BlueHummingbird News - Archive

Archived News Articles: NMD and Foreign Policy

6/17/2001  from The Progressive Populist:

                        Dangerous Dead-End
                        JAMES K. GALBRAITH
                        "... missile defenses in all forms are drastically
                        destabilizing, easily defeated, and globally dangerous
                        whether the system works or not. ... Without the ABM
                        treaty, neither Russia nor China can feel secure in
                        their deterrent capabilities, and neither will
                        comfortably adhere to their longstanding restraint in
                        nuclear offensive weapons. ... As defense, national
                        missile defense will not work, for the simple reason
                        that it is too easily defeated by decoys and by attacks
                        on the "eyes" of the system. ... Missile defense is
                        impossibly expensive. ...
                        The fact that NMD cannot defend us calls attention to
                        the only way in which NMD might work: as an adjunct to
                        an American first strike that destroys most enemy forces
                        and everything else on the ground. Following a first
                        strike, a limited missile defense might then shoot down
                        the handful of surviving retaliatory missiles -- thus
                        completing the carnage. This point is clear to both
                        Russia and China who long ago concluded that NMD extends
                        long-standing American strike-first plans -- by which
                        they have felt threatened for 50 years. They will
                        respond, as both have warned, by increasing the numbers
                        of their own missiles and by placing their forces on a
                        higher alert.
                        National Missile Defense is, in short, an unlimited
                        budget drain mined at a deeply immoral objective: the
                        nuclear blackmail of other states. It repudiates
                        diplomacy. It puts hair-trigger systems back onto
                        forward stations. It signals, and reflects, contempt for
                        the interests, concerns and perspectives of allied
                        powers. It is a highway back to the days when
                        thermonuclear death threatened from one minute to the
                        next in any form, it threatens the fragile stability of
                        the nuclear peace.
                        As the United States government now announces its
                        irrevocable commitment to this program, it is past time
                        for the world's great anti-nuclear communities to wake
                        up to the danger."

6/18/2001  from The Seattle Times:
                        Editorials & Opinion : Thursday, June 14, 2001
                        Rumsfeld-led hawks play high-risk game with China
                        By Tom Plate, Syndicated columnist

6/19/2001  from The New York Times:
                        Putin Says Russia Would Counter U.S. Shield
                        By PATRICK E. TYLER
                        June 19, 2001
                        MOSCOW, June 18 - President Vladimir V. Putin said today
                        that if the United States proceeded on its own to
                        construct a missile defense shield over its territory
                        and that of its allies, Russia would eventually upgrade
                        its strategic nuclear arsenal with multiple warheads -
                        reversing an achievement of arms control in recent
                        decades - to ensure that it would be able to overwhelm
                        such a shield. ...

6/19/2001  from Tech Central Station:
                        New Military Doctrine Requires a Back-Up Plan in Space
                        By: James Pinkerton, TCS Columnist and Fellow,
                        New America Foundation
                        Second of two parts:
                        "Yes, earth has been a wonderful home to all of us, but
                        what home lasts forever? And thus the fourth doctrine of
                        defense - after MAD, NMD, and PES - is, or should be, ETR,
                        for extra-terrestrial relocation.

                        ETR doesn't mean giving up on earth; it means
                        duplicating earth, by sending volunteers permanently to
                        the moon, Mars, wherever. Would folks want to go? Would
                        governments want to pay for it? It all depends upon how
                        much time they spend thinking about Murphy's Law and
                        Fermi's Paradox."

                        (These are our bright leaders?)

6/26/2001  from The Seattle Times:
                        Bush hasn't gone wobbly; he has just gone smart
                        By Charles Krauthammer, Syndicated columnist
                        Editorials & Opinion : Monday, June 25, 2001
                        " ... Be nice, but be undeterred. The best unilateralism
                        is velvet-glove unilateralism.
                        At the end of the day, for all the rhetorical bows to
                        Russian, European and liberal sensibilities, look at how
                        Bush returns from Europe: Kyoto is dead. The ABM Treaty
                        is history. Missile defense is on. NATO expansion is
                        relaunched. And just to italicize the new turn in
                        American foreign policy, the number of those annual,
                        vaporous U.S.-EU summits has been cut from two to one. ... "

6/26/2001  from
                        Canada Wants U.S. to Consult with Russia on Missile Defense Plan
                        By Interfax, posted: 03:05 pm ET, 25 June 2001
                        MOSCOW. June 25 (Interfax) - Canada insists that the
                        United States cooperate with Russia in matters relating
                        to the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) Treaty,
                        Canadian Foreign Minister John Manley said on Monday.
                        Canada is against any unilateral steps by the United
                        States regarding its national missile defense (NMD)
                        plan, Manley told a news conference in Moscow after
                        talks with his Russian counterpart, Igor Ivanov. ...     
                              Manley said the United States has still not given
                        Canada a clear idea of what NMD would be like. Nor did
                        Canada know who would control it, he said. ... Ivanov,
                        when asked what Russia and Canada thought of the space
                        weapons problem, said the two countries "consider this
                        to be one of the most burning problems and stand for
                        joint efforts by the international community to prevent
                        the penetration of any kind of weapons into space."
                        Manley said Canada supported all measures to prevent
                        weapons from being stationed in space. ...

6/27/2001  from The Washington Post:
                        Defense Meets the Tax Cut
                        Wednesday, June 27, 2001; Page A24
                        " ... Missile defense, even in the Clinton
                        administration's limited model, could cost $60 billion
                        to deploy; new weapons acquisitions proposed by Mr.
                        Rumsfeld's advisory panels could cost another $35
                        billion. Yet nothing like this kind of money is going to
                        be available in the tax-cut depleted budgets of the next
                        few years. As it is, the Pentagon's requested $18
                        billion in additional spending for fiscal 2002 is
                        significantly below the amount sought by both Mr.
                        Rumsfeld and the Joint Chiefs, and barely would cover
                        immediate needs, such as spare parts and increased
                        housing and health care costs. Missile defense gets an
                        increase of less than $3 billion over the funding
                        planned by the Clinton administration -- hardly the
                        boost suggested by the administration's huge political
                        and diplomatic investment in the initiative. Even this
                        defense increase will be difficult to accommodate in
                        next year's budget -- and at the moment budget
                        projections suggest that a further increase can be
                        accommodated in 2003 only with big cuts in other
                        domestic programs or a raid on Social Security or
                        Medicare. ... "

6/27/2001  from Reuters:               
                        Bush Beefs Up Effort to Develop Missile Defense
                        By Jim Wolf
                        Tuesday June 26 5:42 PM ET
                        WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Bush administration will ask
                        Congress for $7.9 billion in fiscal 2002 to speed up a
                        controversial missile defense program that would go
                        beyond the limited, ground-based system proposed by
                        former President Bill Clinton, Pentagon documents
                        obtained on Tuesday showed. ... the Bush program will
                        explore ``to the fullest extent possible'' land, air and
                        space platforms to thwart missiles in all flight stages:
                        boost, or liftoff; midcourse; and terminal, according to
                        Program Budget Decision 816, as the memo is called. ...
                        The memo did not say when deployment would begin. But
                        the Pentagon's chief weapons purchaser, Edward Aldridge,
                        told a House Armed Services subcommittee on Tuesday:
                        ``The things we can field as early as we can, we will.''
                        ... The plan erases the diplomatically troublesome line
                        separating national missile defense from programs aimed
                        at defending troops in a combat theater. The memo
                        approved by Wolfowitz said preliminary results of the
                        Rumsfeld strategy review had determined that BMDO
                        programs should be restructured to provide
                        ``simultaneous research in multiple areas against
                        threats in the boost, midcourse and terminal stages of
                        attack.'' ``To achieve this, it is recommended that the
                        current BMDO program be eliminated and replaced with a
                        streamlined program designed to merge mature and
                        emergent technologies in innovative ways as each new
                        combination is proven,'' it said.
                        Under the Bush approach, three programs now controlled
                        by the Air Force -- the experimental space-based laser,
                        the airborne laser and space-based infrared system low
                        -- would move to BMDO to ``allow a more streamlined
                        approach to developing BMD technology.'' ...

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