BlueHummingbird News - Archive

Archived News Articles: NMD and Foreign Policy

7/18/2001 From The Washington Post:
                        U.S. Plans to Test Space-Based Laser To Intercept Missiles
                        By Vernon Loeb, Washington Post Staff Writer
                        Wednesday, July 18, 2001; Page A03
                        HUNTSVILLE, Ala., July 17 -- A top Pentagon official
                        said today that the Bush administration plans to test a
                        space-based laser interceptor as early as 2005 as part
                        of its ambitious new missile defense agenda.
                        Robert Snyder, executive director of the Ballistic
                        Missile Defense Organization, told reporters at a
                        missile defense conference here that $110 million has
                        been included in the fiscal 2002 defense budget to study
                        technologies, including the space-based laser, aimed at
                        hitting missiles in their "boost" phase three to five
                        minutes after launch. ...
                        Beyond its treaty implications, testing a space-based
                        laser also would represent a first step toward
                        "weaponizing" space, a move that critics say could
                        ignite a new arms race. No country has put weapons into
                        orbit. ...

7/19/2001  At The New York Times:
                        Pushing Agenda for ABM's, Bush Prepares to Meet Putin
                        By MICHAEL R. GORDON
                        July 19, 2001
                        ... "We don't want to have formal restrictions on
                        development, testing and deployment," a senior
                        administration official said today. ...
                        ... the Pentagon even plans to test a space-based laser
                        and space-based interceptors that would destroy missiles
                        in their boost phase...

                        Few Missile Defense Details Emerge After Powell Talks
                        By JANE PERLEZ with MICHAEL WINES
                        ... Secretary Powell said ...  he wanted to make it
                        plain to the Russians that the United States was moving
                        forward on missile defense, no matter what.  "I have a
                        hunch that when they hear us out, they will find that it
                        is in their interest to move in this direction because
                        we are moving in this direction, hopefully in a
                        cooperative basis," he said. "But if not, we are still
                        moving forward." ...

7/19/2001  from AP:
                        Bush: Anti-Missile Plan a Hard Sell
                        By RON FOURNIER, AP White House Correspondent
                        ... With Blair at his side, Bush said the landmark 1972
                        Anti-ballistic Missile Treaty forbids the United States
                        from even testing a potential system - let alone
                        settling on a shield and deploying it. ...

7/19/2001  from The Times (UK) & others:
                        Bush renews plan for Reagan's space lasers
                        Genoa Summit
                        FROM BEN MACINTYRE IN WASHINGTON
                        THURSDAY JULY 19 2001
                        THE Bush Administration has announced plans to revive a
                        deeply controversial part of the Reagan-era Star Wars
                        blueprint by placing thousands of laser interceptors in
                        space, a move that will make the task of selling missile
                        defence to sceptical Europeans even harder.
                        On the eve of President Bush's arrival in Europe, a top
                        defence official said that the Pentagon intended to
                        renew research on the "Brilliant Pebbles" programme, a
                        key element of Ronald Reagan's Strategic Defence
                        Initiative, with a view to setting up a system of
                        space-based laser interceptors as early as 2005.
                        The Brilliant Pebbles concept has come under intense
                        fire from critics who say that it would pave the way for
                        the full-scale militarisation of space. It was
                        originally planned to deploy up to 4,000 laser
                        satellites. The initiative was considered by the first
                        Bush Administration, but then abandoned. ...
                        The laser interceptors would be mounted on satellites,
                        but some scientists have questioned whether such
                        interceptors would continue to function if left in space
                        for long periods. Others say that the satellites would
                        be standing targets. "They almost invite an enemy to
                        develop anti-satellite weapons to knock them out," Tom
                        Collina, of the Union of Concerned Scientists, told The
                        New York Times. ...
                        The Pentagon announced last weekend that it had
                        successfully shot down a mock warhead in the latest test
                        of its fledgling missile shield, but controllers have
                        conceded that a radar system was unable to report
                        whether the target had been destroyed. The radar falsely
                        reported that the kill missile had missed, where several
                        other sensors clearly showed a hit.
                        The Pentagon blamed a programming fault in the radar
                        computer that could be fixed before the next test in
                        October. ...
                        John Manley, the Canadian Foreign Minister, urged
                        Washington to respect the ABM Treaty: "We have been
                        urging the United States to be very consultative with
                        its partners, allies in Nato and with Russia and China,
                        before being firmly committed to proceeding with
                        ballistic missile defence," he said. "I think that the
                        United States will see it is not in their interest to
                        drive countries into a new polarisation."


7/20/2001  from Reuters:
                        N.Korea Vows Countermeasures in Reply to U.S. Test
                        Friday July 20 8:36 AM ET
                        SEOUL (Reuters) - North Korea vowed on Friday to take
                        countermeasures in response to last week's test by the
                        Defense Department aimed at intercepting long-range
                        missiles launched against the United States.
                        ``The DPRK is compelled to take a counter-action for
                        self-defense by the U.S. deliberate provocation,'' a
                        North Korean foreign ministry spokesman was quoted as
                        saying by Pyongyang's official Korea Central News
                        ``A new global arms race has, therefore, become
                        unavoidable. The DPRK will have nothing to lose even if
                        all the points agreed upon between the DPRK and the U.S.
                        are scrapped,'' the spokesman said. ...

7/20/2001  from The Washington Post:
                        Ex-Clinton Aide Criticizes Missile Plan
                        By Vernon Loeb, Washington Post Staff Writer
                        Friday, July 20, 2001; Page A23
                        The Bush administration has placed the nation on a
                        "collision course" with Russia and NATO allies by
                        designing a missile defense plan to violate the
                        Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty in a matter of months,
                        former national security adviser Samuel R. "Sandy"
                        Berger said yesterday. ...
                        The ABM Treaty was negotiated by Richard M. Nixon and
                        Leonid Brezhnev in 1972 to prohibit nationwide defenses
                        against long-range missiles -- and thereby to curb each
                        side's efforts to build more and more missiles to
                        overwhelm those defenses. It specifically prohibits
                        testing of sea-, air- or space-based defenses against
                        long-range missiles. ...

                        189 Nations Agree Small Arms Plan
                        By DAFNA LINZER, Associated Press Writer
                        Updated: Sat, Jul 21 2:47 PM EDT
                        UNITED NATIONS (AP) - The first U.N. conference to curb
                        the billion-dollar-a-year illegal trafficking in small
                        arms ended Saturday with 189 nations agreeing on a
                        watered-down plan Washington wanted - with calls to
                        limit weapon sales and restrict civilian gun ownership
                        expunged. ...

7/21/2001  from The New York Times Op/Ed:
                        Bush the Radical
                        By ANTHONY LEWIS
                        ABROAD AT HOME
                        July 21, 2001
                        ... "The dislike of treaties reflects an attitude that
                        the United States must be free to do what it wants in
                        the world. Call it unilateralism or whatever, it is a
                        sharp break from our postwar premise that if wisely
                        negotiated, treaties enhance our security." ...

7/22/2001  from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:
                        Global fallout possible from missile defense activation
                        By STEPHEN YOUNG

7/21/2001  from AP:
                        Bush to Oppose Germ Weapons Pact Draft
                        By RON FOURNIER, AP White House Correspondent
                        Updated: Sat, Jul 21 6:12 AM EDT
                        GENOA, Italy (AP) - In a split with key allies, the Bush
                        administration has decided to oppose a draft agreement
                        to enforce a 26-year-old germ weapons treaty. ...
                        American envoy Donald A. Mahley planned to tell
                        negotiators in Geneva next week that Bush supported the
                        Biological Weapons Convention but feared the enforcement
                        rules would be burdensome to some universities and
                        industries and might expose American businesses to
                        commercial theft. ...
                        The treaty, ratified by 143 nations, prohibits the
                        development, production and possession of biological
                        weapons. ...
                        With its decision, the administration joins China,
                        Libya, Cuba, Iran and Pakistan in voicing opposition to
                        the rules. Allies in Europe and Latin America support
                        the language.

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