PENTAGON CHEATS ANTI-MISSILE WARGAME

"Should I save Boise or Anchorage? We may not have enough interceptors for both."That's the conundrum James Glanz, from the New York Times, finds himself in today. The Defense Department is eager to show off its new anti-missile training program. And so the Pentagon invited seven reporters, including Glanz and the Washington Post's Bradley Graham, to take its "Missile Defense Wargame and Analysis Resource" for a spin.In the end, both Anchorage and Boise are saved. But only by cheating at the game.Last summer, collection of top physicists concluded that it was essentially impossible to knock down a missile in its "boost phase," right after it launches. Using lasers do to the job was particularly unlikely, since the Pentagon's Airborne Laser -- an effort to put ray guns on a modified 747 -- is way, way over-budget and behind schedule.So how did the two cities survive?According to Glanz, "by a 'boost phase' interceptor a laser that does not actually exist yet but that in the simulation is flying on an airplane."

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