BlueHummingbird News - Archive

Archived News Articles: NMD and Foreign Policy

11/10/2001  from AP:
                        Putin Optimistic on Missile Defense
                        By JUDITH INGRAM, Associated Press Writer
                        Updated: Sat, Nov 10 3:56 PM EST
                        MOSCOW (AP) - Russian President Vladimir Putin said
                        Saturday that he was "very optimistic" that a compromise
                        could be found with the United States on missile defense
                        and that he looked forward to hearing President Bush's
                        specific proposals at their summit next week. "We
                        believe it's right to consider offensive and defensive
                        weapons together," Putin told a group of American
                        journalists gathered for an evening interview in the
                        Kremlin. "We know the president's view that strategic
                        offensive weapons can and must be reduced. This is a
                        compromise in the right direction." ...
                        Asked about bin Laden's claim that he has nuclear and
                        chemical weapons, Putin said that the threat could be a
                        bluff but nevertheless should be taken seriously. "I
                        wouldn't overestimate the danger but it would also be
                        wrong to downplay it," Putin said. "We know about bin
                        Laden's links with radical circles in Pakistan, and
                        Pakistan is a nuclear power." "In that respect, we must
                        support Gen. Musharraf in his efforts to consolidate his
                        country," Putin said. He flatly denied that any Russian
                        or former Soviet weapons of mass destruction could get
                        into the hands of terrorists. "It's unlikely that the
                        terrorists in Afghanistan have weapons of mass
                        destruction, but we can't neglect a chance that they may
                        have them," he added. "In any case, they can't be of
                        Soviet or Russian origin, I'm absolutely sure of that."
                        Putin said he wasn't looking for any particular payback
                        from the United States in exchange for Russia's support
                        of the U.S.-led action against terror. "In the first
                        place, we would like our joint struggle against
                        terrorism to lead to positive results, that terrorism
                        not only in Afghanistan but the entire world be
                        destroyed, uprooted, liquidated," he said. Russia would
                        also "like to have a new quality in our relations and
                        have in the United States a reliable and predictable
                        partner," he added. "This top task is more important
                        that getting any momentary material advantages." ...

11/15/2001  from AP:
                        No Agreement on Missile Defense
                        By RON FOURNIER, AP White House Correspondent
                        Thursday November 15 6:23 PM ET
                        CRAWFORD, Texas (AP) - President Bush and Russian
                        President Vladimir Putin failed to resolve their dispute
                        over U.S. missile shield plans Thursday but pledged on a
                        harmonious final day of summitry to fight terrorism and
                        deepen U.S.-Russian ties. ``Our differences will not
                        divide us,''
Bush told hundreds of students and
                        townspeople in a steamy high school gym. ...
                        Putin reaffirmed his opposition to anti-missile tests
                        that would violate the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile
                        Treaty. But he also said that, no matter what Bush does,
                        ``under no circumstances could it lead to any tension in
                        the relations between Russia and the United States.'' ...
                        ``We shall continue our discussions,'' Putin said. ...
                        Despite Putin's reservations on missile defense, Bush
                        ``continues to believe he has got to move forward with
                        the testing program in a robust way,'' Condoleezza Rice,
                        Bush's national security adviser, said later. ``We're
                        soon going to run up against certain constraints of the
                        treaty,'' she said. ...

11/15/2001  from AP:
                        Rumsfeld Worried About NKorea Missiles
                        By GEORGE GEDDA, Associated Press Writer
                        Thursday November 15 6:27 PM ET
                        WASHINGTON (AP) - Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said
                        Thursday that North Korea poses a ``very real'' threat
                        to the United States through its missile development,
                        export policies and attempts to produce weapons of mass
                        destruction. Rumsfeld spoke of the Bush administration's
                        worries about the reclusive communist state during a
                        joint news conference with Kim Dong-shin, defense
                        minister of South Korea. ...

11/17/2001  from AP:
                        FBI: Terror Cells Likely in U.S.
                        By KAREN GULLO, Associated Press Writer
                        Saturday November 17 7:54 AM ET
                        WASHINGTON (AP) - Investigators are hunting associates
                        of Osama bin Laden's al-Qaida network and other terrorist cells
                        probably in the United States, FBI Director Robert Mueller said. ...

11/17/2001  from IPS:
                        U.S. Policy Towards Taliban Influenced by Oil - Say Authors
                        By Julio Godoy, Inter Press Service
                        PARIS, Nov 15 (IPS) - Under the influence of U.S. oil
                        companies, the government of George W. Bush initially
                        blocked U.S. secret service investigations on terrorism,
                        while it bargained with the Taliban the delivery of
                        Osama bin Laden in exchange for political recognition
                        and economic aid, two French intelligence analysts claim. ...

11/17/2001  from AP:
                        U.S. to Pursue Missile Test Plans
                        By SANDRA SOBIERAJ, Associated Press Writer
                        Friday November 16 1:00 PM ET
                        CRAWFORD, Texas (AP) - The United States will push ahead
                        with aggressive testing of missile defenses, White House
                        officials said after President Bush and Russian
                        President Vladimir Putin ended their summit without
                        agreement on the disputed program. ...

11/17/2001  from Reuters:               
                        Part of Missile Defense System Over Budget -WSJ
                        Friday November 16 7:14 AM ET
                        NEW YORK (Reuters) - Part of the national missile
                        defense system being pushed by U.S. President George
                        Bush and developed by defense contractor Lockheed Martin
                        Corp. is running way over cost and well behind schedule,
                        The Wall Street Journal said on Friday.
                        The Space-Based Infrared System-High, known as
                        SBIRS-High, is a key part of what has been known as the
                        National Missile Defense (news - web sites) System, a
                        ground-based shield designed to hamper an enemy missile
                        attack, the newspaper said.
                        The SBIRS-High would be the early-warning system to
                        detect whether an attack had been launched against the
                        United States, the newspaper said.
                        As a result of development problems, requested changes
                        and funding shortfalls, the satellite system and its
                        ground stations will now probably cost between $1.7
                        billion and $2 billion more and not be completed until
                        2009, three years later than planned, the newspaper
                        said. ...
                        The SBIRS-High problems should not delay the fielding of
                        an intercept system to protect the United States from
                        missile attack, said the Pentagon (news - web sites)'s
                        Ballistic Missile Defense Organization, the newspaper
                        ``We'll make do with what we have for the near term,''
                        said the organization's spokesman, Lt. Col. Rick Lehner,
                        it said. ...

11/17/2001  from AP:
                        French Warplanes to Attack al-Qaida
                        Updated: Sat, Nov 17 9:40 AM EST
                        PARIS (AP) - French warplanes will attack suspected
                        Afghan strongholds of Osama bin Laden's al-Qaida network
                        in missions beginning within two weeks, Defense Minister
                        Alain Richard said Saturday.
                        Richard spoke a day after President Jacques Chirac said
                        France would commit combat planes to the U.S.-led
                        military mission and the nation sent its first ground
                        troops to the region.
                        The defense ministry said up to 10 Mirage 2000 bombers
                        would be used in the missions Richard said were aimed at
                        "attacking the infrastructure and remaining refuges of
                        al-Qaida in Afghanistan." ...

11/18/2001  from AP:
                        Officials: Campaign Is Far From Over
                        By ROBERT BURNS, AP Military Writer
                        Updated: Sun, Nov 18 1:27 PM EST
                        WASHINGTON (AP) - Terrorist mastermind Osama bin Laden
                        and his al-Qaida network are on the run in Afghanistan
                        and their Taliban supporters are in disarray, but the
                        American-led military campaign to crush them is far from
                        over, senior administration officials said Sunday. ...
                        If bin Laden were to flee Afghanistan, the United States
                        would keep up the hunt, Wolfowitz said. "We are going to
                        continue pursuing him," he said. "Let's also remember,
                        we're going to continue pursuing the entire al-Qaida
                        network, which is in 60 countries, not just Afghanistan
                        and, worst of all, here in the United States. ... This
                        is a campaign against all the global terrorist networks
                        and the states that support terrorism." ...
                        Rice cautioned against assuming that the military
                        successes in Afghanistan over the past week mean the
                        United States has met its main objective. "This may take
                        a while," she said on NBC's "Meet the Press." She also
                        left open the possibility that Iraq could become a
                        target in Bush's war on terrorism. "We do not need the
                        events of September 11 to tell us that this is a very
                        dangerous man who is a threat to his own people, a
                        threat to the region, and a threat to us because he is
                        determined to acquire weapons of mass destruction," she said. ...

11/21/2001  from
                        Project Echelon: Orbiting Big Brother?
                        By Leonard David, Senior Space Writer
                        posted: 07:00 am ET, 21 November 2001
                        WASHINGTON -- Earth-orbiting listening posts are on
                        active duty in the United States-led war on terrorism.
                        Signal-seeking spacecraft not only play a critical role
                        in eavesdropping on nations from on high, but also
                        within the borders of the U.S itself. ...
                        Echelon is very real, explains Jeffrey Richelson, a
                        senior fellow with the National Security Archive in
                        Washington, D.C. He has pointed out that some of the
                        oratory concerning Echelon and its abilities may be
                        "over-the-top." But the fact that a U.S.-promoted effort
                        to operate an electronic eavesdropping network with
                        global reach "should come as no surprise," he explains. ...
                        On November 8, the U.S. Senate gave thumbs-up to an
                        annual funding bill that bolsters America's spying
                        skills. Total monies approved for the Central
                        Intelligence Agency (CIA), the NSA, and other
                        super-secret efforts remain classified. While both House
                        and Senate lawmakers must now strike a balance between
                        their respective funding bills, it is clear that
                        billions of extra dollars -- beyond that of a minimum
                        $30 billion yearly budget -- are earmarked to revitalize
                        and beef-up ground- and space-based surveillance
                        "Five years from now, the NSA must have the ability to
                        collect and exploit electronic signals in a vastly
                        different communications environment than that in which
                        we spent most of the second half of the 20th century,"
                        said Senator Bob Graham, a Florida Democrat. ...

12/7/2001  opinion at the New York Times:
                        Hitting the Trifecta
                        By PAUL KRUGMAN
                        December 7, 2001
                        " ... Earlier this year Mr. Bush used projections of
                        vast budget surpluses to push through a huge, 10-year
                        tax cut. Most of that tax cut went to people with
                        incomes of more than $200,000 per year. Now Mr. Daniels
                        tells us that the budget - not just the budget outside
                        Social Security, but the whole enchilada - will be in
                        deficit through 2004. Since the administration's phony
                        budget math ("fuzzy" just doesn't cut it at this point)
                        gets phonier the further you go into the future, this
                        means that we have effectively returned to a state of
                        permanent deficit. ...
                        Administration officials insist that the economic
                        slowdown and the war on terror, not the tax cut, are
                        responsible for the red ink. But this is flatly untrue...
                        It's the huge further tax cuts that will take place
                        after 2002 - tax cuts that are now the law of the land -
                        that are the problem. ...
                        Mr. Bush could try to undo some of the damage, by
                        canceling future tax cuts for the top income bracket.
                        Instead, he wants to accelerate those cuts. That's the
                        moral equivalent of the big bonuses Enron gave to
                        executives just days before it went bankrupt.
                        Horse racing is a zero-sum game; so, it seems, is budget
                        politics. Mr. Bush hit the trifecta; the great majority
                        of Americans lost, big time."

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