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    Missile Defense

Russian military leaders have expressed concern about US plans for a national missile defense system. Will defense technology be limited by possibilities for a strategic imbalance? Is this just SDI all over again?

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rshowalter - 05:58pm Feb 21, 2001 EST (#744 of 748) Delete Message
Robert Showalter

Audio, too!

lunarchick - 08:54pm Feb 21, 2001 EST (#745 of 748)

Anthony Kordisman* from the centre for defence and strategic studies says that nobody trusts anyone, and in order to find the truth of a situation those who want to know send people in to report back be it industrial process (most of which are american) or how, in spite of arms agreements, arms are actually maintained.

This desire to know is part of sociological 'Diffusion theory' which acknowledges the diffusion of peoples, ideas, goods and services, etc across the globe, as people seek out the best locations for themselves, and the best products and information required to meet their needs.

The internet is an optimum instrument of diffusion, enabling a global common ground of mind. Raises the question 'when will the differences between cultures be broken down' .. in industry, manufacturing and commerce everyone looks for the 'best' known method and incremental improvements. Seems the best method of ensuring the world would be to take missiles down when each is an accident waiting to happen, and ensure the melding of cultures that is happening.

  • Sounded like

    lunarchick - 10:24pm Feb 21, 2001 EST (#746 of 748)

    NDIA: Russia, Israel, France, South Africa try to sell India weapons. India is one of the world's biggest buyers of defence equipment. The investment in nuclear has not lessened the spending on conventional weapons. Pakistan wants dialogue, with india re nuclear, which is not happening. Burma and Siralanka have large arms bugets. India has delusions of being a super power ... while 500million people of the subcontinent live in poverty. ref

    rshowalter - 04:44am Feb 22, 2001 EST (#747 of 748) Delete Message
    Robert Showalter

    From BBC "Talking Point" Thursday, 22 February, 2001, 08:44 GMT

    Are spies necessary? ...... "A FBI spycatcher has been accused of helping to send American agents to their deaths by selling secrets to Russia. . . . . . More than a decade after the fall of the Berlin Wall do we still need spies? What role do spies play in the post-Cold War era?"

    Here are some comments.

    "Intelligence agents are a vital part of any organisation and their hopes of surprising who they are working against, whether it be a government, a business, or an individual, for a "step up" on the competition." .... Terry Trollinger, USA

    "As long as people have secrets, we'll have spies. It's not a question of 'needing' them. Like the stars in the sky, they just ARE." Khan, UK

    Also this:

    "Instead the continuing level of paranoia displayed by the so-called world leaders need to be addressed. In an age of supposed international co-operation there still appears to be a long distance to go before trust can be established. The use of spies merely reinforces this intense level of mistrust, suspicion and paranoia. An end to their use would surely be for the best when it comes to create a more secure and co-operative world." Jym Furlong, Wales

    I disagree with Furlong's word paranoia . Under the circumstances, although assumptions may be false, in their own terms leaders are being disciplined and logical.

    I believe that distrust between nation states is fundamental and necessary- that spying will always be necessary to the extent that nations have to fear each other. Which is to say, forever. To SOME extent.

    But what is balanced? What is proportionate? What is beautiful in context?

    The "balance of nuclear terror" is ugly. See Rehearsing Armageddon to see vividly HOW ugly it is, and how ugly it is to general officers, both Russian and American, who would fire the missiles that could end the world.

    To maintain threat, secrecy is needed.

    Is this secrecy, at current levels, and according to current rules, what we want in the area of nuclear weapons?

    What has it cost us? What MIGHT it cost us?

    rshowalter - 04:48am Feb 22, 2001 EST (#748 of 748) Delete Message
    Robert Showalter

    To reduce threats, one needs to apply assurances that, in limited ways, for limited times, weapons are not going to be used.

    It is a FACT that the Russians, as a nation, feel that they have been, and still are, subject to an active first strike threat from the United States, and this fact can be checked.

    If one thinks about the Golden Rule, and applies it to the Russians, one has to remember this. If one asks how US actions are regarded in Russia, one has to remember this.

    To repeat:

    It is a FACT that the Russians, as a nation, feel that they have been, and still are, subject to an active first strike threat from the United States, and this fact can be checked.

    It should be.

    If the American people and their representatives knew this FACT, a redemptive solution to the current long-running nuclear terror, which could destroy the world, would be much closer than it is today.

    We'd all be safer. And US - Russian relations would be more satisfactory in every way.

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