US physicists claim missile defense radar will be “near-useless”

24-04-2008

Two American physicists, who are missile defense critics, have dismissed as near-useless a US radar system that Washington wants to site in the Czech Republic. George Lewis of Cornell University and Theodore Postol of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology claim that the Raytheon radar system has such limited range that it couldn’t possibly play any useful role in European missile defense. The physicists published their claims in the May/June Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, asserting that Washington had “oversold” the radar, possibly to commit the US to a course that would later be hard to reverse. Meanwhile, Richard Lehner, a spokesman for the Pentagon’s Missile Defense Agency, dismissed their criticism as unfounded, saying the radar had more than enough power for its defense role.