The Future of A 51

Message posted by Rocketfox on March 17, 2001 at 10:10:03 PST:

Second Draft {the first was eaten by my server}

I have to agree with Andre, Ignorance is not limited to the military, and certainly not limited to our place and time.

From the British use of Continental Warfare tactics agaings the Ranger-style operations in the Revolutionary War to the use of mass attacks against machinegun positions in the First World War to the slow adoption of automatic loading small arms and the transition from horse and mule power to machinery there is more than enough evidence that inertia is a consistent problem in any armed service.

At Groom, with the loss of its' total obscurity in the face of increasing popular knowledge of its' purpose and location, this inertia is evident in the the prolonged denial of its' existance well after it's the "discovery". is it past it's usefullness? is it a viable test facility? these questions remain and, I am sure surface occasionally in the minds of those who control it's destiny.

In my opinion, although the role of Groom has evolved and and shifted over time, it still should retain it's primary role of providing a secure facility for the test and development of emerging strategic weapons and reconnaisance systems. Althouh public knowledge will continue to limit daylight flight routines, it is not beyond the realm of probability for systems to be stored and maintained at Groom, and transported to other areas for day;ight testing deeper witihin the Nellis Range. Security remains well advanced at Groom, as anyone who has read anything here or visited the area already knows. According to some accounts, current projects at Groom involve the UAV projects, possible hpyersonis aircraft systems, and who knows what else.

Regarding the average Citizen's "right to know" :

Where did we get this idea? In my casual reading of the Consittution, I have found no mention of this, either stated or implied, that the public has the Right to Know what the Representative Governemnt is up to. While it is the function of the Government to be responsive to the People that it serves, sometimes that interest is best served in situations and methods that are best left shrouded in darkness. Yes, the Governement has takes the concept of secrecy to a new level, and yes, ithas from time to time gone "overboard" in it's zeal to keep items classified. although there is a new trend evident within government cirlcles to declassfiy some items, there still reamins a great deal of material that will never see the light of day any time soon. This is evident in that there are still operations that were carried out during the Revolutionary War that are still classified.

Balanced against the notional "Right to know" of the public, is the desire for some of us to delve into those "black holes" into which our tax funds are poured, out of natural curiousity and out of concern that those funds are not wasted or spent to little or no return. With the Governement propensity to spend money with a less than frugal hand, and the willingness of Industry to feed at the public trough, the possibility for mismanagement and waste to be covered up in the name of National Security becomes more and more appealing to those who would rather remain out of the glare of public scrutiny. President Eiesenhower Warned us about the "Military-Industrial complex"
in the 1950's and while this was in it's infancy then, it has grown and grown into a system that is hard to ignore as the complexity of weapons and the price tags of each has increased over time {of course, I'm sure the Crusaders complained about the price of steel swords over the iron ones}.

There should be a balance here soewhere, but it's not for me to draw that particular line. Of course, I'd like to know about Pave Paws, or Pave Hammer, or such, at elast in general terms, or have a glimpse of an idea about the Hypervelocity Project, but no, I do not need the blueprints and the schematics thereof in my quest for information that interests me. Informaion for the sake of information is one thing, but it's a two-edged sword indeed.

The current cant phrase seems to be "assymetrical warfare". President Bush remarked about it recently in a speech, though I doubt that many of you saw the whole speech. The basic concept of it sems to be, having the best ilitary in the world, and placing us ni the position of ebing too well-armed and trained to be worth the effort of fighting This copncept reminds me a bit of teh Pax Romana , whcih lasted only as long as rome remaind strong, and ready to take on all comers. When rome declined into a morass of nepotism and reduction of it's military base, the Pax Romana evaporated to the detriment of Europe.

If we as a group are to be characterised, it shuold be as those who guard the guardians, even if we do it on a limited ad hoc basis. There should be nothing wrong in that, if what we do is aboveboard and legal, and it then constitutes a good thing. The government shoud not reign at the expense of the people even if it has to operate in areas out of the public view.



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