncoordinated manner.
Thus, a modest defensive system might be able to stop most, if not all
of the ragged retaliation. The first striker would have effectively
disarmed his adversary.

     But the facts don't support the Soviet and Bowman's contentions.
There are 2562 Soviet nuclear force targets,commanded by some 430
command and control centers.  The United States has slightly less such
sites, particularly command and control facilities. Incidentally,
these are Soviet-published numbers, so I assume Bowman would have no
quarrel with them. With a requirement to place two or three warheads
on each target, the United States would need at least 5000 first-
strike warheads to get most of the Soviet sites.  Soviet strategic
sites are "superhardened."  This means they are either deep
underground or covered with thousands of tons of concrete.  The
typical Soviet missile silo is four times harder than its U.S.
counterpart.  The only warheads in the U.S. arsenal accurate enough
and fast enough to take these sites out are the 900 Minuteman III
warheads and the 500 MX warheads now being added.  Moreover, nothing
in our inventory can get the deep underground Soviet command and
control sites nor the Soviet's mobile SS-24 and SS-25 missiles.  The
United States does not even have a theoretical first strike capability
-- with or without an SDI to mop up the retaliation.

     The most incredible piece of disinformation is Bowman's claim
that the Soviets cannot execute a successful first strike on the
United States.  Bowman claims that the 6000 Soviet SS-18 and SS*19
(now being replaced by the mobile SS-24) warheads are not accurate
enough to destroy U.S. hardened targets.  This might be true if the
U.S. sites were superhardened -- but they are not and we can't afford
to make them so.  Moreover, U.S. command and control sites -- of which
there are about 200 -- are not in deep underground "Fuhrer bunkers" as
are the Soviet ones.  Thus, our command and control sites, without
which we could not launch any retaliation, are vulnerable while the
Soviet ones are not.  The facts show that the Soviets, and not the
United States possess a first strike capability.  Moreover, Soviet
strategic documents have consistently stressed first strikes and ours
have never contained this option.

     For a side to use strategic defenses to support a first strike,
it must have substantial defenses and its opponent must not. Again the
facts show that it is the Soviet Union with an existing strategic
defense and not the United States.  They spend as much, if not more on
air, missile and space defenses as they do on strategic offensive
forces.  If both sides have large scale defenses, conversely, neither
can successfully pull off a first strike.  It is a strange turn of
logic to suggest that U.S.pursuit of strategic defenses is first
strike oriented, while existing Soviet defenses, in conjunction with
their massive offensive investment are not.

     Finally, on the first strike issue, are President Reagan's arms
control proposals.  We have on the table in Geneva proposals to defer
any defensive deployments until offensive force levels are
considerably below today's levels.  If we do not have a first strike
capability today, but intended SDI deployments to get us one, it would
hardly make sense for us to propose deferring such deployments until a
time when we have even less offensive potential.

     Despite these facts, the Bowman-style first strike disinformation
has caught hold.  The U.S. Catholic bishops recently condemned SDI
deployments on the basis of their view that they were designed to
support a first strike strategy.  This condemnation was especially
ironic in light of repeated Papal appeals to turn world arsenals
toward defensive systems and strategies.  For example, on June 2, 1988
a Papal speech to the U.N. General Assembly includes the admonition, A
global disarmament plan must be adopted, without any restrictions,
with the determination to move, at the very minimum, from a dangerous
situation of offensive over-armament to a situation of balance of
defensive armaments at the lowest level compatible with common
security." The Soviet disinformation laser has scored a direct hit!

     A second point of Bowman's and Soviet propaganda is that
U.S.efforts to pursue SDI are singularly extending the arms race into
space.  Despite Gorbachev's claim that the Soviets are doing
everything we are in SDI, Bowman has the audacity to claim that
General Secretary Gorbachev was only talking about ground-based
defensive efforts.  This is akin to Soviet statements in the Geneva
arms control talks that their megawatt laser at their Sary Shagan
missile test range (puts out the equivalent of a stick of dynamite
every second- was a "medical" laser.

     The tactic of accusing your adversary of doing what you are doing
is especially effective with respect to ABM Treaty violations.  A few
years ago virtually everyone agreed that the large phased array radar
at Krasnoyarsk, Siberia is a violation of the ABM treaty which
prohibits construction of early warning radars which could serve a
dual purpose of supporting ABM systems.  Bowman claims that, not only
is the Krasnoyarsk radar a questionable violation, but that the U.S.
radars at Thule, Greenland and Fylingdales, Great Britain are more
serious ABM Treaty violations.  This charge has been a carefully
nurtured Soviet disinformation.  When repeatedly pressed on the clear
Krasnoyarsk radar violation, the Soviets hit in 1985 upon the tactic
of belittling capabilities of their own system and accusing us of more
serious violations -- sort of an "I am not,and you're one too"
response.  Again, the facts have been obscured.  Regardless of whether
the Krasnoyarsk radar is for early warning, space track, or ballistic
missile defense, the Treaty is clear that large radars of its type are
illegal unless situated on the nation's border and faced outward.  The
Krasnoyarsk radar does not meet these requirements.  To be sure,the
U.S. radars in question also violate these provisions. However, in the
1972 ABM Treaty negotiations the United States was allowed to keep and
even modernize our then existing radar sites -- specifically including
those at Thule and Fylingdales (there was no radar at Krasnoyarsk in
1972 when the ABM Treaty was signed).  For this privilege the United
States made other concessions.  It is particularly maddening to see
the Soviets successfully pulling off their twin objectives of
belittling their violations, while falsely accusing us of worse ones.

     Perhaps most disturbing is watching Bowman help manufacture anew
disinformation.  His statement in rebuttal to the Marshall National
Review article that, "The plutonium from one ICBM, if distributed
evenly in the air we breath, would be enough to kill every person on
earth," is not only wrong, but is the basis of a successful new attack
on the SDI.  Bowman suggests that even with an effective defense,
we'll all be dead if it is used against even one missile -- so, Bowman
concludes, why pursue SDI?  This route of attack on SDI is gaining
momentum.  At a senior academic conference in St. Catherines, Canada
in July, 1988 this plutonium doomsday possibility was raised as a
principal objection to SDI. This line of attack apparently began in
February 1987 with an article in the Moscow News, a Soviet propaganda
publication distributed to tourists.  Now we see Bowman reflecting it
and expanding its credibility.  The disinformation laser is clearly
powering up for another strike.

     The facts show that a plutonium doomsday is completely specious.
While it is true that small quantities of plutonium could kill
everyone on earth, there is a problem of placing these quantities in
exactly the right form in everyone's lungs. Detailed calculations of
plutonium poisoning resulting from the burn up of a nuclear reactor
reentering from space, with similar amounts of radioactive material to
that an ICBM contains, have been recently made.  These calculations
were motivated by concerns that the U.S. Galileo planetary probe,
which is powered by plutonium, might not be successfully launched and
could scatter its radioactive fuel into the atmosphere.  These
calculations show that at worst the plutonium in the reactor would
cause a few thousand cancer cases over tens of years, and certainly
not, as Bowman states, "kill more people than by exploding (the ICBM's
warheads) on its target."  Calculations done by the Defense Nuclear
Agency in response to Bowman's charges show that even intercepting
1000 warheads would produce a maximum radiation dose to the U.S.
population below the current OSHA standards for radiation exposure to
nuclear plant workers.

     The Soviets obviously know these facts about plutonium. THey have
a naval spy satellite powered by a nuclear reactor which is out of
control and could crash into the atmosphere.  On two previous
occasions these Radar Ocean Surveillance Satellites (RORSATS) dumped
their radioactive power supply into the atmosphere.  These satellites,
like the Galileo and like an ICBM,contain considerable amounts of
radioactive material.  However, a 19 August 1988 Soviet TASS article
reassures the world that, "In case this system of automatic removal (a
fail safe the Soviets claim will prevent the reactor from reentering
the atmosphere) does not function the nuclear material will
automatically be released from the satellite when the remains of the
satellite becomes hotter through stronger friction, and it will burn
up completely in the denser layers of the air.  This could occur
without any significant raising of the natural level of radiation." It
appears that the Soviets have not told Bowman all they know about
radioactive material entering the atmosphere.

     In summary, the SDI has been brought to a virtual standstill by
the Soviet disinformation laser.  The incidents described above are
but a few.  While the Administration watches this happen, it seems to
be at a loss of what to do about it.  We can only hope that
organizations such as the Marshall Institute succeed in exposing this
process and correcting the disinformation.

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