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The US had an integrated air defense system during the Cold War for continental defense, with interceptor jets (F-102s and F-106s), long range antiaircraft missiles (BOMARC) and shorter range AA missiles (Nike family), a large radar picket system, and the SAGE system for command, control, and computing. Very impressive. One wonders how well it would've worked in an actual mass bomber raid. On 9/11/2001, by comparison, the best we could do was to scramble a couple of completely unarmed F-16s from Andrews AFB with orders to ram the target; they didn't even have cannon shells loaded, and before they could intercept the target (Flight 93) the passengers had already sacrificed themselves to stop the attack. That does not inspire confidence.

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