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PATRIOT HYPE, PATRIOT REALITY

A new picture of the Patriot missile's performance in Gulf War II is emerging -- and it's not the happy scene we were all shown on television last spring.As recently as last week, the Army claimed that it had a perfect intercept record during Operation Iraqi Freedom. But that's "at best, a wild twisting of the facts," Victoria Samson, with the Center for Defense Information (CDI), says.She's examined a new report from the Army's 32d Army Air and Missile Defense Command which looks at how the Patriots performed. And that study contradicts the military's ballistic boosterism."According to the Army's own report, 23 Iraqi missile launches are documented. Subtract the nine reported intercepts, and take away the one Iraqi missile that blew itself up shortly after launch and the four which were out of Patriot range, and that leaves nine missiles which should have been intercepted and were not. A 100% interception rate glosses over what actually happened in the battlefield," she writes. (emphasis mine)CDI's analysis -- including a day-by-day breakdown of OIF's missile battles -- here.

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