BlueHummingbird News - Archive

Archived News Articles: NMD and Foreign Policy

7/11/2001  from AP:
                        State Notifies US of Missile Plans
                        By BARRY SCHWEID, AP Diplomatic Writer
                        Wednesday July 11 6:57 PM ET
                        WASHINGTON (AP) - The State Department has notified all
                        U.S. diplomatic posts abroad that stepped up tests for
                        an anti-missile shield will come into conflict with a
                        1972 treaty with Moscow ``in months, not years.'' ...
                        ``The world has changed fundamentally and the rationale
                        for Cold War arrangements no longer exists,'' says the
                        14-page memorandum sent to U.S. embassies and consulates
                        July 3. ...
                        ... Putin, meanwhile, proposed on July 6 that the five
                        long-established nuclear power states - the United
                        States, Russia, Britain, France and China - begin
                        negotiations aimed at eliminating 10,000 warheads in the
                        next seven years. ... A senior U.S. official told The
                        Associated Press Wednesday Putin's proposal is not going
                        to win over the administration.
                        The unclassified memorandum to U.S. diplomatic posts,
                        obtained by the AP, said the most urgent threat stems
                        not from thousands of Russian missiles but from a small
                        number of missiles in the hands of rogue states armed
                        with weapons of mass destruction. ...
                        As a result, the memorandum continued, ``the United
                        States needs release from the constraints of the ABM
                        treaty to pursue the most promising technologies and
                        basing modes to field limited, but effective missile
                        defenses.'' ...
                        Richard Boucher, the State Department spokesman,
                        confirmed that ``we have given to our embassies basic
                        arguments on the need for a new strategic framework, for
                        moving beyond the strategies of the Cold War.'' ...

7/11/2001  from AP:
                        Britain Declines Support to Scrap ABM
                        By BARRY SCHWEID, AP Diplomatic Writer
                        Wednesday July 11 12:44 PM ET
                        WASHINGTON (AP) - America's closest ally, Britain,
                        declined Wednesday to support setting aside a landmark
                        arms-control agreement to make way for a U.S. missile
                        defense. ...
                        Wednesday July 11 1:21 PM ET
                        WASHINGTON (AP) - America's closest ally, Britain,
                        agreed Wednesday with President Bush's assessment that
                        there is a growing nuclear danger in the world but said
                        there is no need for an imminent decision on
                        anti-missile defenses. ...
                        ... Since the Bush administration is still in the
                        process of weighing its options on an anti-missile
                        shield, Britain intends to withhold its own decision
                        pending further talks with Washington, said the new
                        British foreign secretary, Jack Straw. ...

7/11/2001  from Reuters:
                        U.S Air Force combat readiness dips to 14-year low
                        By Jim Wolf
                        Wednesday July 11, 5:32 pm Eastern Time
                        WASHINGTON, July 11 (Reuters) - The U.S. Air Force's
                        overall combat readiness has hit its lowest point in 14
                        years, largely because of aging warplanes and their
                        higher maintenance costs, service chiefs told Congress
                        on Wednesday. ...

                        ``We are working to slow down the aging of our fleet and
                        infrastructure, but the climbing costs of operations and
                        maintenance, as well as competing modernization
                        effectiveness goals, continue to prevent that from
                        happening,'' the Air Force said.
                        Competing priorities include a raft of projects tied to
                        antiballistic missile defense, including space-based
                        infrared systems to warn of missile launches, a(nd)
                        laser-interceptors being built into the nose of a
                        modified Boeing 747 and an experimental space-based
                        Rumsfeld: 'No intention of breaking' ABM treaty
                        By Jamie Mcintyre
                        CNN Military Affairs Correspondent

                        Bush Speeds Missile Defense Plans
                        By Vernon Loeb and Thomas E. Ricks
                        Washington Post Staff Writers
                        Thursday, July 12, 2001; Page A01
                        ... A total of 17 tests -- 10 of ground-based systems
                        and seven of sea-launched missiles -- are planned over
                        the next 14 months, officials said. ...
                        Arms Control Experts Criticize Bush Plan to Break ABM
                        Treaty 'Within Months'; Urge Congress to Block
                        Anti-Missile Scheme

                        ... The Associated Press reports that an unnamed Russian
                        Foreign Ministry spokesperson responded by saying: "We
                        will view the first cubic meter of concrete laid under
                        the launching pad for interceptor missiles in Alaska as
                        the United States' formal withdrawal from the ABM
                        Treaty." ...
                        Missile Defense Experts Hold Capitol Hill Meeting:
                        'What the Bush Administration Isn't Telling You'

                        U.S. Newswire - 12 Jul 13:05

7/12/2001  from msnbc, US Newswire, CNN, and WashingtonPost:
                        Pentagon unveils quick pace to test missile defense system
                        MSNBC STAFF AND WIRE REPORTS
                        WASHINGTON, July 12 -   The Pentagon on Thursday outlined
                        an aggressive program to develop missile defenses,
                        including the construction of new test facilities
                        beginning next April.The State Department indicated that
                        the plans mean the United States will be violating the
                        Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty with Russia "in months,
                        rather than in years." Russia, which strongly opposes
                        the U.S. plans, reiterated that the administration was
                        moving towards a new arms race.
                        "RUSSIA, AS WELL as many other countries, believes that
                        a unilateral withdrawal of the United States from the
                        ABM treaty would lead to the destruction of strategic
                        stability, a new powerful spiral of the arms race,
                        particularly in space, and the development of means for
                        overcoming the national missile defense system," said
                        Vladimir Rushailo, head of President Vladimir Putin's
                        Security Council. ...
                        "The document makes clear that the U.S. consultations
                        with its allies and Russia have been a sham and that
                        tests will be conducted in 'months, not years' in
                        violation of the ABM treaty, despite the lack of a
                        credible urgent threat from so-called rogue states,"
                        said Spurgeon Keeny, president of the Arms Control
                        Association, a private group. ...
                              A senior Pentagon source said groundbreaking for
                              the construction would start in August. ...

7/14/2001  From AP:
                        Bush Announces Tougher Line on Cuba
                        By SANDRA SOBIERAJ, Associated Press Writer
                        Updated: Fri, Jul 13 7:56 PM EDT

                        WASHINGTON (AP) - Calling sanctions against Fidel
                        Castro's Cuba "a moral statement," President Bush
                        ordered stricter enforcement of the U.S. trade embargo
                        and greater support Friday to dissidents on the
                        communist island. ...

                        Moscow fear over U.S. missile memo
                        ... The airborne laser could be also be pressed into
                        emergency service by 2004, four years ahead of schedule,
                        the Pentagon claims.
                        And the ambitious plan also calls for testing
                        space-based lasers to shoot down missiles between 2005
                        and 2006. ...
                        John Isaacs, of the Council for Livable World, said:
                        "It's a shield of dreams. It's a system that there's no
                        notion whether it will work but yet they want to deploy
                        something in the next four years."

7/14/2001  from CNN:
                        Jamie McIntyre on stepped up missile defense tests
                        July 13, 2001 Posted: 7:47 PM EDT (2347 GMT)

                        ... McINTYRE: The United States eventually hopes to get
                        the cooperation with some of its allies, particularly
                        with the placement of radars to help track potential
                        missiles from adversaries. But right now this is a
                        U.S.-only project. ...

7/14/2001  from AP:
                        Missile Apparently Hits Target in Test
                        By ROBERT BURNS, AP Military Writer
                        JULY 14, 23:34 EST
                        WASHINGTON (AP) - A missile interceptor soared into the
                        skies over a tiny Pacific isle Saturday and appeared
                        from live video images to have destroyed its target, a
                        mock nuclear warhead traveling through space. ...

7/16/2001  from CBC:
      Video clip from the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation on the latest test of NMD                            (a very long download):
                        RealAudio report:
                        Ka-boom or bust
                        The U.S. missile defence system
                        Owen Wood, CBC News Online
                        February 2001

                        Russia, China Revive Friendship, Support ABM
                        By Ron Popeski
                        Monday July 16 1:10 PM ET
                        MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia and China revived their
                        strategic friendship on Monday, throwing down a
                        challenge to America's domination of the post Cold War
                        world and its controversial plans for a missile defense
                        Russia's Vladimir Putin and his guest Jiang Zemin hugged
                        and smiled broadly as they signed a friendship pact to
                        defend mutual interests and boost trade, replacing a
                        treaty that expired more than two decades ago. ...
                        ``We believe that more active cooperation between our
                        countries in discussing missile defenses and disarmament
                        will enhance our efforts in building a multi-polar world
                        and establishing a fair, rational international order,''
                        he (Jiang Zemin) said. ...

7/17/2001 From AP:
                        Bush Not Swayed by Russia-China Pact
                        By BARRY SCHWEID, AP Diplomatic Writer
                        Tuesday July 17 4:12 PM ET
                        WASHINGTON (AP) - A new friendship pact between Russia
                        and China will not deter the United States from pursuing
                        a missile defense system, a State Department spokesman
                        said Tuesday. ... spokesman Philip Reeker said
                        ...``we'll continue to pursue our own relationships,
                        we'll continue to pursue our own interest in a missile
                        defense system. That doesn't change anything in terms of
                        our policies and what the administration is pursuing.''
                        Putin, in an interview Monday with Italian newspaper
                        Corriere della Sera, said the North Atlantic Treaty
                        Organization should be dissolved. ...
                        Constantine Menges, who advised former President Ronald
                        Reagan on Latin America and worked for the Central
                        Intelligence Agency, said Tuesday the administration's
                        reaction reflected ``wishful assumptions.''  He said the
                        State Department was ignoring a pledge by the two sides
                        to consult to eliminate any threat of aggression as well
                        as the Shanghai Pact between Russia and China signed
                        last month that calls for mutual defense. ...

7/17/2001  from AP:
                        Pentagon Revives Reagan-Era Proposal
                        By ROBERT BURNS, AP Military Writer
                        Tuesday July 17 3:51 PM ET
                        HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (AP) - The Pentagon's blueprint for
                        expanding missile defense research includes the
                        first-ever test of a space-based interceptor by 2005-06,
                        a senior defense official said Tuesday. ...
                        During the administration of President Bush's father,
                        the Pentagon briefly pursued a version of space-based
                        missile defense that it called Brilliant Pebbles. It was
                        based on the notion of building a constellation of 3,600
                        to 4,000 orbiting satellites from which antimissile
                        projectiles could be launched. ...

7/17/2001  From The Observer:              ,6903,522009,00.html
                        US rebellion over missile shield
                        Ed Vulliamy in New York
                        Sunday July 15, 2001
                        " ... To secure his reforms, say officials, Rumsfeld has
                        taken the helm with little or no consultation with
                        traditional military figures.
                        He has employed a corps of right-wing strategic thinkers
                        headed by Andrew Marshall, chief of an obscure Office of
                        Net Assessment, who has been charged with an 'immediate,
                        comprehensive review of our military'.
                        To oversee this shift, Rumsfeld is to set up a Crisis
                        Co-ordination Centre overseen by his own office and with
                        little input from the military. It will be answerable to
                        him and his old friend and protage Vice President Dick
                        Cheney. ..."

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