Fwd: PENTAGON Y2K PROBLEMS "SEVERE & RECURRING," MOSCOW WORSE?

Kai Braathen (kaibraat@online.no)
Sun, 10 Jan 1999 21:00:43 +0100

Her kommer mer om samme tema.
Mvh. Kai Braathen
----------
>From: smirnowb@ix.netcom.com
>To: abolition-caucus@igc.apc.org
>Subject: Fwd: PENTAGON Y2K PROBLEMS "SEVERE & RECURRING," MOSCOW WORSE?
"NONE OF US KNOWS EXACTLY WHAT IS GOING TO HAPPEN" -DOD
>Date: s°n 10. jan 1999 10:03
>

>------Begin forward message-------------------------
>
>
>
>---
>Date: Tue, 08 Dec 1998 11:20:09 -0500
>From: Kathy Crandall <disarmament@igc.org>
>
>
>
>Dear Nuclear Abolitionists:
>
>Stay tuned START II progress, and please check out the MSNBC story on
>Y2K and Nukes. . .
>
>Kathy
>
>
>
>************************************************************
>
>If you have web access, please check this MSNBC story. Not only can you
>see the graphics, you can vote to rate the importance of the
>story
>
>and help to ensure broader coveraged by MSNBC:
>
>http://www.msnbc.com/news/220749.asp#BODY
>
>Also check out these sites for more on Y2K and Nukes:
>British American Security Information Council Report at:
>http://www.basicint.org/
>
>and The Federation of American Scientists Site on Command and Control
>http://www.fas.org/nuke/guide/usa/c3i/index.html
>
>. And don't forget to order your
>De-Alerting Resource & Action Kits by contacting the Disarmament
>Clearinghouse
>or ordering from the Web at:
>http://www.psr.org/Disarmhouse-dealert.htm
>************************************************************
>Fears mount over millennium bombs
>
> Will the Year 2000 problem make a dangerous situation explosive?
>
>The multiple warheads from a US missile light up the sky during a live
>exercise over the vast atoll of Kwajalein. The atoll is used by the US
>military as a test site.
>
>
> By Kari
>Huus
>
>MSNBC
>
> Dec 6 ˇ Perhaps no entity on earth faces a more mammoth Year 2000
>challenge than the U.S. Department of Defense, which has some 1.5
>million computers, 28,000 systems and 10,000 networks. Within its
>purview, no area has prompted more concern than the country's nuclear
>weapons arsenal, and whether its control and command is safe from the
>millennial bug.
>
>THE CONCERN LIES with computer systems programmed to use two rather
>than
>
>four digits to describe the year ˇ for example "79" instead of "1979."
>When the year 2000 arrives, experts predict that some computers may
>mistake the date for 1900 and shut down or malfunction. They may also
>feed bad information to other systems with which they are linked.
>
> The Pentagon stands by its Year 2000 (or Y2K) effort, which it says
>has
>
>been under way since 1995 and budgeted at $2.5 billion over five years.
>But defense officials don't offer guarantees. "None of us knows exactly
>what is going to happen," says Pentagon spokesperson Susan Hansen.
>
>"We feel cautiously optimistic that what will happen is some
>nuisances rather than crisesÍ We feel pretty confident that
>we will be able to provide for the national security of the
>United States."
>
>Cautious optimism on the part of the DoD has done little to reassure
>critics. A recently released report by the British American Security
>Information Council (BASIC) in Washington says Department of Defense
>efforts to address the Y2K issue have been riddled by "severe and
>recurring problems." And, BASIC notes, there is even less information
>available about Moscow's efforts, much less the rest of the world's
>nuclear weapons infrastructure.
>
>The combination of possible computer glitches and the hair-trigger
>posture of U.S. and Russian nuclear forces raise the specter of a
>missile launch based on compromised surveillance data, or a
>communication breakdown in the event of a real attack, according to the
>BASIC report. U.S. decision-makers must take steps now to preclude
>disaster should the Pentagon fail," says the report's author, Michael
>Kraig, a Scoville fellow.
>
>RISKS AND MYTHS
>
>Analysts on both sides of the debate are quick to say that missiles are
>highly unlikely to launch themselves at the stroke of midnight
>on Jan.1, 2000. Rather, most concerns about military computer
>glitchesare focused on the vast web of computerized communications
>systems under STRATCOM ˇ U.S. Strategic Command, which controls the
>country's nuclear arsenal. Equally worrisome is U.S. Space Command
>(part
>of NORAD, the North American Aerospace Defense Command), responsible
>for
>early-warning radar and surveillance ˇ the basis for
>military decisions. (For a review, see the Federation of American
>Scientists' Nuclear Forces Guide).
>
>As in other sectors, no one is sure how the military's overall
>procedures will work if one part of the system fails. What raises the
>stakes is that both the United States and Russia maintain "launch on
>warning" postures ˇ calling for nuclear retaliation upon detection of
>the other's launch of missiles.
>
>If date-related problems produce inaccurate early-warning data, or if
>communications within the military command are compromised, there will
>be 10 minutes to half an hour to clarify the situation and make the
>decision to launch or hold back.
>
>
>Even in normal times misinterpretation of data frequently leads to
>heightened alert. Signals are sometimes garbled by solar disturbances.
>In 1979, personnel at NORAD saw the numbers indicating ballistic
>missile
>
>launches suddenly jump from zero to 20. In preparation to retaliate,
>nuclear bomber crews started their engines, and Minutemen missiles were
>readied. Ultimately, the data was traced to a faulty embedded chip
>design.
>
> Who's benefitting from the frenzy?
>Given all the work required to make U.S. weapons systems Y2K safe,
>who's
>
>getting the contracts ˇ and subsequently earning big fees? Well, it's
>not a windfall for defense giants who traditionally make most of their
>money from government contracts. In fact, the amount budgeted ˇ $2.54
>billion spread over five years ˇis companies like defens and aerospace
>behemoth Lockheed Martin Corp. Lockheed says it has had piecemeal
>contracts on the overall Y2K effort, but that most of its input came
>under regular
>government maintenance contracts. Compare the amount the company is
>earning on Y2K upgrades to the $80 million the company is spending to
>make itself internally compliant, and there's little or no benefit.
>"It's a wash, or less than a wash, " says Jim Fetig, a spokesman for
>Lockheed. "The outgo is bigger than the input. " The same message
>came from Northrop Grumman, which makes military surveillance systems,
>military electronics and combat aircraft. Despite winning a handful of
>small information technology contracts, "we've noticed no big upsurge,
>" a spokesman said.
>
>ˇ Kari Huus
>
>
>In 1995, Moscow went into a state of high alert when its early warning
>radar mistook a Norwegian scientific probe for a U.S. trident missile
>launched from the Baltic.
>
>The response decision was elevated all the way to President
>Boris Yeltsin, his defense minister and the chief of staff, who
>decided against action when they determined the "impact" would be
>outside Russian borders.
>
>
>There is also a danger that, in the event of data correctly
>interpreting
>
>attack, communication systems used to coordinate a reaction may
>malfunction. Indeed, the DoD's efforts to prevent this breakdown go
>only
>
>so far, since the military has shifted from largely dedicated
>communications systems to commercial networks. In testimony before a
>House subcommittee in June, Deputy Secretary of Defense John Hamre
>conceded, "If Ma Bell's or Bell Atlantic's system fails on Year 2000,
>we're going to
>have mission failure, and I don't have any control over that."
>
> FAULTY CHAIN
>Few military analysts suggest that 2000 will bring the Armageddon. "The
>most likely thing is that Y2K problems get lost in the noise of flaky
>computer problems," says John Pike, security analyst for the Federation
>of American Scientists, a privately funded, non-profit organization
>in Washington, D.C.
>
> However, Pike believes the greatest risk lies with
>events that follow component failure. "The thing you worry
>about is people improvising," he says, causing a relatively
>innocuous event to escalate, as happened in the Three Mile Island and
>Chernobyl crises.
>
> Pike paints a scenario: "Most probably, the response is
>not that a missile will jump out of its silo at midnight, but that the
>door of the missile silo will get stuck." A technician
>whose job it is to keep the missile ready for use drops his
>wrench into the silo, tearing a hole in the fuel tank, causing
>an explosion. The explosion severs communication with the
>base, and it goes into a higher state of alert, which raises
>concern at military bases in Russia.
>
> "If systems behave peculiarly, people will be nervous, overworked, and
>stop trusting the system," says Pike."Consequently the man-machine
>interface starts behaving in unpredictable ways."
>
> HOW MUCH PROGRESS IS ENOUGH
> The Department of Defense says the situation is well under control. It
>reports that it has identified 2,581 mission-critical systems, of which
>53 percent are now fully Y2K ready. Another 1,014 are going through the
>paces and a few hundred are to be retired or replaced before 2000. The
>idea is to finish all the fixes by Jan. 1, 1999 ˇ three months earlier
>than previously announced, according to spokesperson Hansen. This will
>leave ample time for testing, and including Y2K testing in military
>exercises.But BASIC, which did extensive documentation of the DoD
>process, contends that there are serious flaws in the Pentagon's
>representation ˇ including ad-hoc funding, lax management and
>inadequate
>
>standards for declaring a system "Y2K compliant." In short, the fixes
>won't be finished and tested in time, says BASIC. "Initial research
>findingsÍ have resulted in no confidence that the Pentagon's present
>program will meet the Year 2000 challenge," according to its report.
>
>Those findings were based in part on the government's own conclusions,
>which started to set off alarms last spring. The Office of Management
>and Budget has expressed its concerns that DoD will not meet its goals.
>The General Accounting Office for the Senate Committee on Governmental
>Affairs warned in a report in April, "Time is running out to correct
>Department of Defense systems that could malfunctionÍ the impact of
>these failures could be widespread, costly and potentially disruptive
>to
>
>military operations worldwide."
>
>An array of audit reports posted by the Inspector General for the DoD
>suggest many military departments are lagging behind schedule on Y2K
>efforts, and predict disruptions in command and control, testing and
>day
>
>to day operations.
>
> THE NUCLEAR CLUB
>
>Assuming that the Pentagon meets its goals, however, it seems clear
>that
>
>Russia will not, particularly in light of its severe economic
>constraints. Moscow has insisted that the Russian system is different ˇ
>not susceptible to Y2K glitches ˇ but the argument has failed to
>convince. Defense Deputy Secretary Hamre described Russia's early
>warning system as "fragile" in Senate testimony. "Our concern is that
>Russia and China have only a very rudimentary understanding of the Year
>2000 problem, which is why we need to reach out to them to make sure
>they have custodial confidence in their own systems," he said.
>
> That was in June. As of October, Washington and Moscow were
>discussing the possibility of exchanging personnel in military sites to
>usher in the millennium, which spokesperson Hansen says will "Í relay
>information and relieve the anxiety in case of a glitch ... to ensure
>no
>
>one misconstrues Y2K problem for an attack."
>
> Some critics of U.S. nuclear policy, however, say that the
>fundamental flaw is in the posture of U.S. and Russian forces in the
>post-Cold War era. BASIC, as well as members of Congress and other
>non-governmental groups, urge the U.S. and Russia to "stand down or
>de-alert" missiles that remain on a hair-trigger prior to 2000. Though
>most agree it is too late to separate missiles from warheads, BASIC's
>Kraig urges the two sides to otherwise disable missiles.
>
> Others are calling for an independent audit by a
>non-governmental
>
>agency and fuller public disclosure of the results. "We don't know
>squat
>
>about testing at STRATCOM," says Pike of FAS. "We know a lot more about
>Y2K compliance of parking garages at Washington headquarters than
>computers that are planning thermonuclear war."
>
>The Defense Department says it's just not a practical solution to bring
>in outsiders unfamiliar with the multitude of rules and regulations to
>which they are subject. And as with many of the ideas being bandied
>about at the cusp of 1999, there's just not enough time. Says Hansen:
>"By the time [outside auditors] got up to speed it would probably be
>past the year 2000."
>--
>DISARMAMENT CLEARINGHOUSE
>Nuclear Disarmament Information, Resources & Action Tools
>Kathy Crandall, Coordinator
>1101 14th Street NW #700, Washington DC 20005
>TEL: 202 898 0150 ext. 232 FAX: 202 898 0150 ext. 232
>E-MAIL: disarmament@igc.org
>http://www.psr.org/Disarmhouse.htm
>http://www.psr.org/ctbtaction.htm
>
>A project of: Peace Action, Physicians for Social Responsibility
>and Women's Action for New Directions
>
>
>
>
>--
>DISARMAMENT CLEARINGHOUSE
>Nuclear Disarmament Information, Resources & Action Tools
>Kathy Crandall, Coordinator
>1101 14th Street NW #700, Washington DC 20005
>TEL: 202 898 0150 ext. 232 FAX: 202 898 0150 ext. 232
>E-MAIL: disarmament@igc.org
>http://www.psr.org/Disarmhouse.htm
>http://www.psr.org/ctbtaction.htm
>
>A project of: Peace Action, Physicians for Social Responsibility
>and Women's Action for New Directions
>
>
>
>-
> To unsubscribe to abolition-usa, send an email to
>"majordomo@xmission.com"
> with "unsubscribe abolition-usa" in the body of the message.
> For information on digests or retrieving files and old messages send
> "help" to the same address. Do not use quotes in your message.
>
>
>
>
>------End forward message---------------------------
>
>