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Sunday, November 1, 2009

NORAD: Neither Retired Nor Useless

Brian Holtz to George Phillies // Oct 31, 2009 at 3:48 pm

“You can’t shoot down ballistic missiles with fighters.” Yes, that’s why I sarcastically said they weren’t waiting to do so.

NORAD has more than 14 fighters in its arsenal. 14 is just a count of how many pilots used to be on five-minute alert in NORAD’s northeast sector. NORAD has a lot more planes and pilots than that, and if tensions with Russia got hot, we could have hundreds of them on alert tomorrow.

If you think “NORAD’s bomber defense mission went away 30 years ago”, then you should report Gen. Victor Renuart to the DoD waste/fraud/abuse hotline for allocating hundreds of aircraft to an unauthorized mission. You can submit your report online at, or fax it to (703) 604-8567.

Brian Holtz to Michael Wilson // Nov 1, 2009 at 2:04 pm

Michael, I won’t insult readers’ intelligence by arguing whether or not you put words in my mouth when you wrote: “You are not special because you were a military brat”.

All your anecdotes about the suffering of war are touching, but they provide zero support for your suggestion that 9/11 demonstrated that NORAD has been worthless. By contrast, my anecdote about living on SAC bases nicely illustrates NORAD’s purpose. I hope you don’t think that the maudlin war-is-hell slogan is an automatic argument-winning trump card. If so, then here’s a counter-slogan for you: give me liberty, or give me peace.

I’m sorry that antiwar being the number one issue position on since 2003 doesn’t count as the LP being “loud enough” for your taste. Maybe you should turn up the volume on your screen reader. :-)