Verdict first, then the evidence

Don’t worry; MIT’s investigation of whether a key missile-defense test was faked isn’t going to be allowed to slow down procurement.

Don Rumsfeld doesn’t even bother to pretend that the thing is actually ready for prime time:

At the Pentagon, Defense Department officials acknowledged that much work remains to be done before the systems will be perfected, but they cited a need to act against “unpredictable” threats and said they hope to improve the system by trial and error.

“I like the feeling, the idea, of putting something in the ground and in the sea and getting comfortable with it,” Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said at a Pentagon briefing. “Every program doesn’t arrive fully developed. It will evolve over time.”

A cynic might even suspect that the point of the program was to award contracts rather than to shoot down missiles.

Bad cynic! Naughty, naughty, naughty! Shame on you!

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact: Markarkleiman-at-gmail.com